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Prod Review: Best DIY Hair Color, Period!

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carekate
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Thu Aug 04, 2005 6:17 am      Reply with quote
I posted this info in the "Products You Dislike" thread, but I thought it was important enough to merit it's own product review since I know I'm not the only out there who colors my hair at home....

bkurant wrote:
GARNIER - hair color - the absoulute worst, most horrible hair product. some posted good reviews on mua which makes me wonder, what kind of hair do they have. mine is dry and very thick, still this incredibly bad product managed to do some damage Mad


If you live in the following countries:

• Canada
• Germany
• Japan
• Mexico
• UK
• USA

And color your hair at home, I seriously recommend that you take a trip down to your local Sallys Beauty and buy yourself some of the Wella Color Charm hair dyes. They're not sold in all-in-one kits like at the drug store, so the first time you buy the supplies it's about a $20 investment, but after that it's like $3.99 to buy additional tubes or bottles of dye.

It’s been my experience that manufacturers pretty much try to “idiot-proof” those all-in-one hairdye kits you buy at the drugstore so that the person can’t screw it up, or at least screw it up beyond all repair! If you're a neophyte to the world of home hair coloring, then you should probably stick to these all-in-one kits that have everything assembled along with detailed instructions. But if you’re a hair-dye veteran, you already know all the tricks so you really need to try Color Charm at least once. Honestly -- if you color your hair, I can’t recommend this enough!

The great thing about Color Charm is the results. I have tried every single DIY drugstore home hairdye kits and never ever got as good of results as I got with the Color Charm. Color Charm gives the most long lasting results I have ever experienced from any DIY haircolor and it’s very shiny and natural looking too. In fact, I love it so much that I actually posted a glowing review of the Color Charm line on MUA several months ago if you want to check it out further info....

So anyway, the first time you use the Color Charm stuff, you need to buy the following items:

• (1) plastic mixing/application bottle - up to $3.99 depending on the one you choose, you want to make sure you buy one that has hash-marks on it that show the measurements in ounces or milliliters or whatever your country's unit of liquid measure is;

• (1) pair of plastic gloves - not the cheapo disposable gloves, but a thick pair that you can rinse off and reuse each time, cost $3.99;

• (1) 32-oz bottle of color developer (this is the stuff that “activates” the dye) - $4.99, and you can choose if you need a 10%, 20% or 30% version based on your natural hair color and/or how light or dark you’re trying to go. The higher the percentage, the stronger it is;

• (1) bottle or tube of the actual hair dye - $3.99 and you can choose from semi-, demi- or permanent hair color. Personally, I buy like three different colors so I can custom-mix the shade I end up with.

I’m a natural redhead, but I have been giving Mother Nature a helping hand for the past 20 years or so, but only because my own hair started turning grey when I was 15 (don’t ask!!). I buy 2-3 tubes of various Color Charm shades to custom-blend my own color. I use “Light Auburn” and “Dark Auburn” which I mix to make the perfect “Medium Auburn,” but then I add a dash of a medium golden-coppery-red called "Copper Sun" just to make things interesting. Very Happy

ETA – This is the ratio for mixing your colorant with the developer:
• Ratio is 1:2 - one part colorant to two parts developer
So if you’ve got medium length or longer hair and you need to make 9-oz of hair-dye mixture, you would add 3 ounces of colorant and 6 ounces of developer to your mixing/application bottle.

If your hair is chin-length or shorter, you probably only need about 6-oz of hair-dye mixture, so it would be 2 ounces of colorant and 4 ounces of developer in your mixing/application bottle.

So here's the exact ratio for CareKate's custom-blended medium auburn:

• 1 oz. Color Charm Liquid in Dark Auburn
• 1/2 oz. Color Charm Liquid in Light Auburn
• 1/2 oz. Color Charm in Copper Sun
• 4 oz. Color Charm 20% Developer

You mix all this up in your mixing/application bottle, slap on your gloves and go to town! If I may, I'd like to share this little helpful hint: they say that you should put a coat of vaseline around your hairline to keep the dye from bleeding over on your skin, but I hate to do that because it makes a helluva mess and it's hard to remove it afterward. Instead, after I apply the colorant to my hair, I take a paper towel or a wad of tissue and saturate it with (cheap!!) shampoo and just swipe it all around my hairline, around (and into) my ears, down the back of my neck and shoulders -- basically, anywhere that the dye might possibly drip. This both removes any dye spills that have already occured, but it also prevents any further drips from penetrating and staining your skin. The best part is that the shampoo rinses clean away from your skin when you're rinsing the dye from your hair! I wouldn't recommend that you use your most prized, high dollar shampoo for this, though, so you might want to keep a cheapo bottle of White Rain or Sauve or whatever to perform this little task.

So anyway, I reiterate that Wella Color Charm is the best hair color I’ve ever used. The colors are true and there are dozens of shades to choose from and probably hundreds of color combinations that you can achieve by mixing different shades. Another thing that I really like is the fact that they tell you what color-family each shade belongs to, so you can’t accidentally end up with burgundy-red hair if you really wanted a coppery-red. The shades are labeled “violet-red,” “red-red,” “orange-red,” “ash-blonde,” “yellow-blonde,” “nuetral-blonde,” etc. so you can really pin-point the shade you’re going to end up with. The colors are super shiny and healthy looking (not “flat” and fake-looking like some DIY haircolors can be) and the color lasts much longer than any other permanent color, although – as I said – Color Charm has permanent, semi-permanent and demi-permanent formulas to choose from. In addition, they also have liquid formulations and gel formulations.

I hope this info is helpful to some who have been intimidated by the aisle containing all the colorants and developers at Sally's, overwhelmed and unsure of exactly what you need to buy in order to get started....

Your ever faithful guinea pig,
Carrie

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Thu Aug 04, 2005 6:31 am      Reply with quote
wow-you sound like you have my hair color-I have a Sally near me and I know the "tricks" So if I want Light Auburn to cover grey (since 20) then go for the straight Light Auburn w/20vol I have long hair so 2 bottles will have to do. Have you tried the gel over the liquid and do you tint your eyebrows as well? Or would you mix I don't want to look to brassy. Any advice would help
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Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:02 am      Reply with quote
red head wrote:
wow-you sound like you have my hair color-I have a Sally near me and I know the "tricks" So if I want Light Auburn to cover grey (since 20) then go for the straight Light Auburn w/20vol I have long hair so 2 bottles will have to do. Have you tried the gel over the liquid and do you tint your eyebrows as well? Or would you mix I don't want to look to brassy. Any advice would help


Yes, you probably need to get two bottles of colorant for longer hair. The thing to remember – and I probably need to go up and edit my original post to add it – is that the ratio for mixing the dye is 1:2 (1 part colorant to 2 parts developer).

In addition, I seriously recommend that you get the following items when you’re at Sally’s:

Ardell Red-Gold Corrector Plus: http://www.essentialdayspa.com/forum/redirect.php?u=http://www.sallybeauty.com/shop/1490/240815 – this product helps cancel out brassiness when you’re dying your hair with red or blonde tones. This is a must for bottle blondes and redheads!!

and

Ardell “Gray Magic” Color Additive:
http://www.essentialdayspa.com/forum/redirect.php?u=http://www.sallybeauty.com/shop/1480/240900 – this product helps whatever dye one uses to penetrate those stubborn gray hair shafts so that they’ll “take” the color better. Since I’ve been adding this puppy to my Color Charm cocktail, it makes my color penetrate even the most stubborn greys right at my temple which normally don’t accept the color very well.

Both of these items are offered in little single-use plastic packet/tube-like containers for about 99¢ each. They say that they’re single-use, but really – you only add 10 drops of *each* additive to your 1:2 color mixture, so you actually get at least 2-3 uses from the little packet. You’ll find these additives in the same aisle with all the colorants and developer stuff. If you can’t find them, ask the sales assistant for help.

In addition, while you’re at Sally’s, you should get yourself some L’oreal Natures Therapy Mega Moisture Nurturing Creme and use this to give yourself a deep conditioning treatment at least once per week to help heal any previous damage and just to help keep her hair healthy. You can get this in single-serving trial packets or in giant tubs. This stuff is the “generic” version of one of the high-dollar, prestige Kerastase conditioners because they’re actually both made by L’oreal!

I think this is enough to get you started. Let me know if you need anything else.

Carrie

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Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:54 am      Reply with quote
so 2 bottles of color would need assuming 8oz each would also be how much developer
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Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:25 pm      Reply with quote
red head wrote:
so 2 bottles of color would need assuming 8oz each would also be how much developer


I think you misunderstood me...let me see if I can clarify.

Each little bottle or tube of colorant is approx. 1.5 ounces (it's actually a little over that but I'm rounding off), so if you used two bottles of colorant, it would equal 3 ounces of colorant (1.5 oz + 1.5 oz = 3 oz).

Now you use the formula/ratio of 1:2 - one part colorant and two parts developer

So if you are using 3 ounces of colorant, you would need to use 6 ounces of developer (3 x 2 = 6) which would give you 9 ounces of color mixture to dye your hair (should be more than enough product, unless you've got Crystal Gayle-length hair that's down to your ankles!!).

Does that help? I'm really bad at explaining anything involving math or formulas of any kind (I'm seriously mathematically-challenged!) so hopefully someone can jump in here and explain this better than I can.....

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Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:31 pm      Reply with quote
makes perfect sense to me hate math 3oz of color 6oz 20vol developer plus the add in stuff. My hair is shoulder length and very very curly. i usually leave it on approx 20 min whats your time frame have stubborn gray
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Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:50 pm      Reply with quote
carekate,
again, thank you so much for answering all questions and so much more ...

another quick question- someone mentioned that you can use 30% developer and by adding water make it 20%.

i just have a large bottler of 30% developer and was wondering it it can be used for your method. what do you think?
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Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:20 pm      Reply with quote
bkurant wrote:
another quick question- someone mentioned that you can use 30% developer and by adding water make it 20%.
I’ve actually never heard that before....I’d check with a licensed cosmotologist or one of the sales reps at Sally’s (they actually *are* licensed!), or maybe Google it, to find out for sure. Confused I’ll try to remember to ask my stylist/colorist next time I see her, but it’s gonna be a couple weeks before I go back in.

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Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:21 pm      Reply with quote
red head wrote:
i usually leave it on approx 20 min whats your time frame have stubborn gray
No more than 30 minutes.

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Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:21 pm      Reply with quote
I use the Wella color charn cream and I have to say it is the best DIY color that I have ever used. My friend has a salon and talked me into coloring my hair. I had been going to her for a year and she went out on maternity leave. I started using the Wella at home and when she came back I went to her one time to color my hair, but liked my hair so much better when I do it myself that I only go to her for cuts now. I just tell her that money is tight. The color last longer also.
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Fri Aug 05, 2005 8:35 am      Reply with quote
carekate
i followed your advice and stopped at the local sally's.
they tried to help, but for some reason - knew nothing about these products. no matter, i had plenty of info, thanks to you Laughing

Ardell “Gray Magic” Color Additive were on sale for .79 how do you re-use them?
once opened, do you transfer the rest of the product to another container?

I did not buy Ardell "Red-Gold Corrector Plus" – was not sure exactly what it does. I read the description and it said something about taking away the red tones.
Well, adding red tones is what I am trying to do Confused

Thank you so very much - I just might have 'salon' results at home Smile
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Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:23 am      Reply with quote
bkurant wrote:
Ardell “Gray Magic” Color Additive were on sale for .79 how do you re-use them?
once opened, do you transfer the rest of the product to another container?

For the Ardell Grey Magic, you snip off the top of the little tube-thingy with a pair of scissors and squeeze 10-15 drops into your mixing bottle along with the colorant/developer and shake well, put on your gloves and start dying your hair!

I usually just put a little piece of tape over the opening I snipped in the Grey Magic tube and store it plastic bag or organizer tray/bucket (depending upon how anal/organized you are!) along with the rest of my hair-dying “tools” to reuse the next time I color my hair (i.e.: gloves after they’ve been rinsed/dried, bottle of developer, leftover bottle of colorant/s, rinsed/dried mixing bottle, etc).

bkurant wrote:
I did not buy Ardell "Red-Gold Corrector Plus" – was not sure exactly what it does. I read the description and it said something about taking away the red tones.
Well, adding red tones is what I am trying to do Confused
The Ardell “Red-Gold Correcter Plus” is used to eliminate brassy tones. I usually include 10 drops in my mixing bottle, along with my Grey Magic, even though I dye my hair red just because I want my red hair to look “natural.” I know you’ve seen those women who quite obviously obtain their red hair from a bottle of dye because their hair looks really harsh and/or maybe looks kind of hot pink toward the ends...? I know you know what I’m talking about! They just look really floozy-ish. Well, that’s what the Red-Gold Corrector helps prevent. It just helps ensure that your bottle-red hair doesn’t come out looking harsh, fake and completely unnatural. You can live without it for just this once, but in the future I recommend always throwing a tube of the Red/Gold Correcter in your shopping basket along with the Grey Magic.


Just remember the most important thing: the ratio is always 1:2 colorant-to-developer. I seriously recommend writing this on your bottle of developer or your mixing bottle with a magic marker is a reminder because one day I had a seriously embarassing stupid spasm:

I was in a big hurry and really distracted when I was coloring my hair, and threw the stuff together in the mixing bottle, slapped on my gloves and started applying it to my hair when I started thinking to myself, “Geez, this seems really thick, I don’t remember it being like this the last time....” and then the light bulb went off. I had mixed it 1:1 and the reason it was too thick was because I had only added half as much developer as I should have. Doh!!! Embarassed

The moral of this story: learn from my stupid mistake and write yourself a big, fat reminder on your mixing bottle or developer bottle in permanent marker!!!

Okay, ladies who are coloring their hair this weekend: I’ll be checking this thread on Monday so I expect to see status reports! Smile

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Fri Aug 05, 2005 4:06 pm      Reply with quote
I REALLY want to try this hair colour! I don't like my hair when I colour it with the drugstore brands but can't afford to go to the salon so often.

I live in Victoria, BC. We don't have a Sally's here. Where else do I look?
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Fri Aug 05, 2005 4:38 pm      Reply with quote
You could try any beauty supply outlet store. Smile

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Fri Aug 05, 2005 4:50 pm      Reply with quote
I called a beauty supply store here and they said they only sell to liscenced sylists and that everyone in town is the same!!! Crying or Very sad
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Fri Aug 05, 2005 4:56 pm      Reply with quote
well I did it!!! Bought the color, the add in stuff, etc. It went on really good I used the 20vol cream, It looked really red (used Light Auburn and Copper Sun and 6oz of developer. After 15 minutes I really got scared (I know) big baby so I went into the shower. WELL it is beautiful I have between medium and light auburn hair (what it was before kids,husband, work & turning 40) but the highlights that it gave are wonderful. Next time I will need help getting all the sides and will leave it on the full 30 min. The grey is gone (even did the eyebrows). Hair feels great. So now the true test will be to see how long it lasts. I used the color corrector and the grey stuff one pkt each. So thank you thank you Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Dale

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Fri Aug 05, 2005 5:05 pm      Reply with quote
lily wrote:
I called a beauty supply store here and they said they only sell to liscenced sylists and that everyone in town is the same!!! Crying or Very sad


You could PM carekate Wink

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Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:06 am      Reply with quote
red head wrote:
So now the true test will be to see how long it lasts. I used the color corrector and the grey stuff one pkt each.
Now you know colored red hair fades the fastest, don’t you? But there are tricks to keep your color staying true for longer...check out my post at this link for helpful hints on maintaining your gorgeous red hair: http://www.essentialdayspa.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=3243

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Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:11 pm      Reply with quote
I went to my regular hair beauty shop and bought 2 tubes of the Gray Magic($5.99 ea) and they throw in a 1 Application packet as a thank you.

My dilemma is that after coloring my hair whether at home (drugstore brands ie: L'Oreal or Clairol) or have it done by regular my hair stylist, after 4 to 5 weeks, my gray hair stands out from the roots (I would assume that my hair grew just about 1/4 inch(?) )hence, my gray hair do show from the roots, while the rest are still in good color. I have short, layered, bobstyle hair.

My whole head is practically gray just by lifting my hair(I'm 42 soon to be 43). Gray hair does run early in my family so maybe I have no choice but to color/dye my hair.

Question:

1) Can the Gray Magic be used for those drugstore's kind of hair color ie: L'Oreal, Clairol and the like, where I just can empty the packet? And how long does it really stays on?

2.) Also has anyone have experience after coloring your hair for all these years, your hair particularly on the front (the bangs area are) have become thinner?

3.) Would anyone comment/share if many years of coloring hair can have a falling hair effect during shampooing? I have notice for almost a year now that whilst washing/rinsing my hair before shampoo, and run my fingers thru my hair, there will be hair coming off during this process... But I don't see it while combing after shower or brushing my hair when it's dry.

Thank you for your response/advice/comment.

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Mon Sep 12, 2005 5:19 am      Reply with quote
Answer #1 - Yes, you can use the Ardell Grey Magic along with your “drugstore” hair coloring kits.

However, I would like to point out that I made a mistake in my previous instructions on how to use any of the Ardell color additive products (i.e.: Grey Magic, Red/Gold Corrector, etc) and would like to clarify it now:

You should use 10 drops of the Ardell additive for *each* ounce of hair dye mixture (colorant & developer). So, for instance, if you use a total of 8-ounces of hair dye mixture, you need to add *80* drops of Grey Magic (or, the *entire* little packet).

I didn’t realize this until I bought myself a full-size container of Grey Magic (rather than the separate little packets), which included more complete instructions than what they printed on the mini-packets...I apologize for any confusion that this may have caused.


Answer #2 - No, I haven’t experienced this myself, and I’ve been dyeing my hair frequently since I was 15-16 years old – sometimes as often as 1-2 per month, if the “wild hare” strikes and I want to change my color more often because I’m bored!

Answer #3 - I haven’t ever noticed this phenomena either, but then again my hair is so bloody thick that I’d have to lose huge clumps of it before I’d notice anything “off.” You know, we *do* have a resident EDS member who is an actual licensed cosmetologist, Lucia, so you might want to PM her for some real professional advice....

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Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:46 am      Reply with quote
damn my allergies - this stuff sounds great. Sad

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Mon Sep 12, 2005 2:01 pm      Reply with quote
carekate wrote:
red head wrote:
So now the true test will be to see how long it lasts. I used the color corrector and the grey stuff one pkt each.
Now you know colored red hair fades the fastest, don’t you? But there are tricks to keep your color staying true for longer...check out my post at this link for helpful hints on maintaining your gorgeous red hair: http://www.essentialdayspa.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=3243

I tried to read the post about red hair tips but it tels me that it doesn't exist anymore..
I went to Sally's today and I was very disappointed..they didn't have Wella Color Charm Confused
Is there anything similar that I could use to obtain a nice shade of red?
I've had some terrible DIY experiences, from red to bleached, than ash blonde, now golden brown and I'm hopping to obtain a really nice red, but I have no ideas what colors to mix, or whether I should have high/low lights for more body and shine?!
HELP!!
mirella

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Tue Sep 13, 2005 3:12 am      Reply with quote
mirela wrote:
I tried to read the post about red hair tips but it tels me that it doesn't exist anymore...
I found it! Try this link: http://www.essentialdayspa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3243&highlight=red+hair

mirela wrote:
Is there anything similar that I could use to obtain a nice shade of red?
Tell me what brands of hair color are available to you over there (i.e.: Garnier? L'oreal? Miss Clairol?, etc.), then I'll google them to see if there's a specific brand I can recommend.

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Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:01 pm      Reply with quote
Hi Carekate
in UK I can mainly find L'oreal, Clairol,Nice and easy, Feria (multitones, I wonder if I can mix different shades and still get a multitone effect)Garnier, Koleston (at Sally's)
I forgot to look for Ardell red/blonde corrector but I bet that I'm not going to be able to find it here
mirella Crying or Very sad

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Sat Sep 17, 2005 9:39 am      Reply with quote
After reading this thread (and dying my hair for more decades than I care to remember), I rushed right out and purchased the Wella Color Charm, Gray Magic and color corrector. I had been using the Feria Light Golden Blond and absolutely loved the color. Attempting to achieve the same color, I blended Wella 841 - Light Golden blond (cuz the sample looked a bit darker than I would like) and Wella 9NG - Blond Sable. After drying my hair, I wasn't sure I really liked the color. But .... after an hour of staring at myself (!) I found my hair was shiny, in good condition and the color really grew on me! I think I was so used to seeing that brassy gold, I wasn't prepared for such a gorgeous natural look! I can't thank you all enough for the suggestion! I will NEVER go back to the drug store color!
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