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After much experimenting with various hair colours recently after my last permanent hair dye was discontinued, I've decided to just go for it and try something completely different. A while ago I gave myself highlights, they started to fade and frankly looked a bit silly in my ever growing dark hair. The red colour I was using had all but disappeared so the only thing I could think to do was to start again.
I spotted a bargainous £1.45 packet of Feria Color 3D (their spelling, not mine!) from good old Boots. Why it was so cheap when every single other packet was £5.79 I do not know. The shade was P15 Red Flash Brown (sounds good, half of me wants to go back to my roots and half of me wants to stay red so this kind of ticks both boxes) - it does say on the box it is specifically for dark hair.
*What's in the box *
Instruction leaflet (with diagrams - yay) 1 bottle of Feria lightening gel 1 applicator bottle 1 tube of Color Booster concentrate 1 tube of highlight enhancing conditioner 1 pair of professional 'quality' gloves
* Preparation *
I'd suggest putting the instruction leaflet out of harm's way (read: nowhere near where you are likely to splodge the dye) and then putting on the fetching rubber gloves and secure a towel about your shoulders. The lightening gel and color booster concentrate both go into the applicator bottle which then needs a vigorous shake up. The only tube you have left unused is the enhancing conditioner, which comes later.
Instructions tell you two different ways of applying the dye. For previously undyed hair or if you're just doing a root touch up.
As I'm a mixture of both - ie I have previously coloured hair but I'm also dyeing the whole head, I chose to just plop the lot on.
This did take up the entire contents of the applicator bottle (I have shoulder length hair so if your hair is longer you may well need to buy two boxes) but if your hair is short and you don't use the lot, please dispose of it carefully.
* Dyeing to be dark *
This is where the fun began. First brownie point is awarded because you don't need to wet your hair first. This always irks me as my hair is extremely dark when it's wet, so if I'm putting hair dye on it's really difficult to see where I'm applying it. It's so much easier on dry hair. Or so I thought.
The smell has a very strong bleachy unpleasantness once the dye is on your hair. I don't have any skin sensitivity but my eyes were watering so please be aware of that if you haven't used the product before and keep your hair well out of your eyes and clip it back if you can while the colour takes.
After covering the hair pretty quickly and with not too much mess, I went off for the 30 minutes stated in the instructions and was sitting happily at the computer when the first drip started down my face. I brushed it away and before too long another one came down the other side, then we had the dripping down the neck too. In the end I had to sit very still with a tissue in my hand, getting rather paranoid this awful smelling stuff was going to drip in my eyes and become *very* painful.
* Time's up *
Allotted time up, I sprang eagerly back into the bathroom. *Imagine hands up on face 'Scream' style*. The bathroom floor was a complete mess. The dye, which had been a sort of light colour as it was going on my hair, had turned a maroon/brown colour and had splodged on the floor, and mostly everywhere. Panic set in as I wasn't at my own place (ahem) and Mother was likely to give birth to a cow if she saw this. So before I even thought about washing the dye off, I was down on hands and knees trying to make the bathroom look a lot more respectable. There goes that brownie point.
The rinsing off was no problem - in fact it was pretty easy as you didn't need to 'lather up' the dye like you do with so many other brands. It only took about 10 minutes and then a further 2 for the conditioner. There's plenty of the conditioner so you can use it to keep your hair in tip top condition for a few shampoos afterwards.
* Afterwards *
I'm never overly chuffed with my new colour but this time I have to say I'm really pleased with the results. This was a bargain price for starters and probably not a colour I would pick up - partly because the model on the front is foreign and has dark skin, so when I initially took a look at the colour, I really wasn't sure how the dye would look on li'l ole pasty me. I'm happy to say that this one gets the thumbs up. Before, my hair had taken on the 'brassy' look that is sometimes the result of red hair that's started to fade. Now I have a lovely all over reddish brown tinge that looks far more natural and goes far better with the dark eyebrows and eyes. Hurrah.
It's also rather shiny and doesn't feel dry which is a big bonus.
* Pointers *
Obviously if this is your first time using a dye, it's best to do a skin allergy test. There are lots of obvious 'do not's in the instructions such as do not use on beards or moustaches (eh?!) or immediately after perming your hair. Also be careful to keep out of the reach of children - if Mack had problems with it then the kiddies could redecorate your bathroom in a shade not to your liking if you know what I mean!
If you are allergic to any sort of chemical, it's best to check the ingredients just to be on the safe side.
* Overall *
So to the awarding of the stars. Well as mentioned above, the messiness factor weighs heavily on my shoulders - I've been dyeing my hair for over 25 years now and don't think I've ever made such a 'splash' in the bathroom. And not in a good way. I also found the dye on the sleeve of my top (hmph) and because the dye goes on very clear to start with, unless you see it dripping on the floor, it won't be detected until it's too late and has turned brown. It's my own fault for not being thorough enough to get newspaper etc down but still - let's not forget the liquid is also runny enough to drip down your face and neck too. So .. I have to knock one star off for that.
However, the whole timing was around 1 hour 15 from applying the dye to drying time and the instructions were easy to understand. You can't ask for more than that when coupled with the price.
There are 26 shades to choose from - light blonde to black and everything in between so there's bound to be one to suit you! Go on, give it a try.
Four stars to Feria. Because I'm worth it, I will use it again!
* Further info*
Any questions: L'Oreal Consumer Advisory Service Freepost WD649 LONDON W6 8BR
Tel UK 0845 399 1939 ROI 1850 399 939
Or to find out more about Feria go to www.lorealparis.com