Random Product Review: John Frieda Luminous Color Glaze
Oh internets, I've been ever so busy. What with all the strenuous procrastination and mental strain of slacking off, combined with the back-breaking effort involved in sleeping in until past noon... No, really, it's been hectic. And it's only going to get better: I've got loads of marking to do, plus meetings and training sessions, plus dinners with visiting lecturers, and I have to read 3 papers, prepare a talk, and get an oil change, all before next week! But right now, I have moments to spare. And so here I sit, sipping my wine, sniffing my wrists (long story) and making another Random Product Review!
So, we've all been swimming in shine serums, shine sprays, pomades, and a whole wack load of other shine-enhancing products since the late 90's. The quest for a glassy, mirror-like sheen on our locks is nothing new. Lately though, there's been a lot of buzz about "glossers". From what I gather, these products are typically used in salons to enrichen colour and add glossy shine. Sort of like a toner, maybe? I don't know, but as a girl who's currently sporting about 6 shades of highlights (accumulated from past highlighting trips, I mean -- I was never aiming for a crazily highlit look), I was thrilled to hear about products that might: a) liven-up the dull-ish colour a bit, and b) give me that ever-elusive Shampoo Commercial Shine.
I bought the "Cognac to Maple" shade to match my aforementioned highlights. The John Frieda Luminous Colour Glaze promises to "reawaken lackluster brunette hair with a shot of dazzling brown color, satiny texture and multi-dimensional shine". My lightest strands are probably closer to a dark blonde, but the streaks were getting a bit freaky and brassy, and I wanted to tone them down. So I figured that this lightest of the brunette shades would be just right.
The instructions say to shampoo and condition as usual, and then massage the glaze into wet hair. After 3 minutes, you're supposed to rinse it out and discover newly glossy locks. The colour "re-awakening" part is supposed to come on gradually -- after about 3 uses or so. The instructions say to use the product every other day until the desired result is achieved, and so this review will span my 3 uses of this product over 6 days. (How very scientific!)
Okay, so I'd read some other reviews, and a lot of people found this stuff drying, so I conditioned as usual before using the glaze, and then dabbed on a bit of conditioner after I rinsed it out as well. The consistency of the stuff is sort of like a slippery pudding... in fact, I found it a bit difficult to get it to stay in my hair. I dropped significant amounts of it while trying to get it to coat my strands. The product smelled kind of chemically, with hints of coconut (which I hate, incidentally). Oh well.
So I get this goop into my hair, and then had to immediately start scrubbing my hands with soap and a loofah, because I could tell it would stain. Go ahead and give those paws a good cleaning... as much as if you had just used a self-tanner. It never actually stained my skin or shower walls, but I'm fairly certain that it would have had I been less careful with it.
After the requisite 3 minutes, I rinsed it out. My hair did indeed feel a bit drier than usual (lacking the slip of freshly-conditioned hair), so I slapped on a bit of conditioner. Now came the true test: how would it look after it had dried?
I did my usual routine of letting the hair air-dry, then straight-ironing it. And the highlights? They were.... there. Nope, no exciting results yet. What about the shine? Was that there? Nope, not that I could see. And the condition of the hair? It was weird... it felt smooth, but slightly dry at the same time. Not alarmingly so, and it was still as manageable as usual. It just felt a bit parched is all. Not sure if that was due to the glaze or to my new shampoo/conditioner combo. But whatever, not a huge deal.
So Day 1's results were a bit disappointing. But they did say that it would take a few uses before I'd see results, so on to Day 2 we go!
Same deal as Day 1: Shampoo, condition, glaze, condition briefly again, then dry & style. I still didn't see this supposed gloss action, but the colour... was it my imagination, or did the highlights seem more toned down? (This is a good thing remember; my highlights were getting brassy and faded and too light) It did seem that the lightest streaks looked less tired. And when I mentioned to Roommate that I was trying this new hair stuff, she said my highlights did look kickier. I don't know if she was just being polite and if I was just seeing things that I wanted to see, but this was at least encouraging.
Lather, rinse, repeat. This time around, I really think I did see a bit of a change. Nothing drastic, mind you. But the colour did seem a touch richer. I casually mentioned to S that I was using this, and he said "Hey, that's funny! I did notice that your highlights seemed... I dunno, blonder? Lighter?" While this was not exactly the effect I was after, the fact that a very UN-metro boy noticed a difference without my mentioning it beforehand tells me this stuff must be working! Hurray!
So okay, this stuff does not suck. While it didn't make me look like I'd just gone out and bought a head full of expensive new highlights, it did make my highlights less brassy and the colour did seem refreshed. And maybe... maybe it was a bit shinier. But really, it was the colour effects I was after, so in the end, I really didn't care if I got super glossy hair. Although it would have been nice, I guess.
At about $13 CAD a bottle, I'd say it's worth the purchase once in a while. A bottle will probably last me 2 rounds of 'treatment'. (I have straight thick hair that goes down to my shoulder blades. It tends to eat up product, so a bottle lasting 6 uses for me is quite reasonable.)
I also think this product would be great if you're trying to darken your colour a bit. If you went a bit overboard with the highlights, just choose one shade darker than the highlights, and keep using it until you get the colour you want. As an aside, a stylist once told me that the best way to grow out highlights is to use a semi-permanent colour that matches your base colour to cover the highlights. As the colour wears off, repeat the process. After 3 or so times, you should be pretty close to your base colour. And since you're only depositing colour, you're not damaging the hair. If you're just looking to bring your colour down a notch, I think the John Frieda Colour Glaze would work well as a substitute for the semi-permanent colour.
Now if John Frieda would only stop making all his stuff smell like freakin' coconut!! Seriously! I love his Frizz Ease line because it smells divine, but all his Brilliant Brunette crappe and now this Colour Glaze stuff smells like awful coconut cream or something. The Colour Glaze is not so bad, because it washes out. But I can't use his Brilliant Brunette shine serum or finishing cream, which is a shame because they really do work quite well. Market to me, John baby! STOP WITH THE COCONUT!