This User-Friendly, Color-Depositing Hair Mask Is Like Highlights in a Tube — and It Instantly Nixes Grays

For less than $30.

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This User-Friendly Hair Mask Is Like Highlights in a Tube
Photo: Getty Images

Around these parts, we love a multi-use beauty product. Mineral sunscreen-vitamin C serums have decimated the amount of time I spend in the bathroom before work, and now, hybridization has come to haircare: Thanks to IGK's new invention, giving yourself a temporary shade switch or highlights at home is as easy as using a hair mask.

It sounds almost too good to be true, but after I was gifted the Color Depositing Mask to test when it launched last month, I'm happy to confirm there's no bait and switch. At-home hair color has come in leaps and bounds over the last decade thanks to innovations like Overtone's semi-permanent shades, and IGK mask's takes the concept a step further with ultra-hydrating, shine-inducing ingredients like squalane, meadowfoam oil, prickly pear oil, and antioxidant-laden quinoa.

To be honest, until recently, I've held myself back from the siren song of hair dye for fear of losing my natural color, a dark gold that's probably a little too integral to my sense of self. I've always wondered what life would be like as a redhead, though, thanks to the combined childhood influences of Kim Possible, Sailor Jupiter, Jessica Rabbit, and The Parent Trap — so when IGK offered to walk me through the process using the mask's copper shade, it was the perfect storm.

Using the mask couldn't be more simple: I saturated my dry hair with the thick cream (plastic gloves are a good idea), let it sit for 15 minutes, washed it out in a Psycho-esque scene of color swirling down the drain, and voilà: My hair was instantly the strawberry blonde shade I've always wanted, and it stayed that way for just under two weeks (long enough to make me want to try it permanently, TBH).

IGK Color Depositing Mask

Shop now: $29; and

Your mileage may vary based on how often you wash your hair, the brand says, and if you want a more sheer effect, applying the mask on damp strands will tone down the tint. True to IGK's word, the semi-permanent color faded gracefully; week two saw me with red highlights and ends, until my natural color re-asserted itself at last.

Other reviewers were just as impressed: One fan on Ulta said they used it to enhance their blonde highlights between salon visits, while another person said it covered their grays and added softness and shine. Like most bleach-free semi-permanent formulas, how much color you'll see largely depends on what shade you're starting from; as a reviewer with "fairly dark" hair said, it only changed their lighter areas. But if you're using it for grays, a different customer wrote that it gave them 100 percent coverage within 12 minutes, and dubbed the outcome "excellent."

I also appreciate that the brand launched with 18 shades, covering both the natural spectrum and adding fun burgundy, blue, and purple options. I'm keeping a bottle of the copper "On the Money" hue in my shower for the foreseeable future, and then I might see what life is like in lavender. If you'd like to try it for yourself, get IGK's Color Depositing Mask for $29 at Amazon or Ulta.

Rachel Nussbaum
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