I love changing my hair color! I found Sparks after looking into longer lasting bright colors; most bright colors fade after a couple of washes. I started the fall with a dark brown to medium blonde ombre. Then I had an orange-tinted ombre after using the Etude House Bubble Color in Sweet Orange. The Etude House Hot Style Bubble Hair Color was pretty but temporary & it fades.
I decided to use the Sparks Orange Crush without pre-lightening my hair; it didn’t need any more bleach. Sparks is a direct color; it won’t lighten your hair. It just deposits color. Orange Crush is a yellow-based orange shade. This product is highly-staining as a straight dye, so cover yourself and your work area.
My hair is pretty dark in the root & mid-length areas and the Sparks still worked great! Obviously, it is the most orange on the pre-lightened ends but it did nicely color the rest of my hair too. I had read a lot of reviews and applied the color mixed with Shea Moisture Conditioner. This was simply to prevent excessive bleeding & staining of my belongings. Using the color full strength can result in intense bleeding that occurs when the hair is not only wet but dry too; I don’t want my recliners, clothing, hats, or shirts ruined, so I cut it 1 part color to 2 parts conditioner when applying.
Sparks does not need a developer, it is meant to be applied straight from the tube to clean, dry hair. I used my 1:2 formula & left it on for 1 hour. When I rinsed, I used the Ion Color Defense After Color Sealer (Sally Beauty.) There was no horrific shower staining or need to bleach my tub and I have not stained any towels or clothing since applying the color. I had a little yellow rinse out of my hair the first time I washed it (after the initial application.)
Sparks Long Lasting Color
- Apply vaseline around the hairline (optional–but recommended when using full strength)
- Squeeze Sparks color into a plastic mixing bowl. I mixed mine with 2 parts Shea Moisture Conditioner (ie: 1 oz color, 2 oz conditioner.) Do not add any developer, this is a direct dye.
- Apply to hair with gloved hands and/or use a brush to apply color. Leave on for 1-2 hours.
- Rinse in the shower with cool water (don’t get it all over your kitchen sink/walls/floor/counters) and apply Ion Color Defense After Color Sealer for 2-3 minutes; rinse.
- Clean any highly stained areas of your shower with Soft Scrub (bleach.)
Sparks is cruelty-free & PPD free. It comes in a 3 oz. tube ($7-8 on Amazon,) making it very affordable when you factor in the 2 parts of the conditioner I used!
Results & recommendations vary between shades. I have never ventured into purple or green territory but I absolutely love the Orange Crush shade! I would have mixed in some red but skipped it for fear of bleeding/staining. Red hair is gorgeous but fades & bleeds as a rule. The color lasted well for about one month. It would have been longer but I couldn’t bear to wash with cool water when it is below zero here!
I also tried the Sparks Rose Gold shade to fill in my faded orange color. This is a beautiful reddish brown/pink shade that is lighter in pigmentation. It would look best on pre-lightened, blonde hair but it added a nice depth to my orange hair! This color fades a lot faster than the Orange Crush.