Sunday 2 October 2011

Sunday Salon #1: ColourB4.... Here's the Deal!

Right you lot...
As i am a hairdresser and a LOT of you have been requesting more hair-related posts I came up with the idea of Sunday Salon. This is gonna be your weekly hairdressing fix from me. I plan to cover styling issues, DIY tinting/lightening, hair product reviews and recommendations and anything in between. So this is the FIRST....

I've read post after post and tweet after tweet SLATING Scott Cornwall ColourB4 and i think now that enough is ENOUGH!! I'm gonna take you through this product and give you a blow-by-blow account on HOW it works, what it WILL do, and what it WON'T. It seems to me that some people just haven't grasped the concept of artificial colour removers, and put them in the same box as hair lighteners such as powder bleaches and this is NOT the case. 

Personally. I'm not sure i'm comfortable with these being sold in drugstores. The reason being, it's a colour correction tool. I'm a hairdresser and i am currently qualified up to level 3. I am now studying a Hairdressing/Salon Management Degree course with Derby Uni (levels 4 and 5). To be employed in the hairdressing industry in this country the minimum basic skills/knowledge requirements are a level 2 qualification. 
The reason i'm telling you all this?? Colour Correction is a unit that is not normally offered to stylists before level 4 so not even some professional hairdressers fully understand how to use these products. I was very fortunate that i was offered it as an optional unit on my level 3 course even though it is a level 4 unit.

So that's what Scott Cornwall tells you about. And, in a nutshell, its pretty accurate. HOWEVER, this is a very toned down, simplified way of explaining the product and i think it could be easily misconstrued and doesn't cover ALL the facts about the product. 

So here's some of the most common grumbles i've heard on my travels....

1) It didn't make me blonde: This product is NOT a blonding/lightening product. Unless your hair is naturally a pale blonde and you HAVEN'T covered it with layer after layer of dark tint, this product will NOT leave you with blonde hair. You will be left with an 'as near as dammit' version of your NATURAL hair colour. If you have many layers of dark tint on your hair, you may have to apply 2 or even 3 layers of this product to fully remove it all. Although 3 would be the absolute MAXIMUM.
2) It left a red tinge in my hair: Red colour molecules are a BITCH to get out. They are TINY!! Not only is this the reason that red hair dye runs OUT of the hair so easily (we've all had those pink showers at some point), it ALSO lingers and sticks in the cortex of your hair for a LONG time and can only be fully removed by careful toning. Even if you've never put a red dye on your hair, if you've been using a WARM brown, a DARK brown, or a mahogany shade of brown you WILL have red pigments in your hair. 
3) When i re-coloured it went straight back to being as dark as it was before: Scott Cornwall does state in his instructions that, if you are planning to re-dye your hair immediately after using the product, to use a shade lighter than the depth of colour you desire. In reality you will probably have to go AT LEAST 2 shades lighter than your desired result. ALL chemical hair strippers (including professional salon brands) have a tendency to make the hair want to just DRINK colour back into the hair and hang onto it for dear life. I'm not ashamed to admit that i was victim to this last week when i did the deed to get rid of my BLACK hair (which was meant to be dark brown, hence the need for ColourB4). I got my hair down to a pale, warm brown and required a medium mahogany end result so i used the LIGHTEST mahogany brown i could find and, yup.... its almost black again.

So whats in the box??

Full marks to Scott Cornwall for trying to make it as simple as possible  to apply and neutralise the product. The ABC application leaves little margin for error as long as you stick to the timings. 
You simply apply the activator to the remover and mix for 30 seconds. You can then apply the mixture straight from the bottle or, as i prefer, using a tint bowl and brush (although almost any bowl will do as long as it's not metallic). 
Once you have left the mixture on the hair for the full 60mins you can then start to rinse the product. This is the bit that bugs me. You have to rinse it for a good 10mins. Then apply half of the neutralising buffer. Then rinse AGAIN. Then apply the REST of the buffer. OMG my back was killing me after bending over the tub for that long!! 

So after doing all that my hair went from THIS....

To THIS...

Do not be misled by the fluffiness of my ends. I had NOT conditioned my hair after the process as i planned to re-dye my hair straight away and conditioner would have closed the hair cuticle. 

Soooooo.... to sum this product up....
It IS a better option than bleach for removing colour from the hair. It is a much kinder process on the hair and is very unlikely to cause any damage to the hair itself. However, i do feel like there is a wide margin for error with these kinds of products, and people have very high expectations of them. If you're not sure how you should be using it or what it will do to your hair DON'T USE IT!! My advice would be to consult your stylist/colourist if you're even CONSIDERING using an artificial colour remover on your hair, before you actually buy the product. 

If you have any other questions about this, or another product like this, feel free to pick my brains.
What would you like to see for the next Sunday Salon?? Would love to hear your requests and suggestions. What would you like to know??


  1. I didn't even know it was possible to get hairdye out, even at a hairdresser- this would have come in handy for a me a few times over the years! It looks like it works really well, your hair in the after picture is so different from the dyed colour.

    I love how you've educated people on something that is obviously very misunderstood. Love it! xx

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  2. Love this post. Makes it nice and clear what to expect. I was planning on using this to clear up some of the dye over dye's Ive done (knowing my hair would come out pink as Im blonde with red over the top) then re-dying my hair to make it brighter, but Ive been convinced the darker red looks good on me.

  3. Great post I've used this and was really impressed with it. Little did I know that you're not meant to dye your dye right after!!So me being an A-class donkey dyed my hair and then it went black!! Ha ha!! x

  4. you explained that so well! i've also heard a lot about this and have avoided it as i just cannot bare the thought of having red tinged hair and because i had no idea how it worked. You've definitely made me feel more at ease about using it in the future if i need to x


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