John Frieda Luminous Color Glaze in Radiant Red

Review: John Frieda Luminous Color Glaze in Radiant Red

As some of you may know, I’m a natural redhead. I’ve never been remotely tempted to dye my hair (well, there was that one time when I was 16, but we don’t talk about that…), and fully intend to be a redhead until the day I die.

So, what am I doing reviewing a colour glaze, you may ask?

Umm, good question. To be completely honest, I bought this purely on a whim. I was in Boots a few weeks ago buying shampoo and John Frieda’s Radiant Red Colour Glaze caught my eye. It’s a colour-depositing glaze that can be used in the shower to basically “pep up” red hair, whether coloured or natural, and because my hair’s been looking a little dull recently, I decided to give it a go. My hair actually has a lot of blonde through it (even more so in the summer, when I get a blonde streak at the front if I spend a lot of time in the sun), and I thought it might be fun to try being a more vivid red than usual for a change. Read on to see how I got on…

What is Luminous Colour Glaze?

Let’s allow John Frieda to answer that one, shall we…

“Radiant Red Luminous Colour Glaze is an easy-to-use gel-creme formula that boosts shine and adds a hint of glossy colour right in the shower in just three minutes. It recharges faded red hair with blazing shine giving a dose of luxurious red colour and supple texture. Gives red hair a wakeup call and turns the light on faded, lacklustre hair so it glows with newfound vibrancy and shine anytime hair needs a pick-me-up. It delivers the results of a salon glazing treatment – adding a high-gloss finish and reviving colour – right in your shower.”

Unlike salon glazes, however, this doesn’t contain ammonia or peroxide, so it won’t damage your hair. The downside to this is that it won’t last as long as a salon glaze either and will need to be “topped up” more often.

Oh, and it’s also available in shades of blonde and brunette, too – it’s not just for redheads!


This is designed to be applied in the shower, so it’s as fuss-free as a colour treatment can possibly be, basically. The instructions tell you to shampoo and condition your hair as normal (I figured “in for a penny, in for a pound” and bought John Frieda’s ‘Radiant Red’ shampoo and conditioner to use with it), then massage in the glaze and leave for at least three minutes before rinsing.

This is very easy in theory, and if you have short hair it’s probably easy in practice, too. My hair is long, however, which means that it’s much harder to get an even coverage, especially given that you’re in the shower and don’t have a mirror in front of you. The glaze is also runnier than a conditioner, or even a shampoo, so you have to apply it quickly or it’ll just dribble out of your hands. You then have to do an odd little “shower dance” for three minutes or so to make sure you don’t get your hair wet while it sinks in.

Important! Because this is colour-depositing, it WILL stain anything it comes into contact with, so it’s really important to wash it off right away if it comes into contact with skin, clothes or your bathroom fixtures and fittings, especially any white towels or shower curtains you may have! You’ll also want to rinse it off your hands really carefully after application.

The result:

I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect to see much, if any difference to my hair at all, so I was actually fairly surprised to see that the colour had, indeed, changed, and was now a couple of shades “redder” than before, and much more vibrant. Terry said it reminded him of the colour of my natural hair when you view it in bright sunlight, which was a good result for me, because it meant it didn’t look too fake, but did look shinier and redder.

The colour wasn’t without its problems, though. The first couple of times I used it, I had obviously concentrated too much on the roots and had applied the glaze unevenly, so my scalp was red in patches (this washed off very easily, though, so it wasn’t too much of a problem) and my hair was much redder in some sections than in others, making it look a little bit streaky. I did get better at applying it evenly as I continued to use it, but I never managed to completely perfect the technique and make it totally even, so my advice to those of you who have long hair (and what I’m going to do next time I use it) would be to forget the “use it in the shower” instructions and apply it in front of the mirror, like a regular hair colour, so you can be sure you get even coverage.

That aside, though, I was really impressed with this product and felt it did exactly what it promised to do. It also lasted for much longer than I expected: I applied this about three times, around three weeks ago now, and I can still see some traces of the colour. You could, of course, simply apply it every day or few days if you wanted to keep the colour going: the packaging states that the colour intensifies with time and it’s gentle enough to be used daily, although if you have long hair that could start to get expensive as this is £6.99 per bottle.

Still, it’s cheaper than a salon treatment and this is definitely something I’d use again. My hair can look dull in the winter especially, and I think this would be the perfect thing to revive it, once I manage to get the hang of non-streaky application!

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  • Gemma


    I used brunette version of this for a while last year and loved it at first. I didn’t notice a huge change in the actual colour of my hair but the colour was definitely enhanced and my hair was glossier and softer. Didn’t have any problems with streakiness either, although maybe my natural colour is just closer to the colour of the glaze?
    But then I found after a while of using it maybe twice or three times a week, it seemed like it was building up on my hair so my hair was shiny but looked and felt lank in a totally unattractive, greasy way. Not good. Maybe best to use it once in a while or, like you suggest, for a few days then have a rest?
    I do however LOVE the Brilliant Brunette Shampoos and Conditioners!

    October 24, 2008
  • Redhead


    I am also a natural redhead and also tried this “on a whim.” I had a similar experience with this product, but I was really disappointed with the consistency, mine seemed runny yet sort of lumpy! Anyways, I think I perfected the method by using a large, plastic, wide-toothed comb in the shower after application and by putting my hair up in a bun to not get onto my skin!

    October 25, 2008
  • Redhead – great tips, I’ll definitely try a comb next time I use this – I just don’t think applying casually in the shower is going to work for me!
    Gemma – I think there are a couple of different shades available in the brunette and blonde versions, but there’s only one in the redhead version which isn’t an exact match for my shade, which is probably why I noticed streakiness. Everyone I asked said it was only noticeable once I’d drawn their attention to it, mind you, but they could’ve just been humouring me!
    Interesting what you say about the greasiness build-up, too – I’ve heard someone else say they had the same problem with this, so maybe occassional use is the best bet!

    October 29, 2008