One thing I need to say first, is if you're one of those girls who reads the box and ignores the warnings (like I did), please rethink doing so. The box clearly says it is only meant to lighten NATURAL dark hair, not previously dyed hair. However, I ignored the warning (because usually when I ignore them, it turns out alright anyway) and ended up with my roots being completely lighter than the rest of my hair. It only lightened the rest of my (dyed) hair just the tiniest bit. The adventure beyond that in trying to fix it is going to be saved for a separate review though for One n Only Colorfix and L'Oreal Feria (both positive reviews).
That being said, L'Oreal's Superior Preference Hi-Lift DID do what it was supposed to do! It lifted the color from my natural hair and turned it to a light brown/dark blonde. I didn't notice much of the smell, but I've been box dying my hair for YEARS so usually they all smell the same to me. It also left my hair in good condition. So if I ever were to grow my hair out to its natural color, I would definitely consider trying this product again.
I am asian with black hair and this worked to dye it a medium/ dark brown. I wouldnt say it looks ashy but it wasn't orangey either. It's more of a warm brown though, I'm sure if I had lighter hair it would have different results since asian black hair has alot of red undertone. Well at first I colored it and it only lifted my roots to the brown and my ends were still dark however I REALIZED that I DYED IT black months ago and it cannot lift permanent dark dye. So I went to sallys to get a color corrector/lifter and color corrected the ends only, my hair came out brown and I colored it with the dye on the ends and it all matches now lol!! So if you have VIRGIN DARK HAIR it WILL WORK but if you have dyed your hair dark and trying to go light you will have to strip it first then dye it or bleach. I love this and will stock up on it!! Thanks loreal!
I used this to lift my light, reddish brown hair... In other words, I'm not really the intended user. I'm very happy with the results, though. My hair lifted quickly and is shockingly even. It even lifted the ends more than the roots (you leave it on longer, but that often means nothing with blonde/hi-lift dyes)! My hair is a soft, caramel-toned dark blonde with light, ashy ends and highlights. My reddish hair means my blonde attempts are usually pure strawberry, so this is maybe a first... Also, it's comforting to see it only turned ashier on the parts it sat longest. The only downside is damage: my blondest parts were also very fragile and a bit frizzy for the first week or two, before I found a deep conditioner that worked for me (Joico Moisture Recovery Lotion, it turned out). This didn't exactly ruin my hair, though, and the color is definitely an improvement (sorry, nature).
Used this today and was happy with it. My natural hair color is slightly darker than medium brown. The last time I colored my hair (in a color called Pure Dark Brown) was 8 weeks ago.
This lightened the virgin hair at the roots VERY fast. Keep that in mind. I'm pretty sure this uses a stronger developer than other hair colors because you need to lift so much color. I left this on my roots for only 10 minutes and they went pretty light. I left it on the previously colored parts of my hair for a total of 40 minutes. It lifted some color but not as much as I wanted.
Even though the directions say you shouldn't use it on hair previously colored something darker than dark brown, I think it's okay for you to use (in fact, a previous reviewer used it on dyed black hair). You may want to do a test swatch to see how much time you need to lift the color if your hair is previously colored. I feel I could have left the color on my previously colored hair for 50 minutes or even an hour to lift as much as I really wanted.
I will also say that it's difficult to try to avoid your roots when putting on hair color by yourself. I don't think I got the hair as saturated with color as I could have because it's tough to keep it away from your roots.
Finally, although this is marketed as a cool color with ash tones, if your hair always goes red when it colors, it will with this too. It definitely brought out the red tones in my hair, although I'm okay with that. It happens all the time. Just don't buy this thinking you can completely neutralize any red tones you may have.
Still -- I am happy with this and would buy it again.
Pros: cleans up VERY easily both off skin and surfaces
Cons: Did not work on my dark hair only worked on my roots and it was slight, I had 3 boxes, too 2 to color all my hair (long hair) still had a little left so I used it also.
Going to leave the next box on longer and will update on results then.
I usually have my hair colored at the salon, but due to time restraints and utter laziness, my jet black roots were out of control. At the salon they usually use a color called golden tobacco blond on my hair. They usually have to lift the black, then apply the color. UL51 was a chance I took with a at home root touch up. It came out awesome!! This didn't make by hair hard or cause an allergic reaction like some dyes I have used at home. The color match is perfect. I mixed the product in a bowl and used a brush to apply to my roots. I left it in for the recommended time and co-washed my hair. Awesome results. The color lifted and blended in well with my original color. I went and bought another box for when I'm feeling lazy.
This home hair coloring system is designed to lighten the darkest hair, without any brassiness and adding shine. The shade guide says that "UL51 is an icy brown shade with ash tones, which will minimize red/orange tones. For optimal color results, use on your natural medium brown to black hair."
For reference I have jet black hair that has been dyed both in salons and at home, for over 16 years. I have not seen my natural color, with the exception of my roots every now and then, for that same period of time. My hair has been as light as a dark blonde shade and also dyed dark black with blue undertones. My hair shade prior to using this was 4" natural black roots (yikes), the remaining an ombre of burgundy to copper. I also swim daily in a highly chlorinated pool.
I purchased this in the USA. The Canadian version is called: Loreal Superior Preference Les Caramels LC51. Boxes are the same with the exception of french added to the Canadian version.
I followed the directions as best as possible, despite being warned NOT to use this on previously colored hair, dyed darker than medium brown...it worked out fine. I mixed the contents of the first box and applied 1" from the root all the way to the tip, starting the hair closest to my neck and working my way up to the crown. I know I'm suppose to do to the opposite, but for some reason the layers down the nape always take longer to develop, and my crown never has problems, thus I worked my way up. That took about 10 minutes to do, in which I waited another 10 minutes before applying to my roots. At the 10 minute mark I applied the remaining bottle, plus another 1/2 bottle to my roots, again starting from the bottom and working my way to my crown. That took 10 minutes to apply and after that I waited another 10 minutes to wash and condition. Total dye time was 40 minutes, though the box said 30 minutes. I dont know about you, but I've never had my jet black hair lighten in under 30 minutes.
Upon washing and conditioning, I rinsed with cool water and squeezed out the excess water with a towel. I could instantly see that my hair had lightened---even the nape area. After blowdrying the results were FANTASTIC. I had a cool toned medium brown hair with some lighter ash brown hi-lights (probably from my previous hair dye). The color was even and my hair was soft and looked healthy and shiny.
My only gripe with this product is that the dye is strong. The chemical smell was lacking but the vapours made my eyes water...I know it has to be strong to be able to lift pigment but dang it, my eyes were watering like I'd cut onions. Also, the gloves included in the box kit need to be longer. They barely covered my wrists, and I am by no means a tall or larger person with larger hands. I'm actually a petite asian, under 5'3" and of normal height/weight. If these gloves dont' work for me, I can't imagine them working for people with longer limbs...
Overall, a great buy and I'm glad I got 3 boxes---gonna need the other for touch ups. I will have to order online, but it is worth it!