Posted on

Clairol Natural Instincts Non-Permanent Color, 09 Light Blonde 1 ea

Natural Instincts gives you healthy-looking color and shine in just 10 minutes. The ammonia-free formula, with antioxidants, is clinically proven less damaging.* (*Natural Instincts Level 2 non-permanent vs. leading level 3 permanent cream colorant).

Key features

  • Non permanent, ammonia-free formula works in just 10 minutes.
  • Lasts through 28 shampoos.
  • Gently blends away gray.
  • Includes Natural Instincts Week 2 Color Refresher, a conditioning creme formula that deposits color pigments 15 days after coloring.
  • Includes Color Treat⢠Conditioner for radiant and healthy-looking color.

Honest reviews



My mom used Natural Instinct for many years until they changed their formula. The worst part of it all was the 2 week color refresher! Turned my mom’s hair into a fireball!!! IT’S PURE RED!!! (she used a dark brown hair coloring) She was very furious that she didn’t leave the house for many weeks.I’m going to do a research for another ammonia free hair coloring. She won’t be buying this brand again!

Minnie Edgartown, MA

Lost a customer

I had been using Clairol Natural Instincts Midnight Black for a long time. I loved the original formula. The color was excellent and the conditioner was the best (wish I could have bought it separate it was so good). I bought the new 10 min formula to cover my gray with Black and my roots are brown! It is too ugly. I now have Brown roots and the rest of my hair is black. I don’t like it at all. I don’t understand why the formula changed. Why won’t Clairol tell us the reason? Was the original formula hazardous to our health? If so, does this mean the new formula is even worse? The 10 min formula is deceptive. It does not color my hair the color I expect. I will not use this formula ever again. As a matter of fact I think I may be afraid to use even the original formula if I ever find it again. So long Clairol and thanks for nothing.

Jillian West Bend, IA

level 2 is the way to go!

Level one rinses only last a week or two before your original color pokes through again. Level 3 is a permanent rinse – so when your hair grows, the different color in your roots has a stark contrast. I love the Natural Instincts level 2 rinses. The color lasting power varies depening on the color of your natural hair and the color you select. I leave color on for over the maximum 20 minutes or it just won’t take – but the color is truly natural in appearance and doesn’t look like some freakish tone – even when it fades after about 30 shampoos. It starts to gently fade at about the time different colored roots start showing, so you don’t get a stark difference – it just looks like your hair is changing colors on its own – slowly and gracefully – giving you a day or even a week to put off before coloring your hair again.

Lenora New Albany, KS

Does not wash out of your hair!

This color is great if you don’t like using harsh hair dyes, I’ll give it that, but when it comes to washing out, it DOESN’T. Even when you’re only doing the “root touch ups” like they suggest IT WON’T WASH OUT EVER. I have dark brown hair and my hair has been stained black. Since it’s not like the ammonia hair dyes, it doesn’t come out with Loreal color fix and bleach…well bleach is horrible, but it’s what I’m going to try next to get this out of my hair, because I refuse to pay someone at a salon $300 to fix it. I know I may end up with no hair if I do that, so please don’t lecture me. I just want to warn others that this does not wash out as promised, you’re better off using a regular hair dye with stinky chemicals.

Candy Almelund, MN

Old formula was great; new formula is horrendous

I’ve been using Clairol Natural Instincts hair coloring for years and years and years and have always loved it. Until now. The new formula smells awful, has a thick gloopy consistency that is so heavy it droops and drops everywhere and leaves stains on the counter/floor that are nearly impossible to get out. And for all that torture, the new formula takes twice as much to do the job and the color starts looking dull almost immediately after just a couple of washes. Plus it’s terribly drying to my hair whereas the old formula and conditioner had a nice softening effect.I’ve always avoided having permanent hair coloring done at the salon because of the ammonia and damage it does to hair over time. But after just a few tries with the new Natural Instincts, I would rather do permanent coloring at the salon or even just go totally natural (i.e. gray). Either would be far far better than the torture and bad results from the new Natural Instincts. If anyone has suggestions for temporary hair color solutions to replace Natural Instincts, I would so appreciate a tip via the comments.Clairol, what were you thinking? You seriously need some help in both R&D; and QA. 🙁

Ashleigh West Grove, IA

Too much work AND

I found that having to put the color boost in a week or 2 weeks after dying my hair was annoying. I also found the instructions for the color boost to be confusing, since I had no idea what it was or how it worked. It didn’t seem to be any better than any other coloring I had used before, and, maybe, not as good. Lastly, it LEFT STAINS ON MY PILLOWCASE! There is now a section of my pillowcase that is stained with a brownish (Lighter than the color in my hair, thank God) area where my head had rested during sleep (and, yes, I rinsed it VERY well). I have NEVER had a hair color leave color on my pillowcase before. I was shocked to see it, and VERY annoyed. I HAD a subscription for regular deliveries of this product, but I cancelled it. I won’t use it again.

Hannah Ona, WV

Returning to the Glorious Color of Yesteryear…

Fading at forty – that was my hair-dilemma several years ago (okay, eighteen years ago)… Looking to refresh my color to that of my younger days – red-gold when hit by the sun, I began my quest for a great hair coloring product.Clairol Natural Instincts, from its inception, hit the mark when it came to gentle processing which left my hair feeling like hair and not straw. However, I could never quite find the exact color I was looking for. Many of the reds stocked by the retailers looked almost purple and the lighter reds were just not right for my skin tone. I finally began mixing Natural Instincts Hot Cocoa and Natural Instincts Golden Sienna to achieve a color close to what I sought. It was a chore to have to formulate my own color – particularly when the two colors were rotated from stock periodically. I took to stocking up a year in advance, just to keep my color consistent.When Golden Mahogany became available several summers ago, I decided to try it. The color was exactly what I had been seeking – it gave my dark brown hair the golden-red glow of my youth and didn’t look artificial or dyed. I’ve been stopped in airports and at malls by women who compliment the sheen of my hair and the color. My hairdresser admitted that Natural Instincts is as good as anything she does – and she is an expert colorist – at a significantly lower cost. She did suggest that I wash my hair with a clear shampoo and dry it just before coloring. She also suggested I leave the color on as long as 20 minutes, if I had no reaction to the chemicals as it would through more shampooings. As a result, Golden Mahogany lasts about four weeks, with daily shampooing that begins no sooner than 24 hours after coloring. I do use shampoo and conditioner formulated for color-processed hair. The color will gradually soften until it is time to color again.I love the ease with which this product can be applied, and the conditioner included with the box is absolutely wonderful. In fact, I wish Proctor & Gamble would market the conditioner separately so that I can use it more often. This color is difficult to find – impossible in some areas of the country, so it was great to find it on Amazon. I definitely recommend Natural Instincts Hair Color to anyone looking for a great product!

Jeanie Andersonville, TN

the best for me

The price is better than stores, the product works well and lasts a reasonably long time (a month or so) without doing a lot of damage. Adds some volume without ruining my hair. Simple to use. I haven’t tried the other semi-permanent colorings but I’m very happy with this one. I don’t have a lot of gray, not sure if it works well for that.

Bernadette Sardinia, SC

Are these REALLY consumer reviews?

I used the LIGHT COOL BROWN number 14. I would say it is more of a Dark Brown. I have a fair complexion so this looks really BAD on me.It colored my gray, but my hair has this un-natural look. It looks like I have a cheap halloween wig on my head. I dyed my hair and its turning the color of the brass fixtures in my bathroom, and I wanted to use a cool tone to balance the RED, so it wouldn’t look so brassy. EVERYTHING I use turns my hair red. I am not going to fight it any longer and just go to the salon and have them color my hair Auburn.With this product I would start with the lighter colors and experiment that way. I would use it again just a lighter color. Don’t use the color refresh btw.

Monica Painesville, OH

Didn’t cover gray

This product not only didn’t cover gray, but it didn’t grab my hair at all. Not worth the price and special order.

Lolita Midway, TN

love it

I use light ash brown for my dark brown hair. I use it only on the grays. I am 46 and graying slowly however some spots tend to stick out more then others. I pick thru my hair and use bobby pins to pull out the gray spots. Then I mix one tablespoon of each of the color mixes into a dish and use that small amount on only my grays. The color matches my hair great. In the end its perfect and after a couple washes my grey look like highlights. That’s the look IM after.. I hate that complete colored look you get from dying your whole head so I improvise..LOL.. I love the look and the highlights are perfect. My grays still show in some places but they don’t stand out.This product makes my hair so shiny and healthy. I don’t know how it will work out when I’m grayer. I have used this natural instincts for years. It is natural and healthy on your hair for it being color. No harsh hair killing stinky stuff..update.. i cant find ash brown coloring at all now.. no more ash colors 🙁

Ann Taylorstown, PA

To Gold For Naturally Dark Blonde, Good for Brunettes?

So I gave the Clairol Toasted Almond 4 out of 5 stars because I leave these Semi-Permanent dyes. They don’t irritate my scalp as long as I don’t wash my hair right before, they don’t seem to damage my hair, the smell isn’t bad at all, and there isn’t an obvious line when it grows out.As for the color . . . I’m naturally dark blond so I wanted something to darken and deepen my color a bit so my hair color isn’t so completely neutral. This color really means GOLDEN light brown. It’s not to dark but with my already blond hair it made the color an unnaturally golden/coppery brown. It’s not offal so I still ran around with it for a few days but it’s not what I wanted either. For natural blonds I would recommend sticking with the other 2 light brown colors Tweed or Suede. If I were a natural brunette I WOULD give this a TRY if I wanted to ad some golden radiance to my color. I bet on a brunette this color would ad some beautiful depth and shine.

Sara Guilford, MO

Dark Cool Blonde – 010 Sandalwood

I have naturally dark blonde/light brown hair with a lot of red undertones. My hair easily turns brassy, and so I have to be cautious when coloring it. Sandalwood is perfect for my hair type. It never gives me any brassiness whatsoever, and the color is very natural looking. I have about 10% gray, and while it doesn’t completely cover it, it does make the gray blend in and look like soft highlights for about 1 to 1 1/2 months. After that I will start to see the gray showing up, and I know it’s time to color again. My hair always looks shiny and healthy after coloring. It also gives my hair some fullness because it deposits color on the hair, thereby making it appear thicker.As for the new formula, I actually prefer it to the old one because with the old one you had to wet your hair before applying the color. With the new formula, you apply it to dry hair which is more convenient. I have not noticed any difference in color results between the old formula and the new one. The two week refresher is an added bonus and will give your color a boost as it starts to fade.I hope they never stop making this color because I haven’t found anything that compares!UPDATE May 8, 2013: I still love this color and haven’t found anything better, but they have changed the formula again, and now you have to apply the product to damp hair once more. This extra step makes the product more difficult to use because it’s hard to tell if you’ve missed any areas if your hair is already damp when you apply the solution. Also, the color refresher seems to have changed. It tends to make my hair yellow-looking, and I do not use it anymore. I will still use Natural Instincts, but they could do a better job on the color refresher and make it so that it can be applied to dry hair again.

Natalia Bolton, MS

Love it

I love it. I just found the color I want to use forever. I’m sick of using permanents since they are more damaging. I like to dye frequently to keep it a vibrant red. I’m also sick of how permanents lighten hair, and how difficult it is to manage root growth and to keep an even color. (My ends get too dark from porosity). My hair is getting fried and I need a healthier, long term solution that doesn’t involve henna.With Cinaberry my hair didn’t turn out like the box depicts, but it’s probably because I only left it on for roughly 6 minutes, from beginning to finish, and my hair is pre-lightened from previous permanent treatments. I’m also a natural redhead, so it’s easy for me to pick up a decent looking red, since I naturally have the right undertones for it – it’s just that my hair has turned real muddy brown since I hit 30 and I need help to give it back to that knockout red.I didn’t want to leave it on any longer than 6 min total because, judging from the box, this carries purples tones and I did not want to grab too much of that. On my light auburn hair it came out a perfect red, far better than what I was expecting…kinda like Christina Hendricks’ red, but maybe not as blondish…just a hint of purple tone as to not make it look so orangey. It’s a true red red, a perfect balance of orange red and purple red, which I have NOT been able to successfully find in a semi-permanent until now. It’s as bright of a red as I can get and still keep it looking somewhat natural. (I’m not looking to get a manic panic red going on).It all depends on your current color, your natural color, and how long you leave it on. Your variable is how long you leave it on, so I would experiment with different times using test strands. The box says to leave it on from 10 minutes, but depending on what you are looking for you may want to change that around a bit.I’ll prolly have to dye it again in 2 -3 weeks if I want to keep it looking like this, since it is a semi-permanent, but to me, it’s worth it.

Kaye Philadelphia, PA

cant find at local drugstores

…have always liked this product and this color, i just can’t find it at drugstores. I prefer temporary color because I cannot stand the roots that are so obvious with permanent color.

Lillian Middletown, IN

STOP changing the formula A*HOLES!

Ok, this used to be the best brand. Everytime I find a color that is not too red, they change up the formula and RUIN my hair ! Your after color crap is horrific, it turns hair black and leaves a disgusting cheap tint, no one wants that stuff. Secondly, some instructions will say to dampen hair others say to apply to dry hair, confusing the customer. Someone at BI should be fired for constantly playing with the product, ruining millions of womens hair int he process ! When you have a good thing , leave it alone ! "NEW AND IMPROVED" my ass!

Josefa Absecon, NJ

This stuff sucks

This hair dye sucks bad. I should have listened to the bad reviews, they’re everywhere, and they’re right. I only ignored them because I thought this brand had the only semi-permanent dye on the market for natural colors but then later I found out Garnier has the semi-permanent HerbaShine one. I’ll be using that one next.My hair is naturally dirty blonde and straight/thin. This left my hair a really weird red color. No hints of purple at all. It left my roots CLOWN RED for some reason, and the rest of my hair a different darker shade. The color is extremely patchy and I somehow missed a ton of spots. I think this is due to the instructions saying you must have DAMP hair before you dye it. So annoying. How can you tell where you need dye if your hair is already wet?The color is very dull and it looks like I’m wearing a Halloween wig. It’s just really bad. I left it on for 20 minutes instead of 10.I don’t recommend this at all.I refuse to use the 2 week refresher because reviews say it’s even worse than the dye itself.

Elvia Mercer, PA

Wow, amazing color!

I am so impressed with this product! I’ve been searching for that perfect brown and I’ve finally found it! There is no chemical smell and the color went on so easily. Before, I had been using L’Oreal Healthy Look and it was always a struggle to get the color through my hair. It would always make my hair clump or stick together, making it nearly impossible to comb through. Natural Instincts goes on damp hair and perhaps that’s what makes it so much easier. I found the actual hair color to be more of a gel, which was a nice consistency — not too think but not runny. I was able to put the color on, part my hair into different sections, and continue to color. The instructions say to leave the color on for 10 minutes and up to 20 minutes for stubborn grays. I only left it on for 10 minutes because I was afraid of ending up with black hair. But I probably should have left it on longer because I found a few grays left behind. Even though the grays were not completely tinted, it adds a nice dimension to my hair, almost like highlights. One complaint my boyfriend has about hair dye is that it leaves my hair looking all one color instead of showing the different highlights. I found that Natural Instincts allows for that dimension. I’m sure if I left it on longer, it would have dyed the grays darker, but I like the different colors.After conditioning my hair with the included aloe vera conditioner (which was very pleasant), it left my hair extremely soft and shiny. Even co-workers noticed how shiny my hair looked the day after coloring. Another thing that I noticed was that after drying my hair the first time, very little dye was left behind on my white towel. That is always a good sign of a high quality dye. I have found my new hair color and I’m so excited! I highly recommend this product. And if you don’t like it, it will wash out after 28 shampoos. I would just be careful with not leaving it on too long the first time, especially if you’re concerned with it turning out too dark. It is not black, but I can imagine that it would look black on those who leave it on over the recommended length of time. I would just start with 10 minutes the first time to gauge the level of darkness for your particular type hair. Enjoy!

Lois New Baden, IL

Not recommanded

I used this color years ago and was always happy with the outcome of the color. I thougth to give it a try again, and was so dissappointed with the result. I didn’t like the auburn color at all, and above that it dried out my hair. I am so glad when all the color has washed out. The company must have changed the formula, because it is totally different from the color I had used some years ago. I will not purchase this product again!

Ophelia Bragg City, MO

Natural Instinct Hair Color

This product is awesome and results in silky, shiny, wonderful smelling hair. No scalp irritation or uneven color. Works like a charm and is very easy to apply. I love it!

Mona Keithsburg, IL

Damaged product

I ordered a package of 3. When I rec’d the order, one box of the product was so damaged that the "developer" lotion had spilled inside the box. I had to throw it out. As a result, I paid for 3 boxes of this product but rec’d only 2 I could use.

Virginia Booth, WV

Absolutely great!

This has been my goto color for more than 10 years. I love it! I hint of red, without overdoing it and looking fake. Fake is fine, but not at my age!

Beryl Duson, LA

My favorite hair color

I love this hair color, have use it for many years. I am more then 50% gray and after 20-30 min it covers it all up. It leaves your hair smelling good and really shiny and doesn’t dry out your hair like other hair colors.

Sybil Hamel, IL

Nice New Look!

My wife has been a redhead ever since I met her about six years ago. Well, it was dyed red and looked real nice. She said it was “hot.” Well, it made her stand out in a crowd, that’s for certain. Her natural hair color is a somewhat “mousey” medium brown.Lately she’s been dissatisfied with her appearance and asked for my advice. I thought she might look nice as a brunette with a slightly darker shade than her natural color. We went to the pharmacy and picked out a Natural Instincts #20 hazelnut medium brown dye. She loves the new look. Me too. The only problem is that she’s now much harder to find in a crowd. However, we’re booth very satisfied with the new look and she’s going to stay with it for at least two or three years.Gary Peterson

Iris Mc Sherrystown, PA

Hair color

This is what I always use – in fact, I combine it with another color for the outcome I prefer. It is economical to buy it this way.

Samantha Hughes, AK

wonderful find

I found this product about 7 months ago. it’s the exact color result I had been looking for. I’ve been using permanent dye for years and wasn’t getting a consitant color for whatever reasons. After doing research it occurred to me that all i was really after was having a red ontop of my natural shade. After buying a box of this brand I called the company to double check something (something I do when ever I switch brands now because of bad experiences) and I was actually told that this product is NOT recommended for use over permante hair dye. (not just henna and metalics like it says on the leaflet). that they recommend you wait until your hair grows out before use. And that they can’t guarentee it won’t cause hair breakage if used over past permanent hair dyes. So for a few months the box sat unused. I ended up trying it anyway, I LOVE the color. It’s the best red I’ve been able to find and it’s consistant.HOWEVER, I’ve had to buy a much better conditioner in order to continue to use the product. if I don’t my hair becomes too dry and has more breakage. i can’t stop dying my hair but don’t want to continue to wreck my roots if I don’t have to, So I am continueing with this product vs a level 3. The hair that was never dyed with permant color (6 months of roots and bangs) is soft and not dry at all. So even though it doesn’t say it on the package the company recommends this for natural hair, call them and see for yourself. However with the right hair care you can still use this product.

Celia Barling, AR


great color and not harsh on my hair! i love this line because it gives you more of a natural tone and a little something extra for in between coloring your hair! worth the money.

Juliana Carrboro, NC

Favorite Hair Color

This is my wife’s analysis (I am a male and do not use these products); she says it is her favorite hair color product; it does not damage hair, and it gives her the color that she likes. It is the only product that she uses to color her hair. She says it is really difficult to find this product in stores, so being able to get it on line makes life simpler for her. (Do you have that feeling that I am only the middleman in this review?)

Lilly Grand Coulee, WA

Decent Color

I’ve been using the 10 Dark Cool Blonde, but I think an updated version from the store. This color works well for me, since my hair is medium brown, highlighted to a dark blonde. I do have gray roots, I’d say about 50%. This *blends* the gray. I left it on for 20 to 25 minutes, otherwise the gray coverage would have been poor. I think this will probably last me 3 to 4 weeks, but I wash my hair daily. Nothing obnoxious about this and it left my hair shiny with blended roots.I don’t like the color refresher packet – I throw it out. I tried it once in a different color and it was a horrible brown/orange shade.If you need full and lasting gray coverage, you would be better off with a permanent color.I also use Ion Color Brilliance from Sally Beauty which is a good product, but when I don’t have time to get there, I will use the Clairol NI.

Rebekah Smithfield, UT

nice color, no noticeable roots

Technically, this hair color is supposed to fade over time/shampoos, but be aware that it really doesn’t all that much. I have light ash-brown hair with some grey, and I used to color it black until that began to look too harsh against my older skin. Then I moved to a dark brown and now I’m slowly changing to this light brown. A full changeover in shades takes about a year, so you do want to lighten the shade you use very gradually if you wish to avoid the appearance of horizontal bands of color. These semipermanent dyes are great for making this sort of transition, rather than springing for a full salon changeover in color and damaging your hair in the bargain. But you have to be patient, and make sure you don’t get your shades mixed up!Pecan has slight reddish tones, but not as pronounced as the other light browns in this line. One nice feature is that the color does fade a little with shampooing, and so you don’t get as a pronounced a light-roots effect in between colorings.

Marie Jamesville, VA