Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Clairol Nice 'n' Easy Age Defy Permanent Colour – 5R Medium Auburn (review)

Clairol Nice 'n' Easy Age Defy
I tend not to fuss too much about which home hair dye kit to buy as I've been doing it for years with good results. Nowadays I just pick up a box I like, check the shade and buy it. Simple as that.

Except this time I bought dye from Clairol's Nice 'n' Easy Age Defy sub-brand, without realising it's designed specially for grey hair. Which I don't have, but I decided to try it out anyway. Grey hair can be more difficult to dye; it doesn't take on colour as easily.

This set includes a softening pre-treatment to better prepare grey hair for colourant as well as Pantene's Age Defy intensive conditioner to keep it looking its best.

Step 1: Pre-Treatment
This is a clear gel-like serum, lightly fragranced, and should be used before dying your hair while it's still dry. There was enough to cover every strand of my shoulder-length, medium-thickness hair and surprisingly it's easy to distribute. The gel's softer and smoother than it looks.

Step 2: Colour Crème
Mix 2a (colour crème) and 2b (activating lotion) as you normally would and apply to your hair, starting at the roots. It's a typical creamy consistency – this particular shade turned into a wonderful shade of pumpkin orange! – which means it's easy to apply and doesn't drip - even the gloves are OK. There was just enough product for my hair. If your hair is longer than your shoulders you'll need two boxes. Be advised that the ammonia is very strong!

Step 3: ColourSeal Conditioning Therapy
'Conditioning therapy?' This is a simple hair mask, nothing more. It's easy to apply and sinks into hair well. After two minutes you simply rinse out and enjoy softer, better protected hair. You don't get much in a tube, though, I'd be surprised if long-haired people get more than 2-3 uses out of it. I just about managed two applications which is very stingy of Clairol!

Clairol Nice 'n' Easy Age Defy Permanent Colour – 5R Medium Auburn

Unsurprisingly, bearing in mind the use of the pre-treatment, my hair has taken to this colour beautifully. It's very close in colour to the guide on the box, a very luscious shade of medium-dark auburn, and the finish is rich and professional looking. I didn't find it very drying, either, which might make it more suitable for those with more delicate hair, but always do a strand test first to get the right developing time!

After a few washes my hair is still shiny and looks great, but the colour has noticeably faded. This is a bigger problem with red pigments (which are smaller than blonde and brunette pigments and seep from hair more easily) but even bearing this in mind I'm disappointed that my hair has lost its auburn tint and now looks dark blonde/light brown in sunlight. It's taken just 8 washes for this to happen, which is not good enough for a permanent hair dye.

So the results are a bit below par. It might just be this shade that loses its colour so quickly, I don't know. Admittedly you're unlikely to experience such noticeable colour loss with the blonde dyes, but in my experience the John Frieda rival dye gives more reliable results with all shades.

At around seven pounds this dye is slightly higher priced than some, but is still relatively good value – especially compared with a salon dye-job! Of course it's not a natural choice in any way, shape or form but I do like the fact it targets the grey-haired crowd and the pre-treatment works well, but going by this shade's performance I think you can do better elsewhere.

Pre-treatment seems to work well
Only just enough colourant for long hair
One of the least drying hair dyes I've tried
Very stingy with the conditioner!

Needs thorough rinsing


Brand: Clairol

Pre-Treatment Size: 22 ml
Colourant Size: 50 ml
Activator Size: 50 ml
Conditioner Size: 30 ml

Price: £6.99 (£6.99/treatment)

Manufactured: n/a

Pre-Treatment Ingredients: Aqua, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Quarternium-80, Soytrimonium Chloride, PEG-40, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Parfum, Dosodium EDTA, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Salicylate, Formic Acid, Glyoxal

Colour Creme Ingredients: Aqua, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Ammonium Hydroxide, Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Glycol Distearate, Lanolin Alcohol, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Toluene-2,5-Diamine Sulphate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Sulphite, Resorcinol, 4-Amino-M-Cresol, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Sulphate, 4-Amino-2-Hydroxytoluene, Parfum, 2-Amino-6-Chloro-4-Nitrophenol, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, M-Aminophenol, Tocopherol

Activating Ingredients: Aqua, Hydrogen Peroxide, Ceteraryl Alcohol, PPG-38-Buteth-37, Petrolatum, Laureth-2, Sodium Cetearyl Sulphate, Salicylic Acid, Disodium Phosphate, Phosphoric Acid, Etidronic Acid

Conditioner Ingredients: Aqua, Bis-Hydroxy/Methoxy Amodimethicone, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Glutamic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Parfum, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Citric Acid, EDTA, Hexyl Cinnamal, Sodium Chloride, Carthamus Tinctorius Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Panthenol, Benzyl Salicylate, Magnesium Nitrate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Magnesium Chloride, Methylisothiazolinone, Ascorbic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Sulphite

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