I admit it...I'm addicted to dying my hair.
From the time I was 16, I've had red highlights, purple highlights, and all various shades of brown hair and highlights (sometimes stepping dangerously close to blond or brassy orange-brown). I'm fortunate that I have genetically nice hair butI also have very thick hair, lots of it and long, and naturally jet black hair...so changing my color every other season has its challenges.
Anyway, these days I'm not so fixated on my hair color and opt for a more natural look, close to my natural shade so the maintenance won't be high (yuck to black roots with hair 4+ shades lighter). I also want my hair to stay healthy, regardless of the many changes I put it through, and I don't want the hassle of going to a salon (color charge, tip, fitting your schedule into your hair stylist's, waiting, traffic, etc.) so I turned to box dye...and look what I found.
L'oreal Natural Match
It caught my eye because of the "No Ammonia." (I'd ask my hair stylist friend Gaby and she said if I had to use box dye, make sure it had low ammonia.)
Rich Color. No Grays.
Nurtures and Conditions.
So Natural. So Gentle.*
With 100% natural pomegranate, apricot and jojoba oils, nurtures while you color for rich, glossy shine.
Hydra-Gloss Conditioner, now enriched with even ore aloe vera and green tea, leaves hair soft to the touch.
Keywords: No Ammonia, glossy, shine, natural, gentle, pomegranate, aloe vera and green tea.
No ammonia means that the dye is gentle on your hair, not doing as much damage to it as other dyes, and it also means you don't get that heavy chemical smell when applying (no need to suffocate in your bathroom or kitchen or wherever).
Now for the cons: if you want a drastic difference in your hair color, this is not the brand for you. Also, since it's "natural match," there aren't a million colors to choose from. It's meant to work on hair if you only want to go a few shades darker or lighter, but basically within variation of your natural color and what you currently have. It's $8.something per box (or more depending where you buy it), which is way cheaper than $50-$200 that you might pay at the salon, but not the cheapest in the drug store (and if you're like me and need two boxes, double the cost).
UPDATE: I actually didn't really finish writing this blog, so I saved the draft but accidentally published it tonight (11/16) while cleaning through my blog labels! Whoops...and I have no idea how to make this unpublished again, so here it is!
I still really like this product. The first box show is the first color I used (4N or 4 Neutral, 1-10 being hair color numbers with 1=jet black and 10=platinum blonde, and the shades come in Neutral, Warm, Cool, or Red), and then a month later I went a shade lighter because the 4N basically looks black when first dyed, and gradually lightens to a noticeable albeit dark brown. Right now my hair is still 5N (remember the higher the number, the lighter the color) and I'm debating whether to dye it 4N because the once-highlighted parts of my hair are a lighter brown than the newer hair on top of my head (very dark brown)...or use Japanese hair dye again for a warmer dark brown. Hmmm...decisions, decisions!