For the longest time ever, I was a hair virgin in terms of colouring my hair, but this changed a couple of weeks back. Since I have super fine hair with dry ends, I did not want to bleach them blonde before colouring, therefore I opted for a box colour that I could apply directly on my unbleached hair. I went for the Garnier Color Naturals Creme Rich Permanent Hair Colour in the shade Wine Burgundy – 4.20 for this experiment after reading a number of reviews online. Here is how I used the product and how it fared for me!
Before using any new hair colour on yourself, you MUST perform a patch test. Every hair colour has a different formulation and is loaded with chemicals, and you do not want to end up with a severe allergic reaction. The Garnier Color Naturals Hair Color comes with a Colourant in a tube and a Developer in a bottle which you have to mix in a 1:1 ratio before application to the hair. Therefore, for the patch test too, you will need to mix a teeny amount of the colourant and the developer in a 1:1 ratio and apply to the skin behind your ear in a small patch. You are supposed to leave this on your skin for 24 hours and if you do not see any redness or irritation then proceed with colouring your hair.
You need to prepare a fresh batch of colour using the colourant and developer each time you sit down to colour your hair. Mix the two in a 1:1 ratio in a plastic bowl. The tube and the bottle both come with markings to help you determine how much product you need for your length of hair. Once you have mixed the two properly, just apply the cream to your dry hair and try to cover each strand as well as you can. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then wash the cream off with cold water, then apply a conditioner to the wet, towel-dried hair and leave it on for 5-10 minutes, wash it off and let your hair air dry. The box contains two conditioner pouches and gloves as well, but you can use any conditioner that is suitable for colored hair. That’s it, the process is pretty hassle-free, to be honest. The cream does not drip and create a mess and it does not smell bad either because it does not contain ammonia.
A few disclaimers though, if you have dark brown or black hair then this colour will be visible only under direct artificial light or sunlight but will not be very starkly visible from afar. It will look more violet under certain lights and more burgundy under other lights. The benefit of this is that since the colour is not too starkly visible on dark hair, you can afford a little bit of unevenness during the application and your mistakes won’t show in the final result. If you are looking for vibrant and stark colour, then I will recommend bleaching your hair blonde first or rather getting it done professionally, because strong bleach can severely damage your hair. But if you are just looking to change the undertone of your hair then this hair colour should suffice. The developer of this product does contain hydrogen peroxide, but I think that it is present in a small concentration only to lighten/lift the hair a tiny bit. Also, it has not visibly damaged my hair and has, in fact, made my hair look shinier, which is an added bonus.
This colour will not show up as much on already coloured hair. Also, the brand claims that the colour will last up to 8 weeks. How long the colour lasts on your hair will depend on how frequently you wash it, whether you use hot or cold water, and whether you use products meant for coloured hair or not. If you wash your hair with suitable products once or twice a week with cold water and do not heat style it frequently then the colour can last up to 8 weeks, however, it will grow fainter with every wash.
Overall, I feel that this hair color works really well without damaging the hair to a visible extent and is excellent value for money. One box is priced at around INR 180, and is suitable for one use on waist-length hair or 3-4 uses on short hair. This is very affordable considering that one salon session of hair coloring will set you back by a few thousand bucks. If you have always wanted to experiment with hair colour but have been a little scared then this product is a safe place to start. The box also provides images of how the colour will appear on light brown, dark brown, and black hair, so you will know exactly what you are signing up for. Personally, I am fully satisfied with the ease of use and pigmentation of this colour and will highly recommend it to all of you.