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Goldwell Elumen

Written by Irina Webb

Goldwell Elumen ForumThis post is for you to talk about Goldwell Elumen if you have bought the Permanent Hair Color Rating List.


If you have not yet, head over here to learn about the Permanent Hair Color Rating List.


To make this forum efficient, please answer these questions when you place a comment about Goldwell Elumen.


  1. How many times have you used it?


2. Have you applied it yourself or gone to a hairdresser?


3. If you like your Goldwell Elumen hairstylist, please share their information with us.


4. If you applied it yourself, please tell us where you bought it and any helpful details of the application.


5. What do you like/dislike about the results of it?


6. Please make sure to specify how much grey hair you had before the application, maybe in terms of a percent?


If you have not tried Goldwell Elumen yet, please let us know in the comments what you would like to know about its application.


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99 thoughts on “Goldwell Elumen”

  1. Hello,
    I have used Goldwell Elumen for 14 months. I use it about once a month mainly because my hair is very fine and I like that frequency for the extra volume it provides. I have used it myself. I have bought the products off of Amazon or I use wash, treat, [email protected], clear, lock, and clean. I weigh the color and use 55 ml [email protected] and 20 ml of clear. I might use more clear next time to try to lighten it more. I would like it to be medium brown. I am aboiut 50% gray and it covers it 100%. My hair looks very healthy. Any color with a G in it picks up too much red on my hair. I am very happy with it.

    1. Hi Terri Sharpe,
      Do you know what I can mix with [email protected] to take out the red? I’m looking for light to medium golden brown color like my natural color. I used Goldwell Elumen on my roots only and loved it, but too reddish!
      Thank you,

      1. Hi Carole,
        I was using [email protected] and mixing it with clear trying to get a medium brown because it was too dark. I have changed to [email protected] and love it. It is a medium brown with warm tones without being red. I go to an Aveda salon for haircuts and this is the first time my stylist complimented me on my color. I have tried many Goldwell Elumen colors. Any color with a G in it is too red. I hope this helps. Terri

          1. I am a hairdresser. All G will be gold. I would mix a level N with a NA or A. With 25-50% being N it will cover the grey and mix the rest of the formula to cancel warmth. Think of the color wheel and know most haircolors most abundant pigment is gold.

          2. My hairdresser mentioned to me this month that Elumen is coming out with an NN in the fall and also their own toners. I am not familiar with the hair colour codes but I think she said this will mean they finally have a full grey coverage product. However, I have been quite satisfied with the coverage already. Not sure if this is useful info, but thought I would share!

          3. Alison you’ve gotta be kidding me?! The stockists in Europe aren’t going to have the new products in stock for several weeks still and your hairdresser had the nerve to share this kind of classified information with a customer. And now it’s on the internet for everyone to see. That is so… not cool at all.

          4. Actually, Maria, the news about the NN and better grey coverage has been all over the Internet well before Alison mentioned it. They’re building hype for it – as any brand would, as pre-marketing. I thin it’s totally fine her hairdresser mentioned it. Not a secret at all.

    2. I went to a Goldwell Elumen specialist in my area. She applied it once to my brunette hair roots which were 100% gray/white. She used the new forumula for gray hair. It didn’t impress her or me but giving it another shot this Saturday. I don’t wash my hair more than 2-3 times per week and its only been 3 weeks since I went to her. Hopefully, this hold better this time. Otherwise, I may need to try the Wella product.

    3. I used Goldwell Elumen [email protected] (by itself-roots only) once and it was fine. The 2nd time I used the same color and added Elumen Lock (directions were followed). As soon as I rinsed my hair the Elumen caused immediate and heavy hair loss. I am 100% sure it was the Lock because when I rinsed out the NN8 I did not have hair loss. I will never use Lock again.

      1. Hello there Sharon,

        Thank you for your insight! I am about to purchase some new shades of the Elumen range. So far I have only tried the [email protected] shade.
        Since it a a bit too light, I would like to add some shade of the 8 range.

        When I look online the colour samples shown for the [email protected] look more like a solid to darker brown than dark blonde. How is the colour turning out for you? Is it more in the brown or dark blonde range?

        Thank you!

  2. Hello Irina,

    I found your website after I had a fairly severe allergic reaction to the hair colour may salon had been using on my hair for 15 yrs+ years. I purchased the Hair Colour rating list and I have been a subscriber ever since. Irina is doing great work!

    I have now been using Goldwell Elumen for almost a year, every 4 weeks, and I am very pleased with it. I had been dealing with Psoriasis with my previous colour, and my dermatologist had suggested Elumen in the past, but at the time my salon did not use it, so I managed by having a prescription topical cream to use for about a week after each of my colour sessions, which is when the Psoriasis would flare up. It was a band-aid solution at best. However, I am at least 75% grey, and I did not want to give up full grey coverage, which would have been an issue with all the natural products, so I kept using the colour despite the annoying psoriasis flareups.

    About a year ago, I had a much more serious allergic reaction a few days after my usual colour. I was afraid to use it after that, and yet I had to come up with a solution fast if I wanted to continue to cover the grey.

    I decided I would have to find a salon that used Elumen so I could try it. Unfortunately no salons in my area used the product, and it would be quite a distance I would have to go just for hair colour. I called my salon to tell them my situation, and as they already used Goldwell products, the owner of the salon took the plunge, contacted her sales rep, brought in the Elumen product and sent my stylist for product training. She had always wanted to try the product anyway, as there are other clients who have had some issues with the regular colour. I really appreciated this type of customer support. They have been amazing.

    It is a more expensive product, and you are reccommended to use the Elumen Shampoo and conditioner to get the most out of the hair colour. So be prepared for a bit of a cost increase.

    My stylist has been terrific. It takes a bit of experimenting to get the colour right, use the toner properly and therefore get the most grey coverage that you can. I had been warned that the coverage would not be as good. The first month, the grey did start to show through. It was a bit of trial and error the first few times. But really, after that, I have found the coverage almost as good as my regular colour had been. The options for colour and highlights are not as flexible as regular colour products, because you are limited to what the Elumen line can do, but I am overall very pleased. The best part is that my scalp is not even itchy, no psoriasis, no reaction at all, so far. I expected at least some minor scalp issues, since I am colouring so often. I can tell that this product is not penetrating my scalp like regular salon colour products.

    My hair is much softer and not nearly as dry as it was with my regular Goldwell colour. I used to have to do extra conditioning treatments, and I no longer have to do that.

    I would highly recommend this product if you need more grey coverage than more natural products can provide.

    I can also recommend my stylist and salon, if you are Canadian and live in the Ottawa, Ontario area.


      1. Hi Karen, sorry I just saw your message!
        My stylist is actually located on the outskirts of Ottawa, in Embrun, ON.
        You can google Bay St. Salon and Spa. Her name is Julie.
        There are stylists in Ottawa who are Elumen experts though, so it may be more convenient for you. Goldwell has a “salon finder” on their website, but for some reason they do not list salons in Canada who specifically use the Elumen Product. If you want to find a salon Ottawa that uses Elumen, you may want to contact the stylist that is a local rep for Goldwell (she is listed on the Goldwell Salon Finder on their website).
        8350 NOVA LUXWAY
        METCALFE, ON
        K0A 2P0
        Phone: 6138219413

    1. Hi Alison, please send me the name and telephone number of your stylist. I tried Elumen at home but my Centre parting grey is not well covered. I will contact your stylist. Thank you. Rita

      1. Hi Rita,
        My stylist is actually located on the outskirts of Ottawa, in Embrun, ON.
        You can google Bay St. Salon and Spa. Her name is Julie.
        There are stylists in Ottawa who are Elumen experts though, so it may be more convenient for you. Goldwell has a “salon finder” on their website, but for some reason they do not list salons in Canada who specifically use the Elumen Product. If you want to find a salon Ottawa that uses Elumen, you may want to contact the stylist that is a local rep for Goldwell (she is listed on the Goldwell Salon Finder on their website). I am hoping she would be able to assist you to find one in your area. (She is listed in the Salon Finder on the Goldwell website):
        8350 NOVA LUXWAY
        METCALFE, ON
        K0A 2P0
        Phone: 6138219413

  3. I used Ellumen for several years and had a beautician apply it. It’s coverage was excellent- I am 100 percent gray. What I did not like is the brown color got reddder with each application. The beautician had trouble controlling it. When I wanted to use another color line, it was impossible to get out without growing it out.

  4. I spoke with two salons that use Goldwell products and both said that Elumen only came in bright colors like red and pink. So I’m surprised by the positive comments here. I am 80% grey and color my roots honey blonde. Is there an Elumen color for this?

  5. Hi Sarah, that is interesting that you mention the red. I am also finding the brown a little too “red” for me. My stylist also mentioned that if I want to change colour, I would have to grow it out as well.

  6. Hi Stacey,
    When Elumen came to market, apparently it was to sell those funky new colours like red, pink, blue, etc. but they expanded the line to include more traditional colours. However, apparently many salons only use Elumen to carry the colourful line, and some do not use the other available colours. Perhaps in some areas the suppliers don’t provide the full line to their salons. You can contact the Goldwell website and see if they can help or else keep looking for a salon that uses Elumen more extensively. Some salons will advertise it on their website.

  7. Another observation is that you cannot sit in direct sunlights without a hat. Sunlight turns the hair red.

  8. I recently bought Elumen and have tried it twice so far. I color my hair at home and purchased off Amazon (prepare, color and lock). The first application looked good for a few days and then greys started showing through. The second time I applied the color twice and it lasted longer, but greys still started showing through with the fine hairs at the hairline. My biggest complaint is the dying of my skin/scalp. It took over a week, 3-4 shampoos and scrubbing, to fade. I tried not to allow color to touch my scalp but it was impossible. Does anyone have any suggestions? I’m sure a professional could use foils and help prevent it from touching the scalp but a salon visit every 3 weeks is not in my budget.

    1. Hi Chelsea,
      I use a Goldwell Elumen product called clean. It is like clear water but it gets the color off my scalp. I put the color on dry hair and only apply color once for 30 minutes after all the color is applied and I don’t have a problem with gray coverage. My original hair color is brown and I am coloring it brown. Try another time or two to see if you get some build up to help with the gray.

    2. My stylist also started putting a line of cotton around my face (same cotton used when you get a perm to protect your face), while the colour is setting, to avoid it dripping and alleviate a bit of the scalp stain around the hairline. This seems to help and I don’t have to use as much of the CLEAN product. I do find the scalp staining a bit of a pain.

  9. Hi All,

    I work in salon called Penny Black Organic Hair & Spa located in Queensland, Australia. We have used elumen hair colour for the past 4+ years (no other hair colour in permitted). We don’t use the elumen pre and post shampoos and colour locks etc due to there ingredients – which do not comply with our Certified Green Salon standards but still get up to 100% coverage.

    We are currently in the process of creating our own COSMOS natural Haircare line to be suitable for Certified Green Salons.

    So happy to help with any questions..?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Laura,
      My stylist told me that Goldwell recommends using their shampoo and conditioning treatment in order to maintain the quality of the colour, so I have been using it.

      Do you find that it is not necessary to use those products? I would rather use something more natural if it works just as well. As a stylist, if you can recommend something that works just as well for your clients without all the chemicals, that would be great. Not sure if I will be able to buy the product you suggest here in Canada, but it is worth a try.

      Thanks so much,

    2. Hi there, I bleached my hair to a level 9 (originally a 4) and applied [email protected] with a resulting denim colour (which I don’t mind).
      My question is if I were to want a darker colour could I reapply immediately or should I wait for the hair to “settle”?
      I don’t use prepare or lock.

    3. Hello Laura,
      I am interested in using Elumen on my hair. I have medium brown hair with some grays coming in. I currently use demi-permanent, and I feel like my natural color comes through and I am happy. I want to change to use something without chemicals. I really want something to blend in to my hair
      I would like to know as I have seen some conflicting reviews. Does Elumen color like a permanent or a demi-permanenet? Because some say yes, and some say no it completely saturates your hair in a new color – and if you want to color over it with something else, you have to strip it or grow it out. Can you confirm if that’s true?

  10. I just found a stylist that does an array of colors with Elumen, however, I am about 80% gray and she said it won’t do a good job coloring the gray…

    1. You may want to try it, as there are mixed reviews on the gray coverage. I am about 80% gray also and I find it covers it excellently. You need to note that it takes a bit of time for the stylist to get the right colour blend for your hair, and the gray will show through after the first treatment. It takes a few times to get it right. However, I have been using it for 5 yrs and I find it works as well as any other product. It took about 3 treatments for it to look exactly the way I wanted. It also makes my hair soft and shiny, rather than the dry brittle texture that is more normal for grey hair, and was persistent with other colour products. I hope that helps!

  11. It does cover gray. My hair is 90 % gray. My experience was the brown color and blondes came out reddish. If you are in the sun without a hat, your hair turns redder. You have to let the color grow out if you choose not to use it any more and use another color line. I was getting color every three weeks, an expensive process.

  12. It would appear my experience is different than most peoples. I am about 80% gray and went to a salon to have my color applied. The stylist told me that it would stain my skin. I have dark brown hair. Weidlich did cover my gray for the most part, my scalp was stained brown. I did not like this and have chosen never to use this product again

    1. Elyse- I had the same experience with my scalp being stained and I was not happy with how long it remained stained (multiple washes).I have used Elumen twice and it happened both times. I use the [email protected] color. Another commenter said to try the Elumen product Clean to remove color from the scalp. I have not yet had a chance to try it.

    2. Hi Elyse! I used Ellumen for two years (2019-2021).

      Yes it stains the scalp; it comes off with their shampoo and conditioner over time. I liked the coverage of grey hair. I did not like that I was forced to wear a hat in the sun or it turned red. Mixing the colors is tricky; my beautician had difficulty controlling the red in brown colors. I do not like red.
      Never during the time I used it did I have a scalp or skin reaction. I am wondering if anyone using it now still has the same issues of having to wear a hat in the sun and brown colors having a reddish tint?

      1. Hi Sara,
        I have been using Elumen for about 3 yrs and I can report an indentical experience to everything you describe in your comment. My hair stylist continues to try and make the colour less red, and it is difficult. The staining is also annoying.
        However, my hair texture is great, the grey coverage is great, and I have had no reactions to the product, so I will live with these other issues and continue to use it. I can’t go back to the harsh reactions I got with the chemicals in the other traditional products.

  13. After several reactions to various semi-permanent and permanent hair dye, I found a salon who used Goldwell products. I have had it applied 3 times. I have dark brown hair with about 50% gray. It did cover the gray, but turned it into a coppery red color. As others have noted, the darker browns colors tend to turn hair very red (very noticeable while in the sun, but I cannot comment if my hair actually turned more red while in the sun). I did not have any itchiness or burning after the applications. I have since mixed the Elumen with a more permanent Goldwell product (TopChic) to tone down the red and cover the gray at my part line and around my face. The color does stain the scalp, but for me, it washed out in about 2-3 washes. The color also bleeds on to hair towels. It is a long color appointment due to having to use the PREP and the COLOR LOCK. I did notice a gluey texture on my hair for about a week or two after application. I am assuming this was from the COLOR LOCK. It is also a bit more expensive than traditional color appointments, but worth it for me to avoid the reactions.

  14. I have only used it twice and will comment more after a few months..I personally ordered these products off amazon or sleekshop as another reader commented….I have a best friend who is a beautician so she is able to do it at my house…we are first trying the colors out with out the pretreatment or any lock at the end..I also hesitate to use their shampoo as the ingredients are not the best..uses Sodium Lauryl sulfate…I am a dark brown and am 80-90% grey…she mixed nb4 and nb5…I did use their shampoo after…I had same experience as others on scalp staining…but I have had that same issue with Goldwell Top Chic permanent hair color as well..will eventually have hair dresser do more of foil technique…As others I felt this was too red for me and The first time lasted about 2 1/2 weeks…she then added in an5 to cut the red..came out much better…covered grey very well..I also was very impressed how healthy my hair feels!…even as color was fading out…I use AQUIS shampoo system instead of Elumen shampoo now as I feel they are better for hair and ingredients are better…as I believe Irina didn’t review these products ingredients …only the color line…My hair stylist will continue to fine tune the color but at this point I am very happy with the coloring..i have had no reaction to the colors and as others have said they have added many more colors in the brown and blonde areas so I hope to fine tune it more in the coming months..I have not exposed it to the sun to see about the red effect but will continue to update on this blog

  15. Question: Will Goldwell Elumen work to color only gray roots?

    I was finally able to purchase Goldwell Elumen online at Sleekshop after several attempts! There are no salons in my area that use Goldwell Elumen, so I’m trying it on my own. My natural hair color is a light-medium golden brown, so I purchased 6BG (Brown Gold). I have always colored my roots only every 4 weeks to cover my gray. Will Goldwell Elumen work to just cover gray roots? I’ve always colored my hair myself and never had an issue.
    Thank you~

    1. I recommend [email protected] I have resistant gray hair that even regular hair dye does not take well unless I use a strong developer that damages my hair.
      [email protected] is best product ever. I can’t wait for Goldwell to restock this product.

      I have dark brown hair. And I used [email protected] and many other elumen colors.
      I ONLY 100% recommend [email protected] if you have jet black hair. The [email protected] somehow balances gray where I get 100% coverage and it’s 100% natural.

      I used to use prep, lock and NOW I use nothing. I leave the [email protected] on my hair for 1 to 2 hours. And then the color lasts 4 weeks. Keep in mind color may look slightly lighter at roots BUT it covers gray 100%. When I go to retouch a month later, the previous hair that I colored gets darker. My hair is a little below my shoulder. My last 6 inches when I used [email protected] is still beyond dark and not even return will lighten it. I have about another year before the [email protected] is out 100%

      With Elumen – go 2 shades lights always. I love the level 6 BUT to achieve a real level 6 – I have to go [email protected]
      Also major tip – when bottle is empty – I cut with scissors and scoop out all the hair color into a glass jar – so no waste.

      [email protected] is my favorite hair color on the planet. I wish many hair salons would get how permanent this is on any clients hair.
      Tell your clients wash hair well the night before with NO conditioner.
      Day of Elumen, Roots elumen and ends heavy conditioner and have them sit under low heat for 1 hour. Super low heat or a cap.

      Last Rave – my hair is so damn healthy now, no breakage, hair thinning areas growing back (yeah), and my hair does not even look colored except for the last 6 inches from the [email protected]

      1. Dahlia Mottahedeh Danesh

        This is so helpful. I just purchased [email protected] and will be following your tips. Similarly, I have dark brown hair with over 50% gray and the [email protected] Just doesn’t cover the grays and makes my hair way too dark. I am really hoping [email protected] or a mix of the two will be the right ratio. I find that even after I apply and sit under heat for 30 mins it still doesn’t give me 100% gray coverage. How long do you leave the [email protected] on?

      2. Cindy, great tips! Can you clarify when to use the heavy conditioner? In your post you say to use it the day of Elumen. Do I use the conditioner right after the color? Thanks much!

  16. I have used Elumen for almost three years. My hair grows like weed and I dye the roots every 2-3 weeks. Whole head only once in a while.

    I do it myself but I get highlights at a hairdresser.

    My hairdresser doesn’t use Goldwell.

    I bought the colour from Ellustore. Since it hasn’t been mentioned it’s at I do the roots with a brush and use the Tools thingy with the nozzle when I do a whole head application. I use Prepare before and the Lock afterwards. I leave the colour on for 45 mins and keep a plastic cap on my head. I also love their Treat but the shampoo was too mild for my liking.

    The reason I switched to Elumen was that I started getting skin irritation from the cheap ppd dyes. I also hated how quickly the colour faded. Had neither of those problems with Elumen. It has repaired my damaged hair, I don’t get tangles or breakage anymore and my curls came back! The staining is an obvious con but with no other dye could I wash my hair for three days straight right after dyeing (to get the extra hair dye out) and still have shine shine shine. So for me it’s just a part of it that I can live with. 🙂

  17. Hi LAURA,
    Since you are an experienced hair stylist with Goldwell Elumen, can you please tell me what colors to mix to get light to medium golden brown? I bought [email protected] – Brown Gold. I only cover my grey roots and it worked really well except that the color turned out too reddish. I still have 3 bottles of 6BG, and wondered what color I could mix with them to get rid of the red tone? I didn’t use any other products from Elumen and it worked very well, but too red. I’ve always mixed light and medium golden browns, 50% each, using regular hair color with ammonia and peroxide to get my natural color.

    Thank you,
    Has your company created the COSMOS natural Haircare line to be suitable for Certified Green Salons yet? I would love to find out more about that?

  18. dianne ellis andrews

    I have been using Goldwell Elumen since November 2018. I get it applied by my hair stylist (who orders the product specifically for me) every four weeks to cover the grey. She told me I’m 80% grey and she uses a Developer 20 to cover the grey. She really likes the product as well.

  19. Hi~
    Does anyone have any recommendations or info on salons in NJ that use the Goldwell Elumen hair color?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi,
      I just had a salon in N.J. apply Goldwell Elumen on me for the first time. They had no problem ordering it for me special and were trained in its application. It is called Tangles on Union Hill Rd. , Manalapan N.J. i am only 5% grey, but right in the front where I split my side bang, the temple areas and some strands on top of the head. Although the quantity of grey on my head is small, they show up a lot because my natural color is very dark brown. I did notice that the greys near my side bang split are more orange/red now, mostly in the light. It does not look bad, but I would prefer a more dark brown coverage like the rest of the head. Not sure if the color will build up on the greys and be better here as you keep using it and it accumulates. Can not remember exactly what she used but it had NB at end for neutral brown because I told her I did not want too much red but i got some anyway. We will see?

  20. I tried Goldwell Elumen for the first time and while the color was great, it stained my scalp! How to prevent this?

    1. Hi Laura,

      I agree, this is an unfortunate side effect with Elumen. Your salon can get a product made by Elumen called “CLEAN”. You can also buy it yourself on Amazon if you search for it. It comes in a bottle just like the Elumen shampoo. It is exactly for this purpose of removing Elumen from the skin.

      My hairdresser uses it to wipe all around the hairline, especially in the back as I have short hair, before I leave the salon. However, I also noticed the stain shows where my hair parts, for the first few days after the colour. So I ordered my own bottle of “Elumen Clean” on Amazon so I can get any spots that I notice in the days following the colour treatment.

      generally the colour will wash off your skin in a couple of washes, but it is annoying to have the skin stained in the meantime, so I reccomend ordering the “Clean” product.

      Hope this helps!

  21. Even though Goldwell Elumen doesn’t contain the top “bad” ingredients that other hair colors contain, I am not convinced that this product is “safe” if the dye tends to sit on your scalp for a prolonged time (my scalp was dark after 3 washings!) or if you need to put a product like Clean in it to get the dye off your scalp. What is in Clean and is it even safe? I am feeling a bit dubious about this product now. Thoughts anyone?

  22. AB6 and BM6 have been discontinued. The NN6 which is 100% grey coverage replaces them. There is also an NN8. The care series have a new conditioner as well as a mask. Also no more light, bright, deep but cold and warm instead. The product packages have been renewed a little bit but it’s good old Elumen.

    I ordered the new shades via Ellustore. Their shipping prices and time frames have dropped significantly and they use FedEx now

    1. I tried the NN8, doing it myself with the prepare and lock products. I’ve done it twice. I have 80% grey. It was very smelly and stung my scalp the first time. The second application was equally smelly but didn’t sting. I used directions I found online which said to clean the hair first, then towel dry. Apply the prepare product to damp hair then the hair color. I left it on for 40 minutes, washed the hair, then added the lock product for 5 minutes and rinsed it out. The results were not good. There was a reddish pink hue and I’d say it colored the hair only partially. It tinted it halfway is what I would describe the result as. I hoped the second application would add more color but I got the same result.
      I’d love to know if anyone else is getting grey coverage with the new NN line? And if so, what steps do you take? Thank you.

      1. Hi
        I checked out the Goldwell site for directions and it said to apply to dry hair that has previously been washed with a clarifying shampoo and no conditioner. It said you can apply to damp hair if you want an effect more similar to toner. I have gray (90% in places) and I applied to damp hair and it covered fine but am trying the NN6 next tine (it also said that the NN colors are to cover the gray and should be mixed with your desired color shade for a more natural result or to obtain your desired color shade – the quantities of each depend on your %of gray). So I have purchased the NN6 and will mix with the NB6 60:40 although it has been 2+ weeks and no fading on the grays as yet). My only downside is that my fine hair which has been colored professionally forever is much drier at the ends particularly – I wondered if the pH of 3 is contributing to this? I can’t recall the URL but I downloaded their pdf on how to apply and mix colors. It was called ‘Color Continuum Professional Hair Coloring Manual’ and the webpage came up when I Googled that. Hope this helps a bit.
        Tina H

      2. I’ve tried the 6nn and did not have good luck either. It left a reddish tint and did not cover evenly. None of the Elumen colors I’ve tried have really impressed me. Elumen just doesn’t color my hair very well. If I reapply color immediately after the first color (color, wash, dry and then do it all over again), then the color is better, but who has time for coloring your hair twice in one day? Otherwise grey shows through within 2-3 washes and the little baby hairs right around my face don’t hold color at all. Plus the scalp staining can be bad if I’m not really careful 🙁

  23. My Elumen is done at the salon. I have been happy with the grey coverage, it takes a few applications before it stays and is not “translucent” where your grey shows through. I did not really find a difference when they came out with newer formula intended to cover grey although that is what my stylist uses now.
    I actually think the scalp staining might be worse with the grey coverage line.
    This is a big annoyance to me. My stylist tries to be careful and uses the “Clean” to wipe off what she can, but I always notice it the next day and it tends to flake off which is really annoying. I bought some of the Clean to keep at home and I use it for areas I can see the day after my colour.
    I also find that the colour does not take to the little hairs around my face.
    I went to the Elumen website where they provide instructions about the application process. They suggest putting vaseline around the edges of your face to prevent the colour dripping onto your face. I cannot see this being convenient and I think it would get on the hair and prevent the colour from working ever further around the face.
    I don’t think my salon uses the Elumen application comb. I think I am going to suggest that they do as this is supposed to help avoid touching the scalp. Can anyone comment on whether the comb seems to be an essential tool for applying this colour? Thanks so much. Any help with the scalp stain issue would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi

      If you run coconut oil onto your scalp,you shouldn’t stain. I would say I’m about 15% grey, but it’s all at the front and very visible as I have v dark brown hair. I tried nn6 and well it’s turned my hair a blended orange red but it does camouflage reasonably well near the mass of dark brown. The little small hairs right near the face didn’t pick up any color and this is after being v meticulous and leaving it in hair for 1.5 hrs.
      So I’ve been advised to use 1/4 na5 to every 3/4 nn6 , this should rid the redness. To capture the small hairs I’ve been told to add some elumen thickener which will grapple on to the small hairs better. Lets see!

  24. Hi
    I tried the comb today in hopes it might help prevent staining but I found it a pain to use – the angle needed for the color to be at the comb end was awkward and I found a lot accumulated underneath of it and not in the hair. Probably easier for a stylist. I did find it applied to the hair not the scalp, but it also left a 2 mm gap and has my grays are so prevalent I knew it would shorten the time between colorings.
    Last time I used some Aquaphor around my forehead and ears which did make a big difference but agree it is difficult to not then get it into the baby hairs. The Clean did take most of it off but it still left an orangish mark – using NN6 and BM6.
    I saw a couple of You Tube videos – one where they use the comb (official Goldwell one on gray hair) and one private one. The private one said she used coconut oil ON her hair before coloring which did not prevent it coloring at all. I wondered it that might prevent staining if it was applied around the hairline but didn’t try it this time and would be interested to see if anyone else has and if so what the results were. The grays at my temples are very resistant and show through so I am encouraged that more applications helps with this, thank you!
    I found my hair dry after the first application but not this time. The changes from last time – I did it dry on one day after washing, had a good amount of Olaplex Oil in it, added ~50% NN6 and I tried the Lock. There are a few more little frizzies but otherwise lovely and soft. The oil didn’t prevent it coloring evenly 🙂

  25. I can’t find the latest Elumen color chart anywhere. I have searched and searched. I think the new NN line is out but am not finding a color chart with it in it. I have dark brown hair and don’t want any red. Also does this need a “developer” or do you just use the color straight from the bottle? Does the “prep” help it cover gray? Help!

    1. Hi
      I don’t think you need the Prep unless you have very damaged or bleached hair.
      The Elumen doesn’t need developer. I find it is slightly better in covering greys if you clarify and then apply once hair is dry. Any warmth/red will pull strongly especially on the grey – the NN helps with this and if you choose an ashy color. I used the [email protected] and that definitely made it quite red. Pretty and got a lot of compliments but if you aren’t looking for that then pick you colors carefully. My hairdresser said that the darker colors will work better – I am a natural 6 – and she suggested 40% [email protected], 40% [email protected] and 20% of the color I choose. Elumen does get reported as going darker each time if you use a dark color. I found that to be true but then I am not a 5 but a 6 and was using straight [email protected] to begin with.
      The grays do cover well except for a few at my temple which are however softened.

  26. Daniel Scranton

    With all the complaints about Elumen turning brown hair to red, I wonder if anyone has tried covering up the red with a different product? Or has anyone just given up and gone to henna?

    1. I did try Henna for a a couple months. It’s a whole new set of rules, and figuring stuff out by trial and error.
      Henna attaches to hair, and will be bright red. Indigo attaches to the red henna (but not directly to hair), so it is a two part process to get it right. There’s a lot of info online, and very overwhelming. It also washes right out in my limited experience. Benefits are that it is totally natural, and even good for the hair and scalp.
      I got a nice dark brown color by adding amla powder to both henna and the indigo based color. I used Light Mountain Henna “cover the grey”, it is a two part system that comes in one box. It’s cheap. Add amla to both steps to tone down the red. Keep the first step on until hair is colored bright red, about 30 min, then wash and towel dry and repeat with second step for an hour or so. Keep it wet, or it will stop working (wrap wet hair in Saran Wrap). It’s pretty, until you wash it, and it immediately starts to fade and wash out. But the funky red henna color stays, and can look pretty awful in the sunlight. If anyone else has suggestions for success, I’m all ears.

  27. Hi everybody!
    I made a neutral henna that inexplicable turned my hair red. The situation is worst in the the gray baby hair area, that turned out orange. I’m dark brown, can anybody help me and suggest witch number of Elumen do i have to use in order to cover this orange-red that i really don’t like? Do I have better chances with this new NN? Or my only chance is to use a traditional chemical color? Thank you to anybody who will help me.

    1. Elisa, I have been experimenting with henna and goldwell. I don’t have an answer for goldwell but here’s what I’ve learned about henna:
      Henna attaches to hair and it will turn it red. It sounds like whatever you did was spot on. Now you take indigo powder, and it will attach to the red Henna. Mix it up and put it directly on the hair, you do not have to let it steep. Leave it on for an hour and wash it off with conditioner only. It should turn your red hair a nice brown.
      **To get brown hair with Henna, it is always a two-step process. Indigo does not attach to hair, it only attaches to Henna.
      Light Mountain has a two part Henna kit. They mix the indigo with a little henna to get various shades of brown so I’d recommend them, rather than trying to get the indigo part correct on your own. You can order from for fast delivery and it’s not very expensive. I have short hair and mostly color roots anyway so one package lasts me two colorings.
      That should do your red problem and then you can choose what do do from there as your hair grows out.

  28. I am a new subscriber and have never used Goldwell Elumen. I contacted Goldwell in search of a local salon, but no luck within 50 mile radius…bummer! I did find a salon from a g00gle search, but they use Goldwell for colors (pink, blue, green, etc).

    I have a friend that is a hairdresser and has graciously offered to order it, but she told me we need developer and I’m reading here that is not the case. In all fairness, she is not familiar with Goldwell, but now I’m hesitant.

    My gray is on the top of my head, along my part, back to the crown, but about 3-4 inches wide.

    1. How does my hairdresser friend know which “brown” to order?
    2. Are any other products needed besides the color? If so, are these products also rated by Irina?
    3. Does my hairdresser friend need additional training, or if she applies other color products, is she trained sufficiently?


  29. Hello, I used Madison Reed a few times. My stylist djowed concerns about how much had come out. I contacted the company and expressed my concerns. I even told them that mu hair was all gone. I was sent an email. stating that the last amount that I paid would be refund and it was. Forget the money. What about my hair?? I ws told in an email to see a dermatologist. Not much of a concern for this now bald head woman. Now I have to wear a wig. I have pictures.

  30. Hello,
    I am pursuing Goldwell Elumen after using Madison Reed for 7 + months only to experience massive hair shedding. Once I discontinued using, my shedding has subsided. I have dark brown hair and would say I am at minimum 50% gray (maybe more).
    I live in Washington state (USA) and apparently, Gene Juarez salons have a clause with Goldwell that only allows their salons to carry Goldwell Elumen. Salons who had an account prior to the clause are “grandfathered” in. My stylist is not with Gene Juarez nor a grandfathered client. I thought of ordering online (sounds like [email protected] is the right Goldwell color for me after reading comments) and having her apply it. When I spoke to the rep for Goldwell, she stated anyone selling online is NOT an authorized distributor and Goldwell is working hard to get online products removed from the market. So..buyer beware! It doesn’t sound like most who ARE purchasing online have had issues? I am nervous about this, however. How often do they truly alter products? The rep mentioned hearing a few “horror” stories herself. Feeling stuck…

    1. Daniel Scranton

      Hi, Terri. I’ve had very good luck with buying the Goldwell Elumen product on ebay :). No bad batches in my experience.

    2. I have had issues getting Elumen in [email protected] for over a year now , so unfortunately this tracks. I wish they would sell it online as it’s the only thing I’m not allergic to, is a good black & that works on my grey roots!


      Hi Amy,
      How do you mix all of the colors listed, and what does the 25 mls, 10 mls, and then 5 mls mean?
      I’ve been trying to find a medium golden brown in Goldwell Elument for quite some time. Everything I’ve tried makes my hair a reddish color. [email protected] is very red tinted, [email protected] is less, but still some red and too dark. Any suggestions?

  31. Hi, I am so excited after 3 years of searching for someone to use Goldwell Ellumen, I put in the right search and found a salon 2 blocks from my house and their branch 5 miles away, which is where I ended up. I had it done on October 2nd and it still looks great. I have stubborn greys (white temples). I was using an intern at the salon who had never used it before, so she had me sit outside for 30 minutes and then checked me and decided to put more color on my temples and put me under the heat for another 15 minutes, after I had mentioned here, that everyone felt 45 minutes and heat was important. I am almost 3 weeks out and I am just starting to see a tiny bit of white at my temples. I am only scheduled to go back in December as I do tend to let my roots grow out a way before I color again. We may try highlights next time. I ended up darker than I thought I would, but it’s closer to my original color. My hair ended up softer and stills feels fantastic. If anyone is interested, the stylist, made a tic-tok of what she used. I was going to add photo’s, for before and after, but I don’t think that is an available feature. She was so excited about it, I think I converted her to use safer products, both at home.

  32. It’s in Kansas City, Missouri. One is in the Crossroads and the other on is in Waldo. The name of the salon is Lumine.

  33. I have been using Elumen for a year and a half, applying it myself, for:

    – Grey hair tinting on my 7A (dark ash blonde) hair
    – Toning highlights and ends
    – Toning my very reddish/brassy mid lengths, caused by oxidative dyes in earlier attempts to cover the grey.

    My target look is a 7N (dark neutral blonde) with blonde highlights and lighter ends (balayage style), not just to restore my natural base color.

    – I use the [email protected] on my roots. It is two shades lighter than my natural color and turns the greys into blonde highlights and gives my naturally ashy hair a slightly warmer tone.

    – I use [email protected] or [email protected] to tone the ends of my hair which are very light and tend to go yellow over time. The [email protected] or [email protected] make them a sandy-beige light blonde. The SV is slightly cooler than SB.

    – I use Elumen Clear + a little [email protected] (which is pure blue pigment) on the reddish mid lengths to neutralize the red. This is an ongoing process, because I’m afraid of ending up with blue hair if I use too much [email protected] in the mix. Because Elumen is more like water color than an opaque paint, I can just add a new layer of Elumen until I have deposited enough blue pigments to neutralize the red. I don’t layer another treatment right away but just wait till I have to redo my roots.

    Because my greys are unequally distributed – my temples are 80% grey, my centerpart/crown is 20-25% and everywhere else 10-15% – I also add some lowlights to my temples with [email protected] as this part of the hair would otherwise appear too light compared to the rest. I use a frosting cap for this (see below). The 8NN is not perfect as a lowlight or all over color at the temples, as it’s too red. I think I’ll be experimenting with adding a hint of of the [email protected] to make it a a more neutral dark blonde.

    I add highlights 2-3 times a year, which I do myself with a professional frosting silicone cap (the Sibel brand, very fine holes = very fine strands which blends perfectly) and Goldwell Silk lift. I always rinse the highlighter before removing the frosting cap to check if the highlights are too yellow. If so, I keep the cap on, use Elumen Prep, then either [email protected] or [email protected], followed by Lock.

    I know it sounds like a lot of different steps and processes, but I will soon have neutralized the brassy mid lengths and can skip this step.

    I do the roots every 8 weeks, but I do not tone the ends or apply lowlights to the temples every time I do the roots, so the upkeep is manageable and also much less expensive than going to the salon for constant touch-ups.

    I am also not too fussy with my root application because any greys I miss just blend in now. I also don’t get a noticeable outgrowth demarcation line because my greys are not dyed back to the original color, but are still lighter than the rest of my hair. When the roots grow out, they just look cooler toned, but the overall impression is still a dimensional blonde. If I leave the roots longer than 10 -12 weeks the difference between the gold and silver tones become noticeable, though.

    My application process: Wash and towel dry hair, use the Prep, let hair dry fully (air dry or hair dryer), apply the dye, tie hair in a knot, wrap hair in saran wrap, wrap a towel on top so the heat from the scalp helps the color process, let sit for 1-2 hours, rinse, towel dry, apply Lock, wait 5 minutes, rinse.

    I find that developing time can vary with the amount of build up in my hair from hair products. There is no ammonia and peroxide to cut through silicones and oil, so if you use a lot of hair products, you might want to use a clarifying shampoo before Elumen.

    I buy my Elumen from or (European Union).

    My hair looks much healthier since switching to Elumen and I have been able to grow it longer because my ends split less. I like that the color is more a stain than a paint because it gives dimension to the hair rather than one flat color.

    The down side is that the color selection is not great. I really miss a cool 7 or 8 intended for grey hair. The NN’s, which are intended for grey hair, are double up on pigments and supposed to be ‘neutral’ (not warm, not cold) and to be mixed with other shades to reach your target shade. I have never gotten this concept to work with any brand, the color always ends up on the red side. So, I’d like a cool toned NN, double the pigment, but less red.

    Elumen is also difficult to remove or bleach out, so adding highlights or bleach after Elumen will only remove your natural pigment and not much of the Elumen, if any at all. It’s not a problem for me, as I use lighter Elumen shades where I do highlights, but it might be a problem for others.

    For those of you who experience going brassy with Elumen: It is not due to an oxidation process, since Elumen does not contain ammonia or peroxide. It is either because the chosen shade is too warm/ contains too many red pigments from the beginning or because the color didn’t lock well enough to your hair. Cool pigments (blue and green) have less staying power than warm (red and yellow) so they fade first, leaving stubborn warm pigments behind.

    In either case, get Clear and [email protected] to add cool pigments. Be conservative with the [email protected] – it is pure blue pigments. Better to layer the blue pigments over a course of treatments than end up with blue hair. Don’t add the mix all over – only to the reddish parts of the hair.

    If you just try to cover a result that is too red with the same color, you are likely to still end up too warm, because the base color is now reddish. With Elumen, the end result is the mix of the color of your own hair and the chosen Elumen shade. If you put your chosen shade on a piece of white paper, this is how it turns out on your greys (whites, as it is). On still pigmented hair it will mix with this color. The darkest Elumen shades have enough pigment to cover a brassy result, but that might not be the target color you’re aiming for, hence the Clear and [email protected] to correct mishaps.

    Because the cool pigments tend to wash and wear out faster, I use both Prep and Lock, and leave the dye on for 1-2 hours, to make sure the pigments will stay put. I Initially thought the Prep and Lock were unnecessary, but now I find that they do help to reach and keep the intended color (that + the extended processing time and wrapping the hair).

  34. Hello,

    I want to try the Elumen for the first time. I am highly allergic to PPD and TDS so would be doing a patch test first.
    For the color, my hair are almost black and I want to go lighter in shades of brown (cooler tones). I do not have lots of grays. What color can I start with.


    1. Have a look at one of these browns: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

      The number after the @ indicates how dark the color is. The lower the number, the darker the color is (1 is black and 10 is blonde). I’ve suggested some medium to light browns.

      Elumen’s color selection isn’t great, so you might want to mix colors yourself.
      If you find a base color you like, but it’s either too light or too dark, add Elumen Clear to get it lighter and [email protected] to get it darker. Paint the mix on a piece of white paper and let it dry an you’ll get a good idea about the final result.

  35. Hello,
    I’d like to buy Goldwell Elumen hair dye. Where can I find this? I ordered from fashionandbeautystore, but I never received a confirmation from them. I sent a message to them today, but in case I don’t hear back from them, I wanted to reach out to people here who can help.
    Thanks so much!

  36. Hi Susy,
    I get my hair done at a salon, but I think I have seen people post on this site that they have purchased it on Amazon, but not 100% sure. If you scroll through the posts you may find that info, or hopefully someone will respond. I have purchased the Elumen shampoo, conditioner, and “clean” product (to remove colour that gets on your skin) on Amazon myself.


  37. Hi I have had itchiness with regular hair dye, i switched to henna/indigo now starting to get some itchiness and one of the henna boards recommended elumen. Has anyone had any experience with switching? any advice or tips? My hair is black have been using henna/indigo 2 years have about 50 percent gray.
    I appreciate any information. thank you in advance.

  38. Hi Grace,

    I had itching for years from regular hair colour. After an all out allergic reaction, I switched to Elumen about 5 years ago and it is like night and day. Absolutely no itching and a perfectly healthy scalp with Elumen. My hair feels soft and silky, like it did before I used hair colour. I can tell that I have progressed from 50% grey to probably 75% or more, as my hair is slightly dryer, but it feels completely natural and not damaged the way it was with other hair colour. After the first few applications you will find the grey coverage as good as any hair colour, in my experience. Hope this helps!

  39. I live in Australia and can’t find it anywhere here. Does it come under another name or do we simply not range it in Australia.

    1. Try ebay. The sellers should ship to Oz. Do a search for “Goldwell Elumen” on ebay, and you will be able to choose your color from a drop down menu. Also, you can Google the color chart to show you the different codes for the colors. For instance, NA2 = black.

    2. Hi Kate,

      I think you could likely call the company to find out if it is available in Australia. They have a “contact us” link on their website (which you may have already tried). I am in Canada and we can order it on Amazon. Not sure if that option is available in Australia?

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