Demi-permanent hair colour: Cutrin Reflection Demi Kit 6.16

posted on: July 3, 2014

When I decided to grow out my pixie, the first thing that happened was that familiar craving for change. If I couldn’t make my hair grow five inches in a week, well, at least I could play around with the colour. What you see in the “before” pictures are; towards the ends, what’s left of a brown-black, permanent dye; in the middle, what happened with my natural hair colour when I tried a box of L’orèal Sublime Mousse in 700 Pure Very Light Brown (it was an experiment); and along the roots, my natural colour.Demi-permanent hair colour: Cutrin Reflection Demi Kit 6.16 | from

Tha light brown colour was an experiment. What I hoped it would do was lighten all my hair a shade or two. Not enough to be blonde by any stretch, but just enough to make a noticeable change. I guess it did, in a way, it just couldn’t lighten what was left of the permanent dye towards my ends, so I ended up with an unintended and hard ombré. After a while, the colour looked rather yellow on me, too, which isn’t flattering for my skin tone. Something had to be done.

A previous student of mine suggested I buy some not-quite-permanent hair colour at the hairdresser’s, as that could smooth out the colours and get rid of the yellow. I must admit I didn’t even know you could buy do-at-home hair colour at a salon, but it turns you absolutely can! I dropped in at a place nearby and asked for a colour that was semi-permanent in some way, and with as cool a brown shade as they come. We landed on one with just a touch of purple in it, which would counteract the yellow I had.

This Cutrin system was rather clever: they have boxes that contain everything but the actual colour, and the colours are ordered separately. This means the salons can order a wider variety of colours without getting stuck with tons of product they can’t shift. The box contains enough colour for two rounds on short hair; you’ll probably need both “rounds” if your hair is longer than your shoulders. At 160,- NOK it was less than regular box dye, and that’s for two rounds of colouring.

Demi-permanent hair colour: Cutrin Reflection Demi Kit 6.16 | from

This was the first time I’ve tried demi permanent hair colour. The “demi” means that it’s slightly stronger than “semi” varieties, as the demi opens up the hair cuticles slightly to let some of the dye penetrate the hair; you can read more about it here, for instance. Demi is still less drastic than permanent colour, though, which means its gentler on the hair, but won’t give as major a change as permanent dye.

I wrote a list over the pros and cons – you know me, always the organiser.


– the best shade of brown I’ve ever found for my hair. I always struggle with finding a really, really cool brown, and this is the first one I’ve found that truly was cool enough.

– looks utterly natural. When I’d just dyed it, the colour was very dark, but still looked less “flat” than permanent dyes I’ve tried. After a few washes it went a wonderful, shiny brown, and has faded very beautifully (more on that later).

– more affordable than most dyes I’ve found. In Norway you usually pay between 100,- and 200,- NOK for a box of dye. This was 160,-, and twice the amount of product.

no harsh smell. I’m pretty sensitive when it comes to smell (once I sat in the couch and could smell bananas that were in the fridge), but this one didn’t really smell much at all, even when smeared on my head.

no ammonia in this particular dye, which is both good for the hair itself, and for the smell of the product.

– hair feels less damaged than with permanent dye. My scalp didn’t react to this either, which it normally always does.

– the colour was easy to use, and didn’t stain towels/the shower.


– the colour does fade a little with each wash. It’s now been a month since I dyed it, and the colour is a shade or two lighter than in these pictures (probably from a combination of washing it and being outside in strong sunlight). The coolness of the shade is still there, though, and everything still looks nice and even. There is no sign of the yellow, nor the strong transitions between the “old” colours.

– Cutrin’s website states that grey coverage is only 75% for this product. I do have a few greys here and there, but mine disappeared after dyeing. Not quite sure if this would work as well if you have a lot of grey, or if your greys are particularly stubborn, though.

In short, I’m very happy with this. As I’m growing my hair out I wanted a more gentle product than permanent dye. Finding the right colour was essential, as that would enable me not to dye it as often. Whenever I want a boost of colour now, I know just the thing, finally!

PS: As usual, no sponsoring of this post, no affiliation – I just really liked the product.

  • Kristina

    You look really good with the darker brown–very Amelie-like.

  • Bonnie

    That colour looks wonderful! I remember reading your post about henna months and months ago and seriously considering putting henna in my own hair. How would you compare henna with other forms of at-home hair colouring, in terms of results and difficulty? I remember you described your hair as “Disney princess hair”, a look I would love to achieve, but henna did seem like a lot of hard work!

    As always – it is so wonderful to see you blogging more regularly again! I do so love seeing a new post from you and deciding when to read it (I like to pick a time when I am not rushed, so that it will bring me maximum enjoyment).

    • Maria

      Thank you, Bonnie! I’d say the henna was at least three times the amount of work as “regular” dye, though I’m sure it would have been easier with practice. The dealbreaker for me on henna was the smell, it was just way too strong for me, both during the actual colouring, but also for a long time afterwards. This demi-permanent one smelled pretty much nothing (and I’m _very_ sensitive when it comes to smells), and it doesn’t seem to have done any permanent damage to my hair at all. The downside to this one was how the colour faded after about a month or so.

      I guess it all comes down to what you want. For a long-lasting, nurturing treatment I’d consider the henna (smell it before you buy it, if you can), for easy application and a very natrual result I’d go demi-permanent :)

  • Maja H

    That color is fantastic on you. I might have to try this one if I find myself too budgetally challenged for the salon one moth!

  • Caer

    That color is beautiful, and is perfect for your coloring. I agree with Kristina, the firs thought that came to my mind was Amelie. :)

    It’s such a good idea to use gentler dyes when growing your hair out, too. I grew mine out after I had bleached/ombre’d it, and went in for a trim and told the stylist to cut off all the damage, I ended up going from length just below my bust to my shoulders. Kind of a surprise!

    • Maria

      Thank you, Caer! Preventing damage was my top reason for not choosing permanent dye, and I’m super-happy with it. This colour seems to have pretty much disappeared from my hair now (I haven’t dyed it since I took the above pictures), but it’s mostly kept that cool tone, and it still looks even and natural. The colour also blends so well with my natrual one, which I’m now growing out as an experiment :)

  • Hanne

    Omg that brown shade is so lovely on you! It looks a bit like chocolate too :)

    I can totally sympatize with the itch for a change – I don’t color my hair anymore and I’m growing it out so I’m very happy I have a fringe that needs to be trimmed once in a while.

    • Maria

      Thanks, Hanne – and the first thing I thought of when my hair had dried was my favourite chocolate, a wonderfully bittersweet mocha kind :D

  • Welcome to

    […] Demi-permanent hair colour: Cutrin Reflection Demi Kit 6.16 … I decided to grow out my pixie, the first thing that happened was that familiar craving for change. If I couldn't make my hair grow five inches in a week, well, at least I could play around with the colour. What you see in the … […]