If you’ve ever picked up box dye from the drugstore, you likely chose Clairol. This company has been around for a long time and is one of the most popular hair coloring brands globally. In its collection, you’ll find permanent dyes, touch-up powders, and temporary sprays.
Its affordable and effective products have caught the attention of many major publications, like InStyle, Allure, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, People, and Healthline. It has 750k followers on Facebook and another 100k+ from Instagram and Twitter.
Should this brand be your go-to for your next at-home dye job? Stay tuned as this Clairol Natural Instincts review gives you the down-low on the company, its bestsellers, customer testimonials, shipping and return policies, and more, so you can make that crucial decision.
Overview of Clairol
It might be hard to believe, but Clairol has been around since the 1930s. Joan Bove and her husband, Lawrence Gelb, bought an innovative type of hair color that penetrates the hair shaft rather than just painting on the surface, which was pretty revolutionary at the time. The result was a more natural look and an effective coverup for grey hairs.
After discovering this secret in Paris, the pair returned home to the US, where they began selling the product. Clairol created the first at-home hair coloring kit in the 1950s, and in the decades that followed, continued to release game-changing hair color innovations.
More recently, the brand has used tech to improve dye enthusiasts’ experience, like with the Clairol My Shade app. The brand still operates from its head office in New York City, NY.
Now that you know a bit more about the brand and where it came from, this Clairol Natural Instincts review will cover some pros and cons:
- Variety of dyes for different purposes and hair types
- Temporary, semi-permanent, demi-permanent, and permanent options
- Natural look
- Cream, easy-to-apply, no-drip formula
- Available worldwide, online and in-store
- Offers ammonia-free options for less damage
- Wide shade range
- Cannot order from the Clairol website
- Some customers experience irritation and hair loss
- 100% grey coverage not guaranteed
Up next in this Clairol Natural Instincts review, we’ll introduce you to some of the brand’s bestsellers. Whether you’re looking to cover up greys, touch-up roots between salon appointments, or try a new color completely, the company offers products to help.
PSA: the brand recommends doing a patch test at least two days prior to applying color, even with its more gentle options.
Clairol Hair Dye Review
Whether you think dyeing your hair will solve your problems or you’re just looking to switch things up, this brand might be a good place to start. There are multiple formulations to choose from, depending on how dramatic of a change you need.
Instructions for each line differ slightly, so be sure to check the instructions that are included with each box. Also, protect your hands with the included gloves. Here’s a general run-down of the process so you know what you’re getting into:
- Squeeze the color cream (bottle #1) into the activator (bottle #2)
- Shake well until completely blended
- Apply evenly to all of your strands (if you’ve colored in the past three months, be sure to read the alternative instructions)
- Leave on for 15-30 minutes, depending on the product
- Rinse out
- Condition with the included conditioner
Up next, we’ll take a look at three Clairol hair dye products, offered in demi-permanent and permanent formulations. The company offers multiple colors to choose from, so we’re sure you’ll find the change you’re looking for.
Clairol Natural Instincts Review
As the brand’s most gentle color, Clairol Natural Instincts is a demi-permanent hair dye that is completely free of ammonia—an ingredient commonly found in dyes that many scalps are sensitive to. Instead, this formulation features mostly natural ingredients, like coconut oil and aloe vera.
There are 38 shades in this collection, ranging from light blonde to ultra black. The idea here is au naturel: select a shade similar to your own to add shine and depth, enhancing your natural beauty. Or, change it up with a new color, using the Clairol Natural Instincts color chart for guidance.
Online on Amazon and Walmart, these dyes are $7 a box.
Clairol Nice’n Easy Review
There’s a reason why we’ve all heard of the Clairol Nice’n Easy line. Despite the fact that it offers permanent color, its innovative formulation is designed to be safe for people with sensitive skin who are at risk of allergic reactions to other hair dyes.
Customers have 50 red, blonde, brunette, and black shades to choose from. Plus, it’ll cover up your greys with ease. Ready to commit to a safe and long-lasting color? You can buy a kit for $7 on Amazon.
Clairol Natural Instincts – Just The Brunette Shades Review
Aspiring to be a brunette? Or, wanting a subtle change for your brown locks? Look no further than the Clairol Natural Instincts – Just The Brunette Shades. The brand has curated its selection of 18 brown hues so you don’t have to sift through all 38 colors.
Here, you’ll find soft golden browns, rich chocolates, and creamy caramels. Add a $7 box to your cart online at Amazon or Walmart.
Clairol Balsam – Just The Black Shades Review
The Clairol Balsam line is one of the brand’s most nourishing options. Each color is infused with plant-derived ingredients that leave your hair feeling hydrated, soft, and smooth—not to mention looking shiny.
The Balsam – Just The Black Shades collection offers two permanent black shades: black and natural black. What’s the difference? The former is more intense than the latter, offering more of a cool-toned hue. Each option is $5 per box.
Clairol Textures & Tones Review
This Clairol Natural Instincts review discovered that some dyes can mess up curly and coily textures—permanently. To prevent this, the brand developed a special formulation for more delicate hair patterns. Let’s take a look at the top-selling options.
Clairol Textures & Tones Review
Whether you’ve got natural or chemically relaxed hair, the Clairol Textures & Tones line was developed for those with thicker, curlier strands. Each shade is formulated to deposit a permanent color without changing your hair’s texture.
Available in 13 shades, this product moisturizes and adds shine as it dyes, thanks to its infusion of jojoba oil. It’s one of the company’s more expensive options at $11. If you’re curly-coily and looking for a semi-permanent option, try a box of the Clairol Beautiful Collection hues instead.
Clairol Textures & Tones – Just The Red Shades Review
Faux and natural redheads alike, this collection is for you. The Clairol Textures & Tones – Just The Red Shades collection offers five of the brand’s signature ammonia-free permanent dyes.
This line offers gentle oranges, deep plums, and a few shades in between. If your textured hair needs extra lovin’, get your favorite hue for $11 on Amazon.
Clairol Root Touch Up Review
Though there isn’t really a stigma around dyeing your hair these days (it seems like everyone has done it), that doesn’t mean you want to show your roots off to the world. The brand offers temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent solutions, depending on your needs. Up next, this Clairol Natural Instincts review will take a look at the bestsellers.
Clairol Permanent Root Touch Up Review
Picture this: you used permanent hair dye about two months ago. Your roots are now showing, and it is simply not cute. Whether you need to cover up your greys or the fact that you’re not a natural brunette, opt for the Clairol Permanent Root Touch-Up to protect your locks.
There are 28 natural colors to choose from that blend with the brand’s full-head box dyes, ranging from light blondes to intense blacks. This product should be applied directly to your roots and left on for 10-15 minutes, depending on how hard it needs to work. Then, just rinse and condition! Grab this Clairol professional permanent touch-up for $6.
Clairol Root Touch-Up Semi-Permanent Color Blending Gel Review
Hair color has come a long way in the last few years. Unlike other options, the Clairol Root Touch-Up Semi-Permanent Color Blending Gel requires no mixing. The innovative applicator comes with a built-in brush for easy root application and even easier blending.
With this peroxide and ammonia-free formulation, customers can choose their closest match from eight shades. But, this isn’t for pesky greys or intense color application—it’s more for touching up subtle changes in hue. To use, simply apply to roots and leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing.
On Amazon, you can get a two-pack of this Clairol semi-permanent hair color for $20.
Not into it? Check out the Clairol Loving Care hair color for another dye meant to cover more noticeable greys.
Clairol Temporary Root Touch-Up Concealing Powder Review
We know the struggle all too well. It’s the morning of a big event. It isn’t quite time to dye your hair yet, but your roots are starting to peek through. Well, the Clairol Temporary Root Touch-Up Concealing Powder is here to help.
This product is essentially a concealer for your hair. It’ll coat your roots and hide the new growth, but easily wash out in the shower. It’s affordable, convenient, and kinda like the dry shampoo of root touch-ups—simply brush it on wherever you need coverage. It’s available in six shades for $5 on Amazon or Walmart.
How long does Clairol permanent hair dye last?
If you’re a hair dye novice, you should know that permanent hair dye is pretty permanent. But, the shade becomes dull after about 4-6 weeks.
Clairol recommends that you recolor your new hair growth when it’s visible at the roots. But, avoid the already dyed hair. Redying on top of permanent dye is just adding unnecessary damage and chemical buildup to your precious locks—no thanks!
How often can I use Clairol?
How often you use the brand’s products depends on what you’re using and your hair type. Is it Clairol semi-permanent hair color, demi-permanent, or fully permanent?
For semi-permanent hair color, it fades after about 10 washes. This Clairol Natural Instincts review found that demi-permanent color survives about 28 washes. Meanwhile, permanent is permanent, as in it lasts forever, but you can retouch your roots once they begin growing in.
Pro tip: when you’re using permanent hair color, you shouldn’t go over the same, already dyed sections with more permanent dye unless you’re changing colors. The healthiest way to keep your permanent ‘do looking fresh is to use toner or semi-permanent color on top.
And, if you’re a blondie, make sure to check out the Clairol Shimmer Lights hair-toning line. It helps keep your blonde actually blonde instead of a dull, brassy mess.
Clairol Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
So, is Clairol hair color good? We can’t answer that question without looking at customer reviews from various sources, so this Clairol Natural Instincts review hunted down testimonials on the brand’s site, TrustPilot, and Amazon.
First up, comments on the company’s website vary quite dramatically. Collectively, there are almost 90k ratings, so it’s to be expected that we’ll see some conflicting experiences. Here’s a quick overview of some top-sellers:
- Natural Instincts: an average of 2.8/5 stars from 1.3k ratings
- Nice’n Easy: an average of 4.5/5 stars from 29k ratings
- Natural Instincts – Just The Brunette Shades: an average of 4.1/5 stars from 778 ratings
- Balsam – Just The Black Shades: an average of 4.3/5 stars from 77 ratings
- Textures & Tones: an average of 3/5 stars from 27 ratings
- Clairol Permanent Root Touch Up: an average of 4.3/5 stars from 19k ratings
- Root Touch-Up Semi-Permanent Color Blending Gel: an average of 3.3/5 stars from 1.1k ratings
- Temporary Root Touch-Up Concealing Powder: an average of 4/5 stars from 27k ratings
We chose to dive deeper into Clairol Natural Instincts reviews. In terms of positives, shoppers report long-lasting color that is full-coverage. One customer also reported that it leaves her hair looking shiny and healthy:
“I really like the feel of my hair, soft and smooth. My hair actually looks better and healthier than before dying it and the color looks really natural. My white hair did not turn dark brown, but it blends with the rest very well and that’s all I wanted. I also appreciate the fact that the formula is 80% natural.”
But, testimonials aren’t all positive. This example speaks for itself: “If there was a ZERO rating, I would give it. For anyone considering buying this stuff, the color is suppose to be demi which means it washes out, but it acts more like a perm color… It does not wash out after 28 washes either. So you need to know that upfront to only use the color of your hair. I am so upset that they reformulated this product. This has ruined my hair.”
Yikes. That’s not the feedback we were expecting for a brand that has been around this long. To get a clearer picture, we turned to Trustpilot. But, the company’s average wasn’t much better: 1.3/5 stars from 344 ratings.
Many customers complain about the dye just straight-up not working or irritating their scalp. One Clairol Natural Instincts review wrote that the company seems to have changed its formula in a bad way:
“Have used this product for years, however in the last 6 months it does not seem to be the same. My hair is dull, and lacks the lustre and shine I used to get after using this product. Also my scalp seems to be irritated and itchy after use.”
Finally, we turned to Amazon reviews, where comments are actually very positive. Textures & Tones has an average of 4.5/5 stars out of 2.3k ratings. Avoiding chemical damage on curly hair is certainly not an easy feat when dying it, but customers are raving about the minimal damage on their strands. One curly girly said:
“I personally LOVED this dye!! It was easy to use and all the instructions are there… My hair was a dark chestnut color because of previous dyes so this dye juss made it way lighter not blonde but I absolutely love the color. Also I highly suggest using the conditioner it comes with because it’s tested to care for your hair specifically after being dyed, my hair isn’t hard or crunchy like other dyes made my hair and my curls are popping.”
TL;DR: customers love that Clairol dyes don’t drip, are less smelly than other brands, give you a natural look, and protect hair from damage. Negative reviews say the dyes didn’t work, irritated their scalp, and caused hair loss.
Though comments are pretty conflicting, shoppers seem to be most pleased with the Nice’n Easy Balsam black shades and the Concealing Powder. In terms of other products, we’d have to say the positives outweigh the negatives—but you should absolutely do the recommended patch test to ensure you won’t have a bad reaction to anything, which was the biggest complaint.
With 100k+ reviews, there are bound to be people who weren’t happy with the hair colors. But, we don’t think the brand would still be around today if it didn’t offer innovative and effective products.
Is Clairol Worth It?
Our research points to yes, Clairol is worth it. The natural look that these dyes provide at home is valuable, especially for those of us who don’t want to spend hundreds at a salon. We encourage you to check out Textures & Tones if you’re looking for minimal damage on your curly hair or Nice’n Easy for a shiny new permanent hair color.
You might want to be warier of other lines if you have sensitive skin, fine hair, or already damaged strands. Some customers have had some poor experiences with Clairol dyes that cost them not just money but also hair and scalp health, too.
Always do a skin patch test at least 48 hours before to make sure your scalp won’t be burning when you apply the dye, and test a couple of strands of hair to see how the dye interacts with your unique locks. Better to be safe than sorry.
But, if you’re ready to commit to at-home dye or a simple root touch-up, this Clairol Natural Instincts review thinks its products are worth checking out. With nine decades of experience in the industry, it’s safe to say that the brand knows a thing or two about hair color.
Clairol Promotions & Discounts
Unfortunately, there aren’t any active promos right now. But, you can follow the Clairol social media pages—if there’s an upcoming deal, it’ll be there!
Where to Buy Clairol
For online orders, Amazon, Walmart, and Ulta sell most of the company’s products. In-store options include drugstores, Walmart, beauty supply stores… just visit the Store Locator to find the nearest Clairol aisle near you.
Who owns Clairol now?
Clairol is now owned by the parent company Coty.
Fun fact: the brand used to own Herbal Essences, but doesn’t anymore. So if you confusedly go searching for Clairol Herbal Essence hair color, you’ll just come up with plain ol’ Clairol hair color.
Is Clairol bad for your hair?
Yes and no? Clairol is better than other brands at keeping its dyes minimally damaging because of its focus on natural ingredients. But its permanent hair dyes are more damaging than the semi-permanent or demi-permanent options, so opt for semi- or demi- if you’re looking for minimal damage.
What is Clairol’s Shipping Policy?
Clairol’s brand site does not ship products. Amazon, Walmart, and Ulta do, so check out their individual shipping policies there. Otherwise, the brand is available worldwide in retail stores.
What is Clairol’s Return Policy?
Because the brand doesn’t sell Clairol products on its own site, returns are determined by the site you choose to buy from.
For example, Amazon’s customer service team handles all returns, so you’ll be dealing with them instead of the Clairol customer service.
How do I contact Clairol?
If you have any questions after reading this Clairol Natural Instincts review, you can contact the company through:
- Fill out the contact form on the site
- DM or comment on Clairol’s social media profiles
- Call (800) 252-4765
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