Loreal Excellence vs Preference (What’s the Difference?)

Loreal Excellence vs Preference

There has long been a feud between L’Oréal Preference and Excellence fans, with each claiming that their preferred option is superior.

Which of these two permanent hair colors do you prefer? Is it the older (Excellence) version with a relatively high coverage or the newer (Preference) one, putting emphasis on permanence?

I prefer to alternate between the two depending on my needs. Excellence, for example, is available in 42 different colors, allowing for virtually limitless design possibilities. And so, I use it to create unique hair colors. However, when ‘permanence’ is my goal, I always go for Preference (it can last up to eight weeks).

Undoubtedly, if you don’t know precisely what these two products offer, you might choose the wrong one. That’s why I took the liberty to address their differences and help you make the right decision.

Preference is a more permanent option than Excellence.

Although both hair colors are permanent—and thus offer a wide range of benefits such as being more natural-looking than other dyes, providing full coverage, and encouraging regular shampooing, which facilitates healthy hair—Preference is a more permanent option.

As previously mentioned, Preference lasts up to eight weeks. It has a shy serum—a treatment that protects color and thus extends the pigments’ duration. It, therefore, offers complete coverage of grey hairs.

And so, if you don’t want to always look out for the popping up of grey hairs, go for Preference.

I must mention that besides offering complete coverage, it comes with a post-coloring treatment, which adds to your hair shine and extends the hair color.

In contrast, Excellence lasts for four to six weeks. While this period is not exactly short, it can create some inconveniences, especially if you colored your hair a shade lighter—your growths will surface and call for color touch-ups.

As such, if your goal is permanence, L’Oréal Preference is your best bet!

Excellence comes with a pre-coloring treatment, while Preference comes with a post-coloring treatment.

Choosing between the two dyes based on this feature largely depends on your hair’s condition.

In general, pre-color treatments are best for removing discoloration, excess buildup, protecting the scalp from burning and reducing chemical damage to your hair. Also, by facilitating an optimal base for applications, these treatments ensure the even distribution of color.

And so, is your hair (whether natural or bleached) damaged? Does it require strengthening? Or do you need to remove buildup or protect your scalp? If yes, then choose Excellence. Its pre-color treatment will act as a barrier between harsh dyes and the most fragile part of your hair. It will also clarify your hair, removing all-natural oils that form protective barriers allowing the dye to adhere better.

I must also mention that grey hair occasionally resists coloring and may require more time to absorb the color completely. Using a pre-color treatment will make it easier for the color molecules to penetrate.

I know this sounds confusing because I previously advocated Preference for grey hair. However, consider this: what’s the point of having permanence when the dye didn’t penetrate through every strand. If you have stubborn grey hair, it’s better to go for Excellence and do the touch-ups. Besides, the two-week difference isn’t quite long! Moreover, Excellence also offers a post-color hair treatment that prevents fading for up to eight weeks.

On the other hand, Preference provides a post-color treatment. While it may seem insignificant to some, remember, when you apply color to your hair, you make it susceptible to brittleness and damage. As such, your hair may lose shine and elasticity with time.

The natural oils in Preference’s post-color treatment will increase your hair’s vibrancy and shine. It will also prevent the color from fading—which is why Preference is a more permanent option.

Preference is not for amateurs.

Am sorry for being direct, but if you have no experience with hair colors, don’t go for Preference; you’ll do more harm than good.

Indeed, both products come with instructions, so it should be easy. However, unlike Excellence, which has a creamy texture, Preference is runnier. And so, there are high chances that it will drip or run down your forehead or neck.

It might stain your ears, clothes, and every tool or clothe that’s within its reach. Considering that it’s a permanent dye, you might have difficulty removing all the stains. And if you have other immediate appointments, you might attend them with color on your skin.

Excellence provides a broader range of colors (42 shades)

As I previously mentioned, the 42 shades that Excellence offers provide endless possibilities—they provide lots of room for creating unique hair colors.

Some common ones include Auburn, ashy, copper, bluish undertones, different shades of red and black. That’s why, if you’re looking for flexibility and a radical change of appearance, it is appropriate for you.

Contrariwise, Preference only has a few shades, including platinum blonde 10, black 1, and some undertones such as mahogany and ash.


The big question is, which one do you prefer? None of them wins based on this information; it all boils down to your hair needs, time, and color preference. If you’re an amateur and looking for coverage and a wide variety of shades, you can select Excellence. But if you’re looking for permanence, choose Preference. Otherwise, you can choose to alternate between the two.

Further reading material

I hope that you liked this article! And if you read this far, I assume you do! If you want to know more about hair dye, click on one of the links below and start reading :). Thanks for reading!

What Conditioner to Use to Dilute Hair Dye
How Long Does It Take For Hair Dye To Fade Out Completely
Can You Re-dye Your Hair The Next Day?

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