So one day whilst out shopping with my Mr I began looking at the hair colour aisle. I browsed the colours and just couldnt decide. Jokingly I pointed to a box of Live Color XXL with the brightest red Id ever seen! Then a little voice piped up 'Do it! Go on, you should do it red' Never one to pass up on a challenge, I picked it from the shelf, worryingly asked 'Are you sure?' then stuck it in the basket and paid!
That evening I applied it.. I figured if I waited I would no doubt chicken out!
The last time I dyed my hair red was when I was 18. I actually liked the look of red hair... Id been mahogany, copper, rich red.. any shade of red I no doubt tried back then! But the one thing I always found was that it never really lasted, it just faded so quick and in the end I got bored of re-colouring every couple of weeks, of course it was also pretty damaging to my hair. Another thing I found was that it never ever gave anything close to the colour on the box, so I wasn't expecting anything different with the Live XXL.. But actually, I was wrong!! This came out the most brightest red I'd ever been, pretty close to the colour on the box!!
The first 2 days of this my hair was a lovely vibrant red colour. After that it all went downhill! They aren't kidding when they say this is waterproofed, the silicone in this baby was here to stay!!.
It was already fading on the ends, but on the roots to mid lengths it just wasn't shifting.. so the top of my hair was a rich red shade, the ends were orange! Yet nothing I did seemed to make it look ok, even putting my hair up made it ovbious there was a bad home colour situation going on (think orange ponytail against deep red roots.. yeah, horrible!!). I basically tried everything in the book.. lemon juice mixed with conditioner and left on my hair for an hour, out of desperation I tried pure lemon juice.. I also tried Vo5 Hot Oil treatment, I tried washing with anti dandruff.. but none of these were shifting the colour, the roots were red, the rest was orange and thats just the way it was staying!!
I started looking online for other suggestions, then found the Colour B4. I was worried about putting a colour stripper on my hair (how damaging does that sound!?!), I'd also read about the ginger tones that your hair was likely to be left with.. Yet the more I thought about it, the more I had to do it! I wanted this orange gone, and fast!!
Off to Boots I toddled, picked up the Colour B4 in extra strength (due to the silicone in the XXL) and an Ash blonde Nice & Easy 24 wash dye.. In Boots (a big one at that) the 24 washes was all they had, there were no 8 wash dyes, so I figured the 24 would have to do.. Apparently theres no peroxide in the 8 wash dye, and thats what you need, so I never actually used the 24 wash one, yet it was needed as a back up incase I was left with Ronald Mcdonald hair!
I followed the lengthly instructions on the Colour B4, I spent an age in the bathroom that day!
Unfortunately I have no pictures of my hair with the red, or after the Colour B4.. So I guess you'll just have to trust me!
But what I was left with a gingery light brown/blonde colour, something I was prepared for.. Infact, I was prepared for it not to work at all, so I was quite suprised that it had taken out all the red, and some previous colours too!
When I spotted the gingery tones in the mirror I remembered I had a John Frieda violet based conditioner somewhere in the depths of my bathroom cabinet! I dug it out, slapped a load on and left it on for about 15-20 mins. This actually helped quite a bit in taking out some of the brassiness (a few more applications over the next few days helped a lot too). I did dash out to Tescos to buy the John Frieda violet based mousse, this helped a lot too!! So I recommend those on stand by if you do decide to do this!
My fiance really liked the light colour on me, which softened the shock a bit! I think I lasted a month with it too.. But in the end I just couldnt take the lack of shine and the fact the damage was so obvious.
If you have had a real hair colour disaster, if its something that going over with a semi colour wont fix, then give the Colour B4 a go. However, if your hair isn't in great condition (like mine), if its been coloured a lot previously, then think long and hard about it! I have seen plenty of people post pics of shiny hair afterwards.. sadly mine didnt turn out like that, I think the 15 or so years of home colouring haven't helped!!
My hair was seriously damaged after all this. It still is, after weeks of washing every 3 days, using the Naked 97% natural shampoo and an intensive conditioner after each wash! Its ended up really frizzy, it was snapping off and its gone really quite thin and was extremely unmanageable for a good month or so. I even bought the Phtyo 9, and the Phyto shampoo and intensive condioner for extremely dry hair.. but even the richness of those didn't touch the severe damage.
Ever since the Colour B4 Ive been using a semi permanent, just because I needed some richness and shine putting back in there, plus I felt I looked really washed out with light hair.
But guess what! Yesterday I used 81 Nice and Easy Mahogany.. a colour that was meant to turn out a nice dark warm brown (judging by the guide on the side). But what has it really turned out as?? You guessed it - EXACTLY the colour the Live XXL turned out!!!! I AM SO P*SSED about that! I applied the dye yesterday, rinsed it, let it dry naturally then looked in the mirror and just could not believe my eyes!!
I can't get over how unhappy I am with my hair at the moment, which is probably a factor in why Ive been messing with it so much.. trying to get it to a colour I can live with again, trying to style it to hide some of the damage, buying no end of oils, serums etc.. Ive gone from having hair I was really happy with, to hair thats breaking off, falling out, is frizzy and terribly dry, hair that now won't hold colour and will rarely look ok.. I even chopped off the fringe Id been growing for months, in the hopes a new change would solve things.. But nope! All that did was make me realise I don't suit a fringe, and ever since that chop its looked even worse!
I dont think I can face a hairdresser.. they would be appalled with the condition of it at the moment!
I think i just need to live with this colour, hope and pray this time it will wash out of its own accord, then perhaps just try and learn to live with it.. Its just that Im quite grey now, so I need to dye it, rather than want to dye it.. But the condition of it now.. Urgh!
The lesson Ive learned from this? If you think 'Oh, well my hair never turns out bad, and its not in that bad a condition, it can take it..' Dont be fooled! There really is only so much your hair can take, and it can actually turn out quite bad! I never dreamed it could turn out so dry that it wouldn't do anything, wouldn't style, wouldnt look right up or down, or be left with hair that scares me to brush or style incase even more breaks off!
So Im going to take a break from the colouring and just hope that I can fix it (ie make it look in better condition than it really is!) until its long enough to be chopped off.. I am trimming the ends, but even thats not enough at the moment! What I really need to do is cut it to shoulder length to get rid of some of the damage.. but I can't bring myself to do it as I dont suit shorter hair..
On a happier note, I really recommend you give the Naked hair care range a go :)
(all photos nabbed from Google \0: )