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Good For A New Look
L'Oréal Casting Creme Gloss
Member Name: missrarr
L'Oréal Casting Creme Gloss
Advantages: Fun colours but not totally extreme, readily available, conditioning
Disadvantages: A pain in the neck to apply on your own!
For years now I've been contemplating changing the colour of my hair. Every time I saw my old stylist before moving I'd have this conversation before we started cutting - it became like a routine where we knew we were wasting five minutes because it never happened, but we still did it! It usually went like this:
ME: "Seriously, I know we always do this, but what colour would you dye it IF you were going to dye it?"
HER: "Well, reds would be nice, or some high- and low-lights. But...are you sure you want to?"
ME: "Well....." (makes confused face).
HER: "But it's a really nice colour. People pay me money to dye theirs the colour yours already is! And there's the upkeep..."
ME: "I know. Everyone says it's nice as it is."
HER: "Are you sure you're not just bored / been dumped / having a bad week?" (Delete as appropriate).
ME: "Yeah. You're right. Let's just leave it."
Seriously. EVERY time - I chickened out. Thing is, my natural hair colour is a slightly dark brown which fires up with some natural red hints when it gets the sun on it, and it is pretty nice. Also, I never change the style as I've found what suits me and I take a lot of my self confidence (fragile at the best of times!) from knowing that it looks good. Great, I hear you say. Lucky you. But....after looking more or less the same for ages, and seeing some of my braver friends chop, change and revolutionise their style, I have to admit...I was BORED!
Having now moved and tried a few new stylists I never forgot two bits of advice from my old one; never resort to an off-the-shelf hair dye and never change your hair colour because of being upset by a man. Now, in the last few years I did at one point have a very unhealthy relationship which caused me a great deal of emotional distress and I did see her logic and frequently that was one reason by I didn't change my hair colour for fear of being rash and regretting it. But in the last 8 months I've been able to get out of that scenario and redevelop my strength of character and emotional health. My life has moved on a lot and with that my self confidence and self assertion has come back to what it used to be. I also have a wonderful new job with great colleagues and, with the party season with them looming I started thinking about a bit of an image change to make the most of it. I also still kept thinking that if I don't enjoy experimenting with my image a bit more while I'm still (relatively!) young, I would regret it. So when out shopping with my lovely mum three days before my Christmas party, I found myself looking at hair dye and mum sensibly looked me square in the eye and said "You've been talking about this for two years. Just do it!".
I love my mum....
I played it safe as I don't want to destroy my natural colour and as I've put in so much work growing my hair it would be torture trying to grow a permanent colour out of my locks. Typically, most high street outlets stock very few semi-permanent hair dyes you can "DIY" your image with, and very often I've noticed that the ones that are available are very dull, natural tones. If I was going to do this, I was going to have some fun with it.
The product range that saved my sudden revolution from being derailed at the shelves of Morrisons was L'Oreal's Casting Crème Gloss. This is a range of semi-permanent conditioning colour treatments - semi-permanent colours are, my old stylist explained, great for the hair as they can offer a temporary high conditioning treatment as the particles fill the cuticles of the hair, making it feel richer and thicker and not stripping the hair as some permanent colours can.
I noticed straight away that this range offered more variety and some bolder, more obviously fabricated colours that were still based on fairly natural tones but had that slightly bolder, more experimental level to which the colour saturation went.
The range are available for between £6 - 7 and I paid somewhere between the two for a box of their Black Cherry treatment - an enticing looking purply-red, not a pillar-box red but still likely to provide that clearly fake, glossy look that I really do like when I'm not "doing the natural look".
The dyes come in a box with plenty of illustration of the colour, a guide to how your current hair tone should react with the dye and what colour it would produce, and the claims that the product offers shimmering colour and rich glossy shine, blends away grey and is intensely conditioning. The effect is meant to last for up to 28 washes.
Pleased but apprehensive, I went home finally knowing I was going to take the plunge!
First of all when dying your hair - PLEASE DO A SKIN TEST. There is information in the box on how to do this.
In the box you get: two individual components that you have to mix together before application, a comprehensive instructions list, a pair of plastic gloves and a tube of conditioner.
You have to add the contents of one of the colour formula bottles to a squeezy plastic bottle holding the other ingredients, and shake this thoroughly. The lid you put on this squeezy bottle has a shaped nozzle so you can work the product through sections of the hair to the roots. At first this product is colourless - so do be careful to remove it from your skin and hairline even if you're not sure it's there! After a short time exposed to the air, you can see when this product has gotten on to surfaces and towels so the colour develops over time. You apply this thoroughly through wet, towel-dried hair and have to pay attention to the roots to ensure full, correct coverage and as with all products like this, there is a chemical scent.
I'll be honest, if you're trying not to ruin your clothes or towel, this is a difficult product to apply - for the love of toast use towels you don't like! I ended up being a coward and asking my poor mother to help me apply it as I was so paranoid about missing sections and looking terrible! So you do have to be thorough and ideally it's a two-person job, but in theory achievable if you're on your own and don't mind getting very messy!
The cardboard box this product comes in also has a few perforated seams on the back, the intention behind which is that you can pop these open and have somewhere to rest the bottle when you need both hands to work the product through your hair - however this does mean that the remaining product will sink back and you have to be careful when encouraging it back towards the nozzle - shaking it robustly will plaster your bathroom with hair dye!
I left my product in for 20 minutes as advised and then rinsed. This took FOREVER. But it is worth being thorough as you need to get as much of the residue out as possible - I for one would be worried about dying pillow cases etc otherwise!
You then apply the provided conditioner - I found there was enough to leave some for the next day in the small white bottle too.
Scared but hopeful, I started to dry my hair. Wet, it looks almost black anyway so I had no idea what to expect. As my hair became more dry, I realised that I had a beautiful, rich, clearly false but very pretty plum / red colour to my hair. The coverage was comprehensive and not patchy and I have to say I instantly loved it. My hair felt soft, the ends didn't look dry and I was delighted with the finish.
My colleagues saw me tweeting that my hair would be red and had expected telephone-box red but did say my hair looked nice when I saw them at the party - but this was indoors in low-light when the effect wasn't so bold. When I walked into the office two days later and the sun was beaming through the window, people really reacted and everyone was extremely complimentary about my new look.
I make sure my hair is kept in good condition so I think that I can attribute to that the fact that this colour seems to last, if anything, longer than 28 washes for me. I did start to see my original colour through the treatment after about a fortnight but then I have to wash my hair every day so to get a full month's performance out of this product before having to consider either letting it fade completely or re-colour is pretty good in my book. I do notice that it fades quicker when the hair is dry - so ends tend to show their original colour through first - but I don't think it looks patchy.
I have since tried another product from the range, which was Berry Red, and more bright, red-head type red which I saw on offer in Asda for £5. If anything I love this colour more as it is a bit brighter and bolder and I think that it really lifts my look - a colleague said the other day that it really brings out my eyes and I also like that, having a bolder, fake colour on my hair, I can get away with wearing a lot more strong eye make up and this completes the look.
I'm loving experimenting with my look using this product and the colours are really lovely, rich and conditioning. I will probably stick to the reds and have another one or two I could try before reverting to one I've used before. They're a pain in the neck to apply unless you have someone around to help but they are worth the effort if you are not prepared to risk a permanent colour but fancy a fun change.
Summary: Great hair dye if you don't want to go entirely permanent!
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