I've had highlights/lowlights ("ombre" basically) done for years on my long naturally dark brown almost black hair and wanted a change. Also, my husband dislikes lighter hair and has been asking me to dye my hair a darker shade for about 2 years now. The nagging was getting somewhat annoying. . .
I finally decided, for winter - I would try going darker. I went to a salon and they used Redken Shades EQ; I chose a medium brownish red shade. It turned out much darker than I thought it would - so like the review below says go down a shade or two! Luckily, I shampooed a few times and rinsed my hair in warm water which faded the colour to a much more natural, softer brown. It completely covered my highlights/lowlights but there is some nice variance in tones and my hair is not just one solid colour - which I love. After the first few washes, my colour has stayed the same with no fading, and no damage. My hair looks healthy, shiny and I'm happy with the outcome.
Overall, it's a great option for enhancing your own natural colour or going a bit darker. I do wish it would fade a bit faster though, but that could be because I'm not used to having darker hair after all those years.
THIS RUNS DARK. I recommend using a level or even two levels lighter than the shade you want to achieve. You can often find the swatch books on Ebay. I use this dye to cover highlights and grays. I have not found this dye to be damaging & my hair is over-processed (chemically straightened) yet miraculously healthy. I always use a porosity treatment (such as Ion Color Brilliance Pre-Color Treatment or Colorful Neutral Protein Filler- I've had the same great results with both) before applying the color to ensure even results. I have found this dye easier to apply when using it in a bottle compared to applying it using a bowl & brush as it is on the runny side. My hair is prematurely graying (SO frustrating!) & I have found it does not cover gray well. I plan to try adding 'No Gray' additive next time I color, will update how that goes.
Edit: Adding the 'No Gray' additive did not help with covering gray, I plan to try Redken Shades EQ Cream Hair Color Cover Plus which is a demi with 75% gray coverage.
Redken's Shades EQ line is fantastic. After watching my last stylist use it on my hair for a couple years, I decided to give it a shot myself when I stopped working in the neighborhood near her salon. It's very, very easy to use and leaves my hair shiny and healthy looking. As a demi, it does wash out with shampooings, but I shampoo only 1-2x a week these days anyway.
Be sure to use the Redken Shades EQ Processing Solution with it. Mix equal parts til well combined and you're good to go. My very fine hair likes about 20-30 mins, but be sure to do a strand test. A quick google search will yield Redken's Shades EQ color chart, but IME the shades pull MUCH darker than the chart indicates. You can counteract that somewhat by diluting your color with Shades EQ Clear gloss (same Processing Solution ratio of 1:1).
You can find Shades EQ lots of places online, including Amazon and Ebay, but I've had the best luck ordering from SleekHair.com (not affiliated in any way). I do wish they had the full range of tints, like the metallics, though. For me an extra dollar or two isn't worth the chance that the bottle might not be adequately sealed prior to shipping or may already have been opened, as has happened when I've ordered elsewhere.
Oh and speaking of opened bottles - and this will probably horrify the pro stylists, but here goes - I find that I don't need to use the whole bottle at a time especially when I'm mixing colors. For me, the color seems to work the same, with no issues, even after the same bottle has been open (and then tightly re-sealed after pouring the amt I need) for 3-4 weeks.
I actually bought this on accident, thinking it was just a regular hair color... so glad I made that mistake!!
After years of having highlights I just recently decided to go back to the dark side. well as most of you know, highlights dont hold color as well as virgin hair, so these parts faded pretty fast. I picked this up in a hurry to re-dye my hair before going to a hair show... im so impressed! it really brought the life back into my color and my hair is SO shiny. I never thought that my damaged hair could look this pretty and glossy! I will definitely continue to buy this to use in between colors.
I used the 3N Espresso btw. beautiful color
This is hands down the best demi perm color I've found at Sally's. The blue and violet kickers actually DO SOMETHING. I really recommend them for those looking for a lovely blue or violet tint to black hair. I used one of the darker browns (I believe it was Espresso, though I'm not sure) and it was the wrong tone for my skin color and came out too dark, but the formula was fantastic! My hair was super shiny and not damaged. The color was beautiful (just not on me). I never went back to Shades EQ because it's a deposit only color (my hair is naturally black and requires a lot of lift to get to the light/med brown I enjoy) so I went back to permanent colors. I think I'll buy this online to refresh my color since I moved to a country where there's no Sally's. The price is great, it doesn't smell too bad or make your eyes water and the colors are beautiful. One lippie off because it just doesn't last.
I always use this in 3v. My hair is a 2n and though it doesn't change the color all that much i love how much shine it infuses in my hair and how silky it will leave my ends. I don't apply it all the way up to my roots, just where I can make a pony tail. Its really easy to apply and its not damaging to the hair. It's nice when in the sun I can see a slight violet hint that is not overwhelming. Overall, really easy to use and pretty self explanatory.
So glad I tried this!!
I'm a natural 6N. I don't have too much gray hair, but it was starting to show, even against my relatively light natural color. I was miserable. I didn't want to commit to the regular expense of professional coloring, but my DIY results in the past have been ... poor.
After some searching, I came across Shades EQ. I liked the idea of something that would cover the gray, but would still wash out ... just in case it was a disaster. Almost everything else I found that claimed to hide gray was permanent, and that was just too scary. So I took a deep breath and bought some developer, an at-home set of plastic brushes, bowl and clips, and a bottle of 9NB Irish Creme. I thought, OK, well, it's super-light, so again ... limit the possibility of disaster. Ideally, I though, this will just show up on the gray, and it will be kinda like highlights. That's just what happened!!! I am so thrilled and just bought another 3 bottles of the same color.
My hair is shiny, natural looking, and the developer is as gentle as it gets ... so as little damage done as humanely possible. I wouldn't say it smells good, but it doesn't smell bad or too strongly. The only "down" is that if I look really, really, really closely, I can find the stray gray that didn't take ... but from a normal-person viewpoint, this just adds more dimension. I left it on for 20 minutes, next time I will try 25 and see if this improves. With a little minor tweaking, I can see myself coloring this way for the next 15+ years. Long live shades EQ!!
I think I found my replacement for my beloved discontinued Clairol 2nd Nature! I tried this two weeks ago and so far the results have been VERY similar (if not indentical) to the results I used to get with the 2nd nature. No hot roots and natural, shiny color that has not turned brassy at all. I used blue-violet based browns and ended up with a nice, dark, rich neutral shade of brown that lacks any orange/gold tones. Two weeks have gone by and the color looks as good (actually I think it looks even better because it has softened a bit) as it did on the first day. My hair seems smoother and healthier too. My hair was a bit brassy and dried-out looking after using Clairol Soy 4Plex and using this has restored my hair to smoother, shinier, and totally brass-free state. Very impressed thus far. I most definetely plan on using this again next month.
UPDATE: I am just a little bit past the 4 and a half week mark and the color still looks lovely and has not turned brassy. It has faded a bit, of course- but it still looks quite shiny. It has faded in such a way that there doesn't appear to be a visible root line. Quite impressed so far. When I am not feeling lazy, I have to do a touch-up soon!
UPDATE: I am at the slightly over 5 week mark and the color still looks great! No brass and it is still shiny. No obvious root line (though if I look very closely, I can see some dappled greys coming in). It looks so good that I don't want to touch it up- I don't want to ruin it! I think I'll be able to push this until at least the 6 week mark. So awesome for a demi!
This product makes my hair look so much better! And I am not just referring to the color! My hair is softer, shinier and healthier after using this!
Inexpensive if purchased online and self-applied.
Excellent color quality!
No harsh smell.
Works with low peroxide developer, so very little damage.
Easy to find online.
Makes hair look super conditioned!
Cons: Washes out in approximately three weeks, but that is to be expected with a demi perm hair color.
My natural hair color is a cool level 9 - I am a very fair blonde. My hairdressers have used Shades EQ for years as my lowlight color, and I've always loved it.
After some training I now do my own hair color. I recently went to an all-over caramel brown with 05G Caramel. Of course, it faded and I wasn't so in love with the faded color as it was a little too gold against my fair skin although it did still look nice, just not for me.
I took a bold step and used 06CB Amber Glaze to get a rich red. I LOVE IT! And apparently having the base color of the caramel brown done first helped the color to really be bold - I'm certain that if I had gone straight from blonde to red that my results wouldn't be as pretty. Four weeks later, my only reason to color again is to cover my blonde roots peeking out that make me look like I'm balding, otherwise the color is beautiful. I have gotten a ton of compliments on my hair, and a lot of people think that I'm a natural red!
I love these colors when they fade, as you get a lot of dimension (especially if you have highlighted previously). I wash my hair every other day so that helps stop the fading process. I'm not sure how I'll get back to blonde when I'm ready, but I'll go to a professional for that for sure. (I have learned the horrible results of dying red hair back to blonde before! :) )