Review: L’Oreal Recital Preference in 03 Lightest Ash Blonde

Having got my hair blonde and liking the colour, I wanted to move away from bleach and onto a high lift tint instead. When it comes to going to the wholesalers I’m pretty lazy and prefer to buy chemist/pharmacy brands – it also means I review them for you, so you may find a product you haven’t tried before or are curious about. When choosing my blonde shade I had to take a few things into consideration; I needed good lift power, so a standard colour wouldn’t give enough lift (Usually only 1-2 shades of lift), I didn’t want to use bleach and I wanted an ash tone as my natural hair colour pulls ‘red/warm’ tones through it.

After looking at many on the market, I decided to go back to L’Oreal colours as I like them, find they make my hair really glossy and healthy looking, plus they are quite reasonable in price. I decided on L’Oreal Recital Preference in 03 Lightest Ash Blonde (Ultra Lightening) as I felt this would achieve everything I wanted on my regrowth and help blend the warmer bleach parts. Here’s what I found and my thoughts on the product…

The reason I chose the ultra lightening product is because it would give up to 4 shades on lift on virgin hair. Please note, I was only colouring my regrowth. My hair colour naturally is a dark ash blonde, it looks quite horrific when my roots come through, but it reality isn’t that bad up close.

On the rear of the packaging you have a ‘shade’ results chart. This is only a GUIDE! These colours are generally the results on ‘virgin’ hair too – this means hair that has had NO CHEMICAL TREATMENT OR PROCESSING! If your hair has had chemical processing a STRAND TEST is the only way you will be able to tell the final result. My hair is a dark blonde, so the middle option but very ash like, as it lifts it pulls a warm tone. By using a high lift blonde colour with ash in it, I am helping get my hair to blonde but also remove any red tones that may come through.

The kit comes with;

Full Instructions


Colorant Gel (Item 1)

Developer (Item 2)

High Shine Elixir

High Shine Conditioner (Item 3)

I also recommend having;

An old towel or t-shirt to protect your clothes that you don’t mind getting colour on

A comb and a brush

A stop watch, clock or something you can time with (I use my iPhone)

The colouring method is described in the instructions and offers solutions for 2 different ways;

Option 1 – On Natural Hair. First time application on natural hair or hair that hasn’t been coloured for over 3 months. APPLY COLOUR TO WET HAIR WITHOUT WASHING IT.

Option 2 – On Coloured Hair. For hair that has already been coloured with this ultra-lightening shade or with another light shade. APPLY ON DRY UNWASHED HAIR.

As my hair has been previously coloured with a lightening shade, I opted for option 2. So, applied the colour to my dry hair. I had previously done a STRAND TEST and 48 HOUR SENSITIVITY TEST (Both are important, do not skip these!!) and found that my hair needed the maximum development time.

As I hadn’t used this product before on my hair, I applied the colour to my roots area only for 40 minutes, then worked the colour through my remaining hair and left it for 5 minutes. Combing it through well, so the colour was distributed evenly. The colour stresses not to leave it on for longer than 45  minutes.

Once my hair was finished I then; Rinsed thoroughly, applied the High Shine Conditioner, left this for 2 minutes and then rinsed again.

After styling my hair I couldn’t help but notice just how glossy and shiny it looked. My hair actually looked healthy, which is saying something when its still in desperate need of a trim (More like CUT) and I’ve not gotten around to getting it done. My hair felt really manageable too. Much better than when I’d used bleach before.

I was also really impressed with the tones of my hair, the red/warm tones my hair usually pulls through were gone and my hair was a very light ash blonde – in fact my other half Mark thought it looked almost platinum! So, I can definitely say I got a great deal of lift from this product.

As for their anti-fade technology, I found my hair remained looking great right up until I needed to colour it again. So, I’m really impressed with the results. I’m also happy that I don’t need to use bleach anymore on my hair and can just use this ultra-lightening shade instead. I will definitely be using this colour and shade again for as long as I stay blonde – now I just need to get my Halo Hair Extensions to match and life will be perfect!

The L’Oreal Recital Preference range can be bought in most pharmacies/drug stores and supermarkets. It is often on offer, but mine was purchased from Superdrug for £6.63.

Lots of Love,

Mel xxxx