Tag: hair dye

PRODUCT REVIEW: Loreal Magic Touch

I’ve had a few silver hairs near my hairline since I was in my mid 20s, and they’ve never really bothered me that much because they’re not noticeable, and anyway, I colour my hair. In the past couple of years that “few” has multiplied to “a few more” and they’ve also sent an invitation to some of their friends in my parting (as wonky and changeable as it is), and although I wouldn’t class myself as “going grey” <<shudder>> there’s no denying that they’re there. And sometimes I just can’t be assed to colour my hair (winter makes me lazy, don’t judge, ‘kay?) but I don’t want them glistening at me through my ebony locks (that sounds super romanticised, for what is actually Bitter Sweet Chocolate from the Schwarzkopf Live range).

Anyway, I spotted Loreal Magic Retouch on special offer in my local Boots, and at £5 (instead of the usual £8.99 price tag) I thought I’d give it a go.

I bought the black shade, because my hair is as near as dammit, certainly more black than brown, and got super excited at the prospect of not having to dye my hair as often (I told you, lazy). Here’s what the blurb says:

The pinpoint micro-diffuser precisely targets greys and the rich colour pigments give you perfectly blended coverage. Our 1st instant root concealer spray, Magic Retouch conceals greys and roots in just one quick spray – when, where and how you need it. 3 seconds to flawless roots!

Perfectly matches and blends with leading shades, even salon colour

From light blonde to black hair

Lasts until washed out

No transfer, lightweight formula

Up to 30 uses

How to use

Shake well before use.

Keep the product upright.

Apply to dry, styled hair.

Hold can approximately 10cm from hair & spray roots in a light stream.

Don’t overspray. A small amount is enough.

Allow to dry before touching your hair.

Oh, and it also says to keep out of the reach of children, but seeing as I don’t know any kids who are suffering the affliction of early aging, that shouldn’t be a problem.

So, the instructions say to hold the bottle 10cms away from your hair and spray, but if you do that at your roots, your face is going to get sprayed too, right? Even with the nozzle, which is supposed to make application more targeted, you still get splodges on your forehead (as ably modelled by myself here in a before and after stylee, you’re welcome).

See the speckles on my forehead on the right? That’s overspray on my forehead, not a batch of freckles.

The colour itself is ok, it certainly blends in well with my (non) natural hair colour although it didn’t give complete coverage. I suppose you could apply more, but it does make your hair feel a bit powdery and claggy, like dry shampoo but obviously you can’t brush it out as you do with dry shampoo because that would defeat the object of the colour molecules. And, despite it’s claims, it doesn’t last until you next wash your hair. After a night in bed mine had completely worn off (although it hadn’t stained the pillow, which is a plus, so not sure where it actually went?!)

To conclude, I’m not overly impressed and I don’t think I would buy it again. I’m just going to have to be less slovenly and start dyeing my bonce more regularly instead!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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5 things you only know if you dye your hair red

While red hair is incredibly cool, it’s also an incredible pain in the ass at times.

Red hair

Here are 5 things you’ll be familiar with if you’ve ever gone scarlet.

1 – It fades. Really quickly and disappointingly. If you’re naturally blond you’ll start to look pink. You need to colour it at least every 3 weeks to keep it at it’s best, which is expensive and time consuming.

2 – You can’t use white towels. Staying in a hotel? Take your own (or face the wrath of the laundry people who have to bleach/throw away your towels after use). One year, on holiday in LA, I hid my hotel “hair towel” in the wardrobe every day before housekeeping came in so I didn’t have to wreck a new one whenever I washed my hair. You can imagine the state of it when I handed it back at the end of our trip.

3 – If your hair is longer, you can’t leave it to dry naturally – unless you want pink stains all over your t-shirt/jumper/pyjama top.

4 – Swimming pools are a source of worry. “No I didn’t get my period in the water! It’s just my head leaking!”

5 – It can be annoyingly wardrobe limiting. Rendering a chunk of your existing wardrobe redundant.

Have you got any hair colour tales or disasters? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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Arrivaderci rossa

What’s the first thing you do when you get back from holiday?

After the mountains of washing, obvs.

Visit family?

Restock the fridge?

Book your next holiday?

Not in my case. You strip your hair!

I decided, on landing at Birmingham airport, that I was done on red hair. Despite the hideously tortuous journey I went through just a few short months ago to get to any semblance of scarlet.

So – goodbye red! Arrivaderci rossa.

And, in usual me style, I couldn’t wait. It had to be done immediately.

So I found myself back in stinky boring tiresome dull hair stripping territory.

With the intention of then dyeing it brown.

But I kinda liked the stripped result. Ginger according to husband (pah). Golden according to me. With darker ends (will I never be rid of them?)

This will be unsustainable as my dark roots will start showing within a couple of weeks, but I quite like the change of tone for a short while. So I’m going to ride it out while I decide my next move.

(and also because the husband is so against it, I find it kind of funny to torment him. I didn’t just say that. OK I did).

Stripped hair

Christ, my mirror is dirty!

 

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My journey to red (ish) hair

So yesterday I declared that I am past hating my hair. It’s finally getting to a stage where I think we’ve turned a metaphorical corner, and I no longer cringe in the mirror and want to pull it out of my head.

Progress.

It’s been slow going but colouring it has definitely helped.

I first pondered going red a couple of months back, in an effort to get through the god awful in between stage of dull-boring-bobbed-notgrowingfastenough hair (which is entirely my own fault as I decided to cut it all off last October). I thought it would be fairly easy. I’ve been there before. OK, so I can’t get as red as I’d like (because I’m not willing to too lazy to bleach it; the upkeep sounds too much hassle) but by using an uber-bright Schwarzkopf dye I can at least get some semblance of red colour, albeit dark.

Me, around 4 years ago

Red

As of last summer I’d been dying my hair very dark brown for a while, but the roots were fading fairly quickly whereas the ends were saturated with colour and looked black. As I wanted my hair very dark, it seemed to make sense to proceed to a black dye. I’ve been stung by this before, about 13 years where I had to grow it out (ugh) so I only ever used semi-permanent. Because, by default, it’s not permanent, right?

Hmm.

I stripped it using a Colour B4 application (which I have used successfully on previous occasions).

Colour B4

But the semi permanent seems to have worked quite literally. But only the roots were truly stripped. The other half…wasn’t. The ends seemed to have retained their darkness, although this wasn’t apparent at first. Only when I put the red colour on did the roots go dark red and the ends black. The red wasn’t bleaching out the remnants of the black.

I had reverse ombre hair.

Blaming myself for not applying a “second coat” of stripper as I had first intended, I gave my poor barnet a break for a couple of weeks (during which time I shampooed religiously with clarifying shampoo to remove any build up) before stripping it again. Twice. If you’ve ever used a colour stripper then you’ll be familiar with the time consuming, laborious and stinky process. If you haven’t – it’s a very time consuming, laborious and stinky process. It took me a whole afternoon of application, sitting with my head wrapped in a carrier bag to retain heat, rinsing, boosting, rinsing, drying and then doing the whole bloody thing again.

I’ve had more interesting Saturdays.

The good news was that this time I was 100% sure all the black was gone. I had pictorial evidence. Look! Brown! (with a hint of ginger!)

Stripped hair

Next step was to try red again.

Schwarzkopf XXL red hair dye

Schwarzkopf hair dye

Well blow me if the previously black section of my hair didn’t go dark again! Admittedly it was dark red this time, very dark red. But I was still two tone.

I sought assistance and advice from the husband – a man who has no hesitation in laughing at me when I’ve cocked up.

And he said it looked OK!

Kooky.

Almost deliberate.

And so I stuck with it.

I’ve coloured it a few more times since then and each time the ends are getting slightly redder (or I’m kidding myself). Obviously, as it’s growing, I have more “naked” hair coming through which picks up the red. So I’m not going to redye it black (toys out of the pram reaction number one) or cut it all off again (toys out out of the pram reaction number two).

I’ve come up with three conclusions following this experience. You may think that one of them would be to go to a hairdresser in future. It’s not (I still can’t get over my fear of the hairdresser).

No, my three conclusions are:

  • Don’t use black dye – even semi permanent. EVER
  • If you’re not sure whether something has worked, it’s probably best to make absolutely sure before continuing with the next course of action
  • I have far more patience and sense of humour with my hair than I ever thought possible

I can categorically guarantee that I have only taken this in good humour because it was at my own hands and not particularly expensive. If this had happened via the hands of a hairdresser and cost me oodles of pounds (which of course, technically, it wouldn’t because they’re professionals), I’d have been apoplectic with rage. Even the fact that when I wear it up in a messy bun (because it’s now long enough to do that, hurrah!) I look like I’m wearing a fake clip on because of the colour difference is just about ok.

Here’s where I am right now. It looks different in different lights, sometimes very red, sometimes not (and absolutely nothing like the box!)

Me dark red hair

It might not be quite a crowning glory. But I no longer want to walk round with my head in an opaque bucket to hide it away. So that will do for now.

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Hard to bear hair

My hair is the current bane of my life (I know, first world problems). Seriously though, it’s driving me to distraction. I’m so pre-occupied with it that it’s actually impacting on other stuff. Like on Saturday night when it wouldn’t go right no matter how much I messed with it, I felt like crapola when I went out. On Monday I got caught in the rain and, because it’s naturally curly but still short-ish, I ended up looking like one of the Golden Girls for the rest of my workday. When I got home my worst fears were concerned, with the reaction being “Good god, what have you done?!” Yeah, thanks.

It’s a funny length, a funny shape, a funny texture (not strictly true I suppose, only when damp) and I’m fed up of the colour. I feel like it’s making me look old and dragging my face down. It might also be responsible for unrest in the Middle East and rainforest destruction. That’s how bad I feel about it.

When I started deliberating about what to do lengthwise I was still unsure. Now I’ve made my mind up that I’m growing it, I want it long again. Now. Unfortunately, nature being what it is, I’m going to have to show some patience (not one of my strongest traits) and work with what I’ve got.

Last time I was growing my hair out was around 11 years ago, and I bought clip in hair extensions which I had matched to my colour at the time. They helped bridge the gap between long and short and I don’t remember it ever being this painful (I could be looking back through rose tinted glasses though).

This is the current colour and length.

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The plan that was forming to change the colour was scuppered by the ineffectiveness of the colour remover I used two weeks ago. That isn’t to say the product was ineffective (I know it isn’t, as I’ve used it before), rather that my hair didn’t respond as I wanted it to (much stamping of feet). I know that black dye is notoriously difficult to strip, which is why I’ve only been using semi permanent colours, but with some porosity I assume that the colour might have soaked in (technical hairdresser term). I think I expected too much based on previous stripping. Last time, when I got rid of the red, my hair was left a light brown colour. But that would be because the red dye I’d been using had also bleached it over time as well. This time the removal was much more subtle. I’d say that the black has pretty much gone. But it’s still very dark brown (with a few springy sprouty greys – damn you aging hair follicles!)

So, what’s next? .

I’m helping it to grow with hair vitamins (whether these actually work, or are just a marketing ploy to placate desperados like me I don’t know).

20150510_165755

I’m cleansing it to within an inch of it’s life with clarifying shampoo – removing as much build up as I can…

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…before I strip it again (it’s safe to do so, you can use up to 3 of these treatments each time without damaging you hair).

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And then, regardless of what happens, even if it’s still dark, I’m going to stick a colour on it. Because even non bleach colours will lighten hair a little bit.

My dilemma is this:

Do I go for a lighter (than my current) brown with a view to heading towards a more summery look? (which will inevitably end up with messy roots and probably a hideous shade of orange). Or have I bought this dye because I’m seduced by the pretty girl on the front with the gorgeous eyes and long lustrous locks? (and also because it says age defy, and I’m all for that!)

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Or do I go for red for a kick in the ass, brighten my look, shock to the system? (It won’t go this red, ever, but I need something very bright to show up on/over the brown).

20150521_220805

I won’t get the immediate result with either of them from just one application, I know. With the red, especially, it needs to build up, so I’d probably dye it once a week at first, with careful conditioning and maintenance to avoid damage.

Because, the other thing is that it’s only 3 weeks until Download Festival, and naturally I want to look my best because there will be SO MANY PHOTOS that will circulate ALL YEAR LONG until the next one. So I need to act quickly.

No pressure then. What could possibly go wrong…?

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Flashback Friday – the hair edition

I had a dream last night that I decided to have some last minute highlights prior to going to a wedding. The hairdresser asked how much I wanted cut off my hair and I insisted on just the slightest of trims. But she cut my shortest layer to around 1 inch all over the top of my head.

Thank god it was just a dream!

My hair has been on my mind (figuratively as well as literally) for the past few days. Following my brain meanderings a couple of weeks ago, I’m kind of at the “let it grow” stage; probably influenced by a quick straw poll of friends and family (weak minded, easily influenced, indecisive wench that I am) where the general consensus was it looks better long. Swines. Of course I could buck the trend. But I’m not really sure myself. So I’m going to try a lob (snigger). Long bob, not anything rude.

Strangely, this morning, I’d been wondering how to inject some life into my barnet during this dull in between stage; concluding that dark red might be the way to go. Coincidentally I then exchanged some texts with my mobile hairdresser friend who I mentioned previously, who I found out reads my blog (“Hi Cookie!”) and, without prompting, she suggested going back to red.

I haven’t been red for around 3 years. Because my natural colour is pretty dark, I can’t go bright bright red without bleach (a step too far for an amateur hairdresser like me), but I reached a pleasing hue with regular dye. It’s a faff to keep up and white towels are a no no, and I ended up going back to dark/black as red lacked shine, but I’m craving a change.

So, here’s my Flashback Friday gallery. I may be harking back to some of the hair colours because I look so young. I’m very partial to the blond streaked front, but I was a decade younger then. It’s the face I’m craving, as much as the hair!

FB_IMG_1429300015970 Hair

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FB_IMG_1429265578203 Red

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Obviously the much shorter length will make a difference this time around. So watch this space!

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