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Hair Color - Clairol - Natural Instincts Rich Color Creme in Caramel Creme #21G



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rated 3.0(6 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 3.0
  • 50% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.8
  • Price: $$

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rated 3 of 5 top reviewer on 11/30/2012 11:48:00 AM More reviews by suzanneb

Age: 36-43 Skin: Very Dry, Fair-Medium, Cool Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Green

I've been detoxifying myself from my blondenorexia for the past months and trying to go back to my original color (11A to 4A) been trying multiple brands to slowly do that, yesterday I used Caramel Creme and yes, it's darker than the picture but the swatches on the back are spot on. I want to be ammonia free since my hair seems like it stopped growing and the breakage was over the top. Been using this brand for years so I know what to expect in regard of colors "coming out too dark", my hair is soft and mega shiny with the perfect brown color, the complete opposite of how Colorsilk reacts on my hair.
I hope after this I can go back to my beloved Natural Instincts in Ebony Mocha #35
Edit: 12/21: third week and color washed out quite a bit, I am currently between a light and medium brown, hair still soft and shiny with multiple highlights but will have to recolor.
EDIT: 12/28 did a strand test and it came out Ronald McDonald red, thank goodness I did the strand and decided not to recolor

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rated 1 of 5 on 5/23/2011 3:01:00 AM More reviews by cactuscat14

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

I've used Natural Instincts for many years and other Clairol products prior to that with great results. This was the first time I've used the "creme". I purchased the same color as always, medium golden brown. The dye itself was in a metallic tube as oppossed to a bottle. Everything else in the box seemed the same. The tube was stiff making it hard to squeeze the dye into the white liquid and it took longer for the two products to combine.

The directions seemed about the same except the "creme" color said to apply to dry hair instead of damp.

After I finished coloring I noticed large, brown patches all over my face. As I always do, I left my face lotion on when I colored my hair and wiped off any excess color with a damp paper towel. I washed my face in the shower after rinsing off the color. But this new "creme" color did not come off. I scrubbed with soap and water again and then tried rubbing alcohol. Neither worked. The written instructions did not say how to remove stains from your skin. I called the 800 number on the instructions but just got a recorded message saying no one was there and to call back later. It did not give days or hours to call.

So I got on the internet looking for solutions. Someone said to try acetone (I didn't have any) and someone else said to try vinegar. I did but vinegar didn't work.

Clairol's own site was useless. They had nothing in the FAQ's (maybe they didn't want to admit there was a problem) and in order to send them a message they want all kinds of personal information in required fields. I gave them my real name and e-mail but made up a home address and birthday (NONE of their business!). For some reason I got an error message and they wouldn't let me sign on again.

I finally got the stains off my face using Ajax with bleach on a damp paper towel! Really! Don't try it if you have sensative skin. My skin is a little irritated but at least the big brown patches are gone.

Another thing - the color is MUCH darker than any other "medium golden browns" from Clairol. This is more like very dark chocolate. In the past, Clairol's colors stayed true when they made "improvements" and was consistant between their different hair-color products. If the store was out of my color of natural instincts I could get Nice and Easy medium golden brown and get the same result. That was NOT the case with the natural instincts "creme"!

Does anyone have any suggestions for a similar color from another company? Something that won't stain skin?

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rated 1 of 5 on 8/26/2010 2:09:00 PM More reviews by ashlesamaire

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Olive, Neutral Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Blue

Background, I have a dark strawberry/light auburn hair and I just wanted a rich but still medium brown.
What I got with this was so different. I left it on for 7 minutes (they recommend 10) because I didn't want it to get too dark (even though this is advertised as rich golden med. brown). My hair was almost black with a purple tinge.
I used Oops color remover and have been shampooing 2-3 times a day (with Dawn dishsoap and Head and Shoulders) for over a week now and it is now faded (not removed like Oops says for a semi-perm) to a very dark auburn.
I look ridiculous and for a semi-permanent, this is not coming out in 28 shampoos like advertised.
I will not repurchase.

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rated 4 of 5 on 6/18/2010 6:27:00 PM More reviews by RingofFire

Age: Unknown Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Other

Caramel Creme is more like a dark chocolate brown on me.Nice but I agree with one of the reviewers maybe one shade darker than it appears on the box. If your hair tend s to be very dry and absorb color it will make it much darker. Nice but I think I need to go up a shade or two.


I have always like Natural Instincts mainly because of there is no offensive ammonia smell. Does not last very long on me and I have quite a bit of gray coming in but very gentle and never dried or fried my hair like perm. hair coloring so every once in a while I go back to this old standby.

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 6/2/2010 10:48:00 AM More reviews by murphysmomkk

Age: 44-55 Skin: Very Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I loved this - agree with review above mine - except please beware, it is a lot darker than it looks like it would be, or at least on me it was.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 5/15/2010 9:25:00 PM More reviews by MrsLayneStaley

Age: 30-35 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Green

I have been using Natural Instincts for approx. 15 yrs. I preferred the Clove and Nutmeg shades. Caramel Creme is described as a 'rich medium golden brown'. I love the creme developer, and the smell was not offensive at all. The results were wonderful, and my hair feels soft and silky. Color is just as promised, with no brassy or red tones. It has lasted well over a month (using FF shampoo & conditioner), and I will def. repurchase this shade/formula. Well done, Clairol.

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