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/ July 2, 2014

WELLA Strawberry Blonde vs. L’OREAL Strawberry Blonde

Battle of the (Strawberry) Blondes!  If you have read the posts “Strawberry Blonde Hair: My Epic Journey” and “Part Two“, and if you haven’t you should, the writing is superb, (ha ha) then you already know that I have two favorite color combos to make strawberry blonde hair.  One is from mixing two shades of L’Oreal Excellence and the other is from mixing two shades of Wella Color Charm.  I wanted to break down what I like about each formula so you can decide for yourself the best combo for your hair.

WELLA COLOR CHARM in 8RG Titian Red Blonde mixed with 8G Light Golden Blonde (1 tube of each) |

This is the current formula I’m using in my hair.

Likes |

  • the red/strawberry is more vibrant in this formula
  •  the color stays a very true strawberry blonde, very minimal fading
  • the cream formula covers every single grey hair, phenomenal coverage
  • quality of the dye is very high, closest I’ve gotten to salon results at home
  • Sally’s Beauty is always well stocked

Meh |

  • You have to purchase the developer, gloves, and mixing tube separately and measure the correct amount of developer yourself.  Slightly intimidating at first.

L’OREAL EXCELLENCE in 8RB Reddish Blonde mixed with 6R Light Auburn

Likes |

  • Easy to use, developer, gloves, conditioner, and color all come packaged together
  • pretty blonde tones in initial results

Meh |

  • color fades quickly
  • the first 2 – 3 days the color is more red than I’d like it to be
  • Red Penny can be hard to find in store


Color |

The Wella combo comes out more strawberry blonde than the L’Oreal combo.  The L’Oreal combo eventually fades to a more blonde version of strawberry blonde.

If you want a blonder color, go with the L’Oreal.

If you want a more “strawberry” strawberry blonde, go with the Wella combo.

If you have grey hair like me, the Wella covers greys the best, while staying the most vibrant, in my opinion.  Both colors are gorgeous, it just depends if you want your hair to be more blonde or more strawberry.

Health |

In terms of hair health, my hair felt the same after coloring with both dyes.  The L’Oreal includes a pretreatment to protect your ends and a deep conditioner after rinsing your hair.  For the Wella, I put coconut oil in my ends (2″-3″ of ends only) to protect them before coloring and a good deep conditioning mask after rinsing.

Price |

I purchase two boxes of the L’Oreal and two tubes of the Wella, so the price really works out to be almost the same.

The L’Oreal is around $9 a box (x2 = $18) but you can usually find it on sale.  The Wella is around $5 per tube (x2 = $10) and $2 for developer, for $12 total.

I bought plastic gloves in bulk ($10 for a box of 100), coconut oil from Trader Joe’s ($6), and a deep conditioner that I use once a week.  So the combos do work out to cost about the same.

Related Post | My Current DIY Strawberry Formula + Clip-In Hair Extensions


Also, here is a video showing the results with each combo.   Skip right to the 3:02 minute mark in the L’Oreal and skip to 3:08 in the Wella video to see the results!

I hope this is helpful, I know there are a ton of hair color options out there.  Because I’ve had almost every single one on my head, ha!  That could be a fun post, every shade I’ve tried besides red…



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  1. Molly your Hair color is Outstanding! And your Not a hairdresser? You could have fooled me! Love the makeup tips ect ect. Keep it coming! Cheers!!!! Elle P.

  2. Such an amazing color! I would so appreciate your insight for a wella formula to get a certain result I’m after (I have a photo of isla fisher I don’t know how to attach) I’m a natural dark strawberry blond but I’ve gone much darker and ashy-not grey I don’t think…

  3. This is a great post, very helpful. Great for topping up my natural strawberry blonde. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  4. Hi, I am a natural very light blonde and am thinking of going for a strawberry blonde. Your posts have definitely been the most detailed. I’m just a bit afraid of the red coming out too strong, would have any tips?

  5. I love this, thank you so much! I’d never tried or heard of Wella. I tried it because of you and I love it – it’s my favorite hair color to date!

    • So glad to hear that! It has really become my favorite too, such beautiful reds and such lasting power. Glad you love the brand also!!

  6. Hi Molly,

    I did too… I tried the Wella formula you posted and I loved it!
    I’m in love with my new look… Thanks to your hint. The video also helped a lot.

    Thank you so much.

  7. As a colorist, I always notice your roots are always way more red than the rest as they never lift enough and they aren’t as processed and porous so they grab the red and keep it. I would suggest keeping a few things, if you are using a 20 vol I would maybe use a 30 on your roots only and mix that in a separate bottle, or just leave the roots on longer, and I would also in that separate mixture use more of the blonde and much less of the red, the lengths need the “color” more and the roots need the “lift”. I personally think the more blondish shades of red most flattering on you. I think for hair as thick as yours it could use a lot more dimension, I would take a mascara brush and put the blonde color mixed alone with no red on strands of your hair first anywhere you like, then maybe mix a little of the red on it’s own or with a touch of the blonde in it and do the same again on some strands, then take the left over of the first blonde only bottle and add some of the 2nd bottle of red to it and do your roots. Then you can cover the untreated remaining hair with your 50/50 mixture, it’s ok to put it on like a shampoo as long as you don’t “mix” it up tooooo much.. The strands already saturated should stay that way, though of course we would foil them in the salon to keep them perfect just in case.. You can buy red and gold fillers at Sally’s, about $5 a bottle or so, add that to your favorite color treated shampoo and conditioner and they will then act as a daily color rinse to keep the lengths boosted and even help cover the gray slightly between coloring.

  8. I did the Wella formula you posted…I have had women drop their cell phone calls just to ask where to get the color! It is amazing and so sexy! I was so scared to try at first but THANK YOU for posting it! Never going back to the dull side of haircolor EVER again! Oh just a side note…if you wear hair extensions and do this color, be sure to use the Wella formula due to color fading. Wella is more gradual as the Loreal fades very quickly and then you find yourself with a mix match dilemma. Do NOT wash your hair with hot water, try lukewarm/cool as the red tones will wash out! For every four washes of my own hair, I then wash my extensions and color still blends very nicely with them. It will give beautiful lowlight and highlight look all around.

    • Your comment really made my morning. Thank you, such a nice comment to see, I love love love that this post helped you and that you love your color. We should feel our best every, single day, right!? And confession: I’m so gross and only wash my extensions 3 or 4 times a year. Haha. But that is really good advice about the temperature of the water, it does make a huge difference!

  9. Hiya molly i love your blog i am mahogany red and really need a change how do i get you colour please will l’oreal work do you think.. really love your advice.

  10. Hey, loving the advice. I have been dying my hair ‘strawberry blonde’ for over a year and you know what it lasts 2 weeks top and it literally goes back to blonde. Iv tried so many products and dyes but nothing lasts, not even the hairdressers helped. SO I am going to give this wella combo a go, I have naturally light blonde/brown hair and the ends of my hair are lighter from previous blonde highlights. The only thing I am worried about is measuring the colour and the developer, I have fine hair so when I use a home dye I only need one bottle to cover it. So what would you recommend? I want to use more of the titian red blonde than the blonde because my hair needs more red in it than blonde, any suggestions would be so helpful! mixing at home sounds scary but it must be done!!! Iv already ordered everything I need so this is happening!!

  11. How can I buy it? Is there any place that would ship worldwide? πŸ™ I’m seriously in love with this color and can’t find any mix of brands to get on it.

    Regards from Brazil!

    • I’m not sure who ships where, but maybe try to search “Wella Color Charm” and “Brazil” and see if any sites pop up with the two search terms? And thank you for reading, kisses to Brazil!!

  12. Your blog is a gold mine for information about strawberry blonde! I do have a question, I recently moved to Sweden from Canada so i need to order my Wella hair color from amazon uk. I reaaaally want to try your combo, but there is just one thing that is bothering be : I can get Titan Blonde but not Light Golden Blonde. I was wondering if any other combo you think could produce a very similar result ? My hair is naturally medium blonde and my hair right now is a auburn , a bit too dark for my taste but i’m trying your ”color remover” tips with the shampoo etc. Under, my hair is medium blonde with light blonde highlights so i’m guessing they will probably eventually show up again when the hair color will strip a bit. Do you think that I could mix Titan Blonde & Light Blonde ? Those 2 are available.

    Thank you so much for all your wonderful advice!

  13. Thank you for this blog!! I am a natural strawberry blonde, but it’s a dull color!! Going to try your combo from Sally’s this weekend!!!

  14. Thank you so much for this post. I’ve used both Loreal’s Red Penny and Reddish Blonde but never together! This may be the perfect combo. You’re right, Red Penny takes some searching to find. So far, I can only find it in Ulta. I will give this a try in a few weeks. Thank you for all the great tips from a fellow Ginger! I’m thrilled to find this blog.

    • Thank you!! I’m so glad this was helpful. Yes, it’s so funny, I can look back through old photos and tell you which color was L’Oreal Reddish Blonde, Red Penny, or both combined. Hop you can find Red Penny, I know will ship it via ground mail too if you can’t find it in store. πŸ™‚

  15. This – and all the corresponding posts – are fantastic. I love all the information here, and your hair’s amazing! So pretty.
    Do you think that this combination would work for a natural dark brunette? I plan on using a 30 volume developer first, to get it blonde, and then I would be doing the Wella combination.

    I am really super afraid to do it, because I know that since my hair color is so dark that I have to bleach it and it will be quite a process… but I have really read up on different techniques and I am willing to try it. I’m hoping to achieve strawberry blonde like this but I wouldn’t be too surprised if it comes out darker or brassier than I hope. Any tips or ideas? I know it’s probably way different with my natural brunette vs. someone who’s already blonde, so I figured I may as well see what you think!

    • Thank you, Chantelle! Glad the posts are helpful. I think the 30 volume is a good start and maybe going lighter in two stages would help eliminate the chance of it going orange or brassy. I might go a couple shades lighter than your natural color and mix it with the Titian Red Blonde or a medium red shade. Then next time you color, do the Titian and Light Golden Blonde. My hair is actually mostly grey at this point, so mine does probably come out a bit lighter. I hope this helps!!

      • Ohhh, smart. That will probably work better. Thanks! I’ll probably do a different Wella color with the Titian and then go for the strawberry blonde after. How long would one typically wait to recolour? Once it fades or a certain span of time?
        Thank you so much for the tips, and for this blog!

        • I usually wait 4 to 6 weeks and just use the Rita Hazan root spray in between. My scalp can get so dry if I do it any sooner. With the wella, my color doesn’t seem to fade too much. I was looking at the Sally website for you and I’m not sure how dark your hair is now, but I think maybe 5G Light Golden Brown mixed with 5RG Light Auburn might be a good start. Or 7G Hazel Blonde and the 8RG Titian Blonde if you really want to go for it the first time, then move to the 8G and 8RG the second time you color. As long as you stay with the “G” after the number for “gold” you’ll be in the same tone each time you color. If you have a Sally’s near you sometimes it helps to see the swatches in person. I hope this helps and please let me know how your hair comes out!!

  16. Your hair is so beautiful!!! Thank you so much for sharing this video. My hair naturally is similar to the hair color you got using the loreal red penny and reddish blonde color. I’ve been a bleach blonde color for a few years and wanted to go back to my natural roots. Well I had my hair recently professionally dyed (and it’s not what I asked for at all) it came out a dark red with this purple cast. The purple cast has since faded thank god but I’d say it’s defiantly red not the pretty strawberry blonde you have. Any tips you have for me when it’s time to touch up my roots? I’d also love to see a video of you using the wella hair color.

    Oh and happy 4th of July

    • I will definitely post the Wella video when it’s done! When my hair came out too dark from the Age Beautiful color I did (the pic is in the Strawberry Blonde epic journey post) I washed my hair almost daily with the John Frieda blonde activating shampoo. It’s pretty drying, so I def recommend using an amazing conditioner and hair mask once a week while using it. But it helped fade the red significantly in about 3 weeks and eliminated the brassy tones, then I did my normal strawberry blonde color the next time and had a hair dresser add some highlights around my face. (Highlights are the one thing I won’t do on my own) In a few months it was all back to normal!

      • Thank you so much for your advice, just went to ulta and found both of the Loreal colors. It’s been 3 weeks since I had my hair dyed, I’ll wait maybe 2 more weeks and try these colors and if all goes well I’ll post a pic

          • Hey Molly so I was hoping to have a picture to share but I don’t. It’s been 4 weeks since my color disaster and my hair has faded tremendously. I decided today I’d test some hidden chunks of hair…in one chuck I did just red penny and in the other I combined reddish blonde and the red penny and unfortunately neither one showed up in my hair. I’m so bummed!! My hair dresser is on maternity leave right now till the end of August so I guess I will just let my hair grow out till then and just have her fix it.

            Thank you again for all your advice

          • Hi Michelle, no problem! You might have better luck using the Wella formula, it’s a bit stronger of a developer than the L’Oreal. Also, I’d test a patch of regrowth at the roots, you might be able to get a combo that blends nicely with the faded color. Because color won’t lift previous color (which is why neither of the L’Oreal swatches showed up in your hair), I think trying to blend the roots with the faded color might be the best option until your hairdresser comes back at least. I hope this makes sense, let me know! πŸ™‚ Molly

  17. Thank you so much for posting this!!!! Seriously answered all my questions!!! I am looking for a “blonder” look with a hint of strawberry so I will using the loreal tonight!!! Thank you again!!!

    • Awesome! I’m glad it helped! The first couple of days after using the L’Oreal it’s always a bit more red than I want it to be, but then it fades to a pretty strawberry blonde. Just so you know and aren’t panicking! πŸ™‚ Def tag me on Instagram @girlgetglamorous so I can see it when it’s done! Also, on my youtube there is a video of me doing this color so you can see how it comes out.

  18. I’m a natural strawberry blond (who is now almost entirely gray) with dark brown eyes (I know – unusual) and your posts on color are just what I’ve been looking for! I’ve tried so many brands of hair color along with so many color combinations – I have to keep a log so I won’t forget and try the same thing again! Unfortunately my attempts have resulted in color that is either too blonde, too red (and sometimes, too pink). I tried eSalon last month and although the color is closer to what I want, it’s still not right so it will require adjusting month after month like everything else. The photos on the Loreal boxes for Reddish Blonde and Red Penny appear to be more red than my natural color, but your result is absolutely perfect! Next month I’ll give the Loreal Reddish Blond a try and will keep adding the Red Penny as necessary.

    Also appreciate all of your suggestions on specific shades of foundation, blush and eye makeup for strawberry blondes. You’re filling a huge information void – so please keep it coming! Thank you Molly!

    • Thank you, that is so nice of you to say! Please let me know how your color comes out! I am also working on a high end/dept store makeup post for strawberry blondes. I appreciate your comment, thank you!