Sunday, 23 October 2011

Kao Liese Prettia Bubble Hair Dye Black Tea Brown review

Disclaimer: I am freakishly lazy about hair. A few months ago I bought my first ever hairdryer and the only comb I own may be pink plastic and labelled "With Love from Marie Claire"...

That said, I have been dyeing my hair pretty much every shade under the sun for over a decade, beginning with The Great Sun-In Fluorescent Orange Streak Debacle aged 12/13. I've tried every brand of box dye in the UK drugstore and many of the mixable potions available at Sally's too, and these Kao Bubble hair dyes blow them all away. They're so effortless that I'd confidently recommend them to first-timers, and personally, I can and have dyed my hair evenly with these on a tipsy getting! things! done! rampage, without a mirror, while cleaning the kitchen and organising aaaaaall the DVDs by genre.

Black Tea Brown is one of the new shades released in Autumn 2011. Continuity with the old line-up is provided by the derpy porno-faces.

I originally wanted to try Natural Black because my many layers of russet-through-burgundy were peeking through the black Schwarzkopf Live I'd layered over them back in London, but that shade was sold out in every drugstore in Hong Kong. Black Tea Brown is the next-darkest shade in the line so I snatched up the last box.

artificial light, no flash (two months ago, my hair was inky box-dye BLACK)

Inside the box: everything you need to follow the instructions here.

After mixing, one pump.
See the dotted pink line on the bottle? That's the recommended amount of dye you should have left after dyeing chin-length hair, and that's exactly where the brown had sunk to after I'd finished lathering up :D Hair that's bra-strap length or longer will require two boxes, supposedly, though my hair's so fine and thin I've never had to open up a second.

Lathered up:
As you can see, I don't bother cleaning up the smears on my skin as I do with Western box dyes because I find these wash off in the shower without a problem. Also note lack of towel draped around neck -- this bubble dye never drips even if you run around, and have never stained my clothes in the past.
I leave the dye on for 20 minutes when going darker, and 30 minutes when going lighter.

Half an hour after opening the box, we're done.
Everything's evened out, and the brassiness has been replaced by, as advertised, a nice black-tea brown. Even the lighter Liese shades (which include bleach) don't dry out my hair, but this particular shade has been the gentlest dye I've ever used -- after washing it out, my hair was in the same condition as it's in after a regular shampoo and condition. And because it contains no bleach, there's far less of that sickly synthetic fruit scent that Liese uses to mask that smell.

A final rave: ZERO residue left on towels over the next few hair washes, and I got to experiment on plenty of pristine white Beijing hotel towels.

HK$78 each from adambeauty here (though he doesn't seem to have the new shades yet).
The Kao sub-brand is called "Liese", "Prettia" or "Liese Prettia" in different Asian markets -- the products are the same so just make sure you have the right shade, and ignore the name on the box.


  1. I was looking at this colour, but after my last hair disaster I couldn't wait till it arrives (I wait long here). your hair looks gorgeous now! I feel, like I have to do a lot to my hair, otherwise it looks like an exploded baby chicken :) the colour looks nice ashy, not with red something, like all dyes here, even black *sigh*

  2. claire you are cracking me up daily with your orange wasabi baby bird ways! But you're still full of LIES -- your hair looks great now :*

  3. You must stop these posts as adambeauty is getting rich off my numerous orders! I have dyed my hair twice this past summer after a disastrous trip to the salon and it won't touch the color. Maybe I'll give this one a go next. It looks exactly like the pic on the box!

  4. Charisse, it really is exactly the shade on the box! I wish you luck if you do decide to take the leap -- lotuspalace has reviewed a few of these too iirc.