Ever since grey strands of hair started to appear I’ve been wanting to switch things up with my hair color. It’s gone over a decade since I colored it!… And no, those “sunlights” I did professionally when I was eighteen doesn’t count because no one noticed it… The reason I haven’t done much to my hair – more than going back and forth between having bangs and a bob cut – is because I feared I’ll get grey hair when I’m 25 just like my mom. I decided early on that I should enjoy my natural hair color as long as possible because I’ll have at least more than half of my lifetime playing with it later. I also find my own hair color to suit me, so why try fixing something that’s not broken?
But they are here now, the silver highlights I’ve been dreading. I’ve had them since the beginning of my 20’s actually, but it’s not until the last year or two that they’ve become more pronounced (and just more of them). Six months ago, I was visiting my mom. And she stopped mid-sentence to say that I seem to have something in my hair, only for both of us to realize it’s a long gray hair strand. After that, my itch for experimenting with my hair has grown tremendously! And here we are now!
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Maria Nila | Color Refresh Bright Copper
Maybe it’s because Ariel has always been my favorite Disney character that I’ve always loved red hair? For years I’ve been talking about turning my basic brown hair more auburn and chestnut toned. However, I’m still not completely ready to do anything permanent. I’ve dabbled with temporary hair coloring in the past. Usually, it didn’t turn out so great and would even dry out my hair a bit. With the unicorn hair being a thing, there’s been a lot of advancement happen in the temporary hair color industry. One thing that’s popped up is these hair color boosters that adds a temporary tint to the hair. There are several shades to choose from and comes either as a hair masque/conditioner or even shampoo. They are supposed to be much more gentle on the hair and the shade should last from 4 to 10 washes. The only downside is that they can never truly lighten your hair. This type of product is great for blondes who want to play with different colors, color correct, or to boost vibrancy in highlights. Another thing they aren’t good at is covering greys, however, they will help them blend in better.
I chose to go with the shade Bright Copper as it was the brightest red shade that’s offered. There were other reddish shades like Cacao Red and Autumn Red from Maria Nila, but unsure how well they will be picked up on my medium to dark brown hair. I would possibly have to lighten my hair a few levels for them to truly stand out. As I said, these tints can’t brighten your hair, if anything, they’ll make your hair color darker in your preferred tint. And all I really wanted was some copper highlights to give me an idea if copper red would possibly suit me.
OBS! Always test out any hair coloring products on your wrist first to make sure you aren’t allergic to any of the ingredients!
With every Maria Nila Color Refresh product, you get two sets of gloves. The product is available in a test jar (100ml) and in full size with pump (300ml).
Before my purchase, I consulted a hairdresser who recommended me to test it out on dry hair if the color wouldn’t stick on wet. I decided to try it on wet hair first.
Firstly, I washed my hair with a clarifying shampoo. Then, I got going trying to spread the tint over my strands.
It says to let it sit for 3-10 minutes, but I let it sit about 20 minutes…
I rinsed it off until the water dripping was less orange. Then I conditioned my hair with Maria Nila Volume conditioner. Crunched, rinsed and then let it air-dry.
For once I remembered to do a before & after-shot! So this is the result that I got from using Maria Nila’s color refresh in Bright Copper on my untreated natural medium to dark brown hair.
Luckily, I do have some natural highlights from the sun, most at the ends and some throughout the hair. So the copper pigment had at least something to grab on to!
There are not many – if any – reviews on trying this hair product out with my type of untreated dark hair. I hope to give some insight at what to expect. The Bright Copper color refresher is usually used by already colored red copper hair to intensify and keep the color from fading. So it was interesting to see how it would do on basic brown hair.
My first thought, looking at the b&a, is that my hair looked really dull before! Adding some vibrancy of copper truly made it come alive – It feels and looks as glossy as on one of those Schwartscopf commercials! It did, somewhat, make my hair appear brighter, but at the same time giving depth to my hair color. I feel like my hair got some of that dark chestnutty/auburn shade that I was hoping for! And unlike other temporary hair colorings, this one conditioned my hair making it look and feel very healthy. I’m actually amazed at how much a little tint has done for my hair. Why haven’t I tried this sooner?!
You will keep losing some of the pigment 1-3 washes after. But after that, the water stops turning orange or whatever tint you’re using. A week later – about two washes after my initial coloring – I applied the last of what was left of the product, the same way as the first time. The 100ml jar lasted me just about two applications on my long hair.
After the first wash since coloring, a lot of pigment washed off. It lost its gloss and softness, but still had the hint of color. After the second washing, my hair looked still copper toned, but not as vibrantly as right after the first treatment. I remember having this thought that I should probably be re-masking at least once or every other week for the tint to stick. But after my second coloring, I felt like the tint stuck to the hair for much much longer. I’m still unsure if I’ve managed to wash it all off.
As for the gloss, I managed to add that back in with some deep conditioning and shine cream.
On the note of how easy it was to apply the product… Well, I’m no pro, this was my very first taste of at-home-coloring by myself. My long hair made it feel a bit tiresome to apply. I put on a dark long sleeve shirt and sectioned my hair into four sections. I then smoothed the goop onto my hair and then used a wide tooth comb to spread it out more evenly. But perhaps if I had a coloring brush and a few more clips (and a helping hand) it would’ve been easier to apply. If any of the product touched your skin it was easy to wash off.
As for other people noticing if I had colored my hair… My boyfriend was expecting it so he’s no reliable source. However, right after my second coloring, I went to visit my mom. A week into my visit I had point it out myself, that my hair has a new tint. She didn’t notice anything. But her friends did compliment on how glossy my hair looked! Though, no mention of any color change in my hair.
So I guess, this tint works more like a gloss on darker hair. No one, maybe not even you, will notice a huge difference in the color/tint of your hair, other than it looking more vibrant and defined. Which isn’t a bad thing!
10 Washes Later
This is my hair after about 10 washes, a little over a month later. I wanted to wait with publishing my review to capture the aftermath of the coloring. However, note that it is impossible for me to get the same type of lighting as a month ago! The sun sets much quicker now and has a slightly cooler tint if I’m going to catch the optimal time to shoot. I might revise and try to get some new pictures for you if I catch another sunny day. (which will be like in March next year lol)
Nevertheless, as I said before, I felt like after the second coloring the tint stuck to the hair for much longer. And I would say from the comparison above that the tint is definitely still there, it has just matured a bit. Either my hair has gotten darker or the tint did actually lighten my hair a bit or it’s the crappy lighting I now have. My hair is not as bright as after the first few washes. The golden highlights on my ends are slowly coming through. But hey, tell me what you think?
During this time I’ve been washing my hair about once a week with a mild sulfate shampoo (SLES – not SLS) for clarifying. Otherwise, I’ve been washing with Maria Nila’s Heal shampoo (review here), which is color-safe.
I’d say that I’m amazed at how well the tint has stayed. At this point, it feels like it’s stuck and won’t come off anymore. Luckily, I do like it. So if this is as close to going back to my natural hair color as it gets, I feel satisfied. But a little wary on trying other tints.
This product was really fun to use and I’m amazed at how long the tint has lasted on the hair. I actually wouldn’t mind it fading a bit faster. I was thinking about trying a more cacao tint next time, deepening my brown hair. But knowing how long 10 washes is, I’m not so inclined to experiment that much. But this experience has definitely made me ease into coloring and I feel much more open to switching it up with my hair. As for before, I was afraid of ruining my hair and losing my color. Now I know there’s a way that’s gentle and that even enhances your natural color. I will delve deeper for sure and go for more semi-permanent glossing treatments in the future. Perhaps I will go all in, and go blonde. You never know what the future holds…
However, this did not cover my grey strands that well. It did somewhat blend them better and I saw a few less, but they were the first to lose the tint. So I will have to do some more research on what type of products might blend and fade them better, but still be this kind of gentle.
Overall, all I can say is that I was in love with my hair for the first few weeks when the tint was the most vibrant. I loved the feeling of finally having this more auburn/red hair that I’ve dreamt of. Even if it was just this slightest tint that nobody else noticed, I felt empowered and at new. And I’d do it again. Even lighten my hair another notch just so it will show through even more.
Do you use or have you tried a color intensifier?
Share your comments and thoughts in the comments below!
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