4 differences between L’Oréal Preference and Excellence, which one should you choose?

box dyes to use at home

The four main differences between the L’Oréal Preference line and the Excellence line are:

  • Difference 1: L’Oréal Preference lasts longer than Excellence. So, with L’Oréal Preference, you won’t have to be on the alert for a touch-up so much.
  • Difference 2: Excellence includes a pre-color treatment while Preference includes a post-color treatment.
  • Difference 3: Excellence is easy to apply due to its consistency.
  • Difference 4: Excellence’s color range is broader than Preference’s.


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Phew, you’ve got it tough!

Deciding between a L’Oréal Preference kit or a L’Oréal Excellence kit is no easy task.

After all,  both permanent hair color lines are designed by one of the world’s top brands in coloring.  That means a lot.


It’s not like we’re comparing a top hair dye with one of those brands that no one knows about.

We’re talking about Preference and Excellence, L’Oréal’s flagships for at-home hair coloring.


 It’s like choosing between an iPhone 12 Pro and an iPhone 12 Pro Max. There are some minor differences between the two, but they’re some of the best(and most expensive) phones out there today. 


So, we know that both lines are permanent hair dyes and are made with excellent quality pigments.

So far, I haven’t helped you much. If both are excellent, which one should you choose?


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You should choose the one that best suits your hair and your color expectations.

Today, I’ll tell you the difference between the two in-depth.

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Difference 1: While Excellence lasts 4 to 6 weeks, Preference won’t fade for at least 8 weeks.

hair color kit

When you color your hair, color duration is everything. I fully understand that no one wants to be on the lookout for growth or the appearance of the much dreaded gray hair.

While both hair color lines offer long-lasting pigments, one of them stands out. It starts with P.

Did you guess it?


That’s right!

The Preference line includes something called Shy Serum. It’s a color-protecting treatment that will extend the duration of the pigments.

 So, if you have a lot of gray hair, you should choose Preference.  Why? There are two reasons.

It has excellent gray coverage power and it also includes a post-coloring treatment that extends the color of your hair.


kit content

Excellence, on the other hand, lasts 4 to 6 weeks. It means that you’ll need to touch it up more frequently.

This advice also applies to women who colored their hair one or two shades lighter. In that case, the growths, even if not white, will also be visible.

Therefore, if you want to extend the color touch-up for at least eight weeks, you should also choose L’Oréal Preference.


We analyzed the first difference between L’Oréal Preference and L’Oréal Excellence.

But how are we doing at home? What’s the story behind your hair? How many chemical treatments have you had?


That’ll also influence your decision.

And that’s what brings us to the next difference.


Difference 2: Excellence includes a treatment to apply before coloring the hair. Preference, in turn, includes a treatment to apply after coloring.

If you bleached your hair, it may feel dull or damaged; you should choose Preference by L’Oréal because it includes a post-color treatment with ceramides and proteins. It’ll give shine and nourishment to your newly colored hair.


However, it doesn’t mean that the Excellence line will mistreat your hair. Instead, it includes this post-color treatment that adds shine, softness, and protection for the hair dye pigments to prevent fading for 8 weeks.

Therefore, as you can also extend your touch-ups, you’ll avoid damaging your hair with more peroxide and ammonia.


Preference is ideal for bleached hair that has lost shine and elasticity. Its formula contains natural oils that’ll make your hair shine right after coloring it.

Also, the Shy Serum treatment is suitable for multiple applications and can be used after every wash.

That’s all Preference’s amazing post-color treatment has to offer.


Now, if your hair isn’t ruined or you’ve never colored it before, Excellence is ideal for you. It contains a leave-in pre-color treatment to be applied 40 minutes before coloring.

This treatment helps the cuticles have more elasticity and not break during the application of the hair dye. Therefore, Excellence protects your hair before and during application.

While Preference also protects your hair, Excellence’s pre-color treatment is ideal for women who don’t have damaged hair.


Difference 3: Preference can be harder to apply for those who have no coloring experience.

with box dye

I don’t want to scare you with this because you don’t need to take a course to apply either color.

However, Excellence has an anti-drip formula that prevents any spillage.


So,  if you aren’t meticulous, or if you’re facing your first experience coloring your hair, the Excellence line is ideal for you. 

Its creamy composition prevents the coloring mixture from dripping or running down your neck or forehead staining them.


Preference’s consistency is less creamy. So, it’s more prone to spills.

And if you’re not careful, you can end up with hair dye stains on your neck, ears, and forehead. Those stains will be more or less difficult to remove according to how long you let them dry.


Regarding the materials you need for the application, both Preference and Excellence include everything you need in the coloring kit.

In addition, you’ll have instructions to help you in case you have any doubts during the process.


Difference 4: Excellence offers a wider variety of colors than Preference.

loreal excellence hair color

Excellence has a wider range of colors than Preference because it includes some very special blonde shades, such as high-lift hair dye.

Therefore, you can choose from black, various shades of red, and even some ashy, copper, Auburn, and bluish undertones.


Preference, on the other hand, offers a range of shades from black 1 to platinum blonde 10 with only a few basic undertones such as ash, iridescent, and mahogany.

For this reason, Excellence is ideal if you are looking for a radical change of look, as the variety is very large and allows you to find the shade that best suits you.



Both Preference and Excellence by L’Oréal offer excellent quality pigments.

  • If you have a lot of gray hair and want to extend the color touch-up, or if your hair is very damaged, Preference is your best choice.
  • However, if you’re not experienced in coloring or are looking for a wider variety of shades, you can choose the Excellence line.

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