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BloggingTop left: pre-Olia hair dryed naturally; top right: in process of letting Olia do its magic; bottom left: post-Olia blow-dry; bottom right: post-Olia second-day hair in a sock bun (I loves me a sock bun)

I have been coloring my hair at home FOREVER. My Mom finally caved when I was about 13 and helped me color it. I kept it up, every few months, for, oh…15 years? I never dyed it anything too extreme – my natural hair color is dark brown with red/blonde tones from the sun. I tended to dye it red when I was younger and then stuck to various golden brown shades when I was in my 20’s. It made my hair soft and shiny, and made the tone more even.

Two years ago, almost exactly, I went through my usual home hair-coloring routine. This time I tried one of the (relatively new at the time) foam color kits. I honestly don’t even remember the brand but it was a little bit harder to apply evenly. As I was washing it out, I remember thinking that the water run-off looked darker than usual. Then I realized that my wet hair was waaaay darker than normal. WAY darker. Cut to me blow drying my hair in absolute panic and looking in despair at my new black head of hair. JET black, not dark golden brown, as the box indicated.

I rushed out the next day and bought the cheapest clarifying shampoo I could find to try and get the color out. It lessened it a little bit, but it was still black. Just when I had convinced myself that it wasn’t too bad, my little brother came to visit me for the weekend and starting calling me Severus. As in, Severus Snape.

And THAT is why I took a vow to never again color my hair. It took a few months for the dark color to fade, and I was very happy to get my “normal” color back. I didn’t touch it for almost two solid years.

Then I read about Garnier Olia hair color. It kept on coming up – in magazines, in beauty blogs I read, on TV. It was a major breakthrough in hair color – oil propelled, incredibly softening, no ammonia. I would walk longingly down the hair color aisle at Walgreens – just to see what kind of colors they offered. I was like an addict coming back to an old love. I was almost ready to cave and buy it, when I had the opportunity to test it out for free via my role as a BzzAgent.

Per Garnier, “unlike traditional haircolor, Olia uses an exclusive 60% oil blend, with natural flower oils in the colorant. The oils help to reverse roughness and dullness for more brilliant shine, dimensional color, and softer, shinier hair with bounce.”

IMG_9914 IMG_9916I chose shade 5.3, a medium golden brown. The box came with the standard stuff – base, colorant, post-color conditioner, gloves, instructions, and a vessel for distributing the color in hair. Olia’s version is unique, in that it is tear-drop shaped instead of a standard squeeze bottle. I didn’t notice a huge difference during application, but then again, I haven’t colored my hair in almost two years.

The conditioner that is included in the box is great – I used half of it immediately post-coloring, and I’ve been using the rest in small amounts at a time. It makes my hair easy to comb through and very soft.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous the whole way through – didn’t want to have any more “Snape” incidents. It looked fine when wet and it was amazing once I blew it out. There are actually quite a bit of red tones throughout, which I don’t mind at all, and it was gloriously shiny and healthy-looking.

IMG_9931I think this picture speaks for itself! Makes me want to blow my hair out every time I wash it (I only wash every 2-3 days and alternate between letting it dry overnight and blowing it out – I plan on blogging about my “process” soon).

I’ve got to give Olia 5 out of 5 stars, two paws up, 10 out of 10 chiweenies, or whatever rating scale you prefer. It got me through my Snape-esque fears and left my hair shiny, healthy, and with a gorgeous color.

Disclaimer: I was provided this product, potentially for review, via my role as a BzzAgent. However, this is MY blog, and all opinions and experiences are 100% my own.