REVIEW: AT-HOME hair COLOR

Enlight
FTC: In partnership with Clairol.

If you’ve been following me for a while you know that one of my biggest hair issues is gray hair! Over the years the amount of grays scattered through my dark hair have increased, making color treating my hair a necessity. And in true beauty blogger fashion, I’ve tried about a dozen different coloring methods not only to conceal the silver streak through my mane, but to keep that rich, dark color sealed in. (I used to have an ombre through my hair, so from about the halfway point down the color needs to be refreshed every now and then.)

The most recent at-home coloring system I tried is the Clairol Age Defy. (I used the color 3.5, Darkest Brown.) Going into it, I felt pretty confident about the product already because I’ve tried several other color products from Clairol in the past. But what intrigued me about the Age Defy specifically is its claim to target 7 signs of aging, including dryness, lackluster hair, and, of course, grays! Considering I have dry, frizzy hair and I have grays, this sounded like the perfect product to try.

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THE PROCESS

In preparation for this treatment you should, of course, do a skin allergy test. About two days before you decide to color treat your hair at home, test out the product somewhere like the nape of your neck where it won’t be too visible just to be sure you don’t have any sort of reaction.

The first step to this treatment is the pre-treatment solution, which I’ve never seen in a hair color kit before. I applied this clear serum to my hair from root to end to soften the hair, which the Age Defy system claims will allow the color to penetrate better. Once I was done with that step, I put on the gloves that come in the box, read through the instructions, and began combining the color creme with the activator. (Each step is labeled by number so it makes it easy to go from step 1 to step 3.) Holding my finger over the nozzle, I made sure to shake up the mixture thoroughly and prepared to apply.

For me, the easiest way to apply the color is to separate the hair in a straight line and apply along the hairline just about a quarter inch from my scalp, then use my hand to smooth the color down toward the ends. I repeated this step, separating the hair all throughout and saturating it almost halfway down. Since I’m covering the grays closer to my roots, I didn’t immediately apply the color to my ends. First, I allowed the color to sit for 20 minutes, (grays tend to be stubborn in taking color, so make sure you give it the full 20 minutes!) then for the last 5 minutes I applied the rest of the color through all my hair, saturating the ends. And here’s a tip if you’re dying lighter hair darker, especially if you’re like me and had the ombre in the past: Lighter hair takes color much more quickly, so don’t leave it on for too long, otherwise you’re going to end up with extremely dark hair as opposed to a more natural and rich look.

On to the rinse: Once I rinsed out the color and gave it a light (and sulfate free) shampoo, I applied the Pro-V ColorSeal conditioning therapy, step 3, as the finishing product to keep the hair looking soft and shiny.

STEPS

THE RESULT

After I blow dried my hair I put a few waves through it with a 1.5 inch curling iron and assessed the ‘after’ look of my hair. I examined all the areas where I had grays and every last inch was covered with a natural dark chocolate brown as if grays never existed there. What’s more, my hair was shiny from root to ends, something that doesn’t happen often! My mom actually saw me right after I colored and styled my hair, and she could not stop talking about how incredible my hair looked! In her words, the color looked “crisp and shiny.”

beforeafter1 beforeafter2

I walked away from my experience with the Clairol Age Defy extremely happy with my results; the color looks sensational, my hair feels soft to the touch, and it’s shiny, which is more than I thought I could ask for considering how hard it is to get my hair to look shiny! You can check out the full range of 18 colors, from black to extra light blond, and if you have any questions about my experience leave a comment and we’ll chat!

Teni Panosian

I'm Teni Panosian, a lifestyle and beauty blogger based in Los Angeles.

There are 17 comments

  • Cati says:

    Thanks so much for this article. Lately i have changed the coloring system. I didnt have sensitive scalp but my hairdresser recomended to me one color without amoniac, still powerful enough to cover my gray hair and more gentle with the scalp. Is this one you use without amoniac?and last question, how often do you do the coloring? I do it every three weeks if i dont want any gray hair to show.

    Thanks again to be so active and always posting.

    p.s.I follow you in utube too.

  • Gul-e-Zehra says:

    I’ve never color treated my hair! I have, what they call, the virgin hair. But lately I feel so tempted to just take the plunge and do it myself and this seems to be a great product! <3

    -xo
    Gul-e-Zehra

  • Nita says:

    I use age defy! I have a few grays more toward my temples and it covers them perfectly.

  • Sissi says:

    It turned out great. Thank God I have no grey hair yet even though I am much older then you lol- but I am blonde so maybe I just don´t see them. Unfortunately most hair dyes out there are not cruelty free but I found a great hair color box from Shea Moisture that is cruelty free. I use the light blonde and it works great!

  • Amanda says:

    Love this post & your hair!
    I always wanted to go an at home dye job now I’m definitely going to try it out and get that clariol

    Thanks so much
    Xo

    Amanda

  • Delsa Soliai says:

    I had a special event come up last weekend and I was looking to color my gray right out but I have not had much success in picking a brand let alone a color that would look rich and natural at the same time. Then I read your post and the timing couldn’t be any better! I picked up a the color you used as we have similar skin tones and I have dark hair and I have to say… it was probably the best color I have used in the past 5 years of color treating my own hair. I am now a huge fan and I now have my signature color thanks to you. Thanks and love your reviews of real products for real girls! Keep them coming girl 🙂

  • Brandi says:

    Hey Teni, how old were you when you first started noticing gray hairs? I am almost 27 and am now seeing 5-10 gray strands of hair, which freaked me out because I feel like I shouldn’t be at my age. Is this normal in your opinion? I’m a huge fan of yours by the way!!!

    • I can’t speak for Teni, but I can say that many women get gray hair in their twenties. I got my first strands at 23 years old! I also have family members who started getting grays fairly young, so those pesky genetics might be to blame.

  • Ana says:

    Glad to know I am not the only one who does at home hair color! I love reviving my hair by dying it to a color already similar to my own, just to make it shiny and to give it some color revitalization! I love being a brunette and wouldn’t have it any other way!

  • Callia says:

    As I am always dying my hair different (vivid) colors I am always interested in new at home products to save some bucks. Thanks for the great post!

  • Jen says:

    do you think this is equal to a salon treatment?

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  • julia marie says:

    Thank you for such a wonderful article dear. and from my side I want to say that i am using hair care products from long for my hairs and its really effective.

  • saç rengim says:

    i think dark brown is the best hair color after blonde (:

  • Very nice technique. Indeed going darker after blonde is a good choice.

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