I started coloring my hair about eight years ago. Prior to that I only highlighted my hair a couple times a year. I’ve never had my hair colored in a salon, even when I was just highlighting. I’m sure I would love the results, but I just can’t stomach the expense, especially when I’m coloring every 4 to 5 weeks.
I started coloring with L’Oreal Preference, then moved to L’Oreal Excellence, but those were the only two brands that I used for seven years. Even after becoming a couponer, I was still 100% loyal to L’Oreal hair color.
Then I received an offer for a free box of new John Frieda Precision Foam Hair Color. FREE?! How could I say no to that? And trying a new brand wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be. That free box of John Frieda opened my mind to trying other brands as well.
Here are the varieties of hair color that I’ve tried so far, and my thoughts on each.
L’Oreal Superior Preference Hair Color
MY COLORS: the entire blonde spectrum, from 8G Medium Golden Blonde to LB01 Extra Light Ash Blonde.
This was the very first all-over permanent hair color I tried, and I stuck with it for years. I had nothing to compare it to, but the results were “fine” and I was nervous to change.
I started with a light blonde color. My hair has brassy undertones, so I chose ash blonde. After using the ash tone for a while, my hair took on a grayish hue, so I switched to golden blondes for a while, then settled on natural blonde. I went from light to very light to medium blonde colors trying to achieve the look I wanted, though I don’t think I ever got it just right.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: a good, long lasting hair color. Easy to apply, but prone to dripping (i.e. messier than other formulas I’ve tried). After using this product for several consecutive months, it seemed that a new formula was necessary to refresh my color and eliminate the “too ashy” vs. “too brassy” cycle.
L’Oreal Excellence Hair Color
MY COLORS: 9B Light Natural Blonde, 8B Medium Blonde
PROS: formula is easy to mix and easy to apply. Protective pre-color conditioner prevents damage to ends of hair. My hair felt soft after coloring, not dry and straw-like. Thick, creamy formula doesn’t drip. True and long lasting color.
CONS: I can’t think of any.
BOTTOM LINE: this remains my very favorite at-home hair coloring product!
L’Oreal Crème Gloss Hair Color
MY COLOR: 8B Medium Natural Blonde
PROS: I loved the color. Very true to what I desired, neither too brassy nor too ashy, which is what a natural blonde color should be.
CONS: The color started to fade as soon as I washed my hair. I could actually see my dark roots showing through less than a week after coloring. I understand that this product is a semi-permanent hair color; the package says the color is supposed to last for up to 28 shampoos. Apparently, “up to” is the key phrase.
BOTTOM LINE: I would recommend this product to someone who is looking to test a new color. It was easy to use, the color was true, and it left my hair feeling soft and silky. If you don’t like the color, it will fade quickly so you’re not stuck with it for long. Then you can try another new color! I wouldn’t recommend this product to someone who was looking for a longer lasting color.
John Frieda Precision Foam Hair Color
MY COLOR: Medium Natural Blonde
PROS: formula was easy to mix and easy to apply (but see CONS). Foam does not drip. The actual color was exactly as I expected. The color lasted a long time; there was no noticeable fading even after five weeks when my roots dictated I needed to color again.
CONS: the foam was easy to apply, BUT difficult to apply to only the roots of my hair.
BOTTOM LINE: I really liked the product, but would be concerned about damaging my hair over time since I had to apply the foam all over my head vs. just on the roots. I would buy this again if I could get a great deal, but wouldn’t make it my regular hair color. I do highly recommend trying it if you get a chance – the color itself was great!
Samy Fat Foam Hair Color
MY COLOR: Light Natural Blonde
PROS: Other than the really cool packaging, I can’t say I liked anything about it.
CONS: It was easy to mix, but having to scoop the foam out of a large cup with my gloved hand was a bit awkward and messy. I liked the squeeze bottle in the John Frieda foam color better. The foam was easy to apply, but was difficult to apply to only the roots of my hair (as for any foam hair color product). If I were to use this as my regular hair color, I’d likely be causing damage to the ends of my hair over time.
I also didn’t care for the color. I was looking to go a shade lighter than what I had been using since the fall, so I bought a LIGHT blonde instead of a MEDIUM blonde. However, the color came out even darker than the medium blonde that I had been using.
BOTTOM LINE: I personally won’t use this product again (not sure what to do with the second box I still have, since I had gotten two free boxes with coupons at Rite Aid). But my experience is just one person’s opinion, so you may want to try it for yourself. I can’t speak for brunettes or redheads, but for blondes I would suggest buying one shade lighter than your usual color.
Have you tried any of these hair color brands? Was your experience different than mine? Or do you have another favorite hair color? Please share!
If (like me) you also like L’Oreal Hair Color, consider enrolling in L’Oreal Gold Rewards! You can earn FREE hair color products, limited-time offers and more from L’Oreal!