September 24, 2013

Clairol Nice n' Easy Hair Color Review: 114A Lightest Golden Brown

I'm still on the hunt for the perfect hair color. When I was younger, I loved bold light and bright reds and experimented with pink, blue, black, and even blonde, which of course looked terrible. The closer I get to 40, the more I want to achieve a youthful but natural look. Sometimes, I think that means I should be two levels lighter than my natural color, which I've noticed is the typical response to aging and going grey. 

My mom pretty much decided to become a blonde and goes lighter and lighter each time I see her.  For 10 years, I've been trying to convince her to go with a deep, rich red or even more of a medium brown with subtle highlights, but she always comes home from the salon with the frosty blonde look.

After my most recent hair coloring experience, I think it's time I take my own advice. I'm not knocking the product. I'm just choosing colors poorly.

Last week, I tried Clairol Nice n' Easy 114A, Lightest Golden Brown. My thinking is that if I can't mask the golden reddish glow, maybe I should embrace it. While I'm at it, I'll take it all up a level and try to even out the dark ends. I applied it the reverse of my usual method, starting in the middle of the hair shaft, then the roots, then the ends and left it on for the suggested time.

The good news is though I do have "hot roots," they aren't too noticeable. My ends are definitely darker than the rest of the hair, but as my stylist mentioned, it looks like I was going for a certain look, so it's not bad. You can see in the before (left) and after (right) photos below, the color is brighter, lighter, and fairly even. It's light golden brown, like it should be.

The Good:
  1. There was enough product to thoroughly coat my super thick hair
  2. The color came out like I thought it should
  3. My hair feels really healthy even though I did not use the provided conditioning treatment
  4. I have a lot more shine than I had after I used the eSalon color
  5. It didn't stain my skin
The Not-So-Good:
  1. The odor is overpowering, like using a bleaching product
  2. My hair still stinks like hair color, even after a trip to the salon
  3. The color is very flat
  4. It's a really watery product, so applying it can get messy and drippy
If you are curious about what others have had to say about this brand, check out the following:
  • Customer reviews on Clairol's website 
  • Product reviews at Makeup Alley
  • Bernadette's Stuff I Got blog shows how she got nice shine and color but experienced a lot of fading after two weeks of daily shampooing. 
  • The Blushed Wombat blog talks about trying 114 Natural Light Ash (not the golden I used). It looks like it's a shade lighter than her previous color, which might be why the color wasn't as cool as she hoped, but overall the color looks pretty good. Overtime, it faded increasingly red.
I have no problem with the product. I'm just now seeing that I'm going the wrong direction with my color. After talking to my stylist over the weekend, she suggested a chocolate brown, targeting the roots and mid-shaft, ignoring the ends. Basically bring back the color and richness that I've lost going lighter. She suggested I could go red too, but if I go that way, I need to have her do it so she can mix more than one color so I can have an even result. My stylist, Kristan, at City Looks is awesome and if I had the money, I'd rush in and make an appointment. For now though, it's box color for me.

I'm going to give my hair some time between colorings to keep it healthy, so in 4-6 weeks, you'll be seeing another post from me. This time, I'll be embracing a dark chocolate brown. 

Suggest your favorite box colors and I'll pick one to try!

Related Posts:
eSalon Hair Color Review

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