38 answers

Hair Dye Recommendation

I can't afford to go to the salon to color my hair. Has anyone tried a home hair coloring kit that they really liked? Or, give me any warnings about hair home coloring kits that were a disaster. I've heard some good comments about Garnier Nutrisse and Nice and Easy. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

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Featured Answers

There are some great non-toxic products at Whole Foods that I have been using for years. Also, there is a salon on Pasadena called Keely's Salon that has gone green and offers organic products if you are interested in that.

I am a stylist so I have no knowledge of what works best from the store. However a few helpful tips are , if you have pretty dark hair do not try to go lighter at home. This is how you end up with orange or yellow hair. Fixing it will cost more than just getting it done. If you have gray hair temporary color will not cover it. You also need to take several other things into consideration depending on what you are starting with. Good luck. H.

Although they last longer, the dark permanent dyes are not proven to be 100% safe. Better to use the semi-permanent ones to be on the safe side. Dark dyes, after years of use can cause Lymphoma, although the hair companies will not admit to it. Choose wisely.

More Answers

C. use the Garnier it is a penatrating hair color. Nice and Easy is a coating hair color, what that means is it coats the hair and is does not breathe. Not good for your hair! It smothers your hair and can cause you to loose hair. I am a hairdresser who has let my license go and learned this early on. I love Garnier haircolor and choose it over other products that I can buy at the beauty supply. Buy good conditioners and treatments and you should be OK.
Good Luck! L.

1 mom found this helpful

I like Garnier Nutrisse. It looks more natural than any other kits I've tried.

I dye my hair all the time. ultress and ferra are the best. Hair salon prefers that use ultress, because if you use ferra and then get a perm later on they have to use with a different formula then normally use.

Hope this helps.

I have used both Garnier Nutrisse and Nice and Easy and I recommend both very highly. A word of caution - the color on the box is a little lighter than what actually ends up on your hair, but it will fade after a few weeks! Make sure you wear old clothes and don't drip on the floor. M.

I really like Garnier Nutrisse. Be be very very careful though. I had a major color disaster last year that I'm still getting over. It is very important with the at home jobs that you stick to as close to your natural and current hair color(which sounds odd because they may be different) as possible. If you want any sort of dramatic change I would definitely recommend getting it professionally done. Something just to cover up grays though I'd go with Nutrisse.

Hi C.,
I am a single Mom and have to watch the finances a lot so what I do is only pay to get my hair done occasionally at the salon. In between I love Clairol root touch-up and it only cost $6.00 at Walmart.
M. B

Hi C.,
As a colorist I have to warn you against the Garnier Nutrisse and the Nice and Easy. (Both are very drying and pull weird colors)I recommend any color by L'Oreal. (L'oreal has a professional line which we use at my salon and the over the counter product is a good second.) Just make sure that you get a shade lighter than your natural color. At home color products tend to pull darker. If you are thinking about adding any highlights make sure to use a cap. (The old school kind) The free handed highlighting kits are a disaster waiting to happen. If you are using an all over color, apply to your roots first and leave for 20 minutes. Then "run" the color through your ends for the last 10 minutes. (Leave on for a total of 30 minutes to make sure you have an even application.)I hope this helps. Make sure to use a good conditioner after!!!!!!

dear C.,

i am a former salon owner from ny so i can help you out with this.

the overcounter haircolor that is really nice is Feria. You can get it at walmart and most pharmacies. the trick is though to do only the roots first, and then do the rest of the hair.

i don't know if your hair is short or long, but a good idea would be to go to a beauty school to have your color done. it will then be applied professionally at very little cost. Probably run you about $8.

another suggestion is to purchase the color and call a local beauty salon and ask them if they will apply it for you. have it timed by them, pulled through the ends, shampooed afterwards and they will clean up your skin if necessary. to save money you don't have to have it blowdried either but walk out with a wet head unless they will put you under a hairdryer for free.

in this way your color will be done professionally (so you don't get dark ends but getting the color on it for too long) and it will cost you so much less.

also if you can find a friend that use to be a former hairdresser, bring some towels with you to her house and let her apply it. bring her lunch or do something nice for her. maybe even barter.

feria will leave your hair in better condition and be so shiny. you will just love it. and oh by the way, if you are going to pick a color and not sure to go with the darker one or lighter one, go with the lighter one. it will come out a little less lighter than you expected but won't be darker than you wanted if you were to use the other color. feria runs $9.99.

Now go get beautiful, you deserve it!
hugs, L.

I can't afford (or justify the expense of) the salon either and I've been box coloring my hair for years. For the past few years I've been using Garnier Nutrisse and it looks fine (not brassy), seems to hold for a long while, it comes with a packet of sweet smelling oil that helps cut the smell of the dye, a conditioner packet and my hair hasn't fallen out of my head! It's one I've heard a hair professional say isn't bad. I've heard Feria strips your hair more. Good luck, K.

Hi C.!
I've been coloring my hair for about 6 yrs. by myself, or my girlfriend & I get together & do each others. Anyway, I've never used the boxed stuff in the stores because I liked the color I got from the salon. You can go to Sally's Beauty Supplies (you don't need a license). Buy some Miss Clairol color (2 oz. bottles), some developer (Pure White 20)& a bottle to mix the dye in. Your initial expense will be about $10 but the developer lasts for quite a few colorings. All you do is pour the 2 oz. of dye in the bottle then 2 oz. of developer, shake & color. Do your roots first, let sit for 15 min., color the rest let sit for another 15 min. then rinse, wash, & condition as usual. Make sure you wear a really old shirt or use a trash bag as a cape. Oh, you'll need rubber gloves, but most Sally's if you ask will give you a disposable pair for free. If you get dye on your face or ears, just use the dye that left in the bottle rub it on your skin then wash it off. I usually dye my hair then jump in the shower to rinse it off, it's less messy.
Any questions, e-mail me back.
Good luck!

Hi,
I knew this but had forgotten about it. You can call the high school and if they have a cosmetology class being held the students can cut and color your hair for much less than a salon and you don't have to do it your self, which can be messy and you may not get the look you want. I know Queen Anne's County High School on Railroad Ave (RT 304 West) has a class from 8-12.

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Hi C.,

Maryanne A. advice about going to Sally's is best. I too follow the same procedure. A hairdresser friend taught me how to dye my own hair before she left the area. The only difference is she used the 30 developer. Once you purchase it, it will last a long time. Also Sally's will give you a 10% discount if you hold a military I.D. card or purchase their yearly membership for 5.00. Further, the boxed stuff is not good for your hair, it gives it a waxy build up that Sally's salon don't. TC

Clairol Natural Match works great (Now that I'm typing I'm not sure if it's Clairol or Loreal, but it is def. called Natural Match and it's in a blac box). I use it every 3 weeks (my hair grows like a weed and I am 75% gray at age 34!). I have tried many many many hair dyes, and that one is my favorite b/c it is the most natural looking one. Not all grocery stores have it though, Target and Walmart do.

Christine, The main thing you need to remember when dying your hair is to be sure to mix the ingredients well as suggested, and use it immediately! My teen daughter had a friend do hers, didn't mix it enough, then got busy listening to music and didn't apply it immediately. After the application she also left it on too long, and the results : greenish hair ! She also found out that every time she combed it afterwards hair was breaking off ! That was the last time she let a friend help her. She came to me to do it right from then on!

Good luck. TRISH
P. Groman

There are some great non-toxic products at Whole Foods that I have been using for years. Also, there is a salon on Pasadena called Keely's Salon that has gone green and offers organic products if you are interested in that.

Nice & Easy is a good brand. Just make sure whatever brand you get is not a permanent die unless you are positive you'll love the color. It's really not too hard to die your hair- just make sure you do it when you won't have interruptions (when kids are down) Because you'll definitely want to rinse it out shortly after your timer goes off. Good luck!

Hi Christine, I've always used Nice and Easy and has NEVER had any problems with it. As directed on the kit, test a strand of your hair first before doing the entire head. Every one has a different texture of hair.

I've bene dying my hair for aobut 10 years, and have tried most of the brands our there. I'm a natural brunette that loves a reddish or auburn shade, but occasionally goes back to my natural color every once in awhile. I am not a fan of the Garnier Nutrisse, as the red fades quickly and turns brassy, my friend had a similar experience with a red shade, and a blonde shade turned my step-sister's hair a purple tint! I love the Clairol Hydrience both red and brown shades, the color stays put and the conditioner you get smells nice too. I have used the Feria, I didn't like it as much as Hydrience, but again it didn't fade and didn't smell too bad.

It really depends on what you want to do, just brighten up your color or cover the gray. Garnier Nutrisse and Nice and Easy are both good for brightening up your color, but I've found that they didn't cover my gray very well. For that I really like the Loreal products. My favorite is the Feria products. I really like the colors and you don't have to leave it on as long.

If you're coloring your hair for the first time, I'd suggest that you buy two packages so you'll have enough solution (unless your hair is short). If you just need a root freshen-up, one package will do. And invite a friend over to help you; always good to have someone check the back where you can't see that well. Good luck!

I have used Nutrisse Garnier with great results and also have used Loreal in the big red box with the highlights. I have used both with no assistance needed. If you hair is long, you may need assistance with the highlight portion of the Loreal in order to get the back. Good luck.

I had to giggle when I read this question. I started dying my hair with Nice & Easy when I was about 15 and didn't stop until I was in my mid 20s and could afford to go to salons for highlights and fancy shades. It really is simple -- if you know any teenage girls they can probably help you! I think choosing a color is the hardest part. Just read the instructions and keep some conditioner on hand to wipe the color off your skin {if you don't get it all, it fades in a day or two and on your hands can be sort fo scratched off}.

If you have sensitive skin, DO THE PATCH TEST, but if not, just go for it. Going darker is always easier than going lighter and while it is grossly expensive, if you want highlights or peekaboos try to save for a salon trip instead of doing it yourself.

Good luck!

I use pretty much whatever is cheapest. I have to be a penny pincher. I can say though that if you have red highlights in your hair do not buy any that have the word "ash" in the color. They will turn your hair orange or green.

two hairdressers told me (they didn't know each other) that clairol is the best...most consistent.

we have a lot in common. I too have two at school and two at home. I am also a stay at home mom and work from home as a weichert referral agent as well. I use any brand of hair dye but like loreal the most. I use the one for extra gray coverage because i have a few to cover. You can go on their website to find a shade or call the company and tell them want you are looking for and they will recommend a shade. You need to know if you want cool tones, warm or neutral. it's so easy and affordable.

I don't know if you have a Sally Beauty supply near you or not but you can buy Salon Quality hair color and developer there for the price they it for, minus the money they tack on for doing it.I like the Loreal Excellence creme brand the best or Clairol Professional.It dosn't dry out your hair and leaves a nice shiney color.If you do not know what to get they are trained to help you find all the things you need.Good luck and happy coloring!
R. F.

I like the Clairol Herbal Essences and the Garnier Nutrisse. They both have brilliant colors and the smell isn't too strong.

C.- I use Clairol Natural Instincts. I like it because it is not considered "permanant". It says for 28 washings. By the time it starts to fade or wash out it is time to cover the roots because of new growth anyway. It is very easy to use, too. Also comes with a good sized tube of conditioner that I never use all of- It (the conditioner) smells really good so I use it on my girls a couple of times a week- it really helps keep the tangles away. Hope this helps!

I have used Garnier on my step daughter, works pretty good. Do you have a Beauty School local? It is so cheap to go to a school, let the students practice on you. I use to go while my cousin was a student, they have teachers right there to help. You should look into it.. Good Luck! T.

I have been using L'Oreal "Couleur Experte" for about a year now. I have very dark brown hair with grays sprinkled through and I am coloring my hair a ginger red and it works. What I like about this coloring kit is that it has hightlights also. It's very easy to do, just a little time consuming, and my hair really does look great. Since my real color is dark, the overall color I get when I dye it is a medium red, then the highlights really brighten it up. I don't like the brassy look, and I don't get that look with this kit. It usually runs about $15. at Target. It really is so easy to do.

A friend of mine highlights and cuts her own hair even. She said she found some great books at the library teaching how to cut your own hair. She always has super cute hair. She has two young boys at home and with paying a sitter and someone to do her hair she said she was spending a fortune.

I have used Clairol Hydrience for years, and I love it. It never makes my hair dry or brittle....if anything it makes it softer. The color is beautiful, and it stays well.

Christine,

I was thinking of coloring my hair as well at home. I have been going to the salon, but it is really expensive. Let me know what you hear back.

Thanks,

Elisabeth

A little bit about me: I am a working mother with an 11 month old in Boyds.

I have been using Loreal's Creme Excellence for the past year or so and I absolutely love it! The creme formula is very easy to apply without making a huge mess. I am coloring primarily to cover my grey and to add a little umph to my now dull mousy brown hair. I love that I am able to match my natural hair color and do not look fake. I clip coupons from the Sunday papers and try to purchase when on sale too and save money. Much much more affordable than going to a salon.

Although they last longer, the dark permanent dyes are not proven to be 100% safe. Better to use the semi-permanent ones to be on the safe side. Dark dyes, after years of use can cause Lymphoma, although the hair companies will not admit to it. Choose wisely.

Hi C. -

After getting my hair done profesionally for 15 years i became a stay at home mom and could not afford salon color anymore just like you. My colorist also told me to use any of the loreal products like Gretchen mentioned. That being said I use Revlon colorist which is a new one. Also like Gretchen said my colorist told me to leave the roots on for 10 minutes and the pull the color the last 20 minutes it works great. I actually like my color better now than i did when i was having it done.

good luck.

Cheers,
M.

yes, my favorite hear product is garnier nutrisse,this is the products I used since they came out in the market.

I am a stylist so I have no knowledge of what works best from the store. However a few helpful tips are , if you have pretty dark hair do not try to go lighter at home. This is how you end up with orange or yellow hair. Fixing it will cost more than just getting it done. If you have gray hair temporary color will not cover it. You also need to take several other things into consideration depending on what you are starting with. Good luck. H.

I have been coloring my own hair for 18 years- Garnier is okay, so is nice and easy- to get better color choice though I go to Sally's Beauty and pick my color, use a medium or low number developper and it actually is a lot cheaper becasue you buy bulk. If you have never had your hair colored, then have someone with a lot of experience do it at home with you (my mom helped me) but once you get the hang of it, it really cuts down on time and money.
N. Weir

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