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Monday
Oct102011

Why I Will Never Color My Hair at Home Again.

Why will I never color my hair at home again? For a quick answer, look at the pictures. Then read on for the whole story.

First, I must say that I have gone back and forth in deciding if I should write this post or not. I am all about pointing out the best in beauty, and luckily have had very few situations when a product just hasn't worked for me. Well, this hair color not only did not work for me, it basically ruined my hair and I thought that important enough to write about. The fact that I have reached out to the company through it's website on their contact form, an email to them, a phone call to their customer service phone number and publicists with no response, (except for we will get back to you, which was over 5 weeks ago) makes it even more evident that this post needs to be written.

I need to preface the story with the fact that I color my hair. I have been coloring my own hair at home for over 25 years. I consider myself an at-home pro, as I often help friends and family color their hair too. I have lightened hair color, darkened hair color, frosted hair, highlighted and low-lighted. I love to experiment. I have never, ever had a reaction to any hair coloring products, nor have I ever had a disastrous result. Sure, my hair might have been a little more gold or brassy, a bit lighter or darker than I expected, but nothing that I have never been able to fix or pull off until now.

This at-home hair coloring disaster started back on Labor Day weekend, as I was getting ready to go to New York Fashion week. My few grays needed to be covered and overall, my hair needed a bit of "toning down" as it was quite blonde from the Summer. Couture Colour had sent me their new hair color, LUXEBLEND Creme Hair Colour ($30) earlier in the season. I thought this was a perfect time to put it to the test. The publicists for the brand sent me the LUXEBLEND Creme Hair Colour in Light Golden Blonde. After looking over their website and seeing that it was actually the lightest color in their range, and the fact that I usually select a light or medium golden blonde shade when I color my hair, I thought I would be fine with the color selection.

photo credit: Sephora.com

I mixed the color, developer and their hair oil into a bowl. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I ignore any color that comes from mixing a hair color. They are never indicative of a result, so nothing set off any alarms.  I applied the color using the brush-on technique (which I am very familiar with) as described in the instructions, applying it for all-over color, as directed per the instructions in the box. I set my alarm for 30 minutes as I started to get some things ready for my upcoming trip to New York City. My husband came into my room at one point and mentioned something about my hair being very dark. I quickly glanced in the mirror and didn't pay any attention to it. Again, I have colored my hair for over 25 years, and I know that hair looks much darker when wet and during the coloring process than it actually is. After my alarm went off, I rinsed my hair in the sink, and used a bit of conditioner. I towel dried my hair. When I took off the towel and looked in the mirror, I wanted to cry. As I blew my hair dry, I did cry. In looking in the pictures above, you can see how dark my hair became. What you cannot see (as I pulled my bangs back because I thought maybe if I just got my bangs color-corrected, I would be okay) was that my bangs were orange. As in a pumpkin. The overall tone of the dark, dark brown hair was orange too.

Because I had this trip coming up and time was short, I decided to do nothing. It looked beyond my expertise and knew I would just have to make an appointment with the salon owner (of a very reputable local salon who cuts my hair) on Tuesday. Luckily, Oksana took me in that morning to try and color correct. She first lightened the shade.  It turned my hair bright orange. Not blonde. She was concerned.  She toned it down. She added on another lighter color, toned it and deep conditioned it, which I think she did 3 times during the process. She did another hair color process, where she painted on different colors to try and color correct all of the different and stubborn colors in my hair. She highlighted and low-lighted. I spent over seven hours at the salon and spent several hundred dollars. Finally, Oksana had to cut off some of my hair that was beginning to gum up as we went along and decided she needed to stop before damaging my hair even further.  You see the end result. My hair was a very white, almost gray color. It was awful. I was miserable.

I contacted the publicists. Being that the product was sent to me to test, I did not want to make a big deal out of it from the start. I thought, someone will get back to me right away and help me figure out what went wrong and make this right. I thought that they would want to know about my experience and learn from it. I wanted my questions answered. I never heard back. When I was pitched THREE TIMES about the product and asked if I could tell my readers that they would be selling on the Home Shopping Network (basically asking me for a free ad) I responded with, "did you get my previous email? I was told "Yes! I am sorry. We have forwarded it along and are checking into it.".  Like I said, I never heard back. That is when I contacted the company though the various ways I listed above, and still have heard nothing. From anyone.

Was the wrong color put in the box? Did I get a bad batch of color? Was there a problem in the formula itself?  A light golden blonde color should not color a hair that shade of brown. It never has on me and I honestly do not know what happened. I do not have answers. Because I do not know what happened and because of the subsequent damaged caused, I will never color my hair at home again.

I know many people do color their hair and home and I look forward to bringing you expert tips to help make this process as easy as possible, so that you may never have to endure the results I had. I thought about the average woman who colors her hair at home. She probably does not have the time or money to go to a salon, or even access to a fine salon. It then had me think that many of these same women probably would not have the extra several hundred dollars or time to go get color-corrected.  I never want any one of you to go through anything remotely as bad as this experience.

I need to thank those publicists from other hair color brands and brands that did come forward to me offering advice, help and free services to me (which I did not take) when they read about my hair disaster on twitter. They are true professional brand representatives and have great customer service, which Couture Colour obviously did not.

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Reader Comments (22)

Oh my goodness. I had a similar experience, but with Clairol's Perfect 10 a few years ago. It turned my hair jet black (not brown) and fried a lot of my hair and made the rest like straw. I only colored my hair one other time after that at home with L'Oreal's Feria, which came out great. But still, the Clairol experience tainted me and I much prefer to go to the salon and have them color my hair.

You still look beautiful--but I can only imagine how you felt when you didn't get the results you expected! :/
OH NO! I am a former professional colorist and I understand that sometimes "accidents happen", but it sounds like you really had a bad go with this brand. I haven't tried it (and now won't), but I did like their Pequi Oil. I will steer clear of the color! From a professional standpoint, I don't see how your blonde hair could have gotten so dark otherwise--it looks like it was in great shape beforehand and I know you've colored your hair plenty of times on your own. This formula was way off the mark. Sorry you had to go through that!
Wow. I'd be crying too. You are lucky your hairdresser is such a pro.
Thanks for sharing this. I'm so sorry this happened to you and shame on Couture Colour for their lack of response to what I'd consider a hair emergency. Thank goodness have someone who did a good job getting your hair on its way to what you want.

I've always said that coloring my hair is one of the scariest things I do in my life. Sometimes I'm afraid to look in the mirror to see the outcome. I once had a terrible experience that ended up with many hours and $$$$ of color correction that had me back to the salon for my hair color for a few years but when $$'s got tight I went back to coloring my hair myself and so far so good. One thing I learned (the hard way) is to always do a strand test when changing colors and especially when changing brands.
Back when you asked on FB if you should write about this I hoped that you would. Obviously something went terribly wrong with this, and it was due to the product. Whether it was mispackaged, a bad batch, or a bad product overall, who knows, but I'm glad you reported on it so that consumers can be aware of it! I also find the lack of response from the publicists and the company reprehensible. I used to color at home quite a bit, and never had any serious issues, but now that I can better afford it, I always have a professional do it. I simply feel safer that way!
This is a wake up call to both the consumer and brands alike. Brands need to step up when they make a mistake and what a shame it is that they did not get back to you. You obviously work hard with brands and I would think that they'd value your relationship more. Shame on them. Thank you so much for telling your story. I will never buy Couture Colour, never heard of them anyway. (Can't believe their hair color for home use costs $30 anyways).
Thanks, Shannon.

With all of the testing we do, you would think we would be used to getting bad results, but I never expected something that is so easy to me go so bad. Lesson learned. I now pay for my haircolor, every three weeks to touch up my grays, and every six weeks for the roots. Itis quite expensive, needless to say.
Thanks so much for the comment, Amber.

I had no idea that you were a professional colorist before. What a fun, dream job for us beauty gals.

Something so wrong did happen, and I really wish I knew what is was. We are human and mistakes happen. At this point, with the hair situation corrected as well as it can be at this point, I am more upset that no one from the brand wants to except a little responsibility and explain what might have happened.
Marcia - I am so thrilled that my stylist got me in right away. It was a long day and initially I wasn't happy with the end result. After a few weeks of fading, a few more rounds of toner and some lowlights, I am much happier. But it has been a very long and very costly process.
Sue -

You are so correct about the strand test. I can't see myself trying anything again at home, but I know that many women will continue to color their hair at home. I am reaching out to a few professionals to get some tips that I can share with readers, as I feel this is an important lesson to learn from.
Hi Paula -

Thanks for letting me know how you feel. I am also a firm believer in customer service, and honesty I will pay more for a product if I have had a good customer service experience. I don't know what went wrong here, and yes, I like to think that I do have good relationships with brands. I don't understand the breakdown of communication here. It really is a sad state of thing, especially as you pointed out, this is not an $8 hair color, it is $30. I would expect more.
Thanks for your support, Carleen.

I really wish that I did not have to write this post. I wish nothing went wrong, but it did. I like to point out the best in beauty, as i say over and over - but when something goes wrong, with no answers or follow-up, readers, absolutely need to know about it.
I undertsand that this is not the desired result but I think you look like a nice, natural brunette :)
I am embarrassed for the company. How can they not respond to you in this day and age? You deserve to have written this page about Couture Color the day it happened. You should have not wait to have a response. It is an awful situation and we are all deserved an answer. I hope you hear form them now.

Oh, so sorry you had to go through this.
What a horrible experience. I hope they will talk to you. I'm glad you have a great hair professional.
Hi Soos - My fingers are crossed that I get an explanation some day.
Thanks, Cady. I was born a brunette, but I haven't had brown hair for over two decades!
Thank you for your comment and support, April. The company should be embarrassed, shouldn't they?
Oh Teri. I feel so awful for you. I have used the same Nice and Easy haircolor for over ten years and I would be afraid to try any other colors because of reasons like this. Whee they change the box, I get nervous. You are a brave soul. I commend you for all of the testing you do and really am sorry that you had so much trouble with this product. TO bad the company can't even get back to you. Tsk, tsk on them!!!
wow, this is just awful, Teri!! So sorry you had to go through this and they never even contacted you back taking no responsibility. I never strand test but this is a major reason to every time when using a new products!
I just used the lighter shade at home thinking that a box dye that retails for over $30 would be good. My blonde is ruined ! I am horrified at the grayish blonde hair on my head . This is the most expensive yet worse dye i have ever used. Knowing that i will have to pay for corrective color now makes me choked , this box of hair dye has cost me a fortune . I Don't recommend this to anyone!
Thanks for sharing what happened to you Rachel. I wish you had read my horror story before your purchased. Let us know how it finally turns out.

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