Showing posts with label hair colour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hair colour. Show all posts

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

So, my hair is blue now....

Recently I fulfilled a life-long ambition and coloured my hair blue.  Well, the lovely Charley at Rockalily did it, but still, it's BLUE.  This shade is Directions Midnight Blue - it was originally a mix of Midnight Blue and Atlantic Blue, but I decided to refresh it with just Midnight Blue, as I love the depth of the colour.

Changing my hair colour has an affect on my wardrobe and on my makeup, and going from pink to blue is no different.  I can now wear any shade of red or pink lipstick, without worrying that it'll clash with my hair.  I look weird without strong brows and lots of black mascara, as the strength and depth of the blue can make my face look a bit washed out.  And I can wear red and pink clothes without fear of a clash too - I've already bought a few new red tops as a result!

This kind of colour change is pretty intense on your hair, and I'd never attempt such a big change without the help of a professional.  Charley bleached my pink hair to blonde-with-peachy-bits, then took it to blue - she was really, really thorough and as a result my colour isn't patchy at all.  She used Olaplex to stop my hair from being quite so frazzled, although it's still a bit dry - I'm using plenty of hydrating conditioner and applying a few drops of sweet almond oil every day.  If you're considering a big change, please go to a professional - I'll always recommend Rockalily if you're near London - your hair will thank you for it.

Disclosure:  New hair colour bought by me.  As well as multiple pots of Directions Midnight Blue, and some new colour depositing conditioners, which I'll write about sometime soon...

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

L'Oreal Professionel Hair Chalk

One of the front runners of the hair chalk trend was brought to us by L'Oreal, who perfected their Hair Chalks on the catwalk before they made their way into salons for the likes of us normal people to use.  Unlike the powder based Fudge chalk I showed you last year, L'Oreal's offering is in liquid form.

It comes in eight shades from brown to black to blue to green, and you apply it by squirting out a bit of colour onto a special applicator, which looks somewhat like a folded bit of card backed velcro, and slide it down a strand of hair from root to tip.

The colours are vibrant, but my attempt to colour part of my hair blue required so much chalk that the hair ended up stiff and crispy.  They're definitely better used on hair which isn't already a bright colour.  With this in mind, my stepdaughter Leilah and her golden brown hair were happy to help out.

I used Blue Ocean Cruise and First Date Violet to give her a few streaks of colour around her fringe and in the mid-sections of her short hair.  Application was relatively easy, and with a bit of combing through with a clean mascara brush, the texture wasn't too crispy.  First Date Violet looks much more blue toned, and Blue Ocean Cruise looks quite a bit more green than it did when it came out of the bottle.  Having tried these colours on a few different hair colours, they seem to be truest on light, blonde hair - browns distort the colour a little, and dark hair requires a fair bit of product for a noticeable result.

Overall, though, we had a lot of fun with these chalks, and Leilah was very proud of her colour.  Unlike some other chalks, these wash out within a couple of washes - the first wash took away the bulk of the colour but a little bit of a tint remained.  If you're interested in a rich temporary colour which lasts well, this one's a good bet, although you will need to be a bit careful with the application.

Find them at the Urban Retreat Beautique, where they cost £15 each.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Monday, 23 December 2013

New hair colour: more pink than red

I recently decided that after having red hair since the age of sixteen, I'd experiment a bit.  But not with another colour - I wouldn't feel like me without red hair.  I decided to go for something far more pink; having always hated orange toned reds on me, and long maintained as pure a red as possible, I thought a pink red would be a good change.  And here it is - in normal sunlight it just looks like a pink toned red, but when the sun hits it full on.....


I'm quite enjoying the colour change although I am finding it pretty difficult from a colour bleeding point of view.  I used Directions' Rose Red, which is a bright pink-red, and like most bright, unnatural colours it works by staining the hair.  Unlike the Directions shades I've used in the past, this one continues to bleed brightly when washing the hair for weeks afterwards - pretty much until I need to top the colour up.

But hey, it's worth it.  I'm sure I'll go back to red-red sometime, but for now I'm enjoying the pink.

Have you ever considered going pink?  Let me know in the comments!

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Review & Competition - Fudge Urban Hair Chalks

Fudge have released some hair chalks - and unlike the L'Oreal Professional chalks doing the rounds at the moment, they're powder based, rather than a liquid.

The powder makes for a slightly easier, albeit less intense application.  Simply rub the domed top of the product onto the hair, set with hairspray, and go.

I do wonder how quickly this product would run out - the colour isn't particularly high above the neck of the packaging, and once the colour dips below the neck, I'd imagine it'll get pretty hard to use.

Anyway, to show you the full effect I needed to test out this lovely red hair chalk.  Obviously, my hair is already red, so I couldn't do it myself.  Luckily, there's someone else in this house with plenty of hair.

This is my husband.  His name is Carl.  I won't refer to him as Mr London Beauty Review as other bloggers do, because he's from the North and wouldn't be having with that.  As you can see, Carl has plenty of flowing hair.  It's longer than mine.

A few minutes later, and he now has long, flowing, red hair.  Yes, I artfully arranged that lock atop his head.  Yes, he had a shower pretty much immediately after I took this photo.

And no, the Fudge hair chalk doesn't really change the texture of the hair that much - the soft, powdery texture coats the hair but doesn't weigh it down or make it sticky or crispy.  They also don't stain the hair at all, washing out easily with normal shampoo.

They're available at Superdrug, and at a mere £5.99 each, you can give yourself a DIY ombre, a bright streak, or similarly attack your other half.

But wait!

I have four chalks to give away - in white, red, blue and pink.  The competition will run for the next week, and you can enter via Rafflecoper below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: PR samples

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Bleach London Super Cool Colour in I Saw Red

Hey, did you know that I'm not a natural redhead?  Surprising eh?  As I've often posted before, red is a very difficult colour to maintain - it fades, it loses its intensity fast, and it's sensitive to water exposure and product exposure.  My regular hair colour maintenance includes monthly permanent colours, and weekly top-ups with semi-permanent cream colourants.  So, when I heard that Bleach London (apparently a hip salon for those with interestingly coloured hair) was releasing a range of brightly coloured dyes into Boots, I thought I'd try it out.

Interestingly, Bleach London describes this as a non-permanent hair colour, which I think is a bit misleading.  Granted, it won't permanently change the colour of your hair, but if you bleach your hair, apply this, and wait a while, it won't ever wash out fully (well, unless you subject your hair to pretty harsh cleansers or re-bleach).  This sort of vegetable based colour works by staining the hair, and if you think you can go from blonde to red and then get back to blonde without further bleaching, you're wrong.

Left to right:  before and after

I Saw Red is a bright, true red with no obvious orange or pink tones.  I applied it to freshly washed, towel dried hair and left it on for an hour before rinsing.  The bottle says to leave it on for fifteen minutes - since this is a dye without the usual harmful chemicals, there's no harm in leaving it on longer, and indeed, you'll get a better staining result if you leave it on for longer.  I put a shower cap over my colour-bedecked hair to keep the colour moist and warm and to increase the uptake.

I was surprised by the scent of the dye - this kind of colour is generally inoffensive, smell wise, but this one had an interesting spicy whiff to it.  The texture is thick, although easily spreadable through wet hair, and it didn't drip or run at all.

Left to right:  before and after
An hour after application, my hair was back to full intensity - the difference is subtle, but post-colour my hair has the depth and glow which fades so quickly with red dye.  It's also noticeably shinier, too - Super Cool Colour has plenty of moisturising ingredients, and whilst I did need a touch of conditioner after use, I needed it more for detangling than anything.

All in all, I'm rather impressed - having bright colours available at your local Boots is a definite draw, and Super Cool Colour is thoroughly decent.  The range has twelve shades from blue to pink to peach, and at just £5, they're a great accessible high street colour product.  You'll find I Saw Red, and all the other shades, at Boots.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Review: Schwarzkopf Live XXL Ultra Brights Hair Colour in Pillarbox Red

Being a bottle redhead, I love any product which promises to inject plenty of bright, bold red into the hair.  Schwarzkopf's latest addition to the excellent Live range is this semi-permanent offering, called Ultra Brights.  High claims indeed.  The important thing to note is that it's designed to be used on pre-lightened hair for ultimate brightness, and will only add depth and warmth to darker hair.  

In the box, you get a tube of colour creme, two sachets of aftercare conditioner, and an instruction leaflet with those terrible plastic gloves attached to it.  Throw them away, seriously.  Buy a box of Boots first aid gloves; they fit the hands much more snugly, and reduce the chances of colour getting inside them and staining your skin bright red.

Anyway, gloves aside, the kit contains everything you need to give your hair a good injection of colour.  I decided to try it out after a trip to the local swimming pool, which always leaves my hair looking a bit faded and a little bit too orange (my hair always fades to orange, and I absolutely hate it).  It took two tubes of colour to saturate my shoulder blade length, thick hair - the texture of the colour creme is quite thick and waxy, and it's not the easiest thing to distribute through the hair.  Thirty minutes later, I spent the usual ages rinsing it through.

This before-and-after isn't the best illustration as the light was completely different (thanks, British winters), but you can see that the orangey tones have been eliminated and my hair is back to full redness,  It also looks in pretty good nick, thanks to the excellent (but predictably silicone-ful) conditioner included.

Finally, a gratuitous bright-sunlight shot.  Look at that glow!

A week later, and I've found that my hair is rinsing pink when I wash it, but is still richly coloured and very shiny.  The pack says that the effect lasts 6 - 8 washes, but obviously if your hair is red or bleached to start with, it's going to last longer thanks to the staining effect.  One thing I really like about the product is that it contains plenty of suggestions of interesting ways to use it, from ombre/dip-dye, to streaks and smudging.  It also suggests you retain a bit of colour to add to a conditioner to make your own colour enhancing mask - a technique I'm a big fan of, as it really helps bright colours stay fresh.

Overall, I'm impressed with XXL Ultra Brights in Pillarbox Red - it was relatively easy to use, and gave me a great bright result which has lasted reasonably well so far.  It is, effectively, a similar product to the La Riche Directions dyes I'm so fond of, but in a more high-street accessible form, and in a complete kit rather than as a single pot of colour.  Find it now at Boots, where a pack will cost you £4.

Disclosure: One pack received as PR sample, two additional packs bought by myself thanks to my thick hair.  That means I have one pack left to make colour conditioner with.  Yay!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Guest Review: Clairol Extreme n'Easy in Cherry Red

Today we have a guest review from my friend and work colleague Marby.  She kindly volunteered to try out Clairol's latest home colour, Extreme n'Easy, on her naturally dark, already colour treated her.  She says...

"Instructions were very easy to follow in the box and it came with the hair dye, activating lotion, seal conditioning gloss and plastic gloves.  I have naturally very dark brown hair (with a bit of damage on the ends from past bleaching) so I left the hair dye in for 45 minutes as suggested in the instructions, just for a bit more intensity."

"Colour was intense and vibrant, a bit darker than I expected. The conditioner was amazing and totally sorted out my dry and brittle hair and split ends. The effects of it lasted for around 3 days after one application so I had lovely soft and silky hair for 3 days!  Whenever my hair is in sunlight it gives a beautiful, radiant red glow. Quite subtle but really lovely."

"One small con about the product was there was a lot of red washing out of my hair, even a week and a half after the initial dyeing. Even though I rinsed it under water for a long time, the dye was still running out in the water. It just meant I had to be very careful about drying my hair and not using light coloured towels in case of staining them." 

"Other than that, I highly recommend this dye and would use it again, the colour sealant serum really works wonders and they provide enough for another 2 applications after the first wash. Unlike other dyes that dry my hair out, this one felt super soft and shiny and nourished from the conditioner in the colour sealant."

You can find Extreme n'Easy at Boots and other hair colour emporia now, where it will cost you £5.99 a pack.

Disclosure: Colour provided as press sample

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Quick Pick: Schwarzkopf Igora Color Remover

This product is one of those things I've been using for years, on a regular basis, but have somehow never posted about: Schwarzkopf's Igora Color Remover is a light fluid which lifts colour stains from the skin, without drying the skin out. I used to use it to tidy up my hairline after applying at home permanent dye, and I now use it to tidy up my hairline (and my wrists, fingers, etc) after applying highly staining vegetable colour to perk my red hair up in between permanent applications.  Before I picked it up for the first time on the offchance from eBay, I would scrub at my skin with water and exfoliator to try to shift colour stains - now I just use a little squirt of this on a cotton pad.  

You'll find it on eBay, and from Salons Direct, where it'll cost around £4.  Bargain, really!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Headmasters blowdry

Disclosure: This service was provided free of charge by Headmasters' PR.

This is me, and my hair in its au naturel state. It's not an incredibly inspiring start.

A couple of hours later, my hair had been transformed into this:

These buoyant waves are all thanks to the ministrations of stylist Darren at Headmasters in Hanover St., central London.

I was invited as part of a PR event to come along for a Valentine's blowdry last week. After meeting Darren and choosing one of Headmasters' off-the-peg 2010 blowdries as a starting point, I enjoyed a shampoo, condition and scalp massage. The salon has a bank of sinks set apart from the main work area, with luxurious reclining chairs and silver beaded curtains between each one. Very relaxing.

I was then escorted to one of the stations in the main body of the salon, which is a light and airy space spread over two floors. Darren applied styling products to lift and give texture to my hair, and then rough-dried it all over. Next, he divided the hair into sections and began blow-drying it in loose curls with a big ceramic radial brush.

It's great watching a seasoned professional at work - Darren, who has worked at HM for ten years, wielded the brush and dryer with incredible speed and skill. After that, he indulged my wish for more curls, using heated styling tongs to define the ends. Once that was done, he let the hair cool for a short while to allow the style to set, before "zhuzzhing" it with fingertips into a looser, more natural shape.

It was a lovely experience and I found Darren very thorough and his work of amazing quality. The atmosphere in the salon is professional but quite relaxed, and I didn't find it intimidating in the way that some salons can be. Obviously being there for a press event isn't the same as going for a regular appointment, but I hope this gives some indication of what you can expect when you visit Headmasters.

While at the salon I learned that Headmasters are offering a half-price sale on all hair colour treatments between now and March 12. To give you an idea of the prices;

* Vegetable Colour from £20
* Half Head Foils from £58
* Full Head Tissue Lights from £100

Full details of salon branches (there are 40 across the UK) are at Headmasters website or you can ring them on 08700 841 400 to find out where your local one is. I'm told that the half-price colour appointments book up quick, so call now if you're interested.
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Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Review: L'Oreal Feria Pure Scarlet Power

In a bid to save a bit of money this month, I decided to give up my monthly visit to the hairdresser, and try out a home hair colourant instead. I've been colouring my hair various shades of red for about 10 years - the last time I coloured it myself, I used L'Oreal Feria. So I decided to stick with what I know and use Feria again, in the Pure Scarlet Power shade; an intense red that looked most similar to the hairdresser-given colour I usually have.

The application process is much the same as any at home colourant I've used; a colour gel is added to a developer and then given a good shake. Feria adds an additional "colour booster", which in this case was an intense red liquid. Once the colour was mixed, it was fairly easy to apply to the roots of my hair, as the bottle nozzle is rather fine, allowing you to get right into the roots.

I used two boxes of colour on my thick, bra strap length hair, and found that the two boxes worth of dye fully saturated my hair. The dye has the usual chemical smell, which I did my best to ignore for the 30 minute development time. It took a long time to rinse the colour out; I spent a good 20 minutes bent over the bath rinsing and washing my hair out with the shampoo provided. My hair was left feeling fairly dry and coarse, and a big dollop of intensive conditioner was needed to smooth it out again.

The colour I ended up with it not the colour on the box. It's much darker, verging on a dark plum shade which glows red in bright light. I'm expecting it to fade down to a more box-like colour in a week or so, but overall I'm disappointed at the darkness of the initial colour, given that my hair was light red when I started out.

Pros: easy to apply, plenty of shampoo provided in the box, great quality gloves, gives great shine
Cons: much darker colour than expected, drying

All in all, worth trying if you're looking for shiny colour with a bit of an edge - but don't expect it to be as bright as the box shade.

L'Oreal Feria home hair colour, £5.67 at Superdrug.
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