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Loreal Color Oops: A Review

15 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.


  • I used this on purple bangs and it completely took out the color. However, after using it my hair was very fragile and should be treated as if it were bleached. I used a coconut-oil treatment and a protein-treatment. It still wasnt as good as it was before but it was better than using bleach. Report Comment
  • I have to ask.. does this stuff smell like eggs? I tried this other stuff and it smelt HORRIBLE. Report Comment
  • hah i love color oops! i live by it but ive never tried it on crazy colors! well, except loreal color rays red which its turns yellow after straightening it after dry but i always bleach after using it which i would think to be more damaging but color oops is the only color remover ive bleached after besides color fix that doesnt fry my hair im surprised i still have hair with the way i bleach and use color oops but where did you find it for 5$? i always pay like 13$ and it smells terrible my room always smells like it because im always using it lol Report Comment
  • color oops dose not work if you have dyed your hair black numerous times. When i tried using it on my hair it barley made any difference because ive been redying it black for awhile. Report Comment
  • Color Oops worked GREAT for me, took the last tenacious bit of turquoise right out so I could go fresh into the next colors. I would definitely mention that 1 box does NOT go far though, I apparently needed 2 and my hair is only chin/shoulder length! So now I have muddy areas in the back where I ran out of it. So BUY 2 BOXES! You can always return 1 if you don't need it. I also followed with a protein/reconstructive treatment because yeah, it did make my hair fragile. But worked just fine on semipermanent color despite the instructions saying otherwise. Report Comment
  • I have been hearing about color oops on t.v and almost bought it today because my hair is currently black and I am kind of sick of it. But i'm not fully trustworthy on color oops to fully lift the black.. any help would be greatly appreciated!! Report Comment
  • i just bought it today! i plan to lift out the black dye in my hair as a first step to going pale blonde. ill let you know how it goes:) Report Comment
  • I am holding the box and reading directions and my phone screen (imagine that one), because of all the positivity here... I am gonna do it! Update soon. Report Comment
  • Okay: Holy Schhhmokes. I just used Color Oops and boy my arms are tired. *add corny canned laughter here.* I didn't see awesome results anywhere but my roots untilllllll *drum roll*... I rinsed the full 20 minutes. It started to budge and then I re-applied more shampoo lathered vigorously and rinsed. After doing this about ten times my Manic Panic Hot Pink and Manic Panic Ultra Violet were considerably paler. So much so that I don't think going to silver within the next week is even a slight stretch. Don't be a quitter by giving up early. Stay the course and rinse the hell out of it. It works! It really works! Report Comment
  • By the way, the "Colour Oops" product is a Developlus product, not a L'Oreal product. The L'Oreal "equivalent" is Color Zap, which is a bleach-based product and will behave like bleach, not colour remover. Report Comment

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