Coloring Your Hair With Garnier Olia #MyOliaStory #Sponsored

Shannon Smyth

I'm sharing #MyOliaStory as part of a Garnier® sponsored series for Socialstars™. All opinions and hair color are my own.

Coloring your hair with Garnier Olia via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #Sponsored

If you've been following #MyOliaStory for the past few months, then you know I've been dyeing my hair at home with Garnier® Olia every 6 weeks. This is the most consistent I have been in years, since I had stopped dyeing my hair all together during my pregnancies.

For some reason, my hair had become a very dark brunette during that time - which I can tell you is not my natural color, but I'm not entirely sure how it came to be. (Has this happened to anyone else??) I wanted to go back to a much lighter version of brown while retaining the look of it being natural. Coloring your hair with Garnier Olia via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #Sponsored If you still haven't tried Garnier® Olia for yourself, let me tell you some of the things I have loved about using it: Olia is an ammonia-free hair dye - I love that even though my color is coming from a bottle, it certainly doesn't smell that way during the process.

The dye is powered by 60% oil - That means my hair is being nourished during coloring and won't end up dry and brittle 100% gray coverage - This girl has got grays, but I don't need anyone knowing that. Gray hair is tough, but I love that Olia completely covers them.

Hair feels soft and manageable - Sometimes dyeing your hair can result in it feeling like straw, but my hair feels really soft. Coloring your hair with Garnier Olia via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #Sponsored I used Olia 6 1/2 .3 again as my shade, but instead of just doing my roots this time, I actually did my whole head. I was a little nervous about that, but I'm happy with how it came out.

Overall, I really like using Garnier® Olia and the fact that you can find it just about everywhere and it's affordable means that I know it is always accessible when I need to freshen up my color again. I think in September I'll go back to darkening it up a bit for Fall/Winter with a warmer brown.

To follow the story from the beginning, check out these posts:

Garnier Hair Color Review

Getting My Hair Summer-Ready

5 Surefire Ways Pampering Boosts Your Mood (and Confidence)

How to Lighten Your Hair 

Read more →

How To Lighten Your Hair #MyOliaStory

Shannon Smyth11 comments

I'm sharing #MyOliaStory as part of a Garnier sponsored series for Socialstars™

How to lighten your hair via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #sponsored

Taking your hair color from dark to light is a not something that can be done in a day. Well, at least not when you are doing it on your own at home. You want to be really careful with dyeing your hair so as not to over-process it and cause any damage. When done correctly, you can end up with gorgeous hair at a fraction of the cost at the salon.

You just have to follow directions and need a little patience (enjoy the Guns and Roses earworm.) I have dark brown hair, but I've been wanting to go lighter. Not blonde, but a much lighter brown, because I want to stick with something natural looking that won't contrast with my skin tone in a negative way.

I've made that mistake before. I've dyed my hair red, I've dyed my hair so black that it had hues of blue/purple and I've "frosted" (OMG so 80s) my hair. Red brought out the ruddiness in my skin. Black made me look goth (not my style, but it may be yours) and frosted looked more like I just randomly threw bleach in my hair (i.e. it looked like straw) and made my skin look sallow.

Before You Begin: How to lighten your hair via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #sponsored

Have Realistic Expectations:

If you have visions of going from brunette to a bombshell blonde in a matter of an hour, think again - at least if you want it to look as natural as possible. Not to mention, sometimes trying to immediately make a major change can sometimes result in less than optimal results. (Like brassiness, looking more orange than blonde, etc.)

Research Shades in Your Hair Color Range:

First know exactly which shade of brunette you are and the tones to your hair (blonde, golden or red?) While you can look on the side of the box to see a side by side comparison of your natural color and your Garnier Olia result in the store, I recommend going to their Shade Selector on their website instead. It is a better visual to understand where you are at and where you want your hair color to go.

Know it Will Take Time:

Come to terms from the start that this is a process. You want to step down your hair color so that it looks like it lightened naturally, which may take 1-3 applications (over time), 6 weeks apart each time. This will look even more believable when it is the Spring to Summer transition.

Follow Directions:

How many of us skip the instructions and just want to get down to it? Don't rush and don't do overall coloring each time. The first time you use a permanent hair dye, covering your entire head is fine. But each re-application in the weeks to follow should be done at the roots and/or roots for a period of time, then the rest of your hair.
How to lighten your hair via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #sponsored

How to Use Garnier Olia to Lighten Your Hair:

Get Set Up Before Starting:

You'll need something to time it, instruction pamphlet, gloves, applicator, developer, colorant, an old towel and a petroleum-like jelly. Wear old clothes. Even though Olia does not drip, there is still human error and you don't want to mess up your clothing. Apply the jelly along your hair line, and back of your neck, and tops of your ears so that color wipes off easily and doesn't stain.

Apply to Your Roots First:

My first application with Olia covered my whole head, but with this application, in order to step down my color some more, I had to apply to my roots first for 28 minutes. Make sure you are in good lighting so that you can see exactly where your roots end. Eat something chocolate while you wait. (Or is that just me?)

Apply Mid-Length to Ends:

Around 27 minutes I began to apply the rest of the Olia ammonia free hair color from mid-length to my ends while not washing out the dye on my roots. I let this sit until the 30 minute mark. I didn't want too huge of a dramatic difference between my roots and the rest of my hair. The top of your head will always be lighter when naturally lightened by the sun, but you don't want it to be all BOOM I colored my hair looking.

Rinse and Apply After Color Conditioner:

Make sure you use lukewarm water to rinse. I probably rinse for a good 3-5 minutes to make sure it is all out. Then apply the After Color Conditioner and leave it on for 2 minutes and rinse again.

Style As Usual:

I never wash my hair for the first 24-48 hours after coloring, so I go light on the hair treatments. Since hair dye plumps up your hair, I don't put in a root lifter for the first few days, just some anti-frizz serum and a little hairspray. I typically curl my hair though because it'll give my hair the look of fullness.
How to lighten your hair via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #sponsored
I do have many grays and Garnier Olia has 100% gray coverage. Since it is powered by 60% oil, I also have shiny hair as a result. My first application was with Olia Light Brown 6.0 and this application was Olia Lightest Golden Brown 6 1/2.3 What do you think of the color? If you have any questions about coloring your hair, ask away in the comments!

Read more →

Garnier Olia® Hair Color Review #Spon

Shannon Smyth4 comments

I’m sharing #MyOliaStory as part of a Garnier® sponsored series for Socialstars™. All opinions and hair color are my own (well... the hair color is Garnier®.) Garnier® Olia® Hair Color #review via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #spon

Looking to lighten, brighten or darken your natural hair color without the eye-burning smell of the chemicals involved? That's a common theme among at-home hair coloring kits that we all cringe about - literally. That toxic smell while coloring your hair. I haven't colored my hair in about 2 years due to pregnancies and I've been tired of looking at the strands of gray and dullness of my hair. (Sometimes I wear the tired mom look like a pro.)

With an 8 month old as my sidekick these days, getting out to the salon isn't easy. Using an DIY hair color is a good option, but my #1 MUST - I did not want that ammonia smell for Ethan and myself to take in. Enter Garnier Olia®. Olia has 60% oils, no ammonia, and natural flower oils, and there is ZERO eye-stinging smell - I mean there is literally none. Garnier® Olia® Hair Color #review via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #spon

My goal was to cover the gray and brighten up my dark brown hair with the intention of eventually lightening it for Summer. Instead of simply trying to make a decision in the aisle of the drugstore, I chose to check out their website first to browse the different colors. In the brown hair section, I quickly identified my hair color as Olia 4.0 Dark Brown.  

Knowing that I'm going to begin the lightening process soon, I decided that it was better to still stay in the brown range so that lifting the color would be an easier process if I did it slowly (vs immediately going with a blonde color and possible coming out orange - yikes.) I chose Olia 6.0 Light Brown.

On the box, dark brown hair won't lighten much using light brown, but it will help to brighten the color with a healthy shine. Plus it helps make it easier when I'm ready to go a little lighter (my goal is to eventually have a golden brown hair color, somewhere in the Lightest Golden Brown - Dark Blonde range. (I haven't decided.)

The kit comes with developer, colorant, after color conditioner, applicator and gloves. It's super easy to use, did not drip at all, and despite my semi-long hair, only took one bottle to completely saturate it. My hair is actually pretty thin, there is just a lot of it giving the illusion that I have thick hair.

Once this ammonia-free hair color was on my head, it was only a 30 minute wait time until I needed to rinse, apply the after color conditioner for 2 minutes and then rinse again. Let me tell you that it was easier than I thought it would be with Ethan watching in his high chair with absolutely no bad smell to bother him (or me.)

The result? 100% gray coverage with shiny hair that looked healthy. I love it!  

Read more →

The ColorBAR at dpHUE Los Angeles

Gail Lewis1 comment
colorBAR dpHUE Los Angeles via @agirlsgottaspa #haircare We are all well aware of and seriously addicted to salons that cater to long-lasting blow outs. Now let me introduce you to what is sure to be your new addiction, from the custom hair color retailer, dpHUE,  the ColorBAR at dpHUE.  The ColorBAR at dpHUE is the first to offer clients hair coloring services only, similar to the dry bar concept and has just recently opened its doors in Studio City on Ventura Boulevard. The ColorBAR is a multi-service hair color bar that offers guests color application including highlights, semi-permanent color, deep-condition and replenishing treatments in addition to blow dry styling.  dpHUE  is known for offering do-it-yourself haircolor and the ColorBAR is an extension of those services.  One of Hollywood’s most sought-after color experts, Justin Anderson, is the Creative Director for the brand, combine that with the fact that color is what they do, you know you're in the best of hands.   In addition to hair color, dpHUE also provides hydrating shampoos, conditioners, masques and oils; basically an entire arsenal of products to maintain your gorgeous dpHUE color and leave you with incredibly beautiful hair, which is exactly what I left the ColorBAR with after my visit this past Saturday. dpHUE LA #colorbar via @agirlsgottaspa Service areas inside include: GORGEOUS. TO. GO.
  • Personal consultation with dpHUE hair color professional
  • Custom formulated HUE (color)
  • One-on-one guidance and application instructions for guests to apply hair color at home
  • Services included with GORGEOUS. TO. GO.
  • Hair color is applied at dpHUE by the guest with COLOR COACH guidance
  • dpHUE’s tools and products are available for use
  • Services included with GORGEOUS. TO. GO.
  • Color application, shampoo and condition provided by dpHUE hair color professional
colorBAR at dpHUE LA review via @agirlsgottaspa #beauty #haircolor I've had highlights for quite a while and wanted to go darker, shinier and more rich for fall, which is exactly what my ColorBAR colorist Rita, expertly executed.  My hair actually looked and felt a ton healthier after it was colored, which is a first for me .  Now that I've consulted with a professional ColorBAR colorist and know how to mix and apply my color of choice, I have the option of  having the ColorBAR apply my color or doing it at home on my own.  I can even order my color online since dpHUE has my color information in their system. Unlike do-it-yourself drug store colors that can wreak havoc on your hair and leave it looking brittle and stripped, dpHUE's color formulation is professional color that is incredibly gentle, luxurious, effective and doesn't get much better than that...actually it does, no appointments are ever necessary for your ColorBAR at dbHUE visit! If you visit ColorBAR, please leave a comment and let us know about your experience! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! *Disclosure: Comp service

Read more →

Video: How to Prevent Hair Color From Fading

Shannon Smyth
How to Prevent hair color fading #AGEbeautiful Aside from, "What is the perfect hair color for me?" the second most asked question is, "How do I prevent my hair color from fading?" While I was at Zotos Professional's headquarters, I had the opportunity for AGEbeautiful's Creative Director, Mike Petrizzi, to highlight my hair. I asked him to lend a few tips from how to prevent hair color fading to explaining the difference between permanent and demi permanent hair color.
The AGEbeautiful hair color line and hair care products are available exclusively at Sally Beauty. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle tooShannon on G+ *Disclosure

Read more →

Find the Perfect Hair Color

Shannon Smyth2 comments

How to Choose the Right Hair Color #haircaretips #Haircare

If you're anything like me, whether you're searching for the right shade to color your hair at home or to request of your hairstylist at the salon, seeking the perfect hair color is a priority. (There was this one time when my hair wound up a weird shade of red....) But it goes beyond finding the right color by simply saying, "I like this shade of red." According to Patrick McIvor, expert hair colorist and Artistic and TechniCultural Director for Goldwell/KMS California, to find the perfect color, three factors must always be considered. 1. How often do you want to color hair? 2. How much money do you want to spend on your hair? 3. How much time do you want to spend coloring your hair? How often do you want to color hair? Want blonde on blonde like Christians Aguilera? That requires touch-ups every 2-4 weeks to look good. If there’s no time for that, other alternatives include a glaze to cool down or warm up tone, which usually lasts 6-8 weeks, sometimes even 12. A full head of highlights needs maintenance every 6 weeks, but subtle highlights can go as long as 8-12 weeks. It’s important to pick a color that fits with lifestyle – if there’s not enough time to get to the salon for touch-ups, it won’t look good, so don’t even bother. How much money do you want to spend on your hair? Saving money to get the perfect color once will be a let down. Color needs to be maintained, so it’s important to look at the finances of color before committing to a style. Glazes and one-process colors tend to cost less. A full head of highlights is more expensive (especially on longer hair) than accent highlights. So do the math first. How much time do you want to spend coloring your hair? Think about it – if sitting for 2 hours at a time for highlights to be foiled and processed is not an option, go for a demi permanent glaze to kick brass or add cool tones, it takes a mere 20 minutes. On the other hand, maybe sitting for 2 hours at the salon is the best way to slow down and be pampered – it’s all about lifestyle. Consider these things before you get your hair colored again and I promise you will be happier with your hair color. If you found these tips helpful, please be sure to Like it, Pin it and Share with friends! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle tooShannon on G+ Photo credit: Goldwell

Read more →

eSalon Offers Salon Quality Hair Color at Home

Shannon Smyth
eSalon Home Hair Coloring Kit The scenario: Your bank account gives you a firm NO to getting your next hair color done at your favorite salon, so you head down to your local drugstore and browse the home hair color aisle. All of the models on the package look amazing. You SO want hair color like that. You grab a few locks of your hair and try to find the perfect "before" match on the back of the box so that you can accurately predict what color your hair will likely ending up looking like "after." On occasion you find yourself asking complete strangers, "Do you think this hair color will look good on me?" To which they usually smile, nod and say, "Yes," only to quickly leave the aisle so that you won't ask them anymore questions that you'll expect them to be an expert at. Do you recognize yourself? If you do, then eSalon is for you. It's the perfect blend of salon grade hair coloring products, expert colorist guidance and having the ability to do your hair at home for a fraction of the cost. Intrigued? I was and had the opportunity to try it for myself. Personalized Home Hair Color You begin at and create an account. To begin it asks you a series of questions and shows you different shades and hues of hair color to choose as your current hair color and with each click, it changes on the model. You then click the hair color you are aiming for. You can also upload a current photo of yourself with any additional information you wish to relay to the expert colorist assigned to you. I stated that I like to have a darker hair color during the colder months. Each order includes: Custom hair color, developer, hair color accessories, and personalized instructions (I liked that it had my name on the instructions showing that this was not a cookie-cutter hair kit.) After I submitted all of the details asked, I received an email that a colorist had reviewed what I selected and based on the picture I submitted, changed my order to meet my needs. I'll be honest, I was skeptical. I'm usually a good judge of hair color for myself. My kit arrived shortly after, which by the way, is only $19.99. There were some extras in the kit so that as a blogger I can relay to you how those products worked, however they are not typical for each order. The instructions were clear on how to use this kit, but seemed a little overwhelming at first (no, it's not as easy as slapping on gloves and putting the color in your hair.) First you apply their Stain Guard--which is a brilliant idea by the way--around your hair line, on the tips and outer part of your ears and along your neck line. The stain guard is a petroleum and oil (coconut, sunflower seed) and beeswax mix. To help you achieve the perfect at home hair color, they send you clips to section out your hair. After putting your hair into 4 sections, you go through and apply to the roots in each section and re-clip. You then mix a second bottle of hair color and apply to each section at a time using hand over hand application. Each portion is timed, and it comes with a timer to help you not over-process your hair. The final step was also unusual in that it requires you to get into the shower, add water to your second bottle (with the leftover hair color still in it), unclip all of your hair and then apply the remainder to your hair and massage in for about 2 minutes. You then rinse until the color runs clear, and then use the eSalon color-safe shampoo and conditioner. The kit also comes with a Stain Remover so that if you did get color on your skin, you can easily wipe it off. The Stain Guard worked for me, so I had nothing further to wipe away. When I first dried my hair, it looked the same to me (medium brown with golden highlights.) So I asked my husband to take a picture of me and to my surprise, and delight, my hair was the EXACT color I had hoped for: a nice dark, rich brown. I was so happy! Here is the picture I submitted to the colorist (and also my hair before) and then the picture of my hair after. Sorry that the picture is blurry, my camera was not cooperating that day. Before and After with eSalon Hair Color eSalon also offers you the opportunity to call in and speak to an expert colorist as well, which is great during a hair coloring emergency. They also have their own bottles of color-safe shampoo and conditioner, color enhancing treatment and an argan hair serum. I found that the clips served another purpose as well, it helps me to section my hair and dry it faster AND cut down on the frizz. I've been using them all of the time now. eSalon saves your custom color in your account making it easier to re-order. You can choose to subscribe to them sending you auto-shipments or simply do a one-time order. I am super excited about this and so thrilled with how my hair color turned out. Have you tried eSalon yet? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. *Disclosure press sample

Read more →

Aveda Clove Color Conditioner Review

Gail Lewis
Whenever I can do something, anything, that will lengthen the time in between beauty services, I am all about it.  Don't get me wrong, I love receiving any and all types of beauty services...the dreaded bikini wax included, but I never enjoy receipt of the bill for said services. I am always in search of a way to make my services last longer so as to go into the spa/salon less frequently.  My latest beauty budget friendly discovery is Aveda Clove Color Conditioner. This conditioner is a color enhancing conditioner, so it conditions your hair while rejuvenating and refreshing your color at the same time. The Clove Conditioner is supposed to enrich warm tones in medium brown hair, but I have dark brown hair and it worked just fine with my hair color.  My color looked a lot richer and my hair was super shiny and soft.  The scent is pretty great too, the only drawback of this conditioner was that it does get messy in the shower and my fingers were a bit stained after using it. If you have a white shower, don't be alarmed as it washes away pretty easily with soap and water...and it is after all a color conditioner.  It was recommended that I use the Clove Shampoo with the conditioner for better results, but I chose to use my regular shampoo and still loved how it worked with my hair. My absolute favorite thing about this conditioner (besides my soft, shiny, color enhanced hair) is that now I can go a lot longer in between colors!  Aveda also has color conditioners for blond, gray, red, auburn, dark brown and black hair, so I definitely suggest trying it out, the conditioner is only $18.00 a bottle! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! for more beauty reviews! Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

Read more →

How to Make Hair Color Last Longer

Shannon Smyth
Why spend money coloring your hair if you're only going to use products that fade your color instantly? In my latest hair care video, I give 4 tips to extend the life of your hair color, along with my favorite sulfate-free shampoos, conditioners, dry shampoos and styling balm. These tips are applicable regardless of season, because I don't know about you, but I color my hair all year long (gotta hide those greys!
Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and subscribe to our blog for more beauty reviews! *Disclosure, press samples

Read more →

Hair Color Review: John Frieda Precision Foam Colour

Shannon Smyth12 comments
We're heading into the colder months, which typically means making the switch from highlighted hair to warmer tones. My natural hair color is dark brown, but typically I lighten or highlight it in the summer months. Being that it is only 6 weeks until Christmas, getting my hair colored at the salon was not in my wallet's vocabulary, so I opted to color my hair at home. I made my way to CVS and decided upon John Frieda's Precision Foam Colour. I went with 4BG  (Dark Chocolate Brown.)

My highlighted hair before, colored immediately after and results 1 week later.

I have to say, I don't typically read the warnings on home hair coloring kits because I have been coloring my hair since I was 13 and they typically all say the same thing. However, I noticed John Frieda's included some things I have never seen before like you need to remove all accessories you are wearing and cannot use metal tools. Since there seems to be an issue with metal, I assumed that the accessories they meant were jewelry.  So I removed my earrings.

It also says you shouldn't use this product if you have a temporary black Henna tattoo, as it is likely to increase an allergy risk. If you wear contacts, you need to remove them also...however I'm not sure how you could put on your glasses since you can't have metal around. If you've colored your hair previously with compound hennas, metallic dyes or color restorers you have to wait until your hair has grown out and then cut. And don't try to put the foam on your eyelashes or eyebrows because it may cause blindness.

cruelty free body care

So, basically, by the time I was done reading that I was freaked out. Then I went on to read how to mix the product. It says you cannot shake the mix (you need to gently tilt it 5 times,) you cannot use the pump but instead have to squeeze the bottle to make the foam come out of the pump...which is psychologically confusing because you are holding a bottle with a pump...that you cannot pump. The bottle needs to remain upright at all times and you can only apply the foam to your hands first (in gloves of course) and not directly onto your hair. So basically I felt I was going to mess this up big time.

Application was tricky because the instructions state that you cannot get the foam on your face or ears at all. My hair is shoulder length, so good luck with that Shannon! Trying to prevent the foam from touching my skin, while trying to keep the bottle upright and not pump it was like playing a game of Twister.  

Additionally your hair needs to be "frothy" with foam in order to be "done." Ok, guess what? Foam evaporates or absorbs into your hair. Especially if you have long-ish hair and are trying to make sure you get each section equally. Wait time from this point is 30 minutes. I rinsed my hair, applied the conditioner, rinsed that out after 3 minutes and then blew it dry. I was pleasantly surprised with the color. I loved it. Tweeted about it. My 7 year old snapped my pic for me and I was happy I was still alive with great looking hair.

Fast forward 1 week and while my hair is still brown, as you can see from the picture...the color has significantly faded. Ugh. I do not wash my hair everyday, in fact I usually only wash it every other day. I also used sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, so I know it wouldn't have been the culprit to strip my hair color. I also hadn't washed my hair 24 hours before applying the foam as the instructions stated and I did not have any product build-up to prevent the color from adhering. So was it worth it to save myself the $60-$75 of coloring my hair at the salon? Not really. Have you used John Frieda's Precision Foam? I'd like to hear about your experience (good or bad.)

Read more →