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Posted By:BTCAdmin on: 9/3/2004 4:27:24 PM

Author: Thread: Disappointed With Elumen

Posted: Saturday, January 25, 2003 7:03:00 PM
I know that mainly colorists are on this board but hope you don't mind hearing something from someone in the seat of the chair.

Well, as a consumer I was impressed by the idea of Elumen--the fact that it was kind to the hair and that it could be removed if the color didn't turn out right.

It looked great in the beginning, especially in the sun, but then so did my older color by Redken. Even with using the sealant after the color, I experienced loss of color even after the first shampoo. It wasn't the excess drainage because their was a very noticeable difference after my hair dried. What I wanted was very dark auburn, the darkest you can get that almost looks like black. Shouldn't have been hard as my hair was a dark brown to start with (Redken color). After 3 shampoos (using Redken Color Extend products) I have brown hair that shows copper highlights in the sun. To me, it is dull and boring.

Now I read that I am stuck because oxidative colors will not take over the elumen. My hair is in so-so condition, but I must admit that elumen has made it very soft and lovely to the touch. At this point I want to go with a very dark brown thats almost black with auburn highlights.

It is disappointing when I walk out after paying almost $100 which I can't afford. I realize two types of coloring had to be used--oxidative on the grey roots with elumen elsewhere.

I feel like I was taken in, not by the colorist but by Goldwell. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. I want to just throw up my hands and let it go all grey, but in reality I am too young (went grey very fast due to both illness and intense stress) and want to have fun with my hair. Now I feel like elumen just destroyed that. My hair is long--5 inches below my shoulders and falls in pretty natural waves. I have no intention of cutting my hair very short just because of what this color did to it.

Please help--hair color to me was to have fun and lift my spirits, but this latest adventure has me really down in the dumps. It almost makes me want to do my hair at home, but I won't for two reasons--I don't believe color should be done by someone with no training and also I am disabled and cannot even hold a blow dryer in my hand.

Thanks in advance.

J Jones
Posts: 1

Posted: Saturday, January 25, 2003 8:13:00 PM
Elumen was not developed to to be an exculsive gray cover, unfortunately. Goldwell suggests that if you are over 20% gray and would like to try Elumen, you must first have your hair colored by a Top Chic shade close the shade you'd like in Elumen, then color with Elumen. The immediate results, for the most part, have been predictable but in the long run, the Elumen color is behaving differently on different hair types. Some people are perfectly happy with the process while others are disappointed.

One thing Goldwell has done to boost and/or conteract adverse Elumen results is to come out with a Color Care line for you to use at home. The products are a Wash, a spray Leave-In Conditioner, and a once-a-week Treatment. The products help eliminate the bleeding and protect the hair from oxidation affects of water.

After reading about your experience with Elumen, my advise is to go with the Goldwell Top Chic line. The colors it offers aren't quite as vibrant as Elumen's but you will get the gray coverage (especially with the NN series), and your hair will be healthy.

Maybe in the future, you might want to think about finding a Goldwell Educator in your area to talk to and possibly have her/him color your hair. A Goldwell expert could really do wonderful things with your hair.

Posts: 17

Posted: Sunday, January 26, 2003 8:16:00 AM
Thank you for your reply.

The colorist used an oxidative color on my roots (not sure what brand but she specializes in Goldwell) and then did the Elumen on the rest.

Is there any way that I can have Return done and get as much out as possible? To tell the truth, I'd rather just return to the Redken in use before Elumen. It covers grey fantastically and the colors are quite bright.

One thing I don't like is everyday looking hair. That's why the experiment with elumen. When a color says that it is intense, well, that's what I am looking for. It's like I've blown my chance to have the colors I would like. And it's hard when one reads on consumer hair boards about the great effects achieved with Feria and other such like products. Still, home coloring is not for me. Perhaps I should try a certified colorist and spend more money then I really can afford to get this straightened out. It is my fault for choosing to try something new that didn't work out. I certainly don't blame the colorist, she was just trying to help and I asked for elumen specifically.

The shades I'm particularly interested in would be like the Cherry Cola or Midnight Ruby in the Feria line. Perhaps if the colorist is familiar with them she would know what to do.

I appreciate the help given on this board. Kinda down right now over my hair. It's the one thing I can have fun with (or so I thought) since I'm such a physical wreck.

Of course, there is always wigs, but like someone once said "no matter what, when you wear a wig you always feel like you are constantly wearing a hat"!
Good day to all...

Posts: 14

Posted: Sunday, January 26, 2003 12:01:00 PM

Of course you can have Return done! That is why it was created. Just know that it can take several applications, and you will get better results if it is done soon after the initial color. Also, Elumen, as with any haircolor, will act differently on different hair types. You have stated that your hair is long, so it is more porous, and thus will loose color faster. You have so many options available to you! Haircolor is the easiest thing in our profession to change, if you are willing to work with your hairdresser. I applaud you for trying something new! If you like Redken Shades better, that's okay! Have the Return service done, then have the Redken service done. The thing about Elumen, and all haircolor for that matter, is you have to consider what you are starting with. It sounds like you trust your colorist(s), so let them make you happy. Good Luck!

Posts: 17

Posted: Sunday, January 26, 2003 5:23:00 PM
I expected when I first posted to be bombarded with negative remarks about myself--i.e., hard to please, never satisfied etc. Instead, I find suggestions and encouragement. This is why I find colorists to be such great, upbeat people. There's always an answer, if one looks hard enough.

My compliments go out to you all who try to please the public and take a lot of flak when things don't go right. That is why I don't blame the colorist; I just felt Goldwell was emphasizing all the great things about their product but didn't talk about any of its possible downfalls (but then, the point of advertising is to present what is sold in the best light possible). Otherwise, they seem like a forward looking company.

Again, I appreciate your help. There's nothing so awfully bad it can't be fixed as far as hair goes, which can't be said for a lot of other things in life. You win some, you lose some. I'm going to keep trying. It'll happen one of these days and all the effort and frustration will be worth it in the end.

My best to all....


Posted: Sunday, January 26, 2003 10:55:00 PM
sharon- There is no reason to take the elumen color out of your hair if you want it darker. Elumen only adds to your color, so i'm not understanding why you think you need to take the elumen that is left in your hair out? The only thing that went wrong it sounds like to me is that the colorist anticipated a darker result than what was actually achieved. Next time why not just ask him or her to mix up a darker color.


Posted: Sunday, January 26, 2003 10:59:00 PM
sharon one more thing once you have any color on your hair that covers grey, permanent color, you have blown your chance to color it the same as you have with elumen unless you do some kind of color removering, or bleaching to your hair first. you can't color your hair with redken black and then next time go flaming red. it's just a law of color, color doesn't lift color, to some extent it does but not black to blond or anything like that.

Posts: 17

Posted: Monday, January 27, 2003 7:24:00 AM
Well, since I had nothing but oxidative color on my hair for years, perhaps it would be best to have Return used and go back to Redken or whatever. It seems that once Elumen is used, one is stuck with it unless it is taken out as much as possible. This is something Goldwell did not make clear.

The color I want is the darkest auburn you can get. In fact, it appears black in certain lights and then when light does hit it you can see that it is really dark auburn.

I think I better call the colorist ASAP and explain how things turned out and see how to go from there. Maybe a phone call to Elumen might also help, although I will keep in mind they will try to get me to keep going with that as opposed to an oxidative color.

It's nice to have suggestions tossed around about my problem. I feel like I am sitting down with all of you and we are discussing various ways to get a result that's comfortable for me. That's what makes this board so great. The colorist community really does care.


Posted: Monday, January 27, 2003 1:35:00 PM
sharon- you can color over elumen if you want darker hair. I've done it and i have it in my hair and after it fades in 4-6 weeks i have colored over it with different color. If your elumen is not the right tone you can add a different elumen color over it without taking it out if you want it darker. That is not a problem at all. What do you consider oxidative color? permanent color does oxidize!

Posts: 17

Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 12:21:00 AM
Elumen claims that it is not an oxidative dye but works on an entirely different principle. By oxidative I mean a dye which contains peroxide and ammonia. I've noticed after shampoo #4 since coloring that the area that had been grey before is really losing the color. I can even see it in the suds in the shampoo. The hair that previously was colored with Redken and then done over with Elumen looks much like it did pre-Elumen, so I can only conclude the Elumen is coming out with each shampoo. Maybe I won't need Return after all! Never had a permanent color come out of my hair while shampooing to such an extent that it is quite visible!

Wonders never cease, but life is an adventure, that is for sure.


Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 8:31:00 AM
Our Salon Has Redken and Goldwell. Out of 25 stylists, I think 20 of the stylist including myself likes Redken Color.


Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 10:50:00 PM
elumen doesn't cover grey. It can blend it somewhat. I have heard from other people that they had it cover grey.

Posts: 223
Bronze Member

Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 11:27:00 PM
I think you have to go back to your basic Elumen training since it is a totally different technology. Its an oxidant free hair color, no ammonia or peroxide. Its a direct dye which go into the cortex (simulated magnetic attraction).It is not meant to cover gray hair more than 20 % and is a totally different service than all other colors (maybe similar to cellophane but with better coverage?) Go back to the training manual.

Posts: 17

Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 7:33:00 AM
That's what I meant by it being a non-oxidative color. Hence the questions as to what to do if I didn't care for it. The question revolves around going back to oxidative color after having had an elumen treatment done.

Return can be used but as I understand it often involves more then one application to get elumen out. (Although in my case, it looks like elumen is just slowly rinsing out each time I wash my hair). And I've read that an oxidative color application over elumen will not work properly as the elumen will not allow the new type of coloring to override it, so to speak.

This is a good place for discussion of this product as, in my case, there has been surprisingly little advertising in consumer magazines for the product. Which leads me to ask how much ads and/or information such as columns, articles etc. have been showing up in professional publications?

Unfortunately, I called the Goldwell 1-800 number and learned absolutely nothing. The woman who answered said she never colors her hair and couldn't either tell me one thing about their products and only referred me to a nearby salon. They need to get more informed people on those phones! I'm sure it's a great company but one does not get that impression on the phone :(


Posted: Friday, January 31, 2003 12:47:00 AM
Mist the area with water to open the cuticle, do not drench it, and put it on thick for grey:If you put it under the dryer with a cap, it will last a little longer, and more grey.


Posted: Friday, January 31, 2003 12:49:00 AM
Mist the area with water to open the cuticle, do not drench it, and put it on thick for grey:If you put it under the dryer with a cap, it will last a little longer, and cover more grey.

Posts: 14

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2003 11:35:00 PM
Um, what kind of water opens the cuticle? Water will break sulphur bonds, but I have never heard of water opening the cuticle...that is reserved for alkaline solutions and heat/chemical combos.

Posts: 2360
Platinum Member

Posted: Saturday, February 01, 2003 12:28:00 AM
I was wondering the same thing myself.I know I'm not that tired yet...:)

Posts: 14

Posted: Saturday, February 01, 2003 10:18:00 AM
Thanks MC! I was hoping not to sound too catty, but it was quite late. Being an educator, I hear so much misinformation. I think everyone should pull out their old cosmetology school textbooks and review every once in a while. Everything we do relates back to all the basic stuff we learned in school.

Posts: 2360
Platinum Member

Posted: Sunday, February 02, 2003 1:06:00 AM
OH believe me...I've pulled out the book and the notes ...Some of the things I hear...:) Makes me wonder what the hell I was doing when those classes came around because I sure missed them. Every time I say "I HAVE NOW HEARD IT ALL!!!" Some boo-zoo corrects my thinking.LOL


Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 9:44:00 PM
water will swell the hair, ph of hair 4.5-5.5 ph of water is 7. Water will swell the hair allowing for pigments to go in or out. Elumen you may see pigment in your shampoo but the amount of dye load in the color shows longer on the hair shaft. Elumen will blend grey, it just is not as opaque. It can actually be a nice result.


Posted: Thursday, February 06, 2003 11:27:00 AM


Posted: Friday, February 07, 2003 12:19:00 PM
Actually, I work with chemists and water will swell because our hair acts like a sponge, but water will adapt to the pH of what it is mixed with. Thats why it is neutral. If that were true we would be washing our hair everyday with a pH of 7 no haircolor in the world would stay.


Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2003 3:06:00 PM
Hi all. I wish Goldwell would be more honest about Elumen. I think it is an awesome color but it has limits. It is not for everyone and is expensive to use. I wish they would come clean and admit that Return can't remove all the color and there are clients you should not use it on. It's not the answer for every client.


Posted: Monday, July 26, 2004 11:45:00 PM
Hi, Can anyone tell me if there is a product that will cover grey WITHOUT the use of PPD? I'm an entertainer, and I'm not crazy about going grey. I fought for a year to get Elumen, but it only covers maybe 40%. Thanks to anyone who can help.

Alena Marie
Posts: 6

Posted: Monday, August 09, 2004 10:46:00 AM
I'm sure that all of you know this, I haven't really read each post word for word, but Elumen is a polymer. Thats why its so hard to remove without the hair pretty much falling out. I would just use permanant color...now that you have elumen in your hair you have to use mineral oil and alcohol to get it out, or you can use a color diffuser. Usually the only way to safely remove polymer...cut it off. But since you want your hair darker, use perm. since thats the only thing you CAN do is go darker. POLYMERS=bad hahaha


Posted: Monday, August 09, 2004 12:17:00 PM
So how is this product different than something like Henna. Isn't that how you get henna out, mineral oil and alcohol? I'm conufsed about this stuff. It sounds like Henna and it sounds like Jazzing all rolled up in one.


Posted: Monday, August 09, 2004 4:39:00 PM
The dyes in Elumen are acid dyes and, as an example, the Acid Violet 43 is the dye that has been used for years in almost all silver shampoos to remove yellow (just like Clairol Shimmer Lights, which is an old product).

There's nothing new about using acid dyes... Revlon used them in their old Nice Change Color Rinse. What is new with Elumen is that it's a solvent based formula which allows these dyes to penetrate in the hair (and not stay outside).

I really love Elumen, even if it doesn't switch all the color needs (just like gray covering on regrowth), and I get very beautiful colors when I do color balancing or toning.

I've just noticed one thing : the color takes better and STAYS LONGER on permed hair than on normal healthy hair.

Something to explore ??

Alena Marie
Posts: 6

Posted: Monday, August 09, 2004 6:39:00 PM
Hey well I THINK thats the same way to remove it, I'll have to look over my notes again. I am not sure if you do that for henna and metallic dyes or...what no...Actually I had to do corrective coloring the other day on polymer swatch, and the only thing that you could use was a color diffuser or remover, I just don't like to say remover because the only way to actually remove all the color out of hair is to cut it, haha. But anyways, the good things about polymers or Elumen is that you can get beautiful colors and its chain like body structure is its biggest downfall, but great if your client NEVER wants a diff color or will only want to go darker. But one woman said something about she noticed it stayed on better on permed hair instead of normal healthy hair and she should explore maybe? The only reason possible Im sure is because permed hair is more porous than healthy hair.When you have very porous hair everything is always grabbed up. For example whenever you color someones hair that is very porous esp. on the ends, you get darker on the ends. So thats the only reason Im sure it does so well on permed hair.


Posted: Monday, August 09, 2004 11:00:00 PM
I have never heard about the mineral oil + alcohol mix for removing polymer type colors. what ratio do you mix? any particular type of mineral oil or alcohol? do you use a heat source? Thanks!

Posts: 50

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2004 11:40:00 AM
Anon: no I said I was sorry bc I screwed up....Thats for removing metallic dye and henna. You have to use a color diffuser and thats it. But it will not remove much and it will all pretty much fall out or be extremely damaged. I think the best bet is just not to use polymers!


Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2004 9:18:00 PM
If you use a blue-black as a base color and you are going to decolorize some sections to make the hair ready to apply the blue elumens, how light do you have to bleach it? My first thought would be that you would have to get it to a pale yellow so that you wouldnt end up with a greenish color, but I have been told that elumens is different and you dont have to be that concerned with what undertone you put it on. If we can only get the hair to and orange stage, is it still going to end up with that pure blue tone?


Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2004 10:03:00 PM
To Alena Marie
I would like to clear up a few myths about ELUMEN, 1 is that Elumen is not a polymer nor does it act like a polymer. Correct that Acidic Dyes are not new to the indusrty , however the way they are able to penetrate into the cortex is what is new technology due to a penetration enhancer ( That is not a polymer) tha allows the seperation of the dyes and to recluster into the cortex by attaching to positive charges in the hair. As for Elumen going darker, 1st you must understand the differences between an oxidatve damage ( Bleach, Color) ve a non oxidative or reductive damage which creates different porosities and charges in the hair. Oxidative damage will create negetive charges in the hair causing the negetive ELUMEN dyes not to fully attach with the possibility of ELUMEN being lighter, However Non oxidative damage or reductive damage may create positive charges accepting more Elumen dyes appearing to go darker. It has been stated when using Elumen after a relaxer or Perm ( Not done in the same day ) It is suggested to use one shade lighter. I hops this clears up some misconception on Elumen. One last thought ... Is Elumen for everyone? ask yourself or client .. Is permenant, semi, or demi for EVERY client? not necessairly


Posted: Friday, August 13, 2004 11:51:00 PM
Somebody asked about PPD in this string. The only color that I know of that has no PPD is Goldwell Topchic and Colorance. I believe that all other color lines now contain the dye.


Posted: Saturday, August 14, 2004 1:56:00 AM
p-Phenylenediamine (PPD) is present in all professional hair colors, which includes Goldwell.

If you don't see it listed on the label, it is disguised under one of the following names:

PPD is also known as 1,4-Diaminobenzene, para-Diaminobenzene, 1,4-Benzenediamine, para-Benzenediamine, 1,4-Aminoaniline and para-Aminoaniline, among others.


Posted: Saturday, August 14, 2004 3:16:00 AM
I still don't understand what makes Elumen different from Jazzing or Henna. It sounds like pure color

Posts: 8

Posted: Saturday, June 28, 2008 9:15:34 PM
If you ever took an elumen class you would know it is not for everyone! Its for people who are very trendy and want vibrant color that will last longer than punk dyes.It can cover grey but remember elumen uses the existing base of that hair. My boss is perfect she is allergic to any oxidative color. she has 30 % grey. we use bn@6 and rr@all.(equal parts mixed) she gets a warm level 6 on her non grey and looks like straight rr on her grey (even with the bn@6).She ends up with suttle but stunning rr lites and a warm grey free base and no allergy. This color is more permanent than most its not for people who want to change all the time.All isn't lost if you want to change, all the primary colors = brown and you can always color over .But when you lift the base lifts out and the ellumen show up lighter and brighter and can't be eaten by bleach.I used it for a year on myself and my hair was never in better condition.Its a great tool if you know how to use it.

Jack the Clipper
Posts: 48

Posted: Sunday, June 29, 2008 4:08:24 AM

ColourStar, water does not open sulphur bonds, but hydrogen bonds.

As many have pointed out, there is no need to use the Return service if you are not going lighter, but it won't harm you either (other than possibly financially).

The thing to remember with Elumen is that it is a WYSIWYG color. It will be what it looks like, depending on the level the hair is from start, wether natural or tinted. It CAN be used on gray/white hair, but it has no depth so it can't cover it - it will however color it. You get the same color as on highly bleached hair - that is extremely vivid. As suggested above, if you want it to stay longer use the Elumen color care series. Things that can speed up bleeding of Elumen is alkaline water/products. Keep your hair slightly acidic and it will stay better.

If your colorist did the Elumen service at the same occasion as she colored your roots with oxy color, there is a great risk your hair was alkaline from the root color. That will prevent Elumen from grabbing fully. Whenever Elumen is used, hair MUST be bone dry, and ACIDIC. This low pH can be obtained by putting a deep conditioner on for at least ten minutes after the oxy color or bleach, then rinsing and drying, drying, drying. There is also the Prepare liquid that can help, but I find that it is safer to use deep conditioner and Prepare.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Jack the Clipper
Posts: 48

Posted: Sunday, June 29, 2008 4:13:19 AM

Elumen does not contain PPD.

SOME TopChic shades do, but not all. It is important for colorists to know how to handle a PPD reaction, but more on this subject at another time, I am already late! :-)