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Hue Extensions: How Clairol Natural Instincts Week 2 Color Refresher Works

how to fix hair-colour fade
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Clairol Natural Instincts with Week 2 Color Refresh

Added value. Those two words have been pinging around in my head since yesterday's press preview of some new stuff coming from Clairol Natural Instincts in February.

If you colour your hair regularly, you know from colour fade and how quickly it hits. To help you with that, starting next week, each box of Clairol Natural Instincts ($9.99 to $12.49) will include a "Week 2 Color Refresher" sachet along with the usual colour components.

Like the name suggests, Week 2 Color Refresher is designed to refresh your colour two weeks after you initially coloured, before the usual fade can get you down. Use gloves to apply it in the shower post-shampoo, let it sit for five minutes, then rinse.

Clairol Natural Instincts Week 2 Color Refresher

This isn't just another dose of the same hair dye, though. Instead, it's a semi-permanent toner that replenishes the tones that fade first from your chosen shade. For instance, if you're using an auburn Natural Instincts home colour, the copper tones fade first, so the sachet in your box will augment those. If you're using red, the sachet in that box will restore the red; if you're light blonde, the included sachet turns the yellow back up to beat the brassies.

John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Luminous Colour Glaze_Brilliant Brunette

Sounds a bit like John Frieda Luminous Colour Glaze in Brilliant Brunette ($14.99), an in-shower colour-and-shine booster, right? But it isn't quite the same. Colour Glaze (which also comes in Clear Shine to crank up the glossy) is a temporary tint for use on coloured or virgin hair; several uses intensify the hue, and it washes out within a couple of shampoos once you stop using it. Color Refresher, however, is a semi-permanent dye formula, which should last through six to 12 shampoos.

Best part about Clairol Natural Intincts Week 2 Color Refresher? The sachet in each box hasn't changed the price.

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Clairol Natural Instincts Vibrant - Light Blonde

Also new for Clairol is Natural Instincts Vibrant, for Natural Instincts fans who want slightly bolder shades, 10-minute permanent colour that promises 100% grey coverage and grows out rather than washes out. (Regular Natural Instincts is a demi-permanent formula that generally washes out in about 28 shampoos). Also unlike regular Natural Instincts, Natural Instincts Vibrant can lighten hair up to two levels. More info on soon; pop over to if you can't wait.

Clairol and John Frieda are available at drugstores and mass retailers.

UPDATE: If you have any questions or unexpected results from any home colour, whether it's Clairol or L'Oréal, definitely call the 1-800 helpline listed on the side of the box. The staff is well prepped on the technical side of things and give really good professional advice. When my former editor-in-chief had an issue, one actually suggested she see a salon pro as the easiest route to a solution; the other gave sound DIY fix-it advice and a quick, valuable lesson in hair-colour theory. For easy reference: 1-800-Clairol; 1-888-Garnier; 1-888-4-LOREAL