This review is a little difficult for me for 2 reasons:
1) I REALLY wanted it to work
2) If I had a different type of hair this MIGHT have worked.
Onto the review:
I recently bleached my hair (Which is usually a medium brown with a reddish undertone, fine strands, but lots of it) and as expected it pulled a very brassy color. We are talking buy a gold ring and that was the color of my hair....MOSTLY. In the front on the finer strands my hair had turned more of a corn yellow color and in the more dense hair along the back it became a very light brown (Or dark blonde) with a prominent orange undertone.
Because of my experience with hair, I knew that I would need a toner so I decided to skip the liquid toner (Such as Wella which comes highly recommended) and buy Shimmer lights because it was cheaper than other purple shampoos, it was highly pigmented, and could be used more than once, and tailored to how much "Purple" you were needing for your hair.
The first time using it, I applied it to wet hair in the shower and left it in for about 3 minutes. Rinsed and air dried. There was no change.
The Second time I used it, I sprayed my hair to a damp stage and applied the shampoo, leaving it in for the full 5 minutes. Rinsed and REPEATED another 3 minutes on wet hair. Rinsed and air dried. No change, EXCEPT to the lighter parts I mentioned in the front which were a SLIGHTLY more pale "yellow corn" color.
Third time using it, applied it DIRECTLY to dry hair, leaving it for 2 minutes, got in shower dampened hair and applied more (Without rinsing the shampoo on my dry hair) and left for 5 minutes (I was determined to see results this time). Rinsed and air dried. .....No change EXCEPT to the little pieces in front which are a delightful pale blonde with a tinge of yellow. (like the color of uncooked white corn)
I haven't used it since then.
Besides there being almost no change to my hair besides the 1 cm thick strands on the side of my face, there were also a couple unpleasant things to note about this product:
1. You WILL have damage if you use this product. Don't think that just because it is a shampoo it is good for your hair. I am a hairstylist and gave myself a FULL cut and trim with layers before AND after coloring and before using this product, and after each use AND using oil treatments and conditioner and leave in conditioner I STILL noticed split ends immediately. The call: This shampoo is extremely drying! Get a hair mask if you plan to use this often.
2. The smell IS strong but not as bad as some others make it out to be. It DOES have a really powdery musky smell, like spraying on a ton of your grandmothers perfume into your hair. And, it lasts a long time. Even with not washing my hair for 3 days, THEN using a regular shampoo and conditioner (I use Tresemme) I could STILL smell Shimmer lights as if I just used it. BUT, its not horrible, my husband actually likes the smell. And your nose probably will get used to it.
3. This didn't work for MY hair but it COULD still work for yours. I believe that if you have ANY orange tones in your hair, this is not the product for you. But if you DO have platinum or extremely light blonde hair already that has a YELLOW (as in corn or canary yellow) tone than this is a good option if you can risk the damage. But be forewarned, this WONT work on anything darker than that. ...I repeat, you will NOT see any change except split ends. Sorry, its the truth.
4. Beware of your surroundings when using this shampoo. It is highly pigmented so it WILL stain the shower or shower curtains or carpet and even fingernails IF you leave it on for more than a minute or two. And if your hair is Platinum, or very light, probably your hair. But don't freak, it WILL wash out with a couple of washes.
5. I would tag this as more of an "Upkeep" product. Meaning, if you have fresh highlights and are wanting to tone, this is NOT the product for you. It is not strong enough and DOES wash out after a few uses of regular shampoo. But if you HAVE toned and are needing a refresher, this MAY work (Granted you follow my guide above).
BOTTOM LINE: It didn't work for me and I wouldn't buy it again unless my hair were a lot lighter first....but it COULD prove to work very well for you IF you have the right hair. So give it a shot AS LONG AS you have a good hair mask or moisturizer on standby.
Let me start by saying if you're super blonde this is probably for you! I have brunette reddish hair with a warm golden ombre at the ends. I used this and stripped the warmth from my hair. It now looks ashy blonde and I am so sad! Used this once and am throwing the bottle away.
Let me start off by saying that I've been researching ways to get rid of the brassy orange / yellow / red tones in my hair for months. I also read all of the reviews on this site before purchasing the Shimmer Lights and am BEYOND happy that I took the plunge.
Here is my story, I went from a platinum blond to dark (DARK) brown. I instantly hated it but decided that I really wanted to try to get back to my natural color and needed some time to get used it. I eventually decided that it was too dark and I'd try umbre to lighten up the bottom half and some pieces around my face. So a darker color was added to my roots, again, and the bottom was lightened.
That still didn't feel right so I eventually started to slowly add more highlights via foils and balayage. The dark color that was added to my root / crown of my head eventually faded to this awful orange / red / yellow tone (because I had so much blond underneath).
My stylist has tried multiple toners and foiling over the color but since I want a balance of low and highlights, I'm trying to avoid having her foil over everything which is leaving crown of my head and some lowlights with that awful brassy color in areas. My hair also always pulls warm tones, it's so frustrating. Enter purple shampoo ...
I've tried a few and nothing worked as well as Clairol Shimmer Lights. Aveda, Bumble, and Redken all weren't strong enough to remove that awful brass. They actually made the brass on the lowlight worse. My stylist suggested the Clairol Shimmer Lights because it's a combination of blue and purple and the others are just purple. I guess I needed that blue to combat the red / organge because now my hair is beautiful .... the dark tones that were fading to red are now toned back to a beautiful low light and my highlights are that perfect pale blond I was looking for.
I was afraid to try it given how many people said it was drying and damaging but I honestly haven't had an issue. I deep conditioned before and after. Yeah, it's a little dry but nothing deep conditioners and oils can't fix. I also don't mind the smell at all.
I've used it three days in a row and 90% off of brass is gone. The first time I lathered once then washed it out becaues I was nervous about my hair turning purple. The following two times I left it on for about 3 minutes. Next I'm going to leave it on only the brassy areas a little longer then start using it all over once a week. After months and months of salon treatments, I'm so happy that I gave this a chance because it brought my color to where I've been trying to get it and this will extend my salon visits and give my hair time to grow and repair. I hope this review helps, good luck!!
Yikes! i went and bought a huge litre bottle of this at Sally when they had a BOGOF. I'd run out of my usual Joico Colour Endure Violet and wanted to see if this was just as good (reviews are decent so I thought "Why not?" It took me a few weeks to get through the bottom of my Joico so by the time I got around to giving this a try, it was probably too late to return... but the *smell*! OH my gosh, it's a rather strong chemically floral scent? Not necessarily "stinky" per se but just... strong and unpleasant, at least to me. I thought it might dissipate after I'd washed my hair, but no, it was still there while I dried my hair and later in the gym I could still smell it. Ugh! I told DH about it and he's willing to bite the bullet and take it from me when he's done his own shampoo. I just don't think I could handle this smell for the long months it will take me to get through it!
Does it work to brighten blonde? Yes, though Joico does have a deeper/stronger violet shade so I'm thinking it may be stronger for removing brassiness. This is also a little more drying if I'm not mistaken. I'll typically mix in my palm 1/2 violet shampoo and 1/2 moisturizing shampoo to help counteract that, but I could feel that this was more stripping (of moisture) when I was using it. You can just feel it with your fingers while you wash. My hair just didn't feel as soft. For occasional use, it would be ok but not for regular use, unless you follow up with a good moisturizing conditioner.
While I'm not super fond of the Joico scent either, I find it much easier to live with so back to Joico I go...
This shampoo does tone hair and help with brassiness, but two cons: The chemical smell is so horrifically strong, it gives me a headache. It's not the smell I mind so much. It's how over powering it is! I can taste it when I breathe in! I am not even exaggerating, I am inhaling it and it's awful. Second con. It is drying and makes the scalp feel itchy and dry and this is coming from someone who has super oily hair and skin, so I would not use all the time or more than 3-5 minutes. I would buy this again but ONLY if I couldn't find something better. I would like something with less of a harsh smell for sure as I am sensitive to over powering scents. They always lead to a headache. I am sitting here right now well over three hours after using it and the smell is just nauseating at this point. I am tired of it and wish it would go away but it hasn't went down at all.
I recently purchased the brunette/ red formula. My hair is naturally medium brown, and I use a mixture of henna and cassia on it every 4-6 weeks or so. Many grays are creeping in (which turn coppery with the henna/ cassia) and I wanted a color depositing shampoo to help keep the grays tinted, so I wouldn't have to henna as often. I've tried Tressa before, but found that one to be too drying.
This one is a shimmery/ coppery bronze color. It lathers well, rinses easily, and does not tangle or dry out my fine/ wavy hair. Makes it really smooth and shiny. I really like the smell. It smells like something I remember using in the past, but I can't put my finger on what. Powdery/ musky is how I would categorize it. If you are familiar with Avon Night Magic, Sweet Honesty, Bath & Body Works Moonlight Path, I'd say it's in the same fragrance "family" as those. Not exactly like any of those, but similar that it's a heavy, musky powdery scent. I find that if I use a strongly scented conditioner, the shimmer lights scent overwhelmingly comes through, so it might be worth a drive out to Sally's to see if you like the scent, because you will smell it all day.
Nice subtle hint of gold color to the grays, too. It says you can use this on brunette, red or blonde to bring out the gold. Sally's only seems to have the blonde version, so I bought mine on EBay. I like it a lot.
I used this when I briefly had blonde hair, and it does seem to help bring down any brassy tones. I'm back to red, and probably won't buy this again. However, I still have some on my shelf and decided to review it simply to warm others to use it with caution. THIS IS SUPER DRYING! ONLY USE EVERY THIRD SHAMPOO! That said, if you have gray/white or cool blond hair this is a terrific product to use in moderation to cancel out yellow/red tones.
So this is my day one review of this product. Let me give you some history on my hair. It was black for about a year, then red, for about a year, now I want to be platinum blonde. Much to my disappointment i need to do the platinum a little bit at a time. Highlighting here and there and maybe bleaching out with 20vol. Which is what I did this past friday. It left me with some blonde on top (like a canary yellow..) and some peachy orange underneath.. ( the part that was the least highlighted out of all. So i went and grabbed this today to try out, to try to cancel out the peach and yellow.. Heres what I did..
1st wash) Shampoo with Shimmer lights twice. On the second rinse, leave in hair for 5 min. I followed up with Malibu Reconstructive masque and a nice conditioner..
Still looked pretty yellow to me:(
2nd wash) I applied Shimmer lights straight from the bottle.Yup no water just purple shampoo ( which also meant I used a lot..) I did use a tiny bit of water to help emulsify the shampoo to move around a bit. i left it in for 10 minutes and rinsed.
I had way less yellow but some muted violet highlights...
So finally I did a 3rd wash) No shimmer lights but just my Sebastian drench shampoo and conditioner..
I am way lighter and way less yellow and peach! there is still a little bit left but hey.. Im happy. the smell does linger but its not horrible. definitely old person-ish but if it works without damaging my hair any more than it can take at the moment.. who cares :)
I am a licensed cosmetologist, and I use Paul Mitchell color in the salon. I used to get the Paul Mitchell Platinum Blonde toning shampoo from my color representative. It smelled nice and worked good as a daily shampoo for blonde hair. I would not say it ever worked great wonders for when my hair turned brassy however, only slightly yellow. Recently I purchased this Clairol Shimmer Lights shampoo because my co-workers and myself use it at the salon, so I figured I would try it out on my own hair. The smell doesn't really bother me like it seems to with a lot of people. I feel like a lot of people definitely over exaggerate when talking about the smell. It is just a stronger floral scent for crying out loud! (lol) I got mine at Cosmoprof so it was a bit cheaper than Sally's so still a pretty good price for the amount I got. I recently went back to light blonde from a medium brown color and it was a rough process since my hair pulls a lot of warmth. I just did a high lift root touch-up on my out growth and knew it would pull slightly brassy(which it did.) I only used the Shimmer Lights shampoo twice since doing the high lift and already see a huge difference. I am figuring that after a few more times of using it, my roots will be where I want them to be at since the Paul Mitchell toner did not work as it is meant for bleached hair only (I was really only testing it out to see if it would do anything.) You do have to be careful when using this because it can tint your hair purple, but it will wash out within one or two washes if that does happen. The only Con I have is that it is slightly drying but I deep condition my hair often anyhow so have not had a problem with that! I would have given it 5 "lippies" but since it is a bit drying, I had to take one away.
I have thick, naturally jet black hair. I have extensive balayage which has added a significantly light brown/golden overlay. If anyone's colour is going to alter, go brassy, or fade, its mine, my natural hair is just soooo black. I LOVE this shampoo. My colour lasts literally 5months before I can even think of retouching. I last had a dye job in the beginning of November, its now end of end of April and I'll be waiting at least 6 more weeks.
Great product, I love the unique smell and intense purple shade. Use max 1x a week.