Knowing my penchant for hair color, a friend gave me a birthday gift bag that included Fat Foam, a fairly new product that she thought I might enjoy. I used it this weekend, and found it to be different enough from “standard” at-home dyes that I would share my thoughts about it with you.


The first noticable difference is the packaging. When I saw the shaker cup, I said, “This looks like those plastic Slim-Fast containers!” Apparently, the makers either anticipated this reaction or were responding to a tragic mistake, because there is a warning emblazoned on the tumbler that the contents are not edible (drinkable? consumable).

The full monty

You have to mix the color and the… well, I’m not a rocket scientist. Whatever it is that you mix the color with to make it reactive. I have a liberal arts degree; cut me some slack.

That part is typical. What WAS different, however, is that the color is in powder rather than liquid form.

After you mix the two elements, you tightly cap the cup and shake it. The instructions are very specific: You must shake the cup at least 12 inches vertically. Woe to the idiot who shakes only 10. One shudders to consider what the consequences might be.

De-lidding the container revealed a strawberry-shake-with-foam-looking concoction. It WAS foamy, not mousse-y. The application of the foam with gloved hands made precision difficult… for my clumsy fingers, impossible. I ended up with a layer of orange all over my forehead. Fortunately, it wiped off easily and did not stain my skin.

Powder color

The rest of the application was a lot easier and neater than with the squirt bottle applicators. I have longer hair and usually end up accidentally dripping or throwing dye on the walls, or the floor, or the pets. (True story: a dog I used to have wore a rather stunning beauty mark on her muzzle for nearly a year once after she had lain at my feet during a particularly careless coloring session.)

The only challenge I had was toward the end of the dye. The foam had stayed at the top, while the more liquid contents had settled. The stuff in the bottom of the cup had the consistency of fully-melted ice cream. In hindsight, half way through the process, it would have been a good idea to re-shake the cup. I don’t know if this would have done anything, but it would have been worth a try.

Now we get to what was my absolute favorite thing about this coloring system: The after-process. This dye comes with SHAMPOO as well as conditioner! This is an amazing break-through I am surprised no one else has come up with yet. You are not supposed to color clean hair, so I always dye my hair the day after I shampoo it… Then, you’re supposed to wait 24 hours before shampooing. For someone like me, with oily hair, this means that by the night after I color, my hair looks like it belongs on an 11-year-old boy who’s been at camp for a week and hasn’t had time to touch the showers. Ugh.

COLOR-SAFE SHAMPOO, dye-makers of the world! Hear it! Pay attention! It’s the wave of the future!

The dye rinsed out easily enough. The actual color was even, soft, and attractive. I will let you know in a couple of weeks how it holds. I jacked up my hair a few months ago when I first bleached it before coloring it pink for the Harry Potter movie premier. It rejects color after a while, so that is the big test.

I know it says not to eat it, but it... looks... so... yummy!

To summarize:

Pros: Fairly easy application, no strong smell, SHAMPOO, even color.

Cons: Goopy at the end (might be fixable), could look like a snack to toddlers? When you have the lid off to apply product, nosy pets or earthquakes could prove a messy intrusion.

Recommend: Yes!

Grade: A- (for now; might change later based on colorfastness)