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Garnier Nutrisse Product Review Plus Tips For At-Home Hair Color

Posted by Karen on March 8, 2007


Product: Garnier Nutrisse Permanent Color
Use: At home color to change your current color or cover up grays
Price: about $7.00 for a one application box
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A

I can justify spending $75 on a haircut because I have naturally wavy hair that’s really hard to tame – I’ve had so many bad haircuts resulting in everything from the poofy mushroom to the rats nest look – so I never skimp on getting a good haircuts.

Throughout my 20s and early 30s, I was also willing to spend money on salon color. I went through all sorts of hair color phases, changing my naturally brown-black hair with red highlights, light brown and blonde highlights. It’s so much fun to change your hair color, but now that I’m living on a writer’s paycheck it’s really hard to part with $120 every three months to get those roots done, especially when the do-it-yourself color boxes at the store are $7.00.

During my year of living cheaply (wait, what am I talking about, I’m still living cheaply) I gave up getting my hair colored at the salon. I was a little nervous about doing it at first because the last time I did at-home hair color was in high school. I mean, what if my hair turned orange? Or what if I accidentally fried it somehow and it started breaking off? Or what if I ended up with scary too-dark Halloween hair that looked like an Elvira-Mistress-Of-The-Night wig? The mishap possibilities were endless.

I wish I could say that it all went perfectly from the get-go, but I can’t. Like with any new skill, I made a few mistakes along the way but thank god it didn’t really result in anything too horrific. One time I started from the roots because I got really freaked out about seeing gray hairs at the front of my head, so I piled on globs of dye on the roots like a crazy person and I ended up with light roots and dark ends. And another time I used a too-dark color that I left in too long which resulted in scary dark Elvira-Halloween hair for about a week until most of the color washed out. But in the grand scheme of things, these mistakes weren’t *that* bad. They weren’t noticeable to the majority of bystanders, unless I pointed it out (which of course I didn’t).

Now I color my hair every month, and it’s as easy as pie. I use Garnier Fructis Permanent Hair color. The smell is pretty strong, but in comparison to other at-home dyes it’s not bad. It also doesn’t dry my hair out, which is one thing I hated most about Feria, the dye I used in high school. If you have dark hair like me and want to go a few shades lighter, Garnier is a good choice, because it does a pretty good job of lifting your hair color a few shades.

Here what I do to make at home hair color work for me:

    1. I wash my hair in the morning with a clarifying shampoo. Right now I use Alberto VO5 Kiwi and Lime Squeeze shampoo. It’s cheap and gets the gunk out. I use a lot of gel so I shampoo twice to get my hair squeaky clean and don’t put any conditioner afterwards.

    2. I then let my hair air dry during the day so that I can dye my hair in the evening.

    3. When it’s time to dye, I put on an old t-shirt and sweatpants so I don’t ruin any nice clothing. I also grab an old wash cloth and wet it. I use this to immediately wipe any dye that accidentally gets on my face or my neck. I don’t have to use this as much now, because I’m getting less messy with practice.

    4. Garnier gives an estimated time of how long you should leave the color in. I start the clock the moment I being the coloring process. If the box says 35 minutes, then I take into account total dye time from start to finish. I do not dye my hair and then wait for 35 minutes – the one time I did the color ended up being too dark, which resulted in the Elvira-Halloween hair mishap. Ugh!

    5. If I’m using a new color, I always start from the ends and put the color on the roots last.

    6. I never pile the hair on top of my head while I’m coloring. I just let it hang down (hence the wearing of the crappy t-shirt).


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