If you’ve ever dyed your hair, you’re well aware of just how quickly it can fade. While that’s true of all colors, it’s especially pertinent for ultra-bright hues. It’s because of this that the founders of Overtone developed a business plan to launch what is now a household name in colored haircare.
“Overtone started out of a personal need,” says co-founder Maegan Scarlett. “I’ve had vivid hair color for years and it would always fade quickly after being colored at the salon. So I started mixing dye with conditioner in between salon visits, and while it did help the color stay longer, my hair felt dry, rough, and damaged. I knew there had to be a better way. Liora [Dudar], my co-founder, and I had been seeking a project to work on together and when I brought up this issue I was having, we immediately went to work on creating a solution. We put our complementary skill sets together—mine for science and business and hers for photography and community engagement—and the first hair-healthy Overtone Coloring Conditioners were born.”
Not yet acquainted with the fan-favorite haircare brand? Read on to learn more.
Founded: In 2014, by Liora Dudar and Maegan Scarlett
Based In: Denver, Colorado
Pricing: $$. Most products are $16 to $40; a select few are $43-$45.
Best Known For: Providing salon-quality color without the price tag or commitment.
Most Popular Product: The Remedy for Fine Hair, Coloring Conditioner, Daily Conditioner
Fun Fact: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s retro hair colors were achieved using Overtone products.
Other Brands You’ll Love: Lime Crime, Manic Panic, Splat
While Overtone wasn’t the first brand to develop temporary hair colors, they are among the first to get the process right. In that, we mean that they not only created color-depositing conditioners that deliver jaw-dropping results, but the products themselves are made with vegan and cruelty-free formulas, too. But that’s not all.
“Aside from being a hair-healthy alternative to traditional dyes, Overtone’s brand ethos—making hair color easy and inclusive—is really what sets us apart in the beauty space,” says Dudar. “Our goal has always been to offer every color imaginable, to have the full-color wheel at the consumer’s disposal. We hold ourselves to incredibly high quality standards and are dedicated to education around hair health and hair color. Our goal is to share content that gives everyone the confidence to create a custom hair color of their own, at an accessible price point. Maximum knowledge, maximum fun!”
Notice how Dudar mentions inclusivity as a key ethos for the brand? One look at Overtone’s Instagram and website and it’s clear to see that they hold true to their promise of accepting everyone while creating a platform of creative takes on beauty.
“When we first launched Overtone in 2014, a large segment of the beauty industry was only starting to scratch the surface of inclusion and representation in regard to both marketing and products on offer,” says Dudar. “As a values-driven brand, it remains a top priority for Overtone to not participate in upholding the ‘norm’ of prescriptive beauty standards or exclusionary product ranges.” Scarlett adds to this, noting that, “In the last six years, it’s been really exciting to watch the beauty industry embrace radical inclusivity. More and more brands are pushing in the same direction to create a more inclusive and accessible space.”
“Our target consumers are people who value autonomous agency around self-expression,” Scarlett explains. “They’re aesthetic-conscious people who want a hair-healthy, easy-to-use product—individuals who value better-for-you hair color without sacrificing formula efficacy.”
The best part? Unlike some brands that can be incredibly messy and difficult to apply, Overtone makes coloring your hair at home easier than ever. With all that in mind, read on for our favorite Overtone products.
Overtone The Remedy for Fine Hair
When Overtone debuted their first colorless product, some might have thought it was too far of a departure from their main purpose: To make coloring hair at home easier than ever. On the contrary—the product made managing color from the comfort of your own bathroom more well-rounded than ever. That’s because one of the key components of color maintenance is overall hair health and hydration. Where many hydrating hair masks can be too heavy for fine hair (hey, hi, hello, I can attest), this Overtone bestseller makes moisturizing your strands from roots to ends nothing but wholly satisfying (again, I speak from firsthand experience). Give it a try and we bet you’ll be addicted.
Overtone Coloring Conditioner
Say hello to Overtone’s very first product category: Coloring Conditioner. This easy-to-use formula is sold in 14 colors with a variety of shades of each, not to mention hues catered to both blonde and brunette base colors.
To make Overtone color magic happen, all you have to do is section your hair, put on a pair of gloves, and apply the creamy formula from roots to ends. Let it soak into your strands for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse it off in the shower. Style as you normally would and go show off your new look. It’s really that simple.
Where I love the bright-but-more-neutral ginger hue, I’ve turned my sister onto the boldly-colored formulas for her ultra-bright mane. She now swears by Overtone’s blue and green collections to touch up her electric ‘do. While the color payoff alone is enough to applaud the brand, the fact that it so perfectly hydrates and seemingly heals hair, making it appear less frazzled and frayed, takes it to a whole other level.
Overtone Daily Conditioner
Where the Coloring Conditioner acts as a full semi-permanent dye sesh, the Daily Conditioner—which also comes in dozens of shades—does the maintenance work to keep your hair looking brilliant between uses. All it takes is a few extra minutes in the shower. Seriously, by letting this fast-acting, color-depositing conditioner soak into strands for three to five minutes, your mids and ends will look as bright and shiny as can be. And, rest assured, it won’t dye your hands in the process.
Overtone Toning Conditioners
2020 might have been something of a dumpster fire, but one seriously good thing that came out of it was Overtone’s Toning Conditioners. Since part of flaunting flawless color entails maintaining the perfect tone, the brand launched its collection of toning products. Available in four shades—pink, green, purple, and blue—these conditioners help neutralize green, red, yellow, and orange tones respectively.
To use, simply wet your hair, shampoo as usual, and then swap your regular conditioner for an Overtone Toning Conditioner. No matter your hair texture, color, or type, a toning conditioner can make it look even more stunning.
Not sure which product or color to choose? Overtone also offers a Color Quiz, a quick Q&A to determine the ultimate product for your hair color and maintenance goals. Who knows, you might just find that you really can pull off anything you set your mind to—including bright blue hair.
All in all, no matter your hair color, there’s an Overtone product to help make it look it’s best.