Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I try: the new Wella Illumina colour experience


I was rather excited when I heard about Wella’s new Illumina colour system at a media event a few weeks ago, and even more so when I had the chance to try it for myself in the expert hands of Toni & Guy High Street technical director and Illumina ambassador, the lovely Cinnamon Scholes.
Called by Wella “our biggest colour innovation in 20 years”, it introduces the idea of light to hair colour with some pretty dazzle-worthy results. What it gives hair is “sheer” colour, colour that's luminous in every kind of light and is seriously glossy.
There are two reasons that people are falling in love with Illumina, the first being the fact that the cuticle surface remains healthier with use - colour after colour -allowing light to reflect more intensely from the hair surface. This is much like light reflecting through frosted glass versus clean glass, if that makes sense! Second, a healthy cuticle also allows more light to enter the hair shaft, interact with colour pigments, and be reflected back to what we can see.
It also tackles the main causes of cuticle deterioration, so that the colour is interacting with a healthy cuticle, much in the same way as totally virgin hair.
Copper accumulates on the hair surface every time hair is washed because copper is naturally present in the tap water we use when we shampoo. When a colourant is applied to the hair, it reacts with the copper, creating so-called free radicals, which attacks the hair and then the cuticle structure. Illumina contains a patented technology that selectively encapsulates and de-activates the copper, eliminating the chance for free radicals to form. Magic!
Illumina is currently available in twenty shades in New Zealand with more on their way all the time, and there is also a ‘glossing’ treatment available that takes around twenty minutes and gives your colour incredible depth and shine.
The latter is what Cinnamon recommended for my hair and was pretty damn impressive - my locks definitely have the feel of ‘virgin’ hair and the shine factor is mind-blowing! My blow wave used no products apart from Wella’s Luxe Oil (a product I hadn’t used before but smelled amazing) and held its style for days afterward - a rarity for my hair without the layering of multiple products. If you’re in the market for a totally natural looking colour change or just a boost to what you already have and love then I recommend you check the rather magical Illumina out.

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