I’ve partnered with Clairol to create this post! Enjoy!
First off, can we talk about how crazy it is that the holidays are only a couple weeks away? These last couple months have flown by in a blur of work, kids and Halloween candy. I’m going to need some professional help getting everything ready for the holidays but luckily I’m all set with my hair thanks to a little at-home TLC from Clairol Natural Instincts.
Anyone who knows me knows how crazy-bananas I am about my hair. I’m sure Drew could go on for days about my hair trials and tribulations. And while you might think that means that I am vehemently opposed to coloring my hair at home, you’d be wrong. Since I am so particular, I’ve gone my own way after salon visits gone wrong but I’m also a fan of using at-home color when I need to go a little longer in-between salon visits.
At least a few times a year my stylist and I can’t connect at our regular 6-to-8 week intervals. Since I highlight my hair, if I wait too long it can get brassy and have a straw-like color. Cue my hair crazies.
So when Clairol asked me to try out their Natural Instincts color with coconut oil, the timing fell right in line with my impending hair anxiety. See coloring my hair in the salon takes HOURS. No joke – it’s at least half a day. Lately, it’s been tough to find time to clear out an afternoon to take care of business. But with our trip to Vermont looming, family pictures on the calendar and a holiday party look shoot on the agenda – I knew I needed to take care of my current hair situation.
Rather than go with something complicated, I decided to stick with one of the rich, cool brown colors to amp up my current color while masking the brassy blonde. I ended up getting two colors to choose from but decided to go with the lighter shade so I could keep some of the dimension from my current highlights. I like how Natural Instincts allows you to get your hair looking good without all the commitment of professional color too. I may not keep this look forever but I definitely still want it to look good so I was in good hands.
Coloring your hair at home is way easier than it sounds. Start by adding the Color-Enhancing Colorant (#1) into the Color Activating Créme (#2) and shake! (p.s. – you definitely want to do a patch test 48 hours in advance to make sure you have no allergic reactions.) After mixing the color, I decided to start about halfway down so that I could save some of the dimension and highlights. I made sure to apply generously to my hair since it is super thick. I like to squeeze the color in my hand and apply that way but you can also apply it directly to your hair and work through. I will even brush my hair through to make sure it is evenly distributed.
Once you’ve completed the application process, it’s time to wait the 10 minutes before rinsing out (leave it on for an extra five minutes for resistant grays). I suggest starting a timer so you know exactly when to rinse. When rinsing make sure to be thorough, you want to make sure you get all of the color out before conditioning. And then it’s time to condition aka the best part. Leave it on for two minutes, rinse and you’re ready to go.
As you can see, I am very happy with the color. It did exactly what I needed – gave my hair rich, dimensional color (aka it didn’t totally cover up my highlights), left it so soft and only took about 40 minutes from start to finish (that includes blow drying!). I’m all about the ease of being able to knock things off my to-do list on my own time so this was huge. I also can’t say enough about the Color Treat Conditioner. My hair is crazy soft. I only used about a quarter of the tube so I’ll be using it once a week or so to keep my hair nourished and protected.
When it comes to coloring your hair at home, here are my five biggest tips:
Buy two shades.
When you’re at the store, making a decision can be tough. I know I second guess myself a million and one times and a lot of times there is the battle between what you want and what is actually going to look good. Rather than wonder if you picked out the right shade, buy a couple. Then spend some time when you’re at home deciding which one you think will be best. Best practice is to do a strand test 48 hours prior to make sure the color works with your hair and to determine your optimal coloring time. You can even get some input from friends and family on the color they think will suit you best. Just return the other one next time you’re out and about.
Carve out some me time.
You won’t need to clear out half a day but make sure to give yourself an hour to focus on the process. This will let you focus on the task at hand and avoid being distracted by work, walking the dog, getting the kids a snack or needing to run out the door for dinner. I decided to come home a little early before picking up the kids so that I had some alone time to get everything just right.
Read the directions and get everything you need.
It may seem like a no-brainer but this is something I struggle with since I usually want to jump right in and get it done. Make sure to read all the steps before getting started. I like to line up everything I’ll need on my counter beforehand including clips and a hairbrush (pick a plastic one that you can rinse the color out of afterward).
Create your own game plan.
I started the coloring process about a quarter of the way down on my hair so that I could save some of the dimension from my highlights. I also left out a couple front pieces of hair for the same reason. Then I make sure to separate the layers of my hair because I have crazy thick hair and I don’t want to miss any areas. Take a second to figure out how you’ll be applying the color in a way that works best for you.
Wear the gloves + Save the conditioner
Okay, these may be two tips but they are pretty self-explanatory. Don’t ditch the gloves. Once, I didn’t use them on one hand and it was a disaster and took forever for me to get the color out from the edges of my nails. The Clairol Color Treat Conditioner that comes with at-home color is the best part and may be the best one I’ve ever tried. You’ll probably only use about a quarter of the tube so you can continue using it weekly or every 10 days to keep your hair hydrated.
So there you have it! Here’s the finished product! I’m really pleased with it, the color was perfect and it was crazy easy. Best of all, I’m not stressed about making it into the salon during the busy holiday season.
Thanks so much to Clairol for sponsoring this post but, as always, all thoughts, opinions and random ramblings are my own. I only work with brands that I truly love and think you all would be interested in hearing all about.