The idea of ColourB4 is that is removes colour from the hair (permanent and semi-permanent) by shrinking the colour molecules so that they are small enough to pass out of the hair follicle and be rinsed away. There are no bleaching agents involved, though I wouldn't necessarily know whether any of the solutions have the potential to damage hair. Although the idea is that it removes colour and takes you back to your original colour, it won't necessarily be your natural colour. Lots of permanent and semi-permanent dyes contain peroxide which can lighten the natural hair colour. So if you were a natural brown, you can find you end up a bit brassy or few shades lighter than you are naturally.
I have come across complaints about the smell. It doesn't bother me too much and I find it very reminiscent of perming solution. However, the smell is quite strong and as you need to be in a warm room for best results, it's probably a good idea to move somewhere more airy for the hour processing time. I wrapped my hair up in clingfilm once I had applied the solution to keep the heat in and avoid the issues of splatters.
What I find to be the biggest nuisance when using this is the rinsing stage. You have to rinse twice over, with a buffer stage inbetween, for a minimum of five minutes. This really feels like an eternity as you need to have your head directly under the stream of water massaging continuously for best results. In the instructions it suggests you use your mobile phone to time the five minutes, this recommendation sounds like a disaster waiting to happen to me (mobile plus water equals broken phone in my book!). I asked my other half to tell me when my time was up instead.
Anyway, we'll get on to the bit you'll be most interested in. How does my hair look now?
Well, it's definitely not black anymore! It's lighter than my natural colour and probably a touch more 'auburn' and lighter than it looks in the pictures. I haven't bought another box of dye yet and in fact I think I may wait a while and try and decide whether to get it coloured at a salon. In the meantime, I'm tempted to try a colour enhancing shampoo to tone down the brassiness. I wondered about the Aveda Black Mavala shampoo. I'm actually going to an Aveda salon to get my haircut tomorrow so might ask for some advice whilst I am there.
It doesn't seem to have damaged my hair particularly. My hair felt a bit dry after the colour stripping but I washed it this morning with L'Oreal Serie Expert Vitamino Colour shampoo and mask and my hair felt nice and soft again. I realise there's a terrible irony in my using colour protecting treatment in the circumstances but I really like this particular pair as they make my hair feel so nice. Considering the lack of fading, I would say these plus the Pureology Hydrate shampoo really do work to preserve the colour. It's just a shame it wasn't a colour I wanted to keep!
Disclosure: The L'Oreal and Pureology were sent to me by the PR officer for www.activebeauty.co.uk. I bought the ColourB4 myself from Boots