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Stephanie Drenka

Review: Garnier Olia Haircolor

Review: Garnier Olia Haircolor

I was so excited to find Garnier Olia in stock at Target. My recovering self-ombre’d, then re-dyed hair was in desperate need of refreshment. Since becoming engaged over the holidays, I’ve focused my priorities on achieving natural, bridal beauty by the time we get married next year. Gone are the days of crazy hair experiments and being lazy with my daily routine.

Having fried my hair with an at-home highlighting spray, I was anxious to try the ammonia-free Garnier Olia, which promises to visibly improves and restores hair as the oils help to reverse roughness and dullness for more brilliant, dimensional color and softer, shinier hair with more bounce.

This product exceeded my expectations. I’ve tried lots of hair dyes that promise to smell better, or make hair shinier, etc… but this is the first that actually lived up to the claims. The whole bathroom smelled as if I sprayed a fruity/floral perfume in the air, and you could see the shine from the oil instantly.

My only complaint about this product, for which I docked one star, was that it didn’t seem like there was enough of it for one full application. When I used to have longer hair, I would buy two boxes of hair dye. But since it’s only an inch or two below my shoulders now, I didn’t think I would need to double up this time. The oil was so concentrated, I guess, that it didn’t seem to spread as easily as a cream or foam hair dye. By the time I used up the bottle, I definitely noticed a few spots in the under layers of my hair where the oil didn’t reach. I’ve learned my lesson and will stock up on an extra box next time (touché, Garnier).

Several weeks later and my hair is still holding its newfound shine. I was at a fundraising event yesterday where a complete stranger at my table kept telling me how pretty and shiny my hair is. After years of digital perms and highlighting mishaps, I didn’t think it was possible for my hair to look in such good condition.

It may sound like hyperbole, but this is seriously the best hair dye I’ve ever used. See for yourself:

Garnier Olia Before & After
Garnier Olia Review
Garnier Olia Review
Garnier Olia Review


  • Chelsea Taylor

    April 20, 2013

    What color did u use, it doesn’t say…?

    • geekglam

      April 20, 2013

      Hi Chelsea! I used Soft Black 1.0.

      • Deb

        January 8, 2014

        I used this product 3 times (7.0) and will not buy it again. I found that it covers the gray initially, but doesn’t last. Also, I have short, fine hair and barely get enough product to do the job. I am going back to garnier Fructis, which works fine for me every time. I’m glad I tried the amonia free Olia, but it’s not working for me.

  • Chelsea Taylor

    April 20, 2013

    Thanks for the quick reply!

    • geekglam

      April 20, 2013

      You’re welcome! Enjoy your weekend 🙂

  • A.M.

    April 30, 2013

    Gorgeous & shiny!!! Thanks for the review & pics. Have been considering this one (I’ve always used the Garnier Nutriesse in “Black” (the cream formula), but I’m always skeptical to try a new hair dye. Your review won me over! 🙂

    P.S. How long do you leave it on for? I didn’t buy it yet, so I don’t have the instructions. Just curious.

    • geekglam

      April 30, 2013

      Aww thank you! And you’re welcome! I can’t remember exactly how long I left it in, but I want to say it was around half an hour. I don’t usually stray too far from what they recommend in the instructions– scared to mess it up!

  • Terry

    June 19, 2013

    The worst dye I’ve ever used and I’ve tried many. Three weeks after using this product and copious rinsing, I’m still bleeding enough dye to ruin my towels. I’ll never use it again!

  • carla

    November 14, 2013

    Yes I used color and it dripped color fo over a week. Within 2 to 3 weeks of he color was horrible and my root were showing like it as a. Couple months ago that I colored. Went to beauty shop and professional worked on it. Color would not take at all and he did it again and it barely worked at all. He had no idea what was in Olia color but he said never to use it again and my hair will just have to grow out. Had to pay for coloring and now have to wait for hair to grow out.DO NOT BUY A D USE THIS COLOR.

  • Cindy

    November 28, 2013

    This wasn’t great to me. it did not cover gray hairs!

  • danielle

    December 11, 2013

    OMG! I wish I had read this site before trying it……it did not cover a single grey hair. It left some parts different colour than others. You need 3 boxes…….hate it and stuck like this for my cruise now cause have to wait 2 weeks!

  • Jessica

    February 9, 2014

    I’ve got fine hair, but lots and lots of it and it is usually a nightmare for hairdressers to colour as there is so.much.
    I bought Olia dye in 3.6 dark cherry and I cannot understand how anyone thinks there isn’t enough, there was plenty.
    Covered all my hair and some.
    Looks vibrant and shiny and my hair feels softer.
    Granted I have no grey yet, so I can’t judge the product on that one, but it seems to be a good product.

  • CindyB

    March 30, 2014

    This product DOES NOT COVER GRAY, other wise it is a good product. Smells nice. But if you want to cover gray, not the right product.

    • Susan

      July 1, 2016

      Hi…use half of the developer and the full tube of color. Mix for a good minute. Leave on hair at least an hour. Again, only use half of the developer. I am full gray and it completely covers it using half of the developer and leaving on for at least an hour.

  • lily

    August 19, 2014

    Hi! I was wondering how you got your hair to the color before the black! What dye did you use? Thank you!

    • Stephanie Drenka

      August 19, 2014

      Hi Lily-
      Before the black was my natural hair color– it fades to a lighter shade of brown in the sun.

  • Alisha

    December 2, 2014

    So I am looking to go deep red. I have had purple and cherry red in my hair before and was thinking the garnet red because it is warm but has some brown-ish tints. The only worry I have is I have highlights and large areas of blonde, I wonder if it will be brighter than other spots….

  • Susan MeyEr

    April 16, 2016

    Hi! I recently got dark brown hair extensions for prom. i dyed my hair with a loreal casting temporary medium brown and it matched the extensions, my hair is now slowly fading into the blond/brown hair I had before hence temporary. since the hair extensions are dark brown, but medium brown matched the extensions, should I pick up a medium brown or dark brown garnier olia?

    • Stephanie Drenka

      April 18, 2016

      I would say medium brown– it should blend better with the extensions!

  • Susan

    July 1, 2016

    If you want to cover gray – use half of the developer and the full tube of color. Shake it for a good minute. Leave on hair for at least 60 minutes. It does do the trick. Again, use half of the developer.

  • Kathryn Erickson

    January 18, 2017

    Is your hair falling out yet? I am one of hundreds of reviews that have had significant…like 3/4 of my hair fall out. It is one product I willnever use again nor recommend to others!

    • Stephanie Drenka

      January 18, 2017

      This post is 4 years old, but no, my hair never fell out. I’m sorry that you experienced that. Everyone’s body has different reactions to chemicals, I’d imagine.

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