As you know I have been dying my hair a dark red for the last couple months (since Halloween, when I went as Lucille Ball). But having red hair takes a lot of maintenance, as I discussed here a few weeks ago, and I just wasnt down with washing my hair in cold water during the winter when my house was already chilly in the mornings. So I decided to go back to my regular blonde color. Obviously theres no way blonde will just dye over this dark red (and look anything like I was hoping for at least) so I had to look at lightening my hair some way. Typically people looking to go lighter just bleach their hair, but my hair is already leaning on the unhealthy side of the spectrum and I didnt want to completely fry it. So I found a product called Color Oops and decided to do a little more research on it.
The consumer reviews for this product were pretty mixed. Some people complained that it turned their hair a grey color and that the color wasnt even all the way through their hair after using Color Oops. Other reviews raved about how well it worked and were happy that it wasnt as harsh as bleaching but still lifted their color. Needless to say, the reviews didnt help me much. I decided the best way to find out was to try it for myself. I bought it at Rite Aid for about $10, which isnt bad if it does as it claims.
My husband helped me apply the product (he does almost all of my hair coloring so this was right up his alley), and he used up the entire bottle and we probably could have used a second one but I didnt think to buy 2 boxes at the time. We focused more on the roots and the younger part of my hair, as the ends of my hair are pretty dry already and the color tends to fade quickly there anyway, but we did get the product onto the entire length of my hair after a good massaging. After applying the product, you adorn a shower cap and wait about 20 minutes. During this time prepare for the chemical smell, it gets pretty gnarly. Then its off to the shower and rinse, rinse, rinse.
Color Oops does not restore your natural hair color (and doesnt claim to, if you read the package). It removes the freshest layer of artificial color pigments in your hair, and what typically remains will be either a brassy or ashen color. The reason for this is that when you dye your hair, whether you go lighter or darker than your natural color, your natural pigments are lightened by chemicals in the dye in order to make your hair absorb the new color better (which is why coloring your hair can be so damaging). When you rinse you the color oops from your hair, be sure to use a really good conditioner to help calm your hair down.
So after my 30 minute rinse-fest I hopped out of the shower and checked out my hair. It was definitely a lighter red, almost pink color at the ends. At the roots my hair was a very vibrant yellow-blonde. The color was uneven, as reviewers I had come across claimed, but it was so much more manageable. I wasnt surprised that there was still a reddish color to my hair, after all I had been dying my hair dark red for months, so I knew it wasnt going to be able to remove all of the red color. But as I said, I was happy with the results.
And then came trouble
While I had read all of the instructions about how to apply Color Oops, I only skimmed the part that discussed dying your hair the same day. I figured that I knew how to dye my hair, so I didnt need to read all of their none-sense. This was a big mistake! After the fact, I went back and thoroughly read the instructions on re-dying hair after using Color Oops. After using this product your hair will be more porous, and therefore it will grab color easier and may come out darker than expected or possibly an ashen color. So this is my issue: the blonde color I usually use on my hair is a strawberry blonde, I still had a reddish/pink color in most of my hair, and Color Oops will make your new color darker Lets do the math.
Strawberry+Red/Pink+Darker=Almost the exact color I started with!
Is that Color Oops fault? Nope, thats all me. Im a skimmer, I dont read everything through and it finally came back to bite me on the tush. But we had just spend a good portion of the evening on this hair adventure, so I wasnt going to fuss with it anymore that night. And besides, Color Oops isnt as harsh as bleach, but its still chemicals going onto my already not happy hair. My head needed a rest. The funniest thing about all of this is that I left my hair as-is for another week, and no one at work noticed at all.
But I wasnt going to give up completely. I waited another week, conditioned my hair like nobodys business, and got another box of Color Oops (two actually). This time I only used the Color Oops, and did not dye my hair afterwards and I was much happier. I got about the same results the second time as I did with it the first time. My roots are still a lighter color than the rest of my hair but since applying more dye I didnt get quite the same intensity as I had the first time. So now, between all of the hell Ive put my hair through this last year and including these last few weeks, its pretty stressed out right now. Im making sure to use lots of good products to get my hair back to a healthy state.
Okay, so heres my overall take on Color Oops: Its a good product. It does as it claims but if you have thicker or longer hair I would suggest 2 boxes. Unless you really must dye your hair the same day, I would suggest ignoring their suggestion and wait until your hair settles down. And of course, take care of your hair, its not as harsh as bleach, but its still chemicals and be prepared for the stench!
Would I use it again? Yes. Hopefully I wont need to, but if the occasion arises this would be my first option.
I would love to hear your experiences with this product if you have used it, or I can try to answer some of your questions if you have any. Feel free to leave me a comment or message me directly.