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The red hair colour refreshers - Schwarzkopf & Maria Nila

If you follow me on Twitter you may know that my red hair is gone and I'm back to brunette again. There are a couple of reasons why I decided to give up on having red hair. The first is that red hair is very high maintenance and to be honest a bit of a pain in the bum. But the main reason for me was to do with work. If you don't know I work in TV and film and when I decided to go red there were very few periods roles around. Sods law as soon as I dyed my hair an unnatural colour pretty much all the roles became period roles. These are some of my favourite roles to do, but with an unnatural hair colour I don't stand a chance of being cast. For some roles they're really picky and will only use people who have completely natural hair (no dye), but others will take people with dyed hair as long as it's a natural colour and not obviously dyed. So I went back to brunette and now actually have the colour I was originally after when I left my naturally blonde hair behind five and a half years ago.

As the red has now gone I thought I should probably review a couple of red hair products I was using before I give them away. I will point out that I've only used these products once, maybe twice each because I did tend to just re-dye my hair when I was home. So I don't think I've used then enough for a thorough review, but I can give you my initial thoughts on them.

Schwarzkopf Live Colour Refresher & Maria Nila Colour Refresh
Schwarzkopf Live Colour Refresher

Although I have changed brand at the moment (I'm not ruling out going back though) I've always been quite loyal to the Schwarzkopf Live XXL dyes. When I first went red I used a different brand but when the colour washed out completely within three weeks I decided to go back to using the XXL dyes. Of course being a red shade it did still fade quite considerably, but it didn't wash out completely. I spotted a tweet from a PR regarding Schwarzkopf's new Live Colour Refreshers and when I asked if they had any information on the products I could read before I decided whether or not to buy one they kindly sent me one to try.

The Schwarzkopf Live Colour Refresher* is a ready to use mousse that doesn't need mixing and can be used in the shower without gloves. You can apparently get six uses out of each pack. To use you shampoo as normal, shake the can well before spraying some mousse into your hand and applying evenly. You then wash your hands well and leave for three minutes before rinsing away. 

Schwarzkopf Live Colour Refresher

Although this is suitable for different red shades (the shades are all shown on the back of the pack) I did think this might be a little too bright for me as my shade was quite a dark red. Using this certainly wasn't anywhere near like re-dying my hair, but it did freshen it up a little. It might be good to use if you're going somewhere or doing something but don't want to or don't have the time to re-dye your hair. It was a little bright for my hair but worked well if I wanted to head a little more towards a bright red rather than darker red. I can't see on the packaging how long this is supposed to last but I would estimate maybe a couple of washes at the most.

Maria Nila Colour Refresh

I became aware of Maria Nila when their products were featured on a few blogs maybe last year and their packaging definitely attracted me to their products. Being a Swedish brand they aren't easy to get hold of in the UK, but you can find them in Sally stores and on the Sally website. I'm quite lucky that there's a Sally store probably a couple of minutes walk from my boyfriends house, so I headed down and picked up one of their Colour Refresh products to try. They have a good range of shades available, including a couple of slightly more unusual shades, and for the red haired ladies they have Bright Red and Autumn Red. As I said my red was on the darker shade so I went for Autumn Red. 

Like their colour masque (which I will get round to reviewing at some point) this product is gorgeous. It's 100% vegan, sulphate and paraben free and contains softening argan oil. This one you apply evenly to towel dried hair and leave for between three and ten minutes depending on the result you want before rinsing out. This is a thick, conditioner like product that smells amazing and you will need to wear to gloves to use it as it's a deep, dark red shade that will leave your hands red. 

This one was much closer to my shade of red and I loved the effect it had on my hair. It really did refresh my colour, although not quite as much as actually dying it, and it also left my hair feeling amazing. Unfortunately I couldn't say how long this lasts, maybe only a couple of washes, but this is the sort of product I would consider using every Sunday maybe as a conditioning masque and colour booster. Although I'm sure my new brunette shade won't fade anywhere near like my red did I'm considering picking up a brown shade to help keep it looking glossy and healthy. I'm also considering keeping actually keeping the red and using it if I fancy a short-term slight red tint to my hair.

You can find the Schwarzkopf Live Colour Refreshers (£4.29) in Boots and Superdrug and can find the Maria Nila Colour Refresh (£16.99) in Sally stores and online.

Do you ever use a colour refresher on your hair? 

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*PR sample 

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