Clairol Natural Instincts

Gail left in a comment:

Christina, I need some hair coloring advice.

I’m 46, brunette with quite a bit of gray that I was fine with until recently. 5 weeks ago I used Clairol Natural Instincts (”Clove” medium ash brown-level 2-lasts 28 shampoos) on my virgin hair. At first I wasn’t thrilled, the color seemed so dark against my white face, and it seemed so one-dimensional (what I call “doll head”). After about 2 weeks (approx. 6 washings? I don’t shampoo every day), the color had faded some to where I liked it better, it looked more natural, not all-one-color doll-head. But now after 5 weeks, I see gray in the roots a bit along my part and hairline (not in the longs strands, though) and realize it’s time to do something. But what should I do?

Is it ever ok to only mix half of the solutions and save the rest unmixed for next time? Should I touch up my roots or just re-do my whole head? What if I want to change the shade of brown? What have I gotten myself into? Can you help?

I know JUST what you mean about dollhead – I hate that! I have a few thoughts and ideas for you, so let’s start at the top. First of all, Natural Instincts is semi permanent haircolor – what that really means for you is that it adds color, without really damaging your hair. It contains only enough peroxide to assist in opening up the cuticle of the hair so that the color can get in a little deeper. Semi Permanent color is GREAT if you are not looking to go lighter and it is ideal for what you are looking for in hair color. You “could” dilute the solution with water to dilute the color, but that is going to affect how long it lasts. What I would do is to go to the next shade lighter and try that one first (the shade is 14-Tweed-Light Ash Brown). If you go a little lighter than you think you might want, it will avoid the dollhead look, and your gray hair will pick up the color a little lighter and will give the effect of highlights and be a whole lot more natural looking.

Another option, if the lighter color just isn’t quite what you want, is to mix the two shades to get a shade in between, and that may be the best and longest lasting (and better looking from the start) option. Yes, it is ok to only mix half the solution and store the rest (unmixed) for the next time. This way, you aren’t wasting any, or paying double for your color. I would try mixing half and half of the Clove and the Tweed, and saving the rest for next month. Also, a lot of times the color doesn’t quite last as long as they say (depending on the harshness and frequency of your shampoos), so sometimes you have to find a happy medium, and maybe recolor every 4-5 weeks to be able to have the color you like from beginning to end.

Hope that made sense and helped Gail — if you have any more questions about this, or need some clarification, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know (I will watch for it this time…Ha!) Thanks so much for the question, and for reading!!