Well it arrived, and here is the next installment in my hair DIY disaster diary...
As deduced from the ingredient listing, this is a hydrogen peroxide based stripper (6%) . My first grumble is the misleading marketing - I watched Scott Cornwall's video clip detailing how to use this product where he clearly states 'this is not a bleach based product'. Hydrogen Peroxide IS the basis of an oxidising bleach - basic science will tell you that. So do not be fooled into thinking this is as 'ultra kind' and non-damaging to your hair as it is marketed. It is still essentially a weak bleach. Dress it up and call it 'de pigmenting powder' and highlight the fact there is no ammonia, but this is bleach. Luckily, I know a fair amount about salon processes but I feel this is misleading to most consumers.
The next clue is the mixing process - a powder is mixed with a developer cream until it forms a thick green paste.
As is recommended with any home hair process - read the instructions then read them again. And again for good luck. I also watched the aforementioned video from Scott Cornwall which can be found here. Once I had completed my skin allergy test and waited the 48 hours I pulled on the blue gloves and off I set.
For optimum results, Decolour Stripper is to be applied on clarified, wet hair. I had been 'clarifying' my hair for a week prior to using this stripper. I used a designated clarifying shampoo, no conditioning products and no styling products for that entire week. Immediately prior to using the stripper, I washed once more with clarifying shampoo, towel dried and began application.
As instructed, I started by applying the mixture to my mid lengths and ends - this is common sense because these are the areas with the darkest colour. I was extra careful to avoid the roots because, as discussed in my last post - I had a bad dose of 'hot roots' so these were considerably lighter.
I also enlisted the help of my husband to help with the back sections of hair because it is impossible to see those myself, so he ensured the darker areas were covered first. The total time for development recommended for my hair was 60 minutes - so I left this mixture on the mid lengths and ends for 2/3 of the time before gradually working upwards towards my roots for the remaining time.
During the application I rubbed the stripper between my thumb and forefinger to really work it into my hair. I also combed it through with a plastic comb at regular intervals to ensure even distribution.
Here is how it looked at various stages of the process:
As you can see, the colour at the ends is lifting well, but the mid lengths don't seem to be budging...
Another grumble about this product...my hair is just below shoulder length and incredibly fine due to hairloss. I don't have a great deal of hair and it's not very long. I applied just enough product through the mid lengths and ends of my hair and by the time I had done that this is how much of the mixture I had left:
Ideally, I would need two boxes of this product and then also, if a second application was needed (which is recommended) that would be 4 boxes in total. At £12.99 - it hardly works out to be an economical process. I think it's unfair to provide such little product - if you hair is long, you're probably going to need about 3 boxes!
After the total development time, you are advised to wet the comb and then comb through the hair to emulsify the product. You are also supposed to keep back a little amount of the developer lotion to mix in as well, but there is NO way you could do that with the measly amount provided.
I combed through for 2 minutes with warm water and then headed to the shower to rinse the stripper off.
I rinsed under warm water thoroughly for 5 minutes and then applied the final stage - the conclude balm (just a posh conditioner) this smelt pleasant and reminded me of a Kerastase product I have used. I was surprised at how soft and silky my hair felt but deeply saddened when I glanced in the mirror and noticed how patchy and mottled my hair was. I dried it immediately to get a better view of the colour and here is how it looked...
Suffice to say...I was disappointed. I had hoped this would blend in my already hot roots with the now lightened mid lengths and ends, however this product has just worsened how patchy my hair already was.
The band directly beneath my roots is still a dark brown. There are so many different patches of colour I look like a tortoiseshell cat and I'm devastated.
Scott Cornwall does describe this as not being a destination product, rather something to help you get where you want to be. To remind you of the colour I am aiming for, here is the beautiful haired Duchess of Cambridge and the locks I am lusting after. I want a fairly cool toned, dark blonde/light brown.
Through my tears I applied a Nice N Easy Semi Permanent (24 washes) Dark Ash Blonde. Should be perfect.
The ash will hopefully counteract the red and the dark blonde will ensure I stay fairly light. I was wrong.
In fact, this colour done absolutely NOTHING.
I applied to the roots first, as they were the lightest, and left it on there for 15 minutes before then applying to the ends first (second lightest) and mid sections (the browner bits) hoping to blend it all in together.
And here is the result...
No change WHATSOEVER. This colour just hasn't taken to my hair and this is where my biggest issue with the Decolour Stripper is. Aside from stubborn and persistant hot roots, I never have an issue with colour not taking on my hair, especially this colour.
I had expected at least a slight change...but no change AT ALL?! I am angry and beyond annoyed that I have wasted money on this stripper and I'm now left with hideous patchy orange hair that I cannot resolve. I am booking into a salon ASAP and letting them sort it out but that means further expense - probably more stripping to correct where the Decolour Stripper failed in the mid sections and then a recolour.
I used to be a big fan of Scott Cornwall's products and honestly believed they offered excellent value for money, great results and saved trips to the salon (that I usually despise!) but this is the last time I will purchase anything from his range. I have learnt the hard way that DIY products just cannot replace salon standard products and you really need the expertise of the colourist and stylist to apply the products and see how they are developing.
This product may be useful for dip dyes or fashion streaks of colour, but I do NOT under any circumstances advise you to use this as an all over stripper. Learn from my mistakes and go to a professional - at least with them you have come back if it goes horribly wrong. Sadly I have no come back and am out of pocket with dodgy hair.