Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Moving in new directions: La Riche Directions hair semi-permanent hair colourant...

I've been looking through my laptop and came across this review I wrote after using La Riche Directions hair semi-permanent hair colourant in the shade Plum a few years ago, and then shortly after I found some photos of me sporting the shade in my Downloads folder.

Since I have the things needed for a detailed review in front of me I thought I'd go ahead and publish my experience and thoughts, as there doesn't seem to be many detailed blog posts available for people curious about the brand...

The great thing about this product is that you don't need to mix anything to it - it is ready to use straight out of the pot. 

These dyes will stain your skin, so gloves are necessary for applying the colour - use two gloves instead of one because I swear the dye will magnetically become attracted to the naked flesh. I'm sure that I never touched the dye, but nevertheless I had purple fingers for a day or two. I'd also advise lining your hairline with Vaseline to protect from an dye dripping down and staining your face [yes, I had a purple forehead too]. 


Dampen the section you want to dye [clean hair please]. 
Rub small amount of dye over gloved hand, then work it along the length of the damp strand. 
Wrap strand up in tin foil to protect the rest of your hair. 
Leave for thirty minutes. 
Rinse strand with water until water runs clear. 

Whole head

Comb the dye into freshly washed and still wet hair. 
[use gloved hands to slather the dye all over hair, starting at the roots, work it in over your head] 
Place a plastic cap over head to lock in heat. This will help the pigments develop and protect clothes and furniture from being stained
[place a tasteful plastic carrier bag over hair - not whole head] 
Recommended processing time is between 15 and 30 minutes. 
[I waited over two hours - a filmed I wanted to watch started on TV. If you have coarse and/or unbleached hair I'd advise leaving it on for at least an hour, it's vegetable dye so you won't damage your hair] 
Rinse hair until water runs clear. 
[do this leaning over the bath. I jumped in the shower and the ribena coloured water stained my ears, neck, shoulders and boobs. Hilarious to other people, not so funny to me] 

Dying my whole head used the whole tub, as my hair is long and coarse. To be honest I could have used another half tub at least, as it took lots of massaging the dye in to cover my whole head. Depending on the length of your hair a single 88ml tub can last for several applications. 

After rinsing the dye out [and not using shampoo or conditioner] I noted that my hair was very easy to detangle and comb, so the dye is conditioning. Another plus. I was surprised by the results - I wasn't really expecting it to work well on my unbleached [at the time of originally reviewing] ash blonde/brown hair, but my hair both darkened had a noticeable purple tinge. In daylight the colour was really vivid and my hair shone and looked healthy. A huge plus. I have grey hair at my roots and around my hairline and the dye coloured the greys a lilac shade, but then again every brand I've used has coloured my grey hairs lighter.

For the first three washes my shampoo foam would be violet - as would the water - so I'd always be convinced that my hair would be brown/red, but each time my hair would dry purple. After this the water would still be lilac each wash, but not strong enough to stain my skin. When the dye is freshly applied and your hair is damp it can stain your tops, pillows etc, so be careful.

After about two weeks the purple begins to noticeably fade (I do apply shampoo twice whenever I wash my hair, as it is annoyingly thick), but it fades gently in stages, so it still has a pretty colour to it. The tops of my hair faded faster the the mid-lengths and ends, but I personally like the gradient look it gave me.

After four weeks to top and mid-length look red in some light, pink in some and purple in others, but the bottom five inches was still medium purple. So making sure that you apply shampoo thoroughly over all of your hair evenly during washes is essential.

Over weeks five to six my hair colour began to fade more quickly; it faded to pink first, then gradually faded. By the end of the six week period that LA RICHE is advertised as being suitable for, most of the dye had washed back out - except for the ends of my hair, which took over seven weeks to return to normal.

The downside; my grey hairs were the first part of my hair to return to normal - after those first three washes. As the greys are mainly around my face and on the undersides of my head it wasn't something that was apparent at first, but it did begin to bother me as the weeks went on. So that's something to bare in mind if you have a lot of grey hairs - if you do then bleaching your hair before using La Riche would be best.

I did like the Plum shade and I was tempted by the Flamingo Pink and the Violet shades, plus some of the blue shades look good too. However; after a few weeks my grey hairs really stood out to me and they make me slightly self conscious - I started going grey as a teenager but it's never really bothered me before as whilst other brands of dye colour it lighter, they do cover it.

If you don't have greying hair I'd recommend trying La Riche as whilst it messy, it's non-damaging and allows you to try vivid shades without a long commitment.

One of the good things about the pots is that you can open them, test it out on a strand of hair and then just put the lid back on the tub and safely store it in your bathroom cabinet. All brands of dye advise that you do a strand test 48 hours before dying your whole head, but once you mix the dye you have to use it straightaway, so I tend to skip the strand test completely [I'm such a rebel].


£4.40 Amazon UK

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