Sunday, 23 September 2012

L'Oréal Paris Sublime Mousse Permanent Foam Colour – 740 Flaming Copper (review)

L'Oréal Paris Sublime Mousse Permanent Foam Colour
I've been a little less than frugal with my money this month having bought a new car, so with no money left for a salon visit, a dye-at-home hair colour kit is in order. I've decided to be bold and go even more coppery. My (naturally golden blonde) hair is currently dyed a light red colour, so I'm hoping they're close enough to avoid a disaster!

First things first, the foam method. I'm already familiar with this having used John Frieda's pioneering version (and very good it is, too); there's no need to section your hair like you have to with cream formulas; the foam easily spreads using just your begloved hands. L'Oréal's take looks similar to John Frieda's, except you have to pump the dispenser, instead of squeezing the bottle. Unfortunately it doesn't work as well – the bottle gets slippery during use so you have to take more care when pressing the pump. Also, pumping too hard means you'll accidentally squirt it on the floor like I did. John Frieda's bottle squeezing system works better.

English-language instructions, if you need them, are muddled up with Italian, but are clearly written once you find them. The rest of the language L'Oréal uses on the packaging is pretty sensationalist. The colour is 'luscious', 'glistening' and apparently 'breathes' into your hair; the foam is 'sublime', 'sumptuous', even 'voluptuous'! And all this will leave your hair 'shiny', 'full of vitality' and 'dream-soft'. Dream soft? Honestly! You could almost imagine an A-List celebrity purring those words in the advert, couldn't you? Speak of the devil, here's Jennifer Lopez!

I suppose we are expected to gloss over the fact J.Lo has professional looking highlights and a colour-matched weave in this video. But back to the real world. As soon as I mixed the products the typical dye stench made my eyes water and I started spluttering. Not very glamorous. Neither was the dye-stained towel I had wrapped around my shoulders. They never show that in the adverts, do they?

I left the foam on for the full thirty minutes and it stayed put. No drips here! The formula is thick enough to allow you to pile even very long hair on top of your head and hold it in place while it develops. It didn't irritate, rinsed out easily and didn't leave my hair feeling straw-like, either. Other reviewers have complained of tingling and dryness but they weren't an issue for me. L'Oréal include a small tube of conditioner which lasts for just one use if you have long hair, and maybe two to three uses if your hair's short. It's no better or worse than other intensive conditioners; it's just a pity they're so stingy with it. They're also stingy with the gloves which are oversized, cheap plastic bags that just happen to vaguely resemble the shape of a hand.

I let my hair air dry as usual and found the colour looked bright, and had lightened a little. You'll probably find the colour guide on the back of the box more realistic if you have your original hair colour. My hair didn't feel especially soft when it had dried but did look a bit shinier; plus the spread of colour was even but perhaps a little too 'blocky'. Some other (more expensive) home dye kits leave you with more natural-looking tones and highlights.

I'm not even going to mention the 'n' word. Just glancing at the ingredients listings below should give you an idea of how chemical this process is. For anyone interested in hair dye that won't matter, and you can do worse than use this kit to change your colour – and there are a lot of colours to choose from – there are 20 shades available in the U.K. (more than Canada which only gets 18 and Australia just 15). It's certainly easy to use and well-priced. Unfortunately for L'Oréal, for a little more money you can get an even easier to use foaming hair dye from John Frieda that gives you slightly more natural looking highlights, too.


Well-priced for a foam hair colour
End results lack natural highlights
Nice breadth of colours available
Typical overwhelming smell from chemicals

Pump action inferior to class leader

Left a lot of other reviewer's hair dry


Brand: L'Oréal


Developer Size: 60 ml
Colourant Size: 40 ml
Conditioner Size: 40 ml
Price: £6.99 (£6.99/treatment)

Manufactured: Belgium

Colourant Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Ethanolamine, Sorbitol, Coco-Betaine, Ammonium Hydroxide, Toluene-2,5-Diamine, Steareth-100, Sucrose, Resorcinol, 2,4-Diaminophenoxyethanol HCl, M-Aminophenol, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Metabisulfite, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Thioglycerin, Polyquaternium-6, 2-Methylresorcinol, N,N-Bis(2-Hydroxyethyl)-P-Phenylenediamine Sulfate, Parfum/Fragrance, Acetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, EDTA, Erythorbic Acid

Developer Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Hydrogen Peroxide, Glycerin, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Salicylate, Polyquaternium-39, Phosphoric Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate

Conditioner Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, PEG-180, Amodimethicone, Cetyl Esters, CI 19140/Yellow 5, CI 15985/Yellow 6, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Olea Europaea Oil/Olive Fruit Oil, Trideceth-6, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Isopropyl Alcohol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Parfum/Fragrance, Citric Acid, Cetrimonium Chloride, Coumarin, Glycerin

Alternative: John Frieda Precision Foam Colour


  1. Thanks for the review, I'm trying this tonight so fingers crossed! :)

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