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Loreal Color Oops: A Review

Published on 15th July 2008

Product: L’Oreal Color Oops Hair Correction
Price: $5.09
Uses: To correct or reverse an undesirable recent color application
Objective: To use this gentle at-home treatment to fade or lift alternative, vegetable-based hair dyes without bleaching
Contains ingredients potentially irritable to skin. A skin and strand test are highly recommended.
Overview: The box assures a clean and gentle lifting, or correctional toning of color. It uses sulfates to gently eliminate ion charges in the hair and make color more susceptible to water solubility, without the damaging or dramatic affects that characterize bleaches or stronger color strippers.

I should at first mention that this product uses sulfates, and therefore, the smell of the product will both be unpleasant and very strong. Please note that during and after treatment, anything that comes in contact with this product will smell strongly of sulfur for at least 6 hours following. I recommend cleaning any exposed hard surfaces with water and soap; any cleaners or alcohols might aggravate the already strong odor of the sulfur. Fortunately, the smell on the hair fades quickly, especially with the use of scented products.
I started out with bleached, damaged hair that had been toned with blue, colored with Manic Panic Ultraviolet and Special Effects Cherry Bomb and Deep Purple; however, with frequent protein treatments and deep conditioning, I was able to greatly improve the condition of my hair, and much of its strength has returned. The Cherry Bomb directly overlapped a full head of Ultraviolet, with just a little bit of Deep Purple spread throughout. The result was a fairly uneven mix of reds and deep reds, pinks, magenta, and dark purple. I noticed at the very bottom of the instructions that it advises against using this product on alternative hair colors – it claims that the product doesn’t work on colors that aren’t natural, but I decided to try out the experiment anyway, since the process claims to be gentle, the dyes are not metallic based, and it might be worth the trouble.

I mixed the solutions together and applied it evenly to my unwashed, dry hair; the processing time is 20 minutes maximum. I checked periodically for a lightening of color, but found no changes. After 20 minutes I was instructed to rinse in warm water, shampoo, rinse again, shampoo again, and rinse. As I was shampooing and rinsing out the product I noticed that my hair became a waxy texture, but I didn’t feel any breakage or extreme dryness. To combat this I deep conditioned after the shampoos and rinses, making sure to restore any damage that I might have endured during the treatment. I checked for color lifting while my hair was damp and again found nothing significant. After my hair dried I checked the color one last time, and I found that in general, almost all the colors were at least lightly lifted. It seemed that the deep purple tones were affected the most, fading to nearly half of their original intensity and darkness.; the reddish tones were next, fading to a light pink, and the pink and lighter magenta tones almost faded completely, appearing very faint now and allowing the blonde underneath to peek through.

Based on these results alone, I would recommend this product to anyone with darker, cooler tones or tones that lift easily, such as blues, some purples, and greens. Warmer colors such as orange, yellow and red, or strong tones that take longer than 6 weeks on average to fade will probably respond better to this product used as a supplemental and gradual fading treatment alternative to bleaching, rather than effectively lifting the color quickly. I checked for damage and found my hair to be relatively dry, even after the deep conditioning treatment. This is due to several steps in the process: the sulfates, while gentle, are still strong enough to produce dryness and damage if one’s not careful. Also, the frequent rinsing in warm water and shampooing put a lot of stress on my already treated and damaged hair. Fortunately, though, I did not find any breakage or problematic dryness. Based on the damage results I do not recommend this product to anyone with severely damaged hair. Lightly damaged or healthy hair will likely become dry because of the rigorous nature of the processing. Therefore if you have damaged hair I would recommend a protein treatment or deep conditioning immediately after the last shampoo or rinse, or, if your hair is healthy, some sort of conditioner or conditioning treatment. This product boasts that you can re-treat and/or re-color your hair immediately following the initial treatment. If you plan to re-treat your hair, I would strongly advise against doing it immediately after your first treatment, since your hair will be dry and vulnerable to damage. I would recommend delaying your second application until after at least a few days.
I do not plan to immediately re-color my hair after this treatment; however, the box explains that if you so choose, your hair’s porosity will be positively affected. This will make the next color treatment fade longer and “catch” faster. I would recommend that you exercise caution and do a strand test for the color of your choosing anyway, especially if it is a permanent color, to avoid breakage and otherwise irreversible damage to your hair.

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