I nipped to Boots last week on Thursday to pick up a box of Colour B4 Extra. My reason for buying this is because I am quite frankly fed up of my very boring over dyed hair.
Let me bore tell you about it….
My hair is very long and also dry and brittle. It is medium brown naturally, but hasn’t of course seen it’s natural colour for donkey’s years as I have been dying it for as long as I can remember.
Over the years, my hair has been practically every colour of the rainbow, but for the last 5 years at least I have only ever used one colour on it – dark brown. I used to buy permanent dye and just whack it on, comb it through and bobs your uncle, but what I failed to even think of whilst doing this was – colour build up!
About 3 years ago I stopped using permanent dye and started using semi permanent instead. I was worried about the condition of my hair and thought this would be a better option. I stopped using it on the ends, and instead, only applied to the roots. The ends of my hair never changed colour anyway so there was no point. After doing this I did see an improvement to the condition of my hair so this is what I have been doing ever since.
The problem is, even though I’ve only ever put dark brown dye on my hair, it always appears to look black. A really uninspiring flat black shade with absolutely no other tones visible. My hair seemed to look almost plastic looking….you know….like one of those black wigs! It lacked bounce/movement, and instead just hung there like a limp pair of black plastic curtains….enough is enough I said to myself, and while searching for answers online I came across the Colour B4 Extra.
Colour B4 has been produced by hair expert Scott Cornwall and is the UK’s first ever commercial colour corrector, that can be used in the comfort of your own home.
”Has your hair received multiple colour applications and become dark and flat? Or if you have applied a dark brown, red or black shade (you just don’t want) then Colour B4 Extra Strength can help. Colour B4 Extra Strength hair colour remover is the safest and most effective way to remove an undesirable hair colour.
Colour B4 shrinks the artificial dye molecules in the hair, enabling you to simply wash them away. What’s more Colour B4 does not touch your natural hair pigment so you are left with the colour which lay beneath your artificial shade. Colour B4 takes you back to your lightest shade. It will return your hair to its natural colour if the artificial hair colour applied is darker than your natural level.
If the artificial hair colour applied is lighter than your natural colour, the natural pigment within your hair has been chemically lightened. Although Colour B4 will remove the artificial dye, you will still notice your natural hair colour has lightened. In this situation (and to re-create your natural shade) simply select a hair colorant close to your own natural depth and tone. However, always select by one shade lighter than your (natural) depth to ensure a realistic result.
Scott Cornwall’s unique Hair Consultancy is possibly the only image resource that offers hair advice, guidance and classes to not only clients but also the image and fashion expert. Scott believes our hair should harmonise with our entire image. His method is perhaps the first to combine principles of fashion; physicality and psychology to unlock his clients dream hair and perfect overall image.
Scott has spent many years working within the hair industry as a technical stylist (specialising in colour and chemical services) before moving into the worlds of image and style. Scott has a diverse range of clients from brand name corporations to celebrities.”
Sounds great right? Let’s see what happened when I used it…….
Colour B4 works best when applied to clean, dry hair. With this in mind, I washed my hair in shampoo (no conditioner) and then dried it. I did not want anything interrupting the process, for eg, build up of conditioner and/or styling products.
The box contains 3 bottles of product, instructions, and a pair of gloves.
You then mix the products together in pretty much the same way you would mix a home dye kit. You simply pour the contents of Part B (Remover) into Part A (Activator) and shake for 30 seconds.
You must then work quickly (the product strength decreases – the longer it has been mixed), removing the cap from the bottle, put on gloves and begin applying to the hair. It must be applied evenly from root to ends combing through as you go (with a plastic comb) to achieve an even and thorough application.
Once applied the product should be left to develop for 20 minutes. The instructions state that the room you are in should be warm, as a cold environment will slow down the rate that the Colour B4 is able to shrink down the artificial colour molecules. With this in mind I put a plastic carrier bag over my head to ensure that the warm air would remain trapped inside.
I must point out at this point that the product itself gives off a hell of a whiff…….think eggy farts and you’ll be on the right track! I wasn’t very popular when I had this on, and my sons spent the entire time I was anywhere near them, pinching their noses so they couldn’t smell me!
I was a bit naughty and left the stuff on for 45 minutes. I’m not sure it made any difference to the development of the product but I thought I’d do it anyway just in case.
It was then time for the rinsing stage. This is one of the most important stages in this process, as the product has now shrank the colour molecules in the hair and can be rinsed away. You have to rinse the hair for a very long time and the instructions recommend getting into the shower to do this, as even just 2 minutes bent over a bath can seem like an eternity and would be very uncomfortable.
I got into the shower and rinsed my hair for 10 minutes, I took a clock into the bathroom so I could time it exactly. It is so important to rinse for the recommended time, because if you don’t, you run the risk of some of the molecules remaining in the hair. Afterwards, if these remaining molecules expand, you would be back to square one.
After 10 minutes of rinsing, it is time to use Bottle C (Buffer). I applied half to my hair and lathered it up. It is left on the hair for 1 minute to absorb. After this I then rinsed the hair again for a further 5 minutes.
The remainder of the Buffer (Part C) must then be applied, lathered up and then rinsed as you would with a normal shampoo. I rinsed for around 2 minutes.
I applied a touch of conditioner after this as my hair felt extremely dry and knotty, and then proceeded to dry my hair.
Picture above shows result after using 2 packs of Colour B4 Extra.
I was seriously stunned when I saw my reflection. I hadn’t seen my hair looking this colour in years! This isn’t my natural colour though – it is a bit lighter than my natural hair and has much more warmth to it. Scott Cornwall does say that the peroxide used in dark dye can permanently lighten the cortex of the hair itself which is probably what has happened here.
Seriously though – I’m so impressed with it. I would have had to have taken out a second mortgage in a salon to have my hair lightened to this degree, but yet I have done it for under £25 – amazing!
Unfortunately though, as much as I love the colour in the picture above, it is lighter than my actual roots so I now had two choices, to either lighten the roots or darken the ends.
I decided that trying to match my roots to the colour of my hair with a home dye kit would be virtually impossible, so I chose instead to darken the ends.
Scott recommends that if you need to dye your hair after using Colour B4 to only use a non permanent toner, this is because a Semi permanent contains peroxide and you then run the risk of it oxidizing and turning the hair too dark again . I did buy a medium brown non permanent in preparation and applied it after using the second pack of Colour B4, but it didn’t blend my roots into the ends. So unfortunately, I had to use a semi permanent instead.
I went for L’oreal Casting in 34 Honey Brown Light Brown in the hope it wouldn’t turn my hair black too dark again!
I am very pleased with the result……
I could not be any more happier than I am now! My hair has lost that nasty plastic, flat looking appearance and instead looks a lovely shade of medium/dark brown with warm tones visible.
Here is the before and after for comparison. Original on the left and new colour on the right. I have actually washed my hair since this picture was taken, and some of the semi permanent colour has lifted out of the hair. This has made it a tad lighter than before which is great!
My hair has now got more bounce in it and doesn’t appear plastic/synthetic looking any more. I’m delighted with it.
Scott Cornwall states that some hair colourant manufacturers use strong silicone ingredients in their formulas. These do not tend to cause any problems unless you use heated appliances at 230 degrees or above. At which point the silicone can melt and irreversibly trap the colour molecules inside the hair.
I think to a certain extent, this is what happened to my hair, and is probably the reason why my hair had taken on a synthetic/plastic appearance, and also the reason why the hair colour at the ends never changed colour no matter what I put on it.
I’m very wary of using intense heat on my hair now and I have decided to give my hair a bit of a break from the straighteners for a while. I’m becoming a bit bored of the poker straight look anyway and have been opting for more of a tousled/messy look these days anyway. This should give my hair a well deserved break.
Also, when my roots next need doing, I am going to try using the non permanent toner. Hopefully this should prevent that colour build up happening again. I am now going to concentrate on conditioning my hair – to attempt to inject some more shine, life and vitality to it.
Anyhow, I digress. Going back to the Colour B4….this product is fabulous. It did exactly what I wanted it to do. It is an amazing colour corrector that actually works and has left me with the results I so desperately wanted. It has saved me a fortune too. I can’t even begin to imagine what this would have cost me in a salon!
I highly recommend this to anyone that may be in the same position as I was, or to others that may have had a colour mishap. This could be your saviour!