At this point the common wisdom seems to be to switch to Clairol's Natural Instincts (the original and neither the Brass Free or Vibrant versions) although many users don't agree that it's a reasonable replacement.
Clairol Loving Care
Why? Clairol Loving Care was popular because it was truly a no ammonia or peroxide color wash. In essence the color was very gentle and would wash out in anywhere from 1-12 shampoos.
Although Loving Care was not recommended for use on top of highlighted or bleached hair, it was a wonderful solution for punching up permanent hair color in-between touch-ups or in some cases for covering gray.
Fans of Loving Care reported the benefits of having a color which was so gentle it gradually washed out, but didn't dry out tresses and did what it was supposed to do. Plus there was no obvious root regrowth.
Clairol Natural Instincts
There's the traditional long standing Natural Instincts which is demi-permanent and the new Vibrant version of Natural Instincts which is permanent.
Note: This blog addresses the original Natural Instincts which is demi permanent, but not the new Natural Instincts Vibrant version which is permanent and has a special Color Refresher packet.
Clairol Beautiful Advanced Gray Solutions (AGS)
Fans of Loving Care who don't want to use the Natural Instincts are switching to the Clairol Beautiful Advanced Gray Solutions (AGS) collection which is very similar to Loving Care. It is a demi-permanent color. It covers up to 50% gray hair and like Loving Care has no ammonia, no peroxide and is gentle enough to be used after chemical hair treatments.
The Beautiful Collection by Clairol is sold at Sally Beauty and can be purchased by hair consumers as well as hair professionals.
Natural Instinct Pros And Cons
Unlike Loving Care which was considered a temporary hair color, color wash or shampoo-in color, the traditional Natural Instincts is a demi-permanent hair color which is designed to last much longer than Loving Care.
It also may cause a regrowth line. A demi perm color is less damaging than a permanent hair color.
Note: The new Vibrant version of Natural Instincts is permanent. It's important to note the differences.
Other advantages for most people. Keep in mind that the product may not work equally as well for all:
1. The color lasts and resists fading through the first 18-20 shampoos especially if hair is washed in lukewarm water and sulfate free shampoo. It generally washes out in 24-30 shampoo sessions. Clairol advertises that it lasts up to 28 shampoos.2. Natural Instincts leaves hair very soft and manageable with no or minimal damage.
3. Hair often feels healthier than before use of the traditional Natural Instincts with minimal dryness or brittleness.4. The conditioner provided with the color kit leave hair feeling soft and hydrated.
5. Ammonia free, the product is gentle on chemically pre treated tresses.6. The price is very affordable. Some grocery chains offer extra discount coupons so be sure to shop carefully.
7. There does not appear to be significant damage with long term use.8. For the majority of users it does not usually pull red which is a common drugstore hair color problem.
9. This blends colors grays, making it look like natural highlights.10. Product spreads easily.
11. The extra light cool blonde can be used as a toner for bleached hair in some cases.
3. Although the original Natural Instincts is billed as demi-permanent and designed to fade out after 20+ shampoos, some of the color options may actually stain hair which has been damaged or is overly porous.4. For some users the color of the original Natural Instincts which is demi-permanent fades very quickly. For some it may stain and become a permanent color requiring drastic removal methods.
5. One of the color options most likely to stain is the black or darkest hue.
The traditional Natural Instincts demi-perm color is Clairol's recommended replacement for their temporary Loving Care Hair Color which is now discontinued.
What may be confusing some Clairol hair color users is the addition of a new version of Natural Instincts Vibrant which unlike the original demi-permanent version is actually permanent. Long term users of the original Natural Instincts who have switched to the new Natural Instincts Vibrant version have not always had the best results. That's because the original version is demi-perm and the new Vibrant is permanent.
Like the original Loving Care product, the Natural Instincts product is best when applied in-between salon visits or for someone who has never used hair color before because it is much more gentle than a permanent color which can be more harsh.
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