A Colour-Depositing Conditioner for Red Hair (and other colours, too!)
For the past couple of years, I’ve been regularly singing the praises of Superdrug’s Colour Effects wash-in conditioning colour.
This product costs all of £1.99 (And it’s normally on special offer, too, so you’ll get it for even less than that), and the ‘Warm Copper Gold’ shade was exactly the right shade to give a bit of a boost to my natural colour, without looking fake. I loved it… so, naturally, they discontinued it.
OF COURSE THEY DID.
This came as no surprise to me – I mean, I’d even titled my original review of it, ”Products That Are Certain to be Discontinued“- but I will admit that it’s confused me a little. All of the other shades in the Colour Effects line still seem to be available, but I’ve been getting emails and comments from disgruntled redheads for weeks now, telling me that ‘Warm Copper Gold’ is no more, and asking if I know of any alternatives to it. I actually still have a couple of bottles in stock (I always used to buy it in bulk, in preparation for this very circumstance), so I hadn’t actually noticed it was no longer available, and I’m honestly not convinced it has actually been discontinued, as it does still appear on the Superdrug website, with a “notify when back in stock” button next to it. This makes me think that it may well make a comeback at some point, but I have no idea what’s going on there as, contrary to popular belief, I don’t have any connection with Superdrug, I just really liked this product.
Anyway, whatever happens with Warm Copper Gold, I knew an alternative would have to be found, and, luckily, I didn’t have to look very far for it, because look at what I found last week:
This product is also by Superdrug, and, like Colour Effects, it’s a colour-depositing conditioner, which you use in the shower to “boost” your natural hair colour. It’s called Colour Enhance, and there are four shades available, including ‘Ruby Red’, which I figured would be the best option for red hair. At £5.99 per bottle, this is more expensive than Colour Effects, but it’s also a larger bottle, so it should last you longer.
In the name of experimentation, I ordered this in both ‘Ruby Red’ and ‘Bold Brunette’. Now, my hair is naturally red, so I knew the red colour would be the best match for it: the problem I have, though, is that I have quite a bit of frizzy baby hair around the hairline, and this hair is blonde. Well, OK, I guess “strawberry blonde” would probably be a better description: whatever you want to call it, though, it’s significantly lighter than the rest of my hair (When I pull my hair back, it literally looks like I’ve put blonde streaks in at the temples, a la Geri Helliwell in her Spice Girls days…), which means that if I use any kind of red hair colour on it, the majority of my natural red hair will simply turn a deeper shade of its natural colour, but those blonde baby hairs will turn orange. Like, NEON orange. GOD.
Anyway, I bought the brunette version of this product thinking I’d try it on the baby hairs, so that when I put the ‘Ruby Red’ over the top, it would all blend in. This plan actually worked better than I’d anticipated: the brunette colour is quite a light brown, and there is a bit of red to it, so it blended quite well with the rest of my auburn hair. I’ve no idea what it would be like on hair that was brunette to start with, obviously, but if you’re a redhead looking to cover random blonde bits, you might be pleasantly surprised.
As for ‘Ruby Red,’ meanwhile, it’s actually lighter than both the name and bottle suggest, and pretty similar to good ol’ ‘Warm Copper Gold,’ may it rest in peace:
This is billed as an in-shower product, with the instructions telling you to shampoo your hair as normal, then towel dry, comb this through it, and wait for around 5 minutes, to let it soak in. I skipped the towel-drying part, because that would’ve required me to get out of the shower, and then back in again, and I also didn’t bother to wear gloves, as recommended, because I don’t know about you, but I don’t generally keep rubber gloves in my shower. I mean, seriously, do people do that? Have I been showering wrong all this time?
Instead, I just applied this as I would any other conditioner, with the obvious difference that I applied it all the way from roots to tip, rather just on the length of my hair, as I would with a regular conditioner. I did wait for around five minutes before rinsing it out: they say you can also leave it for up to 30 minutes, for a more intense treatment – I haven’t tried that yet, but probably will at some point, so I’ll try to remember to report back when I do!
So, the first thing I noticed here is that this is a much better conditioner than the old Colour Effects, which was actually pretty useless as a conditioner: I loved it for its colour-depositing properties, but would always have to use a separate conditioner afterwards, whereas this product does it all in one. In this respect, I’d say it’s much more like the old John Frieda Colour Glaze (which was also discontinued in red, much to my disappointment) than Colour Effects, and this is a very good thing indeed. After using it, my ginger hair felt in much better condition than it usually does, and it was easier to detangle, too.
In terms of colour, meanwhile, at first I thought it hadn’t made much difference, and I was wondering if I hadn’t left it on for long enough. Once I’d dried it, and looked at it in better light, though, I could definitely see a difference, although as this is designed to boost your colour, rather than change it, it’s not the kind of difference that’s going to be particularly noticeable to other people, unless they’ve been paying very close attention to your hair colour, which, creepy.
In my case, my hair looks shinier and just a little more vibrant: the blonde baby hairs, meanwhile, are blending in better with the rest of my hair (I applied the ‘brunette’ colour to my hairline before getting into the shower, left it for a few minutes, then rinsed it off and used the red over it), but they’re still a bit lighter than it, so I’m a little dubious about the ‘blends first signs of grey’ claim on the bottle, and suspect you might have to leave it for longer than five minutes if you have greys that need covering.
I, however, am really pleased with this product, and am downright thrilled that I’ve finally found a replacement for John Frieda’s Colour Glaze. I’ll definitely be buying it again, although there is one big question on my mind:
I wonder how long it’ll be before they discontinue this one, too?
P.S. If you'd like to hear more from me, please consider subscribing to my newsletter…