Best Haircolor Products on a Budget: Reader Advice

One of the great beauty prerogatives we enjoy is freedom of haircolor—and, like the true budget fashionistas we are, we’d prefer not to pay an arm and a leg, thanks. Of course for major overhauls we’d have to say (from, ahem, personal experience) letting the pros handle it is probably best, but for more subtle changes (a little lighter, darker, redder, a few highlights) there’s no reason you can’t do it at home for less. However, not all home haircolor products are created equal—so what are your picks for great home hair color products?

Pictured: For a little extra shine, body, and temporary color boost, we dig Clairol’s Natural Instincts, $9.89,

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  1. bunnybri says

    I have used L’Oreal Preference for the past 3 years to dye my golden brown hair a light auburn.  I’m no expert (my technique consists of hanging my head over the bathtub, making a big mess smearing it on, then showering it out) but the stylists at the salon are always asking me where I get it done…including the owner, who is an internationally renowned stylist and says I can tell anyone I want that he did my color!

  2. Elaine Benes says

    I’ve been using Loreal’s Exellence Creme haircolor the past two years and I really like it, makes my hair appear quite shiny and the color lasts.

    My hairdresser warned me to only dye the roots – I guess the rest of my hair had been getting darker with repeated full head dyeing.

  3. Orora says

    I’ve used L’oreal Colour Experte for a few years and have always gotten great results. It’s hard to do subtle highlights with it, but for big, chunky ones it works well.  And I admit I like spending $18 on a double-process color rather than the $200 it would cost me in a salon.

  4. rparker1333 says

    I’m totally with you on Natural Instincts! It’s gentle on my dry/brittle hair and every 6 weeks or so I have the option of choosing a new color. Such a deal!

  5. kellylynn says

    I’ve always gotten good results from Garnier Nutrisse, and my hair has gone through SO many color changes in the past year… I went from dirty blonde to bleach blonde to almost black to medium brown to red and back to dirty blonde, and my stylist STILL tells me that my hair is healthy.

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