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Hair Color - Clairol - Natural Instincts in 28 Nutmeg Dark Brown



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rated 4.3(40 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.3
  • 77% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 4.2
  • Price: $$

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rated 5 of 5 on 9/5/2010 3:57:00 PM More reviews by coocoovanille

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

This is a really gorgeous color. It's a perfect glossy, deep, rich chocolate brown. Definitely NOT black, I look like walking death with black hair, which I have accidently done to myself before, and it's a hideous sight that has me running to the hair salon for a color correction. This is so not that. It's the perfect shade of dark chocolate brown that I have been searching for, and I love it. I think it's a bit more damaging than they claim, but not too bad, and I love the conditioner that comes with it. The gloves are nice, too. I will definitely repurchase Nutmeg again and again.

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rated 3 of 5 on 8/17/2010 6:09:00 PM More reviews by Mystyre

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Green

I bought this product and this particular shade based off of the reviews here on MUA. My hair was previously virgin and a light golden brown; there was nothing wrong with it, but I was just tired of looking the same. So I decided to color.
I chose an at-home color based off of my lack of money for a salon color. I'd dyed my own hair once before, and it didn't turn out too well, but I figured I would try again.
I loved the easy mixing and clear instructions. I'm the kind of person who reads the entire leaflet twice and then re-checks the instructions every step along the way to make sure I'm doing it right, so I found the simple instructions and diagrams reassuring. I also was comforted by the fact that this dye is demi-permanent and will wash out in about a month.
I spent about 20 minutes saturating my shoulder-length damp hair with dye, then waited 10 minutes for it to set, then finally hopped in the shower to rinse it out. I was a little appalled at how dry my hair felt post-color, but the conditioner that came with the dye is great and restored moisture. I then proceeded to blow-dry my hair to check the results: unfortunately, I had completely missed several spots so I re-did the entire procedure. After blow-drying for the second time I decided I was satisfied. The color is not uniform but it looks more natural to me that way; you can tell that the ends of my hair are somewhat lighter than the roots.
After some deliberation and staring at myself in the mirror in every kind of lighting, I've decided that I'm not a fan of the color. Something about it just looks off with my skin tone, which I would describe as beige with yellow undertones. I think the final color might be skewed because of my natural color kind of showing through, and if I were to color again over top of this color I think the result would be darker and less... whatever it is right now. I've also decided that I hate dyeing my hair at home. After I finished blow-drying my hair the second time I realized I dripped dye on the rug in the bathroom and splattered it all over the white door and cream-colored walls. Oops. I then spent several frantic minutes with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser trying to clean up the mess before it became permanent. I admit to being rather incompetent in the home-coloring department, but that mess plus the double process plus the final color has put me off of home coloring. I will patiently wait for the color to fade (and cross my fingers that it actually does!), and if I choose to change up my look again in the future I will take my cheap butt to the salon and suck it up.
UPDATE 21/9/10: So much for Clairol's "no roots" claim. This product has adhered itself to my hair and refuses to fade out. Looks like I'll have to grow it out.

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rated 5 of 5 on 5/2/2010 7:48:00 PM More reviews by smn864

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium Eyes: Brown

Used this for the first time. Love it! I have been spending $200 on salon color that really only lasts about a month so I figured why not try it at home? The finished product looks identical to the salon product and for $6 and only 10-15 minutes of my time, what is not to love. The nutmeg color is a rich dark brown, and my hair was left shiny and soft.Note: I left the mixture on for 12 minutes and put it on dry hair, not damp as recommended by the package.

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rated 5 of 5 on 4/11/2010 1:59:00 PM More reviews by weddingdoll

Age: 19-24 Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

The model on this box really makes you want to go BLAH, but the color is a nice rich dark brown. It's so lovely and will make you regret all the money you fork out for salons to dye your hair a nice dark rich brown. I prefer ebony mocha shade to this one, but if they are out of ebony mocha, I grab the nutmeg.

I love how its non damaging. It makes your hair feel so soft and shiny. I seriously love Clairol NI, they never fail me!

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rated 5 of 5 on 3/16/2010 1:58:00 AM More reviews by beebaby13

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Oily, Tan, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Black

I read the comments on this when I was trying to decide whether or not I would try this color. I have always used the Natural Instincts 20 which is medium brown hazelnut but I have wanted a dye with a slight tint of red to it and I wanted it to be darker as well. Im really happy with the way my hair turned out it is a very dark brown but in the sunlight there is a little bit of a reflection of red. If I had to compare it to a celeb. hair color I would prob. say its like Sophia Bush's (from one tree hill). I am really happy with the way it turned out, I left it on for a little longer than the recommended time though because I wanted it darker. And instead of getting my hair wet I just sprayed it with a water bottle to get it misted that way when I was dying it I could tell which parts I had already covered and what not. Bottom line I would def. recommend it to my friends (and already have) and I will continue to use this shade!

-but buyer beware, the color it turns out is NOT what the model on the box's shade is it is alot darker.

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rated 5 of 5 on 2/13/2010 11:49:00 AM More reviews by mamaof3

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brown, Curly, Coarse Eyes: Blue

I have been using Nutmeg on my hair for a couple of years now and love it! I have quite a bit of gray, but it covers them very well for a semi-permanent color. I do have to leave it on a little longer than the directions recommend and also find that it colors my grays better when applied to dry rather than damp hair (directions say to apply to damp hair. Strange.)
The color is a very natural looking dark brown that I really love. My hair tends to pull up red when colored, and after trying several drugstore brands, this is the only one that did not turn reddish.
This is also the only color that didn't leave my hair a dry pile of dull looking hay. It is always shiny, soft, and in very good condition.
I will continue using NI until it does not cover my grays anymore, which I hope will never happen! :)

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 2/11/2010 2:38:00 AM More reviews by lygophilia

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral Hair: Red, Other, Other Eyes: Green

This product is fantastic!!! Very happy with the deep brown results that evened out my last botched hair colouring disaster. I was surprised that my dry & damaged hair looked and felt better after too. Very happy and will repurchase!

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rated 5 of 5 on 1/13/2010 5:17:00 PM More reviews by Falafelzz

Age: 56 & Over Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Other

This is my holy grail hair color. Once a month I put this in, and while it doesn't seem to cover my grays completely, it blends them in well, and it leaves my hair looking shiny and rich rather than damaged.

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rated 3 of 5 on 10/21/2009 4:11:00 PM More reviews by teaberry2

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

I agree that the color is a nice very dark brown, which is similar to my natural Asian-heritage hair color (not counting the gray). And the scent is mild, not bad at all. I knew that I would need to leave the product in longer than recommended because my colorist has complained about how hard it is to color my gray. I left it in about twice as long as recommended, 20-25 minutes, and my gray is still showing. My hair also seems a little dull and fly-away despite using a generous amount of the conditioner. I think I'll try the Clairol Perfect 10 that my sis recommended instead of trying this product again.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 9/15/2009 7:17:00 AM More reviews by jawbreaker

Age: 30-35 Skin: Other, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Green

This is a very pretty, very dark brown shade that looks realistic with dimension and is shinny. Note: This is NOT black! It is a very dark brown shade and for those who don't have dark hair or don't have very dark hair, I could see where they could think this is maybe black, but it is not. My normal hair color is dark brown/almost black and this is very close to it. I decided to try NI after coloring my hair with Clairol Perfect 10 Dark Brown because I really didn't need a perm. hair color and wanted to try a demi perm hair color instead. Prior to using this, the darkest brown DIY haircolor I have found was Perfect 10 Dark Brown (again, not black, it is just a very dark brown) and the Perfect 10 matched my natural hair color almost perfectly and myself nor my husband could even see roots even months using it (and even my mom couldnt' tell I colored my hair)...but I since I only have a few gray hairs and just wanted something to help liven up my natural color (since I've turned 31, I've noticed my hair isn't as vibrant as it used to be), I thought I would try a demi and maybe didn't need the perm level Perfect 10 is.


Back to NI in Nutmeg: I just used this the other day, so I will come back and report how it fades but so far, it is very pretty and natural looking. There was hardly a smell and it wasn't very runny or drippy. It was weird applying it to wet hair and at first, I had to be careful so I knew where I had applied the color, since the hair was already wet from the water. I do see a "slight" pull of redness in my hair but not like other DIY brands *cough, L'Oreal, see my reviews)* but the slight redness doesn't look like the fake "I've just colored my hair brown and have that fake redness to it" look that some brands (L'Oreal) give......it just looked like a little redness was there but it blended in with the dimension of the hair color. I do not like redness in my hair and my hair tends to pull red.....but like I said, this is *very slightly* there and looks like a natural part of the dimension of the dark brown hair color. Even though this is a very dark brown, it is probably very slightly lighter than Perfect 10's Dark Brown but not by much. When compairing it to Perfect 10's Dark Brown, I will say that when after first using Perfect 10's Dark Brown, it is a little too dark at first, a little "inky" even though it is not black and eventually fades after a few washings into not looking so dramatic....and with NI Dark Brown, I don't have that "inky/dramatic" look....which is why I will be curious to see how it fades (haven't washed my hair yet) over time because the results after just dying it look very nice and realistic, not "I just dyed my hair and need to wash is for a week before it looks OK" color. So far, I am very happy and my husband liked the color too, says it is very close to my natural shade which is what I wanted. I will say that the model they have on the box does not reflect the outcome of the shade....the hair color on her is at least a full shade lighter that these results, she's more of a level 5 medium brown shade and Nutmeg/Dark Brown is darker, a true level 4 dark brown shade, so don't go by the model on the box, go by the name and the color chart on the side of the box. I will update this in a few weeks to let you know how it fades, but so far, I really like this and it is a great very dark brown color (not black).

UPDATE: It has been about 5 weeks since I've used this and I am still impressed. The color has faded as expected....not too fast, either. It hasn't faded into a weird redish/brown color either like a lot of DIY hairdyes do. I am still really impressed with this and will use this again.

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