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Posted by 08.27.11

Photo Credit: clairol.com

Box dye has long been the purview of experimenting teens or a last-ditch effort for women on a shoestring budget.  No more!  In recent months I have come across box dye testimonials from good-hair icon Courtney Cox (a Clairol Natural Instincts Brass-Free For Brunettes devotee) and beauty scion Evelyn Lauder (the bajillionaire told Harper’s Bazaar that every 10 days she mixes four different boxes of Clairol dye to achieve the perfect shade).  Clairol in a box good enough for them?  Good enough for me too.  I chose Clairol Natural Instincts Vibrant #4 Dark Brown because of its promise of 100% gray coverage.  While I have less than 25% gray, against my naturally dark hair those little suckers tend to shoot out white light from across the room.

Mixing is a cakewalk and the high quality kit components are easy to use; pop the cap off of the colorant, squeeze contents into the applicator bottle pre-loaded with activating creme, slip on the gloves, work through the goo, wait 10 minutes and… yay.  100% gray coverage and 0% brass, which is the bane of any brunette doing DIY hair color.

It bears mentioning that the 12 Natural Instincts Vibrant colors are permanent, unlike their other semi-permanent original Natural Instincts counterparts.  Resistant grays need the big guns of permanent color.  The included Color Treat conditioner is fabulous.  I have never used the Week 2 Color Refresh because by week 2 I’m already busting open the next box to cover my quick-growing roots.

$9 and 10 minutes later I have the hair that I want.  I can do it while my kids are napping and get 50 other things done at the same time.  This product is a boon for single-process ladies.  Love, love, love.  See all 12 shades and find the right one for you at clairol.com.


  1. Rebecca Says:

    I was a hair color snob, thinking only salon color could possibly leave me the results I wanted. I am happy to report that I am now more satisfied with box color than I ever was with the salon color I used faithfully for 20 years! It takes far less time, gives beautiful results, and best of all..I no longer have the allergic reaction I was experiencing with my salon brand..The price also fits my Realtor budget..I am completely happy with my box color!!

  2. irishkeri Says:

    I used this exact color tonight and I am in love with how it turned out. Can’t wait to see how it wears on me – I don’t wash every day as it is so hopefully this will last nicely!

    Thank you for the rec!

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