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If only every at-home dye job could be Nice n’ Easy…

January 25, 2010

By Sarah Khan

GIVEAWAY ALERT: Comment at the end of this post to win ANY FREE CLAIROL PRODUCT OF YOUR CHOICE!

I only discovered the world of hair color a few years ago. Before then, I was staunchly anti-dye, but I eventually jumped on the highlighting bandwagon, adding touches of auburn or light brown to my almost-jet-black tresses. Highlighting gave way to full color, and somewhere along the way I wound up… blonde?

Well, not quite, but let’s just say a request for a dark brown dye job once resulted in a shade that was a little too light for comfort. The color was stubborn, too—two at-home corrections later, my curls seemed to keep gradually making their way back to the lighter hue, hardly complemented by my super-dark roots!

So, suffice it to say, I was really excited when BATF needed reviewers for Clairol’s Nice n’ Easy line. All I wanted for my birthday was dark locks again! And this time, skipping the salon price tag. Of course, given my coloring track record, I should have known better.

I woke up on a Sunday morning, all excited to go brunette, and reached for the box of dark brown dye. I followed the simple enough, helpfully illustrated instructions – mix the Color-blend Activator and Color-blend Formula, shake well, apply in sections, wait, rinse, and condition. It was a little messy, but I seemed to douse my entire thick head of hair with some dye to spare at the end. I waited the recommended 25 minutes, then climbed into the tub to wash it all out.

If only it were that simple.

About two minutes into my shower, the water turns ice cold. I begin freaking out because, per the instructions, I had to make sure the water runs clear. In a desperate attempt, I stuck my head upside down underneath the tap and tried to get as much dye out of there as possible. I did my best and got out without applying the ColorSeal Conditioning Gloss, thinking I’d done all I could. But a quick phone update to my dyeing-savvy friend, Tania, who usually helps me with my at-home experiments, left me in horror.

Are you sure you got it out?? You need to wash it all out ASAP! Otherwise your scalp’s gonna burn and your hair’s gonna fall out!

Not quite the look I was going for at my birthday festivities the next day.

In a panic, I called my friend Gauri, who lives a few blocks away, and rushed over for an emergency shower. The result, my hair is still there (whew) AND the color is beautifully rich. Thank God for girlfriends.

Clairol must have caught on, since they recently enlisted Angela Kinsey of NBC’s The Office to play the role of Gigi, or the “Guardian Girlfriend,” on their website to guide you through your own at-home dye emergencies and color questions.

Angela Kinsey as Gigi

Unfortunately, what Gigi can’t do is lend you her shower in case of previously stated emergencies.

Sarah Khan is a writer based in New York, and an editor at Travel + Leisure. She also writes her own blog at

GIVEAWAY ALERT: Have you ever had a friend bail you out of a hair dye crisis? Leave a comment and you’re automatically entered to be one of TEN who receive a coupon for a FREE box of Clairol Nice N’ Easy hair color — or any other Clairol hair color Gigi recommends for you :). To double your chances, tweet “RT @BeautyNDFeast: Win a box of Clairol hair dye of your choice:” by January 27th.

6 thoughts on “If only every at-home dye job could be Nice n’ Easy…

  1. Nada

    I don’t know which NICE N EASY Sarah used, but I’ve used the perfect 10 at home and its AMAZING… same great results but much shorter time, comes with a really easy to use aplicator comb, and lets face it, the lest time you spend stinking up your bathroom with hair dye, the better! Also comes with my FAV… the colorseal conditioner :)

    I did the same thing Sarah did a month or so ago, decided I was done with roots from highlights and expensive profesional highlight touchups, so I just went and found my natural color. 10 min later, all my hair was one color. A month later and there is no difference between what was died and what has grown in… the best part!

    Note: I got turned on to Nice n Easy from my fab mommy, who’s been using it for years to cover greys :)

  2. Mona

    Dear Sarah Khan, the first time I ever met you was right after I had a horrific hair dye experience. You may recall my hair was crayon yellow the texture of straw. The previous night, I put in some hair dye hoping to brighten my dark brown hair. It was after a very long day at work and get this, I fell asleep with the dye in my hair! I remember waking up seven hours later and running to the shower thankful all my hair didn’t fall out, but a bit upset since I had to catch a train in an hour for a fun weekend in NYC. I tried sporting a large white hat to cover it up only to realize that this look didn’t transition well for evening activities.

    I learned yet another important lesson that day – don’t dye your hair while tired and don’t do anything major before a special event/activity. Your present socially acceptable hair color is fine til you have the proper time to change it :)

  3. hmk

    I’ve never dyed my hair and am afraid to try, although i’ve been told with my jet black hair it’s hard to dye lighter. Is there a beginers brand or color you reccomend? i have light olive skin!

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  5. amanda

    i have bleached and dyed my hair since i was in middle school, only recently did i decide to try the bleach thing again after it didnt work out the first time, i tryed again and if it wasnt enough…again. my hair was still bright yellow! i did this because i was too broke to get it done professionally and got a bug up my butt to do it myself! anyhow, my friend happened to come visit me the next day and had some “recovery supplies in her car” since she does hair, she did it for me free of charge!

  6. annalene

    I’ve never had a friend bail me out of a hair crisis per se but I’ve had some friends discourage me from some hairstyles that had the potential to be disastrous (ie. overbleaching until my hair falls out)!

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