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* Why I Bought this Product*
You know that feeling when you wake up in the morning, see your monstrous roots and think - ah. Something needs to be done about this. I had been having my short, naturally medium brown hair highlighted all over to a nice, light golden blonde colour professionally, but the last time I went in for a root touch up all I got was colour highlights. Because of this my roots weren't changed at all, only to be tinted very slightly. This was not what I paid for, however I can't complain too much as the rest of my hair went a lovely soft gold colour. Still, it didn't solve my hairy situation whatsoever, and my roots were now two inches. YIKES.
* My Reasons for Buying this Product *
Apart from the obvious reasons stated above, my reasons were that this new shade (Schwarzkopf Live XXL Colour Intense Max Blonde 00B) was being marketed as the lightest at home hair colour, and that it lifted up to 8 shades lighter. This was all very appealing to me since from what I could gather most other bleaches only lifted about 5-6 levels at most (for those of you who don't know what I mean by levels, to cut a long story short 1 is black and 10 is lightest blonde/white) so I did NOT want fluorescent orange roots considering they were now about half the length of my hair. So of I popped to Savers to try and find this elusive bleach... It was literally only sold at Superdrug and Savers of all the many supermarkets, chemists and beauty stores that I searched in. It was around £5, pretty standard for a normal hair dye.
* Product *
The product box is an eye-catching blue colour, it stands out and unlike most dyes it has a picture of a woman AND a man on the box... Liking this already! Inside the box there was a tube of Lightening Creme, a Blonde Booster Ultra Plus sachet, an applicator bottle of Developer, an applicator nozzle, a set of instructions and a packet of (crappy) gloves. The first thing that really surprised me was how small the applicator bottle was, it looked far too thin and had not enough developer to possibly cover a whole head of normal shoulder length hair even when mixed with both other steps. I was right, more on that later!
* Application *
The first thing it says to do is put on the gloves and push the stopper into the bottle with the application nozzle. I don't know how it does this as surely it would block the rest of the developer, but whatever, it worked all the same. Then you put the creme tube into the developer - this was quite hard to get every last bit out as it is a metal tube, so be patient with this stuff as it is very thick and tends to have a mind of it's own. Then you have to empty the sachet of blonde booster (basically powder bleach) into the developer - finally something easy! Then you replace the application nozzle and shake like fury, and trust me do you need to shake!! The mixture is VERY thick and it takes ages to mix, since the bottle is so thin there really isn't much room for the bleach to mix! This resulted in a mixed but rather gritty texture when it was applied. Nothing to worry about but it was a bit abrasive. The mixture was very thick, so you really had to rub it into the hair which wasn't ideal as that meant rubbing it into the scalp for me, fortunately it didn't itch, sting or burn which I must admit, I was anticipating. One BIG complaint I have about this product is the amount you get. I have shortish mens hair, it's longer than usual mens hair but way shorter than girls, for reference a sort of Alex Pettyfer circa Wild Child length and cut. I had barely finished applying the mixture when it run out - this shocked me as with normal colourants I have plenty left over, and with bleach you DEFINITELY don't want to run out halfway through unless you want zebra stripe hair.
* Developing Time *
On the packet it states that the normal developing time is no longer than 45 minutes. This seemed pretty normal to me for a bleach. During the application process, one thing I have to mention is the smell. When I was applying it it was so strong it actually made my eyes water and I was clawing at a window for air within seconds. It was the worst, most overpowering STINK from a hair dye I have ever experienced, and I was once under a heat machine for 2 hours with professional-grade bleach sat on my head in foils. Luckily there was no itching or burning, but I began to be aware of my scalp about halfway through and it was warm. It is hard to explain, but I could feel my scalp and sense that it was quite hot, although not an alarming OH-CRAP-WHAT-HAVE-I-DONE-TO-MY-HAIR reaction.
* Rinsing and Conditioning *
Rinsing out the mixture was pretty good, it came out quite quickly whereas before I have been stooped with my head over the shower for ten minutes. My poor back has never quite fully recovered... The conditioner was really fantastic, it didn't smell much but my hair felt exactly like it did before after washing my hair. I was expecting my hair to feel dry and damaged for a few days, but I was very happy with the condition of my hair.
* Result (a.k.a. OH S**T, F*****G B*****S!!!!) *
When I blowdryed my hair, I was pleasantly surprised to see my previously blonde hair had gone a nice, white colour... I was NOT so pleasantly surprised to see that my previously brown hair had gone a bright ginger colour!! It was awful, really! There was a very visible line where it went from orange to white, and I was NOT happy! Worst of all was that the back, which was all brown at the bottom due to being the shortest part of my hair, had gone a dark neon gold ginger. It was terrible, I truly have never hated my hair so much and I am dreading re-doing the roots so much that I think I'm just gonna go dark to cover it. Eventually I ended up getting another bleach (Wella Streaking Kit) and instead of applying as highlights I slapped it all over my hair. This made the roots less orange but still never the less a pale golden orange colour.
* Verdict *
Unless your hair is a dark blonde, I would not recommend this product. You would be much safer getting highlights with a kit such as Wella Streaking Kit, also it looks very odd to have ALL extra light blonde hair unless your a playboy bunny. HOWEVER. Taking away from the pain and stress this product has caused me, to get from the dark/medium brown was quite an achievement, however I would of expected more of a product advertised to go 8 shades lighter.
I hope you found this review helpful, thanks for reading :)
Pictures of Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL
This is the bleach I used, be careful not to confuse it with Ice Blonde or Absolute Platinum!