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I've been using Scott Cornwall's products for around three years, and his hair care range is the one I keep coming back to. Some readers may remember the launch of 'ColourB4' around four years ago, and over time the range has been developed to give us hair dyers the best available treatments for our hair.
Since October, I have had the pleasure of using all three shades of 'Colour Restore'; Deep Red, Cool Ash and Iced Platinum, and so I shall review each shade separately (fourth product has been added).
So what is 'Colour Restore?
Colour Restore is a colourant that puts pigment back into dyed hair, tones unwanted brassy/orange shades, or it can be used as a colourant in its own right. Unlike semi-permanent and permanent dyes, Colour Restore does not contain ammonia or peroxide, meaning that the hair is not damaged during the colouring process. In fact, it is claimed that the formula conditions hair during the processing time.
Who is it for?
This depends on the shade you choose. Iced platinum is used predominantly to bring Level 10/11 blondes up to platinum by toning the yellow out of the hair. In bleached blonde hair, it is used to neutralise unwanted tones in the hair to get a uniform shade of blonde. Cool Ash is used to cool down warm colours. For example, if a darker blonde came out too orange or yellow, this colour ought to remove the brassiness/orange tones from hair. This colour is probably produces the best results on dyed light brown hair. Deep Red is probably the only Restore product that can be used in its own right. For those seeking to dye their hair a vibrant shade of red, it can act as a base for the permanent colour so it is less likely to fade. If you are one of those people that would like to experiment with red, but not on a permanent basis, then this colour can be applied like a normal, but over time, it will wash out. Furthermore, if you are a bleached blonde and looking to go brown/black, this colour can act as a filler, which will help to bring out the brown and black tones and prevent the dye from looking 'washed out' on the hair. Warm Honey has now been added to the collection. This Colour Restore adds warm shades to blondes in order to give them that 'honey' effect (I am yet to try this one).
Contents and Cost
Each box of Colour Restore costs £11.99 from Boots (have seen it on offer for £7.99) and contains the following:
- 100ml of colour - Instruction leaflet - Pair of gloves
How is this product different from traditional toners?
Unlike traditional toners, Colour Restore does not require the use of a peroxide developer to activate the colour, and neither does it contain ammonia. It is simply the case of squeezing the colour out of the tube and combing it through hair. This is especially beneficial if your hair is damaged from previous bleaching or colouring jobs, as hydrogen peroxide can further dry out the hair. Furthermore, the toner conditions as you apply - an important quality if applying after lightening, as the hair will often resist permanent dyes. Combing permanent dye through lightened hair is no picnic.
The product should be applied to damp), clarified hair. This is important, as the colour needs to reach the hair shaft. Silicones in styling products and shampoos/conditioners can coat the hair strand, making it difficult for colour to penetrate the shaft. Also, applying to damp hair means it is easier to pull the colour through. There are three different application methods. This ranges from simply coating dry hair (e.g a fringe) with colour and rinsing out, development time of 5-10 minutes and a development time of 20 minutes. The longer the development, the more noticeable the effects. As most people will be looking to either tone or colour their hair, I shall explain the two different development methods. The first one is more of toning process than a colouring process and is used to remove warmth from the hair. In bleached hair, the Iced Platinum colour will tone any yellow tones in the hair and turn them white (Caution - your hair needs to be light enough for the toner to turn hair white). In darker blondes/light browns, the Cool Ash will help to turn any orangey shades in the hair. This method involves combing the product through on damp hair and leaving for 10 minutes. This will ensure that the product works enough to "tone" but not to "colour". Highlights too yellow or brassy? Is that light blonde not pale enough? Then this method is the best one to use. The second method, the 'intense development', is used to change the colour of the hair completely, or if the warmth in hair is too stubborn. Like the method above, this method involves combing the solution through the hair and then leaving to develop for 20 minutes. In this time, the colour is able to reach the hair shaft and coat it. Both methods will require the product to be washed off with warm water afterwards. If the water is too hot, this could result in the colour all coming back out, as hot water opens the hair follicles. This is why hair washed in hot water is not shiny when it dries, as the cuticle is rough.
Iced Platinum is the reason I knocked a star off of the product. I had bleached my hair, and I had yellow hair (at a Level 8), and I left this product on for the twenty minutes, as I had quite a few nasty undertones in my hair. Once the time was up, I washed it out, and the product had indeed covered the nasty yellow, but my hair was now a warm blonde. In order for this product to work as intended, your hair will have to be a very pale yellow. I realise this now, but at the time I thought my hair was light enough. Make sure your hair is at around a Level 10 before using this product, else you may be left disappointed!
I tried out the Cool Ash colour on my orange hair, and again, I left it for twenty minutes to develop and work its magic. Whilst the colour did change, the light brown still had an orangey hue. If you have stubborn orange tones, this is to be expected, and so may require a second application to completely eradicate the oranginess from the hair.
Deep Red is my favourite toner from the collection (see pictures below). When I decide to go red, I always use this to act as a filler prior to using a permanent colour, as well as a means of keeping my red vibrant. The colour appears blood red when squeezed from the tube, but if you have a bleached/pre-lightened base, the hair will come out pillarbox red. Equally, if your hair is a darker side of red, or a mid brown, this toner adds a deep 'conker' effect to the colour, keeping the darker red tones topped up. There is nothing worse than faded red/orange/copper hair!
How long does it last?
As these toners are temporary, they are likely to last between 6 and 10 shampoos. if you wash your hair frequently, you are more likely to notice the colour drain faster. I wash my hair once a week, usually, and so the toner lasts 6 weeks upwards. If you are attempting to maintain a colour i.e. red, but your hair is recovering from bleach/dyes, this product, in the meantime, would be a suitable alternative. If you are looking for a change, then I would highly suggest using these toners. If you are blonde, then you have the ideal base to test all of the colours. Unfortunately due to my work's code of dress, I could not keep the bright red hair, but I plan to use the toner to 'reddify' my now darker scarlet hair for prom. Schwarzkopf do a temporary colour range ranging from orange to purple, however, I find that the Colour Restore red is much more gentler to the hair and has better longevity. You can contact Scott Cornwall, the creator, on his Facebook https://engb.facebook.com/ScottCornwallHair) if there are any questions with regards to the products.
Would I Recommend?
Yes, especially if you have damaged hair. I have bleached my hair so often, and if my hair is particularly bad, Level 3 (permanent) colours will not hold. As I put proteins back into the hair, this colourant does the job nicely, causing no further damage. It isn't the cheapest on the market, but I think hair colouring is not something you want to do on the really cheap, especially where fashion colours are involved.
*** I started writing this review back at Christmas time, and have just added some bits now, so I apologise if parts are not up to my usual standard! ***
Pictures of Scott Cornwall Colour Restore
Scott Cornwall Colour Restore 'Deep Red' on bleached hair