On The Naughty Step: L'Oreal Sublime Mousse

My hair is not naturally this dark browny-black shade, it's mousey brown. So every month or two, I need to top up my roots. I usually use Schwarzkopf Live Colour XXL in Bittersweet Chocolate, but after seeing this mousse dye on offer, I decided to take a punt on something a bit firmer that I'm less likely to slosh all over the bathroom and/or myself. 

I bought the pure darkest brown shade and got started. You pour some liquid into another bottle of liquid and attach the mousse pump. You then roll the bottle to mix it up. Shaking is strictly forbidden! 


Despite my best rolling efforts, the mousse was still a bit liquid for my liking... On a plus side, it was definitely less messy than the usual squeezy nozzle bottles. Back to the negative side now, as this dye ITCHED like WOAH. Proper burning. And you had to leave it for 30 mins, which is quite a while compared to many dyes. 


When I could finally remove the dye, I was excited to try the 'conditioning balm' it came with. I rinsed out the dye and started applying it when I realised my hair resembled straw. It felt completely dry and ravaged. The conditioner didn't improve this much at all and it was a struggle to get a brush through it afterwards. Optimistic to the point of foolishness, I saw my new bone-dry hair as a nifty way to skip washing it for a few days extra as it won't get greasy so easily... 


It took a couple of days for me to notice but my roots were actually not at all dark enough. Fair enough the Live Colour dye I'm used to does come out very dark, but I don't expect my roots to look gingery blonde in natural light... You can see what I mean ever so slightly in this photo I took the other day: 

I just didn't expect to still have light roots straight after dyeing! Playing devils advocate, my hair IS pretty much black so maybe I should've opted for the black shade, but the fact is it doesn't match the colour on the box due to the gingery tones in the dye. And a bit of research has shown me that a lot of people have had similar issues with this dye. Exhibit A and B


This product left my hair overly dry and underly dyed!  AVOID. It may be L'Oreal but it's not worth it.

Have any of you tried this dye? On the subject of dye-sasters, are there any other brands you'd put on the naughty step? Do share, so we can avoid quite literally chucking our money down the drain! 



  1. Never tried it, and thanks to your warning, won't ever try it! I'm also a Schwarzkopf fan - Live in Blue Black is what I've used in my hair right now!

    x Michelle | thefeatherden.net

  2. I used L'Oreal's lightest blonde hair dye on mine a few years ago and it turned it fluorescent orange, despite my hair already being blonde! It also snapped off however their customer service team were adamant I had used it all wrong and even went as far as implying I may be lying! What a cheek! Em xx


  3. I've been using the John Frieda mousse colour for a while now, it's a bit pricey at £9.99, but i usually wait for it to pop up on offer in boots :)

    It's soo much better than your experience with this one, if you've got long hair i'd suggest this one


  4. I think this is a problem with a lot of foam dyes! I couldn't afford to get my usual all over blonde highlights done this months so i insted forked out (it was a tenner!) for a john frida precision foam colour in the lightest blonde shade they had... might be because my hair was highlighted but my roots are a TOTALLY different colour to my hair and are sort of a murky blonde/yellow! Gross! And I have blonde hair naturally (but quite dark!) BIG thumbs down to foam colours!!!


  5. I tried this dye in a dark brown shade when it first came out, and it made my hair a reddy brown. My hair's naturally an auburny colour but it was still dark brown from previous dye before I shoved this on it. Definitely not happy and haven't bothered with it since :/

  6. I used the exact same shade on my previously bleached hair and it left it really soft and shiny. I've not had any of the problems you've mentioned :)
    It's so much easier using a mousse dye than those horrible smelly ones.
    Stay away from the Nice n Easy foam dyes as it may look white in the adverts but people have told me it actually comes out orange :S


  7. I find the john frida mousse dye excellent. I use their brunette colours and always get a really nice shade, no mess, and lovely shiny hair.

  8. i found the same thing actually, but i think i used the shade up from this so i'm possibly going to go for the shade after this next time! i think i went for the lighter brown colour purely because i fell for the cheryl cole ads and used the creme gloss dye. MASSIVE MISTAKE. it came out jet black, i had to use head and shoulders twice a day for about 2 weeks to try strip it out! after googling it seems that most creme gloss 'brown' shades come out black, AVOID! x

  9. I only ever use garnier brands for hair dye, I got hooked on them cause they smell so good, but the nutrisse ones really do make your hair feel good. The colours are always really natural and blend really well, only problem is that they don't do the most amazing intense colours like XXL live do but garniers never been messy and you don't have the colour rinsing out of your hair every wash for weeks.

  10. I tried the John Freida Mouse dye in a dark red shade. In fact I think it was the only red shade they do, it wasn't red at all. I didn't find the application any better than regular dye and overall no major benefits of mouse dyes VS regular. LIVE colours do seem to be the best, and FERIA are the worst dyes in existence.


  11. I had the same problem with their dye. I actually bought the blackest black one, and it was still a crappy brown color. My hair is naturally close to blonde, so it shouldn't have been a problem for the dye. It left my hair gross and crispy.

  12. I've dyed my hair a million times with no problems but I used a loreal one last time and it burned like a bitch!
    I'd definitely stay away from them!

  13. Fantastic review - I'll be sure to avoid it. xo

  14. Will avoid this dye like you say, especially because like you I've been spoilt by the vivid richness of the Live Colour range in the past. Gutted it was a waste of money for you :( Boo.

  15. I avoid L'Oreal because they test on animals :( but even companies that don't manage a lot better than this! Your poor hair! xxx

  16. thanks for this post, gem. i just bought a mousse dye by nice & easy, going to return it and swap it for a regular cream dye...always thought the mousse thing seemed a bit of a gimmick (cream dyes are easy enough to use, as long as you dont dye your hair in a carpeted room o_o *lesson learned*)... but i really liked the colour on the box! the colour on the model never resembles the actual colour though... it's just trial and error!

    i used to use the XXL ones too, back in my 'goff' days... dyed my hair before work one day, didnt vaseline my head beforehand (stops the dye from staining your head, i dont just do this for weird kicks!).. anyhow, washed and dried my hair and then realised id stained patches of my head/neck blue! used washing up liquid, nail varnish remover, shampoo, and BLEACH to try to remove it. work werent impressed with my reason for being late!

  17. I've had a lot of issues with L'oreal dyes before too, they tend to randomly change ingredients and such without warning,
    and mousse dyes have amonia in them a lot of the time i think, so they do really leave your hair in a horrible state :(

    Hope it improves soon!
    igniting bones.blogspot.com

  18. I've been dying my hair dark brown for 2 years now (i'm naturally blonde) but i've always stuck to one dye as i've never had any problems with it, i use Superdrug colour radiance 10 in warm chocolate brown, its only a fiver and has a comb nozzle, so it's a bit easier to use, the conditioning balm is also amazing!! my hair always comes out silky and smooth and best of all superdrug are against animal testing :)

  19. I also have naturally light brown hair, but have dyed my hair a LOT in the past 10 years.
    However I let the dye (mostly) grown out and my hair was light brown. I bought a boots botanics hair dye last week. I chose semi permanent and bought the second lightest shade (I think it was caramel or honey, something like that). It said on the box it was suitable for light brown hair, and my hair colour looked lighter than the brown photo shown so thought it would be ok.
    I did everything it said and ended up with darker hair. I'm not talking a little bit darker I mean DARK.
    I know dyes, esp semi-perm, won't lighten hair, but I didn't think I would go that dark!!
    I do actually like it, but its not the colour I wanted/expected!!
    The plus with this dye is that it really made my hair soft, and came with a HUGE bottle of conditioner. It says it will last for 7 washes, but as my hair is so thin/fine I don't need much so it will last me ages!
    I've since read reviews on boots website that most people didn't experience any change after using that dye range so I probably should have checked before buying. Ah well, at least my hair is soft.

    Hopefully your hair won't be too badly damaged from that dye! xx

  20. I'm not keen on mousse dyes, I prefer cream ones. Nice n easy cream dyes being me personal favourite. However, back in the day when I used to dye my hair dark I used movida (not actually sure if it still exists) and it was only supposed to be semi permenant, but it didn't fade at all. Good luck with whatever you opt for next! x

  21. I used the John Freida Mouse a few months ago to dye my hair blonde. I had no problems with the forumla. It was easy to apply and my hair felt the same as normal afterwards however I found that the strength of colour was just not as good as traditional dyes. Instead of being a light ash blonde it was just a slightly lighter version of my natural hair colour. Back to cheap and cheerful nice and easy for me although I am now tempted to give live a go.

  22. If my hair's needing cut and I can't afford it, I use Garnier to dye it because it actually makes the condition of my hair much better and I can put off cutting it for a bit longer. I've never used any other dye. x

  23. I've had the same disaster when using this hair dye. What was meant to be dark brown was a ginger mess! I had to haul ass to the supermarket to buy a cover up! Needless to say I didn't opt for the same brand. Wouldn't recommend it at all! x

  24. My mum uses this dye and she says she loves it, but then and again, she uses a more reddy colour. I'm not sure about the dryness, though I know she uses conditioners and shampoos especially for coloured hair and repair for said hair, so maybe she just uses really good shampoo and conditioner?

    Pip x

  25. Used to use it when I was blonde and made hardly any difference!

    John Freida foams are amazing and so so even :)


  26. I haven't used the Loreal mousse dye but have used the Nice & Easy mousse which under dyed my hair but majorly over dyed my scalp! Even after 5 washes my scalp was still dark brown!!

  27. WELL

    Literally nearly every Live XXL I've used.

    I used to have plum hair, but I wanted the purple purple. So I used to always use their purples. Always made my hair dark. I'm reallllly pale so didn't suit it. Then after a week it'd wash out to a reddy colour. so I figured that I'd just dye it red. Used their reds (I don't know why, shoulda learnt)
    Didn't work.

    THEN the one time in my life I ACTUALLY wanted to be auburn I used their auburn colours. (DEFFO should have learnt at this point but I got distracted by their pretty colours :( ) My hair turned out dark brown. It was a nice colour but TOTALLY not what it should have been.


  28. wow it's funny, I used this colour a few months back to hide blonde streaks, and it worked wonderful on my hair! I used a chocolatey colour and it did the job perfectly, my hair which is very long was still in good condition and I liked used it overall, no scrathy feeling or whatever!
    I guess it depends on your hair?
    Now the colour has washed out but my streaks kept a light brown colour, which is perfect to me.

  29. I bought this shade of hair dye the other week and wasn't that impressed. This was the first mousse dye i'd used and application was easy but the massageing technique meant my roots weren't completely coloured and i also ended up with the dreaded ginger halo! Also as a purest dark brown i did expect it to go drak brown and not almost black! I've dyed my hair black before and it's a nightmare if you want to change colour. I doubt i'll be buying this dye again either might have the try the xxl as i want a purple tinge next.

  30. I hate this! & the worst part is, I bought 2 in one of those 'buy 2 for £__' deals, aargh! I was trying to go a nice dark blonde/light brown colour, trying to get back to my roots, except the dye turned my hair DARK brown, literally only a shade or two lighter than yours. Miffed!

  31. I hate this! & the worst part is, I bought 2 in one of those 'buy 2 for £__' deals, aargh! I was trying to go a nice dark blonde/light brown colour, trying to get back to my roots, except the dye turned my hair DARK brown, literally only a shade or two lighter than yours. Miffed!

  32. Eeek that's really annoying that it dried your hair out AND didn't cover your roots properly - thanks for the warning! I've used the John Frieda mousse dye (don't think that's the official name for it, but it's a mousse and a dye so...) and didn't have any problems with that at all, so maybe give that a try? xxx

  33. itched like whoa! hhaha please say thats a referance to hawt like whoa expression from the scene days! love it!

  34. LOL your posts are so amusing to read! 'itched like woah' and 'it's loreal but it isn't worth it', classic lines ;)
    I actually used a loreal dye to do my ombre hair, and found it absolutely fine, maybe it's just the mousse ones that are crapola?


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