Tuesday, 10 September 2013

L'Oréal Paris Préférence Mousse Absolue Permanent Hair Colour – 654 Light Chestnut Brunette (review)

L'Oréal Paris Préférence Mousse Absolue Permanent Hair Colour

This is – genuinely – a revolution in home hair care kits. Not only does the dye take the form of easy to use mousse (a brilliant improvement on creams in my opinion) but because the colourant and developer are kept separate from each other in a dual chamber container, you can keep the bottle of dye for touch-ups or even a second full-on dye job if you have short enough hair.

L'Oréal claim this permanent hair colour will give you “intense multi-tonal colour” as well as “radiant shine”. It should also give you “perfect grey coverage” while the conditioner will leave your hair feeling like satin. Being a mousse formulation, it'll be non-drip and easy to use.  With the shade selection being “catwalk inspired” it should be a desirable range, too, and this shade of red (although strangely classified as 'brunette') is definitely fabulous.

L'Oréal Paris Préférence Mousse Absolue Permanent Hair Colour
Usage – the pros
It really could not be simpler. There's no mixing, just put the diffuser on, shake and go. It's utterly foolproof. It works whether you apply the foam to your hands first or direct the nozzle straight at your hair. However, before you get to that you'll need to put on the gloves – two pairs are supplied, one for immediate use and a second pair for a later application. The end result was very bold – partly down to the shade I chose – but coverage was strong and even. It was darker than the shade guide on the back of the box suggested it would be, but it was still recognisable as being similar to the model on the front so it wasn't too much of a shock!

Usage – the cons
The gloves, however, are so small I broke one putting it on (thankfully they had a spare!) and the fingers were too short. I'd much prefer some proper, stretchy gloves for this kind of price. Also the foam doesn't spread very well, making it difficult to apply. That's probably why one pack only just covered my shoulder-length hair. I'd be damned if I as going to get a touch-up application out of it! The formula is also extremely potent – the ammonia made my eyes stream, and this was in a ventilated room. It must be one of the strongest ammonia colourants I've used in some time. The final colour result might have been even and bold, but it was not multi-tonal. It's quite a blocky colour, but this improves with each wash.

This warrants a paragraph of its own. The Préférence conditioner is very silky feeling, and quite thick. It went on easily enough which was a relief as my hair did feel quite dry after rinsing away the dye. It's not the easiest treatment to rinse out, though, and my hair felt so very limp and heavy after use. It's almost like it was coated in a light oil, which is good for making my hair look smooth and shiny but it was absolutely impossible to style afterwards, and did look greasy faster than normal.  I think I'll use my own intensive conditioner next time.

I debated whether or not to even bother including this because if you're familiar with hair dyes you know they are - to put it bluntly - full of potentially dangerous chemicals.  I wouldn't even bother reading the ingredients listings below (but we always include them where possible so our readers can make an informed choice!).  Forget about the everyday nasties we try to avoid such as parabens and artificial perfumes, yes, they're here in force, but they're the least of your worries!  You've been warned!

If you have short hair you'll get two full uses out of this, so each dye treatment will cost you about £5.50. That's good value as far as hair dyes go. If, however, you have medium-length hair then you'll have enough for one full dye and a root treatment a few weeks later. Shoulder-length and longer hair will get a single use out of it. And that's expensive for a home kit. To give it some perspective, though, my local Rush salon charges £50 for permanent colour, so you're still saving about 78%, but the results will not be as good.

I appreciate there are more negatives than positives in the table below, but despite standing by every single one of my observations, I want to make it clear that this is still a good product and the positive aspects of Mousse Absolue may be smaller in number, but they are greater in significance. The biggest problem, other than the price, is that John Frieda does home hair dye kits that are more well-rounded. I'd still give John Frieda my money over L'Oréal for the time being, but this is a welcome innovation, nevertheless.

So very easy to use
Ammonia seems particularly potent
Rinses out easily
A bit pricey
Colour looks vibrant and bold
Conditioner leaves hair too floppy and slippery

Only just enough product for my long hair

Gloves are far too small and cheap


Brand: L'Oréal

Developer Size: 50 ml
Colourant Size: 50 ml
Conditioner Size: 54 ml
Price: £10.99 (£5.50 - £10.99/treatment)

Manufactured: Belgium

Developer Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Hydrogen Peroxide, Butane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Isobutane, Propane, Sodium Syannate, Trideceth-2 Carboxamide MEA, Pentasodium Pentetate, Phosphoric Acid, Ceteareth-25, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Glycerin

Colourant Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Trideceth-2 Carboxamide MEA, Propylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, PEG-2, Oleamine, Polyglyceral-4 Oleyl Ether, Oleyl Alcohol, Alcohol Denat., Ammonium Hydroxide, Polyglyceryl-2 Oleyl Ether, Propane, Oleic Acid, Sodium Diethylaminopropyl Cocoaspartamide, Butane, 4-Amino-2-Hydroxytoluene, p-Aminophenol, Sodium Metabisulfite, Eugenol, 6-Hydroxyindole, Thioglycerin, Toluene-2,5-Diamine, Ammonium Acetate, 2-Methyl-5-Hydroxyethylaminophenol, Pentasodium Pentetate, Linalool, Isobutane, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Resorcinol, Citronellol, Erythorbic Acid, Parfum (Fragrance)

Conditioner Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Chloride, Candelilla Cera (Candelilla Wax), Amodimethicone, Cetyl Esters, Isopropyl Alcohol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lecithin, Tocopherol, Oleth-10, Phenoxyethanol, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Ethylparaben, Trideceth-12, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulphate, Limonene, Linalool, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Phosphoric Acid, Geraniol, Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate, Methylparaben, Cetrimonium Chloride, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Amyl Cinnamal, Parfum (Fragrance)

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