Thursday, February 7, 2013

Garnier Olia Review

I have been dying my hair myself since I was a very young teenager.  I've pretty much been every color and have used every brand out there.  I know it's not the healthiest thing to do for my hair, but who can afford to have it professionally done every four weeks?

On a recent trip to my local Walmart, I dropped by the hair color section to pick up a box for my root touch up and spotted something new

Garnier Olia 6.0 Light Brown

Looking at the box, I was immediately drawn to the fact that it contained "60% oils with natural flower oils and no ammonia".  I said to myself, "Self, this has to be better on our hair, don't you agree?"  She did, and being an adventurous sort, I dropped the box into my cart and continued on with the rest of my shopping.

A couple of days later, I broke out my ratty, stained, hair coloring tshirt, grabbed a towel to protect my bathroom floor, donned the sexy black gloves that came with the product, and proceeded to get my color on.  Breaking open the package, here is what I found inside.

Garnier Olia 6.0 package contents

I think it is worth noting here that the product comes with an applicator bottle that's shaped like a tear drop.  Some may find it difficult to hold as it is rather large at its base.  However, this didn't really bother me because I don't use the applicators anyway.  I mix my product up into a bowl that I picked up for a little of nothing at my local Sally's and apply it with a brush.

The first thing I noticed was the smell, or rather, the lack of smell.  No harsh chemical odor.  I'm liking this stuff already!

The liquid wasn't too thick or too thin.  It had a nice consistency that was easy to spread but didn't drip.

Since I was just doing a touch up, I applied it to my roots and waited for about 20-30 minutes, then spread the remainder over the rest of my hair and waited about another 10 minutes.

Usually, I have a really hard time getting my water to run clear, but this rinsed out quite easily.  I always shampoo immediately and then I use the conditioner that comes with the package.   Here I have to mention that after rinsing and shampooing, my hair felt somewhat dry, so I was a little worried about how it was going to turn out, but after using the conditioner, my hair felt silky smooth and smelled wonderful!

Overall, I had a great experience with this product.  No bad smells, no itching, easy rinse, soft, thick feeling hair.  I got a very rich color, full of depth and shine. 

I must say that there have been mixed reviews for Olia, some had great experiences, and some saying that it dried their hair out.  Since this wasn't the case for me, I have to wonder if hair texture and health don't play a role in the end result and possibly even the color shade that was chosen, so, here are my statistics to help you make a better decision.

  • Age:  Clock is ticking up on 49 years.
  • Hair health:  My hair gets trimmed on average 4 to 5 times a year.  It is colored, typically, every 4 weeks.  I very rarely blow dry my hair but I do frequently use hot rollers or a curling iron.  I don't wash it every day, usually every 3 or 4 days using a non-detergent shampoo, and I always use a conditioner.
  • Hair texture:  I have very thick, straight hair but it is fine with some texture to it.  When left to its own devices, it tends to be frizzy but flat, if that makes sense.
  • Hair color:  I am a natural brunette with probably around 50% graying.  I used Garnier Olia number 6.0 Light Brown, which is a little lighter than my natural hair color.

I didn't really take any before or after pictures because there wasn't a whole lot of difference in the color, but if you look at the photos in my last post, which was done the day after coloring, you will see the depth of color that I got.  Keep in mind that the lighting in my bathroom is not the greatest and it gives me more of a red hue to my hair than I truly have, but you are able to see how shiny it made my hair.  

All in all, I have been happy with this product and I will be using it again.  At $8.99, it was a little more expensive than the Loreal Preference that I normally use, but I think it was gentle and gave me very natural looking results. 


  1. I'm glad you found a hair dye that doesn't damage your hair. I buy all of my hair dye and developer from Sally's. I used Ion Solutions hair dye and I love it. It's the only hair dye that has been able to lift my dark brown hair to the actual color on the cover without the brassiness and dryness. It doesn't fade as quickly as some of the other colors out there especially since I don't wash my hair everyday. It's too dry out here for me to wash my hair everyday.

  2. What a great, wonderfully thorough review. I too coloured my natural hair for years (from the age of 16 onward) - usually at home - and would so, so have used this if it was around (and available in Canada - not sure if it is, I haven't been down the hair colouring aisle since last fall) in my pre-wig days.

    I hope the colour lasts a long time for you and that it continues to work awesomely every time you re-colour/touch up.

    ♥ Jessica

  3. Nice review! I've been wondering about this product. I've found that no ammonia hair colours don't keep my gray hairs dyed more than a week. I'm curious to know how long the hair colour lasts on you!

    1. I will let you know how long they stay covered. They are stubborn little devils, for sure.

    2. I also used preference by loreal, and picked this olia up on sale, and I love it! no smell, easy on and easy off and colour was perfect, not greyish or redish that happens sometimes, and all grey covered in the 30 mins, no roots first wait then do the rest and wait. I will wait and see how long it lasts otherwise I'm hooked!

  4. Great review! It's the most informative I've seen so far. My stats are very similar to yours, and I am planning on using the Olia 5.0 this afternoon. I normally use L'Oréal Creme. So... how long did the colour last? :o)

    1. I had to recolor again after 4 weeks but that was more because of new growth rather than fading. I don't have a lot of fading with the light brown color like you would have with a red. Good luck, and let us know how it turns out and if you like it as well. =)

    2. Okay, it's been a while but I wanted to wait until I had a chance to re-colour with my usual L'Oreal Excellence Creme so that I could really note the important stuff, and they are:

      1. The Olia colour was amazing!! A true medium brown with no traces of red and very little fading. In fact, I can't say the fading was even noticeable a good 6 weeks later.

      2. I add my own highlights using the L'Oreal touch-on stuff ("toasted almond"), and while I usually get a bit of a copper-y shade, this did not happen with Olia. Instead, I got a lovely almond, exactly as pictured on the box. Loved it. (Clearly, the highlights react differently when applied to hair coloured with L'Oreal Excellence Creme). I always apply highlights 24-48 hours after colouring.

      3. I could not use the Olia bottle to apply. It was bulky and awkward, so I transferred the colour into a clean L'Oreal bottle I had kept for such an emergency.

      4. My hair was a dry, straw-like mess after using the Olia! I was quite surprised at how bad it was. The conditioner that comes with the package was very little help. I ended up going out and buying a deep conditioning mask to help fix the issue.

      5. I do like the pre-colouring conditioner that comes with the L'Oreal Excellence Creme. That stuff's fantastic... (apply to ends before colouring roots to help condition and protect from colour).

      Overall, I really prefer to colour of the Olia, but the applicator and the "gentleness" (term used loosely) of the Excellence Creme. I will definitely consider using Olia again. Have never had such a true, natural medium brown with no red highlights that make me look like a rusty pumpkin after a couple of months. I'll just take the time to invest in a high quality conditioner before re-applying.

    3. Thanks Nancy for taking the time to come back and give us your experience. I really appreciate it. =)

  5. Hi! I would like to open beauty salon. Does anybody have an experience in this business? There are too many options in different salon equipment. Could anybody give me an advise? What store is more reliable to buy Spa chairs and Spa massage table. I'm choosing between Advance-Esthetic and Spa&Equipment websites.


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