Sorry it's been so long since I've posted! Without a decent camera, I've been reluctant to post with just iPhone quality photos but we finally got our DSLR fixed so whilst I'm at home I can use it! Yay!
Anyway... my hair is naturally quite a dull mousey brown so when I was finally allowed to dye my hair I leaped at the chance and since then I've dyed it quite a few times but only semi-permanently. However I accidentally once dyed it permanently thinking it was semi-permanent and it kind of went down hill from there on out. My roots became much more visible as I didn't dye it regularly (just when I was bored) and I kept meaning to go to the hair salon and see if the dye could all be stripped out but I just never got around to it. So I was very intrigued to then find you can get DIY kits, so as soon as I was out, I bought the Colour B4 Hair Colour Remover Extra Strength for £8 in Tesco. I was so excited to finally restore my hair back to it's former glory and my friend Jess came over to help me document the process so here it is alongside my thoughts...
So this is a picture of my hair before starting anything. Yes it was definitely in need of a good wash and yes I am wearing a bin bag! Bin bags are actually a great protector of clothing when it comes to dying hair and saves you ruining even those old clothes you no longer love. The picture makes my hair appear orange toned but it was more maroon toned than orange.
Firstly I got all the products out of the box and they are conveniently clearly labelled by letter as to avoid confusion which not all dyes are so good at doing. You get a pair of plastic gloves, the activator, the remover and the after treatment buffer (shampoo). I was disappointed that there was no specialist conditioning treatment with this as my hair felt considerably dry after the process.
The first step I took was to put the gloves on which is essential before opening any of the products to avoid any staining or damage to nails/hands considering they will be doing all the work!
Next I read the instructions very carefully. If you're using any colour related hair products and don't understand something, make sure you find out by asking someone who is familiar with the process or Google it.
Before you do anything else, the instructions advise that you do a strand test to ensure the product does what you want it to and that you're not allergic to it. I, very naughtily, didn't do this as I am far too impatient but you'll see why I wish I had later on...
When ready to begin, I mixed the activator and remover into container B ensuring I had gotten all the stuff out of product A. Now if you are thinking of using this product I have to warn you that it smells so awful with the scent lingering around for a further day after application. It is therefore so vital that you ensure the room you are doing this in is well ventilated and if strong chemical scents affect you, do not use it.
After coming to terms with the smell, I ensured the lid was secured tightly and shook it vigorously for around 30 seconds/until it was all mixed together.
Then I removed the top lid and watched out for any product wanting to escape out the top due to the chemical reaction that just took place!
Once the lid is off I started applying the product to the roots and worked my way to the tips. I had to be really careful though because it is very runny and will drip easily unlike hair dye that I find tends to stick to the hair a bit more.
After fully coating the bottom layer, I massaged it all in and asked my friend to check everything was coated in the product. It's always better to either get someone to do this for you or if you're a control freak (like me!) do it with someone as they can see all your hair much better than you can and this will avoid you missing parts or the end result being uneven which no one has time for!
I repeated the application process to the top layers of my hair and then began to comb through my hair. The box recommends using a wide toothed comb like the one I used but due to it becoming so tangled with working the product in and the product itself, this was not the best idea. I ended up ripping through my hair and my scalp certainly hurt from all the pulling so a tip would be to use a specialised detangling comb or brush like one from the Tangle Teezers range which you can buy from Boots from £10.99 by clicking here.
The box advises that the product works best in a warm room and even better with cling film as it retains the product and heat. So that is exactly what I did and left it for the whole recommended 60 mins.
After the hour was up, I jumped in the shower (not literally!) and removed all the cling film. I proceeded to rinse the product for 5-10 mins as directed which in my opinion was a bit excessive but I did it anyway. Then it says to lather up and apply the after treatment buffer and use like shampoo. I left it for a minute to absorb before rinsing for another 5-10 mins. After all that rinsing, it said to do it again which seemed even more excessive in time and the amount of tangles building up in my hair. Then I used my conditioner (Tigi Bed Head Styleshots Epic Volume Conditioner 750ml which you can buy from Amazon for £14.32 by clicking here) as my hair felt way too dry to just blow dry after buffering.
Shortly after getting out the shower, I proceeded to dry my hair using my GHD Air (review here) and regrettably my hair was not it's natural mousey brown but BRIGHT ORANGE! I think it goes without saying that this product did not work for me and probably did more harm than good.
So after a mini break down, I swiftly hopped in the car and was on my way to Tesco in no time at all to rectify the disaster that had occurred because I definitely did not suit orange hair (I say orange and not ginger because ginger hair is nice and this shade I had been left with was definitely not nice!). I have previously used dyes from L'Oréal's Casting Crème Gloss range, Clairol's Nice 'n Easy range (including the foam one) and some others I don't recall the brand names of. I had heard many good things about the Garnier Olia range including the fact it has no ammonia and is made up of many natural oils rather than purely artificial chemicals. I bought shade 6.0 Light Brown as it was a pretty close match to my natural colour (just more glossy). It was £6.99 which is slightly on the pricier side of dyes (talking a couple of pounds more) but is currently on offer in Tesco for 2 for £10.00 so if you're dying your hair with a friend, a nice way to get £2 off each!
In the box you get the developer cream, colourant cream, after colour care (conditioner), the bottle and a pair of black gloves (much nicer than the ones in Colour B4). The box also doubles up as a bottle stand which you can see below.
Before beginning, as this time it's dye, I ensured nothing around me could be damaged by the colourant and wore old clothing. This time I actually forgot to do this but is a great tip from my friend Louise... she told me that if you get some Vaseline (which you can pick up for around 99p in various stores) and apply it over your eyebrows, ears and hair line, it will prevent the dye from settling there and dyeing your skin/eyebrows!
After putting the gloves on, I tore along the perforated edge on the side of the box (harder than it looks) and positioned the bottle in it.
I then squeezed all of developer and colourant cream into the bottle whilst also ensuring all the cream had come out.
Next I secured the black lid without removing the cap and shook the bottle until all the cream had mixed to the correct consistency and was all one colour. Immediately after shaking, I snapped off the black cap to avoid the bottle exploding under the pressure of the chemical reaction.
I then went on to apply the dye all over just like I had applied the Colour B4 treatment and left it for 30 mins. Application was so easy with the bottle and was nice to hold too. Surprisingly the scent was not at all strong and was actually slightly floral which is always a bonus! After the development time had passed, I rinsed my hair until the water ran clear and used the after care treatment to enhance the colour.
Due to how dry my hair was now feeling (no surprise), I made sure to protect my hair from the heat using my GHD Heat Protect Spray which you can buy from Feel Unique for £9.95 by clicking here. I was actually given this at the GHD stand at my university's 'Freshers' Fair' last September because the stylist loved that I had the hairdryer and stylers!
I also added some of Tigi Bed Head Small Talk which you can get for £13.75 from Feel Unique by clicking here. I am planning to write a full review on this as it is too amazing to sum up in just one sentence so for now I'll just say it does everything you could ever want a serum to do!
Then I proceeded to blow dry my hair again with my GHD Air and straightened it after with my GHD Stylers.
I am so happy with the colour it turned out to be. It's not exactly like my natural colour but it's not far off. I really recommend the Olia range and is by far my favourite hair dye product that I have used to date. My hair feels silky, looks glossy and is evenly coloured. Hopefully this is the last time I'll have to meddle with the colour of my hair as I don't think roots will become so visible as it is a close colour match but we will have to see.
I hope you enjoyed this incredibly long post and that it helps you in some way. I'd be very interested to hear if any of you have had any hair colouring mishaps and what caused it... might make me feel a bit better! I'd also love to hear if Colour B4 has ever worked for you because there are so many good reviews on the Boots website that I feel silly that my hair went orange!
See you in the next post!