Despite reading all of the negative reviews on this colour - especially the shade, I decided to try it out anyway, as I was optimistic that the shade would come out fairly similar to the one on the box, and luckily I was right.
I purchased two boxes of the L'Oreal Recital Preference in Havana 6.35, along with two boxes of Colour B4 Hair Colour Remover Extra Strength as my hair is medium length, but is very thick. To begin with, my hair was a dyed, dark brown, and my light brown roots were coming through. After using the Colour B4, it left my hair a gingery colour, with blonde roots - not good, but it was expected. The next morning, I then used the L'oreal hair dye. Surprisingly, I found it much easier to dye my hair whilst it was wet, as opposed to applying the dye onto dry hair. The dye smell was very strong, however the small oil package that came with it left my hair feeling soft, and it took away some of the "hair dye smell".
The conditioners that come with the dye are amazing! Unfortunately, there wasn't enough for all my head - even though I had two of them, so I mixed them with some of the Aussie brand conditioner, and left it on my hair for 30-40 minutes, then washed it off. My hair was left feeling luscious, and looked amazing.
Also, with this being the first time of using the "gel" dye for me, I was very happy with the results, and I actually like the whole "gel" idea, more than the normal cream hair dyes.
My hair is now a beautiful light brown colour, with golden tints in it! Love the colour, and the hair dye. Extremely happy with the results of this hair dye, my hair is left in brilliant condition, and feeling softer than ever! Will definitely use this hair dye again!
I used this mainly to touch up my roots and tone down the rest of my hair which had become brassy from highlights. I applied to my roots and left it on for 20 mins then wet the rest of my hair and ran the remainder of the dye thru my hair for 5 mins (I have very thick and very long hair). I was very happy with the results. I've used a lot of at home dyes and this was definitely one of my more successful outcomes. My highlights are still there but no brassiness at all. Plus, I can be very messy sometimes with dying my own hair and this one left absolutely no mess. I will definitely use this again. Very happy with the results!
The model on the box has honey soft hair with a lovely golden overtone, that all together looks more blonde then brown. What the packaging's picture doesn't show is the mahogany highlights my chosen colour has in it. This is strange because - as I discovered at home - the mahogany tones in HAVANA are much stronger then the gold tones in real life, so my hair had a red tinge for around two weeks. Plus, without the vividness of the golden overtone showing through, the brown base tone to HAVANA looked a little bit darker too.
But, although this wasn't the shade I wanted or expected, after a week or two it grew on me and I came to like it. Which is why I was dismayed when it came time to touch up my roots; the dye covers my roots, but they are still noticeably darker then the rest of my hair.
Of course, if my hair were naturally dark I'd expect this, but it isn't. My natural hair colour is ash [not quite light enough to be truly blonde, but still too light and colourless to be classed as brown], so I don't understand why a brown dye covers it so much darker then the brassy blonde that was on the rest of my hair.
I want to clarify that I do love the new and improved Recital Preference formula; it doesn't have a harsh smell, it doesn't stain or irritate skin, it covers my gray streaks perfectly, it is fade resistant and has a long lasting shine.