Hair: She does, with a new product

Long a devotée of salon colour, my curiosity was piqued when my co-MIL N. e-mailed me about L'Oreal Preference Mousse Absolue.

Its features murmured "I'm different": a no-mix reusable mousse that keeps 4 to 6 weeks after the first go, and supplies enough product for touch-ups or 
(depending on hair length) two full apps.

I had been certain I'd never try home haircolour again. Box reds had gone on too dull or harsh, and when last trying about a decade ago, my splatters transformed our bathroom walls and floor into a "Dexter" set that cost $150 to repaint. I never got the stains out of the flooring.

But, after seeing the flash production of my colour at the salon (has to be a box opened out of sight), and having already bought the Secret Weapon, a good round-the-neck mirror, I thought, Well, it's only hair, why not?
Early last Saturday am. I frothed in "Sensational Auburn", made a bowl of café au lait while it processed, and said a brief matinal prayer to the Goddess of Created Colours. A half-hour later, no mess, stress, rinsed and finished with a generous dab of a luxurious included conditioner, and—the reveal:

(Actual colour is even more vibrant and shiny; the bright outdoor sunlight washed the shot a little.)

It was only after my little triumph that I looked up product reviews and found a startling amount of scathing comments: some said Mousse Absolue doesn't cover greys, smells unpleasant, stings. 

This was so alien to my experience (and I have a lot of grey) that I began to wonder about deliberate misinformation. Is there a cabal of colourists dissing this product to protect their turf? Are the women posting princess-and-the-pea types? It was no more chemical-smelling than the salon product, and less messy.

At very least, the Absolue adventure reminds me to revisit old shibboleths, stay open and profit by the industry's innovation. That's profit in more ways than one: over a year, I figure my savings to be over $700!


frugalscholar said…
I will have to check this out. Think how much fun you will have deciding what to do with the $700! Not to mention, the vast amount of TIME you save by not going to the salon.
LauraH said…
I love the feeling of finding some tweak in the way I do things that saves time, money or just improves my life in some way. It makes me feel that I'm not in a total rut and can still be open to a fresh thought or two.
Beth said…
It looks GREAT! I've never colored my hair except for occasional highlights, but the dark blonde is getting awfully sparkly-silvery. Delaying this decision for a while - but if I do, I'm likely to try it at home.
Madame Là-bas said…
I have always had difficulties with home colouring but you seem to have been successful. I am still "greying" as I was really inspired by The Hostess' outcome. Anything that saves hundreds of dollars and much time has to be a good thing.
Yes, that colour looks great. Obviously not a saving if you have to repaint or refinish your abode!

I'm still glad I decided to go silver, but I do have a product I use occasionally to remove yellowing.

It is called ice cream KROMASK professional and the colour is ARGENTO silver/argent/plata. From Italy. The cosmetics counsellor at Pharmaprix suggested it.
When I did try home colouring I ruined many tee shirts and towels so I think you are on to a good formula now and the colour looks great!
I am in the grey camp now and quite enjoying the freedom....but one has to be happy whether it is red or grey it is our choice!
Anonymous said…
I know what you mean by the splattering of hair color all over the bathroom. Now, I scan the entire bathroom after I color my hair and clean up immediately (although it's still easy to miss some).

I've stopped having my hair colored at the salon because it is so cost prohibitive - I'm at the point now that in order to fend off the grays I have to color about every other week! With salon prices at about $60 a pop - I just can't justify it anymore.

That mirror contraption that wraps around the neck is ingenious! It reminds me of all the quirky Japanese inventions I've seen. I love it and I bet it works. I think I need one :)

Anonymous said…
Looks perfect, Duchesse. There are few things more satisfying than a successful and money-saving DIY. You must be so pleased.

Eleanorjane said…
I've dyed my hair at home for years and years. One of the tricks to not splattering it everywhere is not to use the whole amount of dye on short hair. Cover it all thoroughly and rub in, but don't put so much on that it drips everywhere.

Also, I get down on all fours in the bath and use the shower spray thing to rinse my hair. Dye comes off ceramic surfaces, but not off other surfaces like grout or paint or lino.

Also, (and finally), I swear by John Freida Precision Foam. Best colour ever - it barely fades and even my hairdresser compliments it.

I think you've inspired a post about hair colour at home...
Anonymous said…
You look lovely!!
Cathy Wong
Anonymous said…
The main thing I hate is that Clairol and L'Oreal just keep putting out ammonia based products. You cannot touch up roots with ammonia, at least fine hair, once you redo the same spot more than once, your cuticle is damaged.

I just use the cheap Ammonia free boxes of Revlon Colorsilk in medium ash blonde, it turns my grey into highlights and does not turn me into a granny-head with brittle straw-like fragile hair. Garnier also has a non ammonia formula only in blondes. Olia does not cover gray hair very well.

To me there is no innovation when both L'Oreal and Clairol just push stronger and stronger ammonia formulas out there. I refuse to use them.
Tiffany said…
I was using the John Frieda mousse colour (mentioned above) for a while and really liked it, but it didn't keep like this one, which sounds amazing. Now I've grown out my grey and I absolutely LOVE not having to endure colouring - I don't mind having it cut every 4 weeks (I have a Judi Dench style crop) since it only takes 45 minutes.
As for t-shirts and towels, cull a couple of old ones (tees, long and short sleeved) and keep them apart from your normal clothing. Can also be used for painting and other dirty chores.
Dr. V.O. said…
You look ravishing! I wish there was an easy way to do good highlights at home, I'd jump on the at-home-color bandwagon. BTW, also, thank you for the anthropologists' analysis of makeovers; I agree with them and your great notion of the individuality-erasing "make-alike" function of the TV makeover. But there seems to be an enduring human fascination with processes of metamorphosis that can't die, even if they exist today in a meaningless, commodified version. Butterfly effects...
Anonymous said…
Besides the very timely advice about at home haircolor that works -- I'm thinking about going a bit blonder for the summer, not having colored since last year -- you have answered my prayers for a way to do eye makeup on eyes that cannot see as well as they used to.

A round the neck mirror. Who'd a thunk it? Am going to order swiftly so MamaRubi can bring it when she comes at the end of the month!

Thank you so much!
Susan said…
I suspect deliberate misinformation with those reviews. I see the same when I read the reviews of books by well known architects on Amazon.

Your hair color is lovely! And, the $700 savings per year is wonderful.
diverchic said…
On the same page again! I used this product about 6 weeks ago and was pleased with mild lift to my grey that Original Very Light Blonde (1000) gave me. When I read this post I decided it was time to do it again. Yes, there is lots of ammonia in it. Yes, it stings a little. Yes, it is pretty easy. Colour is fine so I'm generally happy with it. I love your colour and you look great!

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