Cherry Red, by L’Oreal Casting Creme Gloss is a kick-ass semi-permanent no ammonia hair dye which is super-vibrant, offering a rich maroon cherry tone and glossy, sunglasses-worthy results. Being semi-permanent makes this fun colour an easy – and cheap – way to transform your look, and is ideal for a range of mid, to darker hair colours. I’ve been using this dye for years, so read on for my application tips, and results pics…
I’m a bit rubbish when it comes to regularly keeping my roots topped up with dye, and as you can see from the above pic, after around 7 weeks of wear, the colour really has faded out. However, this is – I think – one of the greatest things about the L’Oreal semi-permanent product. Because it fades, you don’t get really obvious roots which is handy if, like me, life gets in the way of keeping a “recommended” beauty routine – note to self, wash make-up brushes asap!
Unlike many permanent hair dyes, the casting creme gloss range contains no nasty ammonia – which is a somewhat outdated ingredient. The reason ammonia is used in hair colours is to raise the pH of the hair which in turn allows the cuticle to open and the colour to enter the cortex of the hair strand; it also neutralises existing pigments to make way for the new colour. Unfortunately this also results in moisture and protein loss, and messes the pH of your hair to significantly damaging levels. Not good.
So, what do you get? The pack comes with everything you need for success dying your own hair at home, and with a little confidence there’s no reason why you can’t do it with no extra help at all – but if it’s your first time it might be an idea to get an extra pair of willing hands involved. Included you’ll find the colour itself (460 Cherry Red), a bottle of creme developer, gloves, and a tube of concentrated conditioner which I usually find lasts two applications – and smells deliciously fruity!
Make sure you’ve got a stain-proof area for the task – I stick to the bathroom but have to be so careful about not accidentally flinging any dye onto my new wallpaper. Many years ago when I was a student in a cramped room I used to dye my hair standing on my bed looking into a compact mirror – red and purple stains on your sheets is not a good look – so stick to wipe clean areas people, you’d be surprised how this stuff sneaks away from you even when you’re so careful!
Next step once you’ve got yourself organised is to brush your hair through and then wet it thoroughly – pop it in a towel while you add the colour to the developer bottle and shake it well. Flip the lid and get a few items ready before you don your gloves. I get a cotton swipe out for mopping spills and I also hang a hair band from the tap – might seem odd but this is so I can grab it later with my hair-dye-covered gloved hands without getting colour on anything unwanted, to then pin up my hair.
Now you’re ready to get your gloves on! I squeeze the formula onto my roots first, starting at the top working from the front backwards in crop-style lines until I’ve worked the product in well. Once I’m happy with the front I’ll tip my head over and do the same at the back, scooping all the hair and product together to push it towards a pony tail. Standing over the sink I put the dye directly into my gloved hands like shampoo and work and scrunch it through to the ends. Make sure you’ve really massaged it in all over like a shampoo to make sure you won’t get any sketchy areas.
I then grab that hair band (feeling smug that I’m not smearing hair dye on my dressing table!) and pin my hair in a top knot being careful not to splatter anything in the process. Now it’s time to use the last of the bottle to make sure you’re hairline is nicely covered – I’ve actually found that I’d rather risk dying my skin a little than having a two-tone hairline so I don’t worry too much about dye around here – but I do clear up a decent edge and always swipe the back of my neck.
The instructions give a couple of options: either you’ve never died your hair or haven’t died it for longer than 3 months, or that you’ve died your hair within 3 months. Option one suggests adding colour all over and leaving for 20 minutes, option two states you should apply colour to your roots only and leave for 15 minutes before then applying to the lengths and leaving for a further 5 minutes. Both methods suggest leaving for an extra 5 minutes if you have lots of grey to cover.
Keep an eye on the time, and then rinse the dye out – this is the most boring part and takes a good 5-10 minutes if done properly (recommend putting Spotify on first – try the electro swing playlist!) The water will be running a blood bath for what feels like hours. Keep massaging your scalp and hair until the water runs clean – it’s not good to leave any residue behind. Then squeeze excess water out and add the conditioner. Leave on for around 2 minutes or longer if you can hack it, then rinse and towel dry/ style as normal. Such a beautiful shimmering colour! Get yours here.