A Colour-Depositing Conditioner for Red Hair (and other colours, too!)

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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:

Superdrug Colour Enhance Colour Depositing Conditioner

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 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 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:

Superdrug Colour Enhance in Ruby RedThis 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 hair felt in much better condition than it usually does, and it was easier to detangle, too.

Superdrug Colour Enhancer - colour depositing conditioner for red hairIn 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?

Amberhttps://staging-foreveramber.kinsta.cloud
Hi, I'm Amber, and I'm a full-time parenting/lifestyle blogger, and author of My Blogging Secrets, now available from Amazon. I live in Scotland with my husband, Terry, and baby son, Max, and you can read more about me here.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. Bumble bumble used to do an amazing colour depositing shampoo and conditioner in red .. or actually made ones hair feel lovely too … now it’s gone .. GONE !! Xx

  2. I hate when they discontinue lines I love, or change the recipe e.g. to make a facial product more allergenic by adding scent.
    My worst one though is a food discontinuation by M&S who stopped making my fav cherry scones

  3. Thanks for the tip! I actually bought one of the Superdrug ones you recommended last year, but never got around to using it.
    Do any of these conditioners colour grey I wonder? You might not be able to answer that if you’re not ageing as fast as me 😉

    • I actually mentioned that in the post – they claim to “blend” greys, but I have my doubts – the grey hairs I have are too scattered to be noticeable, so I can’t really tell!

      • I am over 50% grey and in terms of using the old Superdrug warm copper gold, as long as I used it once a week, or twice if swimming that week, I could maintain a fairly natural looking blonde. Without any additional need for dyeing the hair! I am also devastated this product has disappeared and will be looking at your recommends here, thanks Amber.

  4. My favourite ever shampoo was discontinued last year and I’m still not over it. I genuinely think about it every morning as I wash my hair with some sub-par shampoo. I actually resent finding a shampoo I love now in case it happens again. Yes, I’m totally scarred by this experience.

  5. Thanks so much for posting this – I looked in Superdrug today and it’s also on a 2 for £7 promotion! I have also mourned the loss of the John Frieda glaze for the last eight years or so, but I recently found Wella Color Recharge in Warm Red, which blends the lighter roots of my (dyed) copper hair pretty well, so would also recommend that (although it’s a little more expensive than the Superdrug one).

  6. This doesn’t change your hair color at all? I want to try but am scared to alter my natural color! I’ve never dyed it.

  7. I’ve tried the Colour Enhancer as well in the Ruby Red. It definitely brings out the red tones in hair. Now I’m back in the US, I’m desperate to find as seller as I can’t seem to find any decent colour-depositing shampoos or conditioners. I may go to cassia/henna mixes if I can’t get my fix soon!

  8. My wife uses the Superdrug Colour Effects Burgundy Red and that has been discontinued. Please can you suggest a substitute?

    • Oh when was this discountinued? I was in Superdrug today and I saw burgundy red available in store. Maybe it’s just not on their webite? I couldn’t find strawberry blonde on their website but I found it in store.

  9. Horrible feeling this has now been discontinued :(. I used to use the Colour Effects and then switched the Colour Enhance when that was discontinued. Can’t find it in any local stores and not on the website anymore.

  10. I use the Rich Warm Brown one of these, its about the only hair dye on the planet which doesn’t cause me a severe allergic reaction – (really gross things like bloated face/head, itching everywhere and bleeding behind the ears). Before I discovered this product (my saviour), I had very sadly, resigned myself to going grey, so I was SOOOO excited when I found it. I haven’t been able to find it in my local shop and its been out of stock online for a while so, as I’m down to my last precious bottle I rang Superdrug. They said that the packaging is currently being changed to white to make it easier for the customers to see. The formula will remain the same (yay) and that it is currently going out on a roll-in, roll-out basis, BUT they said there will be less shades available – but they can’t say which ones yet. They told me to click on the ‘notify me when back in stock’ button on the old version (code 695301 for the Rich Warm Brown) and I’ll be notified when the new ones become available … hopefully REEEAAAALLLLYYYY soon!

  11. my daughter is a brunette and is thinking of dying her lovely hair. I want her to try a wash in wash out first and have ordered superdrug colour effects warm copper gold. Will it work on her hair and to what effect!!

  12. Thank you for this post. I too went to buy colour effects after using it for years on my slightly greying red hair. Horrified that I couldn’t find any last week googled it and your post came up. I will be going to have a look at this other product now because the name did put me off thinking that I would end up with shocking bright red hair. I am trying not to use a total hair dye until I really have to.

  13. Just bought this today based on your review and the sales assistant said superdrug are randomly selling some items this week at a discount (she thinks its due to packaging changes) so a bottle of this was only 60p! I went back and bought another one, so Id recommend paying a visit to stock up asap!

  14. I contacted Superdrug to see if this product was safe to use if you used box dyes with peroxide and ammonia but they said to ask the hair stylist. Terrible customer service considering Coty were able to tell me that their Colour Booster was safe and designed for that purpose. Im reticent to use the Colour Enhance in case it contains metallic salts though i doubt it would

  15. Please help Amber
    I loved this article and have been using Ruby red colour enhancer for 2 years. But sadly now super drug don’t seem to stick it any more.
    I’ve been on line and pop into every Superdrug I pass by just in case I find a bottle but sadly no joy.

    Please please can you share your new recommendations as My naturally red hair is looking very lack lustre and dare I admit it brown .. HELP ??

    • Hi Julie,
      It may be worth checking out Clairol’s Colour Booster in Ruby – this is available in Superdrug and is currently on sale. Beauty Bay also stock a product called Joico Colour Infuse Red Conditioner which is suitable for ruby red hair. It’s pretty pricy in comparison to the Clairol, however there’s 300ml of product so a bottle should last you quite a while, depending on hair length and condition. Another alternative would be to mix your own using your favourite conditioner and something like Fudge, Manic Panic, Manic Panic XL, Crazy Colour, etc. There’s a number of guides online to help with this – I personally go for a half and half mix and favour Fudge because they have a great selection of vegetable based red. It may feel like a bit of a faff to mix your own but this does give you the ability to tailor it to your needs. Too orange? Add some blue toned red to the mix. Too cold toned? Add some orange based red to add warmth. Not enough colour pay off? Add more red dye with less conditioner. Too strong a colour? Add less dye and more conditioner. Want to hit the colour enhancing from all angles? Add some of the dye to your shampoo too. Or just to your shampoo if you prefer not to use conditioner. At the end of the day, this is all a colour enhancing shampoo or conditioner is – the product plus colour pigment. If you need any further advise, feel free to ask. ?

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