Thursday, 5 May 2011

Colour B4 Extra Strength by Scott Cornwall Review

Since I saw this stuff advertised I've been curious to try it. I've been dying my hair since I was about 13/14 (eeeep). As a hair dye novice I didn't know what I was doing in the early days so selected the colours as I liked them on the box - there were purples and reds and browns. Then I went onto a highlighted stage (thankfully done at the hairdressers!). There was also a "Sun In" stage (please tell me we've all been there?!). There have been wash in, wash outs, temporary dyes, permanent dyes, semi-permanent dyes... not to mentioned those bloody coloured hair mascaras of days gone by!

Over the last couple of years I've exclusively been a user of the semi permanent dye in the form of L'Oreal Casting and Casting Creme Gloss. Here we've had "dark chocolate", "medium brown" "chocolate", "iced chocolate", "black cherry" among others no doubt. I did think that "semi permanent" was a good option but found it NEVER actually washed out. It fades very slightly over time and perhaps this has to do with the amounts of peroxide allegedly in it making it more permanent that I'd initially expected. Anyway I redye every 6-8 weeks and so I have quite a bit of build up and my hair has become super dark.

What do they say?
Click here to find the product at Boots and see the official stuff.

What did I expect?
I decided to give Colour B4 ago with an open mind. Being honest I'm not entirely sure what my own hair colour is. It's a medium/dark brown if my roots are anything to go by. I just wanted it lightened as I know I'm not THIS dark so best possible outcome was always only going to be a slight colour change. I have not had bleach on my hair in years so was confident there would be browns underneath all be it with reddish tones due to the build up of dye below. I also used it on the understanding I would not be happy with the initial colour so may redye. Reading about the process and how the hair becomes more porous for a while afterwards I had hoped the colour I found wouldn't be too bad as I wanted to give my hair a rest in between the removal and the redye. I also expected my hair to be dried out at least a little as it would seem dye removal won't be great for hair strength in the first instance.

What did I get?
The fact the product goes on dry hair is a little annoying as I'm used to applying dye on damp hair a la semi perm dyes. The smell of the product is as vile as other people have reported. I can't even begin to describe it but well.... it lingers!! I decide to wait the full hour of having the product on my hair. I add a shower cap over the top to keep it warm (draughts and coldness slow the process down apparently). After this you need to rinse the hair for 5-10 minutes to remove the dye molecules. I had hoped for a victorious stream of browny black water in the shower but alas this never happened. Much rinsing later it's time to add the "buffer" which is to be lathered and left on for 1 minute followed by 5 minutes of rinsing. Then another lot of buffer is added and lathered, rinsed like regular shampoo. And voila the process is finally over. and the smell is still there. I could tell by a few stray wet hairs that the colour seemed a little lighter. On drying my hair thoroughly I could see a noticeable difference (more so than the photographs suggest).

I apologies for the quality of these photos. It was really hard to capture the colour difference and the photo of the "before" actually looks a little lighter than it usually does in photos (see other blog pics)



Possibly the weirdest photo ever but I thought it showed a good comparison - right - old wet hair (yes I clean the shower pretty regularly) and left - new wet hair (lighter yes?)


Hair is still quite dark at the ends

Hair is lighter brown with reddish tinge towards the roots

Hair is still dark brown but no longer looks so black

Hair is soft but feels a little fragile

The good?
My hair is definitely lighter, even at the ends. The condition isn't as bad as I'd expected. The colour is definitely wearable without me needing to dye (straight away anyway - I intend giving this a few weeks to settle). The price of £12.25 (which I paid in Boots) is reasonable considering how much hair stripping would cost in a hairdressers. The product could be used again on the ends (up to 3 times in total maximum as recommended) to try to remove the older build up. I've read anti dandruff shampoo can be used to tone down the reddish outcome so I can give that a go easily and cheaply. Scott Cornwall himself seems to have a strong online presence answering customers' questions and giving advice which is quite refreshing.

The bad?
The instructions could be a little easier to follow. The red tinge isn't ideal (my natural hair is definitely a more solid brown) but the colour difference between the roots and tips is undoubtedly due to the extra build up of dye on the older hair. The product is for removing darker hair colours and will lighten it to a previous colour so presumably if my hair had been bleached below I would need to use the product to go to bleached colour and redye to achieve a colour close to my natural brown - to be honest though this seems logical enough to me and I think as long as you understand what the product is supposed to do, you can't complain. the worst thing was/is the smell. It's still here though fading and it really is THAT BAD.

I'm impressed. The best bits have to be the overall effect and the price. The worst bits have to be the length of time it took and the smell. I would use it again at some stage in the future - either months down the line when I want to revert again or I might give my ends another go in a week or two...

I hope you enjoyed this review. I know I've waffled on a bit but wanted to get the information on my experience out there. Have you tried this or anything similar? Is this something you would try yourself or leave to the professionals?

LoubouLush x