I've stuck to mostly brown shades for the past couple of years and wanted a change. Most of my adult life, I've used either reddish tint or bolder rusty reds, so it seemed like a fun idea to go back to that for a while. Honestly, it was a little challenging to pick a shade I wanted to try because my experience with box color "light" and "medium" seems different from the example photos on Olia boxes. The brown and red shades look darker than what I would call "light," for example.
At Walmart, there were 14 of the 24 Olia shades in stock, which narrowed down my choice. Since I was fearful of trying any light colors in case they were too light for me, a medium was what I picked to try, 5.5 Medium Mahogany.
Just for reference, here's my hair a few hours before coloring with Olia:
|Hair Color Before Olia|
After a successful allergy test, I read the instructions. The Olia brand is really trendy and unique. I do like the bold black look. Everything looks modern and hip!
|Garnier Olia Box Contents|
Next I poured the developer into the applicator bottle. As soon as I removed the cap, it began pouring, probably from built up pressure. If you try Olia, be sure to have the bottle really close so it doesn't drip onto the counter.
Next is the color tube. Like a lot of coloring products, it comes out neutral, not the color on the box. If you've ever used a bleach lightener, that mixes up blue at first - creepy! I prefer these nice neutrals. It seems less "chemical."
I put the cap on the applicator bottle, covered the tip with a finger and shook it up. This is one part of the process that irritated me. The bottle is fairly wide and I had a difficult time gripping and holding the tip. The photos below were taken for this blog post, but I really had to use two hands while mixing. The photo on the right is as far as I could get my fingers around the bottle. While I like the organic shape, I do not like it's girth.
Next was the fun part, applying color to my hair. I sectioned it off using clips, which kept it out of my face and made my part lines easier to access with the applicator. You'll notice if you look closely that the product is barely visible on my hair. It just looks a little damp and shiny in the beginning, so it was harder to know if I'd properly covered all the hair than when I use other brands, which leave a more obvious coating.
I dripped some in the sink, but cleanup was a breeze with a damp paper towel. I didn't need to pull out the Soft Scrub after applying Olia. That's a nice surprise!
Below on the right, you see my hair after coloring with Olia (with the "before" again on the left):
Here's a closeup of the after:
The only downside is I feel like I've outgrown red and want to go back to brown. It's not Olia's fault. The product is great. I just like me better with brown hair, so I'll probably wait a few shampoos to see if it fades and then try a brown shade. To be clear, I'm in no way promoting coloring your hair multiple times in a month. That's not good, especially if you have thin or brittle hair. I just have so much hair, I don't worry about that stuff. If you ever have a color you don't like and haven't much experience with home color, call the expert hotline on the box of hair color, or a local stylist, for help.
In case you aren't yet convinced to try Garnier Olia home color, here's a little more info:
1. There's no ammonia, yet you can go a little lighter and bolder, and it's permanent, lasting color. That should be enough to convince you.
But if not...
2. It doesn't smell bad. Garnier calls it a "delicate floral scent." To me, that's a stretch, but it's not nasty or overpowering. My eyes didn't water and my daughter didn't complain while playing nearby. This should also be enough to convince you.
And if it isn't, then how about...
3. 100% gray coverage! Mostly why I dye my hair now is those stupid gray hairs that keep popping up. I'm only 36, not 86, and I don't think gray is my color. Here I am, testing the product for real and I really had some gray hair, and guess what? I don't now.
Garnier also makes some excellent hair care products. I have a collection in my bathroom for washing, conditioning, and shining my hair. When you pick up a box of Olia to try, look for their color preserving stuff too, especially if you go red.
If you try Olia, be sure to let me know. I want to hear about your experiences and see how the different shades look on other people!