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Frequently Asked Questions

Your hair colour questions, answered


What products does Clairol make?
Clairol makes haircolour products. Choose from Semi-Permanent (lasts through 6-8 washes), Demi-Permanent (lasts through 24 washes), Permanent (lasts until your hair grows out or you recolour) or Highlighting & Blonding to help you look the best.

Can I match a shade of a competitor's product
Call 0800 181 184 to get advice on finding a perfect-for-you shade.

Where can I find product instructions?
Product instruction inserts are inside your haircolour box. You can also download the instruction leaflet for several of our products from the “How to use” section of the relevant product information on this website.


How do I determine which colour product and shade are right for me?
Clairol has a range of colouring products—one of them could be just right for you. Call the Clairol Haircolour Experts at 0800 181 184 for a free haircolour consultation. Get colouring recommendations and haircare advice from our specialists.

How do I dramatically lighten my hair?
If your haircolour is a light brown or lighter, you can use a Permanent (lasts until you grow out your hair or recolour) haircolour in a high-lift blonde shade to get a dramatic-looking blonde. If you wish to go more than 2 shades lighter than your starting colour, call 0800 181 184 for advice.

If your natural haircolour is a medium brown or darker, and you want to be a blonde, you will have to use double-process blonding.

Another option is highlighting. Clairol highlighting products create natural-looking highlights on selected strands of hair. The look can be bold and dramatic or soft and subtle.

If you have already coloured your hair and want to achieve a much lighter shade, or want to go back to your natural haircolour, you may want to get personal hair advice straight from Clairol Haircolour Experts at 0800 181 184 (1-800-535-909 Ireland).

How can I test-run a colour before committing to colouring my entire head of hair?
Strand test is a simple method for you to test haircolour on a portion of your hair before doing the entire application. (The instructions are in your haircolour box.) It's an important step because it's the only way to see exactly how the shade you selected works with your starting haircolour to achieve the resulting colour. A strand test will also help you determine the exact timing you'll need to colour your whole head.


I would like to perm and colour my hair to have a new look. Can I do both on the same day, or is it better to do one before the other?
Clairol recommends that you perm first to ensure that the perming process will not interfere withy our newly applied colour. If you're using a Permanent (lasts until your hair grows out or you recolour) haircolour, wait 7-10 days and shampoo at least once before colouring.

Some Semi-Permanent (lasts though 6-8 washes) and Demi-Permanent (lasts through 24 washes) haircolours can be used the same day as your perm-as long as your scalp is not irritated and is in good condition.

Check the package instructions to be sure. Either way, make sure you do a stand test before colouring your hair. Perms and relaxers can leave hair more porous and allow colour to be absorbed faster.

I need some hair advice. I'll be visiting my hairdresser for a cut next weekend, and it's also time for me to reapply my haircolour. Should I get my hair cut before or after colouring?
We recommend cutting your hair first and then colouring it. And, of course, your colour will enhance your cut.

Does the length of my hair make any difference in the amount of haircolour I will need?
Absolutely. If your hair is below shoulder length or very thick, you may need two boxes to fully saturate your hair. Also, keep in mind that the ends of long hair tend to absorb more colour, so the timing may be different for your ends. So make sure you do your strand test.

If I'm going to colour my hair, when should I shampoo it?
You generally shouldn't shampoo immediately before colouring because this will remove the natural oils that protect your scalp during the colouring process.

It's best to shampoo 12-24 hours before colouring with a Semi-Permanent (lasts through 6-8 washes) or Demi-Permanent (lasts through 24 shampoos) product; shampoo 24 hours prior to using Permanent (lasts until your hair grows out or you recolour). But be sure to check the instructions inside the box because it can vary by product.

Can I mix shades?
Yes, but the hair advice we generally give is that, for best results, you mix shades no more than 2-3 shades lighter or darker than each other. In other words, you wouldn't want to mix a blonde and a black together. Also, you should mix the same brand of shades, so for example, only mix Nice 'n Easy with other Nice 'n Easy shades.

If Lately I've been noticing that the bottom of my hair is darker or lighter than the top. Why?
This effect sometimes happens if you don't do touch-up applications. If you apply haircolour to your entire head of hair whenever you see roots, you'll end up with colouring the older, more porous ends of your hair, which will result in colour build-up. The solution is simple. Follow the instructions on your insert for Root Application only. Follow up with regular trims and your hair will look more consistent.

Once coverage is more uniform, do a retouch application. First, apply colour to your roots only. Five minutes before processing ends, colour the rest of your hair, if necessary.


Does hair type (curly or straight, dry or oily, coarse or fine) affect colour timing?
Hair type does make a difference. An important consideration is hair's texture-when the individual hairs are coarse (large in diameter) or fine (small in diameter). Coarse hair generally takes more time to absorb colour, so it requires a longer timing; fine hair generally takes less time to absorb colour so it requires a shorter timing.

Hair that's dry or permed may absorb colour quickly too. Because several factors affect timing, we recommend a strand test—it's a good way to predict the colouring time.

When should I start timing my haircolour application?
Set your timer as soon as you've finished applying haircolour.

Can I use my own conditioner instead of the conditioner in the haircolour box?
It's best to use the conditioner that comes with your haircolour. We give this hair advice because the conditioner that comes in the colouring package has been specifically tested for use with that haircolour to help create softness and shine.

Oops! I don't like the colour-what do I do now?
For sound advice, call 0800 181 184 (1-800-535-909 Ireland), our Clairol Haircolour Experts are there for you!


How long can I keep a box of haircolour before using it?
If you don't open the bottles, your haircolour products will generally last 3 years.

How do I keep my haircolour looking vibrant and beautiful—and prevent fading?
The first rule in keeping your colour looking great is to reapply as often as recommended according to the product you choose.

Use a shampoo and conditioner formulated for colour-treated hair. Avoid exposing your hair to the sun. Remember that the sun is a natural hair lightener, and overexposure can cause hair to fade or even change colour.

Shampoo or rinse your hair immediately after swimming in chlorine or salt water. Chemicals left in the hair can accelerate fading, especially when mixed with the sun.

Can you colour your hair too often?
Demi-Permanent haircolour will last up to 28 shampoos—if you wash your hair every day, that's about 4 weeks. Permanent (lasts until your hair grows out or you recolour) haircolour should be refreshed when your roots start to show, about 4-6 weeks. As long as you follow the instructions for root application only, you should not have any problems with colour build-up.