Redefining masculinity: Schwarzkopf’s new hair dyes for men

[This is not a sponsored post. Some of the products mentioned are gifted press samples. Links marked * are affiliate, meaning I earn a small commission from any purchases made.]

Walk down the hair dye aisle of the drugstore and you’ll be faced with literally hundreds of shades of various colours. From classic blondes and brunettes to whites and silvers – and now an increasing array of hues from reds and purples to orange and blues. And while bright shades and pastel tones have increased in popularity across the board in recent years, the target audience has remained the same: women.

However, scroll through Instagram or simply walk down the street and you’ll notice the hair dye frenzy isn’t so one-sided. For decades, men have turned to dye to disguise early greys or alter the shade of their existing colour, but now it’s not just about maintaining a tried and tested aesthetic.

As the popularity of statement colours across genders increases, brands need to do more to veer away from the tried-and-tested approach of old. Still, ‘men’s dyes’ are marketed to a traditionally ‘masculine’ audience, with solemn-looking models seen juxtaposing a freshly died brunette look with a salt and pepper beard – usually hidden a couple of aisles down from the vibrant array of colours down the ‘women’s aisle’.

That’s where Schwarzkopf’s new collection ticks all the boxes, bringing dye back into the 21st century with a range of male-fronted treatments of the most popular colours on the market. I was at the launch of their new collections in London this week – I’ll be sharing some of my favourite products in a separate post soon – but the biggest launch of all was the new collection of Schwarzkopf Live colours for men.

Black and blonde are included in the mix as permanent treatments, alongside brighter hues in a semi-permanent form, including pink, purple, blue and silver – a favourite of mine.

Admittedly, the formulation of the products is exactly the same as the brand’s previous offerings – because men’s hair is no different to women’s, duh. But that’s not the point. Where the new collection succeeds is in its ability to attract a broad demographic, enabling men who would feel too shy or awkward picking up a standard box dye – probably adding “It’s for my girlfriend” at the checkout – to discover a product that’s tailored to them.

There are two things I love about the new range, though. First of all, the range of colours. As I said, it’s not just dull, neutral tones that have become synonymous with men’s dyes. Adding vibrant colours into the mix will no doubt help in the battle to break down dated gender norms and put an end to stereotypes that don’t belong in 2020.

The other point they got just right is the diverse choice of models on the packaging. Not just in terms of race, the guys at Schwarzkopf also made a point of selecting models of different builds, with varying hairstyles and types, to appeal to men across the board – proving anyone should be able to express themselves via their hair.

Right now, there’s a limited run of 7 colours and a bleaching kit, with more releases on the horizon. Quick tip from the brilliant Lewis Pallett, who was on hand at the event and got me looking a little more put together before I headed out to dinner: for a pastel effect with brighter colours, mix half the tube of dye with conditioner (included in the pack) and follow the instructions on the box.

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