Clairol Natural Instincts Hair Color

Clairol Natural Instincts Hair Color


627 reviews

74% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$


Where to Buy

Start your review

on 10/15/2017 10:59:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

This i a review for Dark Brown 4W. I previously used L'Oreal Preference for many years with excellent results however now that i'm getting older my hair is thinning a bit so I wanted to try something more gentle.

- Pros: no strong chemical smell; minimal processing time
- Cons: thinner texture (i had to clean various spatter throughout the bathroom); did not cover greys at all, turned them into a silvery blond

Overall not a huge investment in time or expense to determine its not the right product for me.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 9/11/2017 3:12:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

If you want darker hair, prefer a gentle formulation and desire low-maintenance color, this is a great product.

The only downside is that it does not cover grays like it claims. My stray grays were still beaming silver afterwards. Bummer.

It loved it as a teenager when I wanted to experiment with dark hair without worrying about roots growing in.

Keep in mind this is not permanent dye, so it cannot lighten hair much (if at all) regardless of how light of a shade you choose.

The new packaging features easy-open, easy-pour bottles. The instruction pamphlet is smaller, about the size of a sheet of standard printer paper. The dye rinses out quickly and cleanly compared to other drugstore dyes.

In sum, it is a good product with limited uses. However, if your main goal is to cover grays, this is not likely to offer acceptable coverage.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

Bought a shade called Dark Blonde, to use for low lights in platinum hair. Awesome product! It was an experiment and didn't know if I wanted the low lights, the color is demi-permanent, lasts about a month and does virtually no damage. Color came out exactly as shown in the swatch. If you want something less damaging and close to your current color, this is a great product.

Also, the conditioner in the package is so amazing that I bought several separate tubes on ebay, it transforms bleach damaged hair to the texture of virgin hair. Wonderful little gem to have found for processed hair!

Called the manufacturer to see if the conditioner was sold elsewhere, they said Aussie Three Minute Miracle was almost the same formulation, but I've tried it, and no cigar.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

on 11/24/2016 1:01:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I will never buy this product again it washed out so quick I could see my grays within a week

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Age: 44-55

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Grey, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I've only used it a couple of weeks ago for the first time and I love it.

on 2/3/2017 10:16:00 AM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Other, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Grey

I have been using this product for many years, I like the way it gradually lightens so you do not have a harsh new growth line, and the gray coverage is good. I have had a few bad experiences, such as poor color coverage and outcome, but dozens more great results. Before you color though, you need to remove all the conditioner and deposits on your hair so the color will "stick". I use regular dish washing liquid and rinse well. This stripping will leave your hair feeling very dry and rough of course, but the coloring and conditioner will solve that--just use a wide toothed comb and comb the tangles out gently. I use the wonderful conditioner every time I shampoo, about every 4-5 days, since there is plenty of it left. However, i have noticed lately that i am losing a lot of my hair, much more than usual. Last time i shampooed, 3 days ago, when I applied the conditioner, i lost a handful of hair, right in my hand. Has the conditioner been changed lately? It may just be something else causing this, maybe medicine i take. Has anyone else experienced anything like this? I will switch to another conditioner for awhile and see if it helps.

2 of 3 people found this helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

First off if you are going to use this haircolor, I recommend that you read plenty of reviews here. Because the color on the box most likely isn't the color that you will get. Thank you so much everyone for your reviews! Hair dye is so tricky!

This review is for 7/9N Dark Blonde (coastal dune dark blonde). The color turned out darker than the picture on the box. I agree that blonde turns out brown as another reviewer wrote. (My pictures are above, the one that is more "ash" is the "after" picture, the other is the "before" picture.)

I am very pleased with the outcome. I wanted to tone down the brassy tone of my hair with out damaging it or turning it green, which this dye did. That's why I chose the dark blonde instead of dark ash blonde. It also blended my grey. What surprised me was that it lightened the roots of my hair. So that portion was more reddish and resembled the box color more. (Naturally, I have medium ash brown hair.) So next time I will do the roots only with a darker color.

The smell to me was better than the ammonia dye but not very different smelling from other non-ammonia dyes that I have used. The application was tricky. Before you mix the dye it is very watery. Then when you mix it it turns almost gel like. I could use 3/4 of the dye to cover my thick, fine, chin-length hair.

I don't know if I will always use this semi-permanent dye from now on. It depends how it wears on my hair. Once the very damaged portion is cut I may try different permanent dyes than the ones that I have been using and see which has better mileage. I really don't like that damage caused by ammonia hair dye and the smell and those are the dyes that seem to cover grey best. Hopefully this dye will cover my grey for awhile. I will try to update my wear time.

FYI, Hair back story:
Previously I have been coloring my hair with Nice 'n Easy Age Defy Permanent Hair Color (Medium ash brown 5A) for the roots and to get rid of grey. The rest of my hair was bleached and dyed with Preference beige brown (discontinued). As result my hair was damaged. Both of the permanent hair colors faded with in 2 weeks to a brassy color. The age defy wasn't covering my grey (few) and my hair dresser told me that my hair was really damaged.

It blends gray for 1 week. It toned out the brass for about 2.5 weeks. I probably won't be using this routinely because it doesn't last long and repeat usage would cause more hair damage.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

on 11/23/2016 1:42:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I haven't used Natural Instincts in a few years, the reviews of the changed formula scared me! I got my usual color, medium golden brown (formerly Pecan) to use on my now dark ash blonde hair. I wanted to go darker for the Winter. I'm probably 35-40% grey. I was surprised that the directions changed so much, now stating to only leave it on 10 minutes, and to massage it over your damp hair.
The fine print said for grey coverage, to leave on 15 minutes. I only lightly misted my hair, so it was not fully damp. I also did my normal application, which is combing the color through to the ends. It probably stayed on 20 minutes, because I did a few things after the timer sounded.
The color and coverage was exactly what I was used to - the shade was identical to the front of the box and the coverage was a bit sheerer than permanent. The coverage was very nice and even, my hair ended up shiny, I used their color treat conditioner that comes with it. Nice to see there were no surprises and I can continue using it!

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Green

It has been a week since I made the huge mistake of using this product. And I can see it is going to take a while for my hair to recover from this disaster. This product is the latest incarnation of Natural Instincts (not the one that had the "refresher" in it, apparently people hated that version). This is the latest, but not the greatest. It is actually the worst thing I have ever used on my hair, and that is saying a lot. I chose this because I needed a non-ammonia hair color, I had not tried it in years and it was on sale plus with the coupon I got it for about $2. That is the ONLY good thing-- that I did not waste $7-8 on this.
I bought the light brown shade, my natural color, and that is the color I use in Revlon's Colorsilk, which was doing a pretty good job (but, of course, I thought I would give this new stuff a try!). It had been about 4 weeks since I had colored my hair, and it had been deep conditioned a few days before and was in good shape. For reference, I have about 20-25% gray at the roots and my hair is full, naturally curly, fine textured, and I am caucasian. Moving on to the disaster: the color as it is mixed did not have a bad smell, but most non-ammonias do not anyway. It applied rather thinly. It is the exact consistency of the old Clairol Loving Care if you remember that from years ago, sort of a gel like liquid. I suspect they have just combined the Loving Care and Natural Instincts into one brand now. The Proctor and Gamble company seems to do that-- I have noticed that Pantene, Herbal Essences and Aussie shampoos and conditioners all seem to have the same basic ingredients in the same order on many of them and they are all P and G brands. Cheaper to produce, I guess. Anyway, the color is supposed to sit for 10 minutes, which sounds good because who likes to sit with haircolor on for 35 minutes. Thought that would be a plus (turns out I was wrong!) Time to wash it out-- and as I am rinsing I notice how dry and rough my hair feels, WAY drier than it has ever felt with any hair color brand. Okay, let's try some of the conditioner. This helped somewhat, except that the conditioner leaves my hair feeling like plastic coated hay. Oh boy. So, I let the hair dry naturally and the result is a horrible flat medium-dark reddish brown with no shine and absolutely NO gray coverage. None, only a lighter red-brown root area! Now, I started the color at the root area, after shaking the bottle well to make sure the color was mixed well and followed directions exactly. You can expect with any hair color that you may not get total gray coverage and obviously gray hair is going to turn out a bit lighter than brown hair, but the difference with this color was so extreme. And now of course, after about 10 washings, hot oil treatments, deep conditioners, I am STILL left with the strange red brown mess that won't leave. Normally, a semi permanent would be washed out completely after all that.
Bottom line is that I will NEVER use this brand again and a bargain is not always a bargain! I had really thought that if the color was not what I liked, then it would just wash it pretty easy like most non permanent hair color does without the dry, brittle feel to it, and I could go on without any problem. Wrong again! This may work for some people, but for my hair it was the worst of the worst. Just a word of warning if you have never tried this and were considering it- proceed with caution!
Clairol has been changing their formulas more in the last couple of years than I have ever seen any other company do- are they cheapening the product, or are some ingredients being banned and they are reformulating for that reason? Who knows. All I know is I have to get this mess out of my hair and pray for it to get back in shape and recover. I know a salon job may be better, but if you cannot afford that, then you have to color at home. And the Colorslik does do a decent job without wrecking my hair. I'll stick with what works from now on.

3 of 4 people found this helpful.

on 11/5/2016 1:06:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Ia am about to try this product now so I am not writing a review yet and I am very nervous. I have been researching, reading reviews, readings tips from experts, making sense out of any decisions and I have gone back and forth in my head and even called and spoke to two different ladies about the different products I have been collecting. I am so very glad I was disconnected from ths first representative at Clairol because the second definitely made sense and she was honest and helpful. There are so many things to this DIY at home hair coloring that I truly find it worth the money to go to my salon. Who needs this headache when there is someone ready to take you in and get to work, however, I need just about everything under the sun beauty wise right now and a whole lot more that isn't. So, unfortunately, I had to be the good wife and put the important other things first and make do on my beauty with humility except, don't sacrifice on daily product regime, that is worth spending money on.I have probably 10 different boxes of stuff that I have collected for the past two weeks and I still wanted to go to a few more places, look around and chat before I plunged, but my husband has had enough... Haha! I am looking forward to seeing how mine turns out as I wonder how many realize the kind of expectations they have on boxed hair color. There are actually quite a lot of factors that need to be considered and frankly, I love my hair too much not to find it all out. A MUST: call and talk to someone that works for the product you want to use and get schooled. It is a tremedous help in understanding how this stuff works because we don't. What we think or most of us think is wrong. If I had listened to my husbands frustration yesterday and did what my final thought was when he said just do it already, I would have destroyed my hair when all I am trying to do is get by a few more weeks. If you're going to use boxed color get to really know it so you don't mess up your beautiful locks and also, realize it may not always come out perfect but remember it's from a box so it's only going to EVER be CLOSE to anything expected. All hair is different too and colors, tones, primary, secondary are going to play a part in the end result as well as the health of the hair, type of hair, yada yada yada. I really could go on about all the different factors as I am amazed from 2 weeks of scared confusion. Remember unless you went to school for it you're not a pro so do research and understand it's not professional and know as best as you can for your hairs sake what to do proper way. This Natural Instincts product is a DEMI permanent hair color so it's not going to come out quite as fast as a semi perm and it isn't going to color like a permanent. Its not as strong and if your looking for more dramatic color then you need to apply more than this. This is recommended not only for what it says but also as a filler to further obtain that deep color you want from another deep color you have. Used by itself it is meant to add some color, tone, enhance, brighten, blend colors , highlights, roots until you can get it done properly. It's meant to be used to grow out unwanted color or highlights gracefully and to experiment. It is not as strong as a permanent at all and is no where near salon quality products. Heck, even the boxed permanent colors are not as strong or of the quality from a salon so of course it's not going to do the things you want it to do. I'm glad it doesn't so I can get by for a few weeks on a little change that doesn't harm me yet I can still look good and know that I will have it the exact way soon enough. So if you're a blond whether natural or fake and want to go brown or back to your natural shade, use this before you use the color you want your hair to prevent odd colors. If you have very dark hair and want to go blonde or a lot lighter, use this to gradually bring your color down then add some highlights for a pop of color. Just an FYI though, if you have really dark hair, you will have to go mighty blonde to look blonde like serious bleaching and requires a lot of maintenance as super dark roots don't look good on platnium blonde hair and the color will start to fade so you will be bleaching it way too much and damaging that hair and it will take time to repair when you go back. I don't care what anyone tells you, it will be damaged majorly and require work not just from a salon but on your part and good quality products for that are not cheap. And you cannot be platinum from a box and look good, it just is not strong enough period so don't waste your time doing it if you are using a box. Also, for anyone who has ruined hair or damaged, dry hair before doing this product, it's going to color faster especially the ends so for any color desired either don't leave it on as long or go for a level or two from desired and DO the color strand test everytime. It's instructed for a reason. You're not being lied to. Lol. Doubt this product is the reason for damaged hair as it has coconut oil and such as we'll as being demi. Best tip ever for that: get your hair to a healthy color, trim it, invest in hair masque (Macadamia Nut, Argan oil, Coconut oil based or Purelogy has a great one) shampoo apply & sleep in it one night a week rinse in am then a leave in conditioner. *Wayne Grund Tiger Reconstructor* everytime after you wash and on one of those washes a week put a cap on after apply intense heat for 3 min leaving cap on for 10min after. Promise the best most healthy hair repaired. Seriously, the best products are hard to find and you will treat them like jewels. Buy a sun protectant too (Pureology). All Worth it!!! Your hair is alive so treat it as such and feed and nourish it. Locks will thank you abundantly. Sorry I went off but I got annoyed at how little it seemed was known about the box world in reviews. I wondered if anyone really thought about it firs

Back to Top