Product Type: Schwarzkopf hair care products
Newest Review: ... for many years and would highly recommend it. I have not had any mishaps with Schwarzkopf unlike some of the other brands I have used.... more
From Dye Virgin to Platinum Blonde with Live Colour XXL
Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL
Member Name: dahlin
Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL
Advantages: Great colour, shine, and condition, easy to apply, cheap
Disadvantages: Quite time - consuming, may need to buy more products to keep colour as you want it
Schwarzkopf Live Colour XXL is available to buy from most health and beauty retailers, such as boots and super drug, as well as selected supermarkets. It generally retails at around £4.79, but I pick mine up in body care for £3.49.
Why I Bought It
My hair is naturally the kind of golden blonde that prompts compliments from complete strangers, and I've never previously dyed it at all. So, after deciding I wanted a change, getting it cut into a chin-length choppy bob, and listening to my hairdresser bang on about how lovely my natural colour is for the best part of an hour, I decided to go for the white blonde look, with the idea of later putting some bright colour through it. Looking around I found that the Schwarzkopf Live Colour XXL was the only range to do a dye that looked even close to the colour I wanted, so I paid my £3.49 and happily took a box of the shade 'Absolute Platinum' home.
According to the blurb on the box, Live are the expert in trendy, intense hair colour. They claim that the rich formula in the Absolute Platinum dye not only lightens, but cleans away residues and impurities from the hair to guarantee a vibrant result. The formula contains built in stay-blonde protection for long lasting intensity and shine, and effective colour sealing technology to avoid yellowing.
Suitability and warnings
This is a permanent dye to lighten your hair by 5-7 shades, dependant on your natural hair colour. It is not recommended for use on hair darker than a medium brown, or hair that is more than slightly grey.
The product contains hydrogen peroxide, which can cause severe allergic reactions, so it is important to conduct a sensitivity test 48 hours before use. The product should not be used if you have previously suffered a reaction to hair lighteners, or if you have an irritated, sensitive or damaged scalp.
What's In The Box
In the box you should have an instruction leaflet, with a pair of plastic gloves stuck inside. Then you have your application bottle with developer lotion, an application nozzle, a tube of lightening cream, a sachet of 'Blonde Booster Ultra Plus', and a tube of professional quality conditioner.
First of all you need to put on the gloves, then you can start mixing the dye. Remove the safety cap from the application bottle and replace with the application nozzle to remove the seal from the bottle. Remove the nozzle and add the entire contents of the Lightening Crème tube and the Blonde Booster Ultra Plus sachet into the bottle. Replace the nozzle tightly and shake the bottle vigorously until the contents are thoroughly mixed to a smooth, creamy consistency.
Once mixed remove the tip of the application nozzle and start application immediately to dry, un-washed hair. For a first time application apply the mixture strand after strand onto all of your hair and massage it in thoroughly to ensure even coverage, and leave on for 30-45 minutes. For a root regrowth application make a parting using the application nozzle and apply the mixture along the parting, massaging into the roots with the fingertips, and repeat this process for the whole of the regrowth area, making sure it is all evenly covered, and leave on for 30-40 minutes until the whole regrowth shows nearly the same lightening result as the rest of the hair.
After the development time, put on the gloves again, apply warm water to the hair and work into a lather before rinsing thoroughly until the water runs clear. As a caring post-treatment, massage the Live colour conditioner into towel-dried hair and leave for 2 minutes. Rinse thoroughly to leave the hair noticeably softer and with beautiful shine.
As a dye virgin I was a little wary of applying it myself, worrying about whether I would be able to apply it evenly, leave it on for the right amount of time etc., but I really needn't have worried as though quite time-consuming, the whole process was quite simple and easy to do.
Preparing the dye took little effort and only a couple of minutes to do, though I was unsure how long to shake the bottle for as I couldn't really tell whether it was mixed properly or not, so I just had to take a chance on it being done.
Taking the top off and beginning to apply the dye I was hit by a really strong chemical smell which actually made me gag and I had to quickly open the bathroom window as wide as it would go to let some fresh air into the room. It really is strong but after a while I did get more used to it and didn't notice it so much.
I currently have shoulder-length hair and found it was easiest to simply brush it all back and apply the dye in lines from my hairline to the crown then massage in, rather than applying it in strand by strand like suggested in the directions, however, for longer hair I'm sure following the directions would be much more effective and easier. The dye mixture is a fairly runny, but very smooth texture which is easy to spread through and massage into the hair.
After making sure all of the roots and mid-sections were evenly covered I moved onto the ends, applying a large amount of dye at a time, massaging in and combing through with my fingers, making sure it was evenly distributed. It did take a while for me to be sure that the whole of my hair was evenly coated in the dye, and by the time I was happy that it was, and had used the full contents of the bottle, the dye had already been on parts of my hair for a good 15 minutes, meaning I was then unsure when to rinse it out. In the end I decided it would be best to just leave it on another 30 minutes, rather than risk any detrimental effects of leaving it on too long.
During the 30 minute wait the dye went quite dry and almost powdery in my hair. It didn't drip and wasn't at all messy so I could just go about my business without having to worry that I was getting dye all over the place. Even with the mixture still in my hair I could see the lightening effect it was having, which I found quite bizarre to watch!
Rinsing out the dye I found to be a fairly time-consuming task, and I ended up taking off the gloves part way through as I found they were just hindering the process (yes I do realise that you're not supposed to take them off because of what the dye can do to your skin). Whilst the water was running clear after just a couple of minutes, this was purely because it is a lightener rather than a coloured dye, and not an indication that the dye was fully rinsed out. It took a good ten minutes for me to feel I'd fully got all of the dye out of my hair and could move on to the next step of the process. I was pleasantly surprised at this point to find that my hair didn't feel stripped or dry as I had anticipated.
So after towel-drying my hair it was on to applying the conditioner, which is a nice rich, thick, smooth conditioner with a pleasant fruity scent. It goes on really easily and I could get 2 thorough applications from the tube, but decide instead to just use it all up in one go. After leaving it on for the required 2 minutes it takes only a little more effort to rinse out than a normal conditioner. It also definitely left my hair feeling softer and smoother.
After having the dye on parts of my hair for longer than others I was slightly worried about how even the result would be, but it gave a completely even result. The result however, was VERY yellow. Luckily I had anticipated this and bought some purple toning shampoos and treatments, designed to take the yellow tones out of blonde hair. After just a couple of uses of the toning shampoo the result had calmed down to much more of a very light golden colour, rather than yellow, and it got better with every use, but it still wasn't the white blonde that I was after.
So after about 4 weeks, when my roots needed touching up, I decided rather than just touching up my roots I would do the whole lot again in the hope of it lightening further, and this achieved much better results, and I'm pleased to say did not have any detrimental effect on my hair. After dying it the second time and following with a purple toning treatment shampoo my hair is now the loveliest shade of white blonde, with no sign of yellowness at all, and again the colour is very even. I would even say I achieved a nicer colour than that shown on the front of the box, so definitely a good result!
Despite the fact that I've lightened it twice, my hair has remained in very good condition. It is silky, soft and smooth with a beautiful shine the likes of which I don't think I've ever seen on dyed blonde hair before. And as an added bonus for me since dying it my hair no longer gets greasy, I am now able to use conditioners without worrying that they will weigh my hair down and make it greasy after a couple of hours, and can go an extra day without washing it.
All things considered I think this a fantastic hair dye which, as long as you're willing to spend a little extra on the right kind of shampoos and treatments, gives an excellent colour result without spoiling the condition of your hair. You do need to remember to take your original colour into account when looking at what colour you will realistically be able to achieve, but for me it gave the perfect colour and saved me spending a fortune having the same colour done at the hairdressers. A price of only £3.49 a month to keep my hair icy blonde and looking fabulous is great value for money in my book!
Summary: A great value dye that gives great colour without damaging the hair