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Hair Color - Clairol - Natural Instincts Hair Color

rated 3.7(598 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 3.7
  • 74% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.9
  • Price: $$

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rated 3 of 5 on 8/25/2010 12:02:00 PM More reviews by JenniferBeggan

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

ive used this product several times, all different shades. i have natural dark blonde hair but i have highlights plus a little sun in. so its blonde by far. i wanted to make it ashier, my hair was GREEN AND GREY!! yes green and grey! so i had to dye over it with another box of brown and now i hate being a brunette and have to wait for it to wash out..ugghh

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rated 4 of 5 on 8/18/2010 1:56:00 PM More reviews by Cellardoor367

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I have been using this Clairol Natural instincts hair color for about 7 months now, maybe more. I use Sahara Blonde, which is the lightest blonde color available. My natural hair color is ash blonde. (If you have seen ash blonde in the store you know its actually a very grey looking light brown).

There are some things I don't like about this hair color, but I feel like it is the best product out there for my needs right now, and I will continue to use it.

What I like:
* It says non permanent (not true) but it is way more gentle on my hair then permanent dyes.
* When it grows out there is no definent root line, it seems to just blend in for a while, this allows me to color it less often.
* Only take 10-15 minutes to process.
*Color is not as light as pictured, instead it seems that how light it gets depends on your hair color.
* Less split ends and damage then any other color I have used.
* When using a brush and color mixing bowl I got from Sallys, I can touch up my roots 3 times from just one box!

The things I don't like:
* The color looks brassy so I have to counter this with a purple shampoo for blondes.
*Wish there was more of a natural highlight effect.

Never color your hair at home without consulting your hairstylist first, if you don't educate yourself -it is bound to end in disaster!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 8/12/2010 11:10:00 PM More reviews by urbanmonk

Age: 44-55 Skin: Normal, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

I used to use the Clairol Beautiful collection, then used to the CBC Advance gray, but it started to make my scalp irritated and itch like mad (too bad because I really liked the colors). I tried Herbashine and felt that there was too much red in their dye. So, here I am on my second box of Natural Instincts. I was looking for a dark brown, non-permanent dye that didn't scream red in direct sun. I'm using Clove (Medium Ash Brown) because other reviewers complained that it is really a very dark bown-- and they're right-- and I like that I've found an ash shade that comes out dark brown. I may try Nutmeg, but so far I'm really impressed with the Clove. It covers gray and lasts about a week longer than the Clairol Beautiful Collection did.
EDIT: stopped using this-- I have a PPD allergy and this caused too much scalp and skin itching. Reverted back to Clairol Beautiful Collection

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rated 2 of 5 on 8/6/2010 9:59:00 PM More reviews by xoxojentry

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

If you are a brunnette wanting to go lighter then do not buy this product. this product did not work at all for me! It did absolutey nothing! If you have light brown hair and are wantng to go blonde leave it in for a lot longer than the box says. If you dont then your hair will turn out an orangish color. This product also fades very vey quickly. It is supposed to last a month but only lasts a week.

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rated 3 of 5 on 8/3/2010 10:27:00 AM More reviews by inkblot15

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Normal, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I really wanted to like this stuff....but I didn't.

PRO: doesn't smell bad
the conditioner smells good
short amount of time

CON: runs darker, I used the creme rich medium brown and parts of my hair turned out BLACK! not even a good black, like a "set your hair on fire and couldn't put it out fast enough" burnt to a crisp black
didn't cover the previous hair dye completly (however before it was salon dyed but that was over a year ago)
not enough of it in the box to cover all of my hair, I have thick boob length hair and if I were to but this again (which I WON'T) I would need to buy two boxes
It seems darker near the bottom, I don't know if the split ends absorbed the color or what but seriously....
I gave it two stars because I am convinced it will look better after a haircut to cut the ends off but, I would definatly not recommend this
EDIT: okay I got a haircut and it looks much better, after a week or so the black dissapeared and now my hair is an even dark color, upgrading to a three

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 3 of 5 top reviewer on 7/28/2010 12:34:00 AM More reviews by Banjos

Age: 56 & Over Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Hazel

Although this product is targeted toward covering gray, I used it as a toner for pre-lightened hair. I selected Champagne on Ice (med. neutral blonde).

After being warned by MUA posters that the colors run darker than the example, I quickly worked it into my hair and only left it on for about two minutes (10 is recommended). I was quite worried the color might turn out to be a muddy light brown. To my relief, the result is a lighter version of the example picture; I would leave it on a little longer if I could go back. I do not like that it contains peroxide which is further damaging to my already-fried locks. Fortunately, the enclosed conditioner (used with a heat cap) worked wonders. My hair sparkles like a chandlier and the color is multi-dimensional. The part of my hair that is gray did not take much of the color but that actually helped the overall effect to be more natural. I found the product to have a workable consistency and was low-odor.

I have used Born Blonde non-peroxide toners for years and only now realize they tend to leave a "coat" that dulls. I have washed my hair once since applying the color and there was only minimal fading and it still shines (used the conditioner, sans heat cap, again). I will update after more shampoos.
EDIT: Natural Instincts held color as well as Born Blonde and Clariol Creme Toners. They all seem to fade somewhat. I emailed Clairol asking about the volume of peroxide (10, 20, 30) in Natural Instincts but they claimed it was proprietary information and varied with the shade...but it had less peroxide than permanent hair colors...well, duh. I was disappointed in their lack of helpfulness because I think this information is available somewhere in their secret vaults.
EDIT II: I have since discovered that the "sparkle" comes from the excellent conditioner included with Natural Instincts. I tried Champagne Ice again and left it on longer; this time it was too dark and, of course, did not fade quickly enough! LOL EDIT III: I have abandoned peroxide containing toners in favor of a Born Blonde Non-Peroxide Toner dup from the UK called Proclere Herbal Blonde Toner. It contains no ammonia or peroxide and the color holds well.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 1 of 5 on 7/27/2010 9:27:00 PM More reviews by spalm

Age: 36-43 Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I am a former longtime user of L'oreal Color Spa (#30 Chestnut), but as that has been discontinued, I had to try something new. I only do demi-permanent colors, so I only had a few choices. I decided to try Natural Instincts Rich Color Creme in Raspberry Creme (23R). It is described as a Rich Medium Auburn.
The color itself comes in a tube that you squirt into the developer bottle. I was concerned I wouldn't be able to get it all out, but ultimately did. The consistency is a little thicker than I'm used to, but otherwise application was easy.
The problem was the color. It is such a bright red! Nothing like the picture on the box, nothing like the description. When I first dried my hair and looked at in the bathroom mirror, I thought, "wow, that's a bit more red than I had anticipated", but it still seemed workable. But then I went outside...and it was a completely different story. My daughter said "Mommy your hair is really red". So not what I was going for. I got a mirror and was horrified. My head was glowing in the sunlight - and a very unnatural color. The next day I used Natural Instincts in Clove (medium ash brown ) to try to tone it down, and has helped, but not as much as I had hoped. I know it will wash out, but it will be a long few weeks.
I looked, after the fact, on the Clairol site for some guidance, and see that many people have had the same issues with Raspberry Creme. My advice is if you are looking for any sort of natural, subtle color, do NOT use Raspberry Creme.

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rated 5 of 5 on 7/26/2010 10:26:00 AM More reviews by devildogs_doll

Age: 30-35 Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I don't see a separate entry for the shades I used, so I can only speak for the shades I have tried. Yes, fellow blondies....you too can go red without a major commitment. I don't know what happened with me. I'm a natural ashy blonde who liked to swing wildly from dark to light blondes and experiment with hair dye when I got bored. Couple my blonde boredom with my husband's recent Amy Adams obsession and I started to get redhead envy. Heck, I'm of Scottish descent with the kind of skin with barely any undertone...So I could definitely be a redhead, right? Of course!


First off, I went to a salon because I had never done such a drastic color change before and I'd heard horror stories about blondes coming out with bright pink hair from trying to go red. My aunt worked at this particular salon and assured me this was an easy process. She went in the back, mixed a concoction of red, brown, and gold dyes and I came out with a really amazing red...all a single process SEMI-PERMANENT color. Quick and easy. The problem was that I was getting ready to move to Japan...and I didn't know if I would have access to a good hairdresser so I knew if I wanted to maintain my lovely red, I had better learn to do it myself.


The one thing my aunt insisted was that I NOT do a permanent red. I am so glad she talked me into this. I argued with her, "I don't want it to fade after a week!" and reds are notorious for fading. She assured me nothing looks worse than roots showing under red dye. You can do this with blonde, but it just looks worse with red. Temporary dye could give me the results without the commitment to dying roots and would be less damaging. I loved the color she gave me, but after about a month it faded. It was almost to my natural color again. I decided it was time to try doing my hair myself while I was still back in the States and had someone to fix it for me should things go terribly wrong.


I purchased Natural Instincts in Spiced Tea. After applying it, my hair was a CRAZY bright red. Kind of a "You totally screwed up your hair" red. I kept my wits about me, went to Wal-Mart, bought a gold-brown color called Amber Shimmer and put this over my hair the next day. I loved the results after that. I remained firmly entrenched in my red phase for about six months (I'm now ready to go back to blonde). It was cool. I didn't have to worry about getting a tan for a long time. I might go back to red this fall now that I know how easy it is. As for the "red fades" warning - It does. However, L'Oreal's new no-sulfate shampoo has worked wonders with keeping my color from fading too fast.


WARNING: If you are going to do this all on your own, please color on a Friday night on a weekend when you have nowhere else to be. The first day, your hair may be more red than you are comfortable with. After two washings, it should be perfect.


Also, if your hair is a medium to light blonde, you need to darken to get the red you want or otherwise you will end up with that pink, neon, Ronald McDonald's girlfriend red that I ended up with on that first day. Mix a golden brown color in with your red. I would pour half bottle Amber Shimmer into the developer and then half the bottle of Spiced Tea. The first day, it will be so bright you might be self conscious (or if you're a really free spirit, you might love the flaming red right off the bat). Brunettes shouldn't have much of a problem with the over-bright color issues.


You can't beat being able to go red for fun at such a cheap price. When my aunt colored it, it was $60 at her salon + tip (and it was that cheap only because I am familly, but going back to the salon every 2-4 weeks for a temp color can add up). I can buy a few boxes of Natural Instincts for much cheaper. I've been experimenting with Natural Instincts for about 10 years and have always found it a great product that was very gentle on my hair and actually helped IMPROVE the natural condition of my hair. This was a fun experiment that I will be happy to repeat as soon as I miss being called Nicole Kidman's twin. Temporary hair color is definitely the way to go for this kind of thing. It's easy to apply, smells wonderful, and is pretty fast and easy. The best part about this is that if you are not happy with the initial color, you can reapply another shade over it without stressing your hair out too much. If you want to see before/afters - click continue and the links should show.


Before photo: As a blonde
After photo: Natural Instincts in Spiced Tea + Amber Shimmer
continued >>

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 7/24/2010 12:54:00 AM More reviews by jcdiva1

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Very Dry, Dark, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Relaxed, Other Eyes: Black

This is the product that I used for the first time I dyed my hair and I love it! The color is nice and it didn't smell really bad like a lot of the other hair dyes. I also like how it doesn't last forever so I can change my color more often. Plus it's really good on my relaxed hair (it doesn't damage it at all).

EDIT: If you are deciding on using the three demi permanent drugstore hairdyes as of February 2011 (loreal healthy look, garnier herbashine and clairol natural instincts) then I would probably tell you to try natural instincts first, then garnier herbashine and then loreal healthy look :)

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rated 1 of 5 on 7/23/2010 12:09:00 PM More reviews by donna409

Age: 44-55 Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Curly, Fine Eyes: Grey

This was awful. I received a coupon for a free box and tried it last weekend. I have naturally medium blonde hair but am over 40 and have some greys. This turned my hair a reddish pale brown color that was simply horrible. I normally use L'Oreal and will NEVER use this product again. I had to re color my hair and still I have a pinkish hue to my color.

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