Before I left on vacation, I knew I needed to cover my grays (I don’t have many but they tend to stand out).  I usually stick to rinses (semi-permanent) because they are less damaging and relatively inexpensive.  I’ve tried L’Oreal (review here) and several other brands in my past, but I had never used Garnier HerbaShine.  I was intrigued because I have always liked Garnier, so I decided to give it a whirl.

They certainly do a good job from a marketing perspective.  The box listed everything I was looking for, emphasizing the healthy, shiny hair that would result from using the dye.  From the Garnier website:

The only haircolor with Bamboo extract. Fortified color. Certified brilliant.

Introducing Garnier Herbashine, the only haircolor product with Bamboo extract. Herbashine improves the condition of hair by fortifying the hair cuticle while wrapping it in radiant, shiny color. Hair looks and feels stronger for radiant color that’s truly shiny and luminous.

Designed like a beauty elixir, its luscious cream texture is both rich and silky. Easy to apply, it provides a sensation of intense care and comfort during coloring. Thanks to a perfect balance of the formula components, the results are quick – Herbashine works in just 10 minutes. The color is radiant and shiny and grays are covered naturally.


  • With Bamboo extract
  • Acts in just 10 minutes
  • An ammonia-free formula
  • In 18 radiant, shiny shades

I went with the Medium Gold Mahogany Brown (535).  I was hoping for gray coverage and a bit of a red undertone.  My natural color is a dark ashy brown.  Bleh.

Anyway, as I was applying, I noticed that the dye was not very pungent. Sometimes I end up with watery eyes when dying my hair, but this had little to no offensive odor.  This was a good start.

After I rinsed and applied the conditioner, I got to drying my hair.  It did look noticeably more shiny and healthy, but (of course) I still have the frizzies that have plagued me throughout my life.  This is not a miracle worker, that is for sure.  I also noticed that my hair still smelled of dye – even the boyfriend commented on it.  The smell ended up going away after about a day.

Once my hair was completely dry, I used the InStyler briefly to smooth out the flyaways. I checked myself out under the bathroom light and I was very happy with the color.  It was a dark mahogany brown (darker than the package) with  just the right amount of red.  One thing I was not happy with – dye on the towel!  Of course since this was the first wash, it was to be expected, but I really thought I’d done a good job of rinsing this time.  The bad news is… a week later, I am still noticing dye on the hotel towels.  That is really disappointing to me, since HerbaShine has been such a winner so far.  I might be able to overlook it, but we will see.

As time has gone by, the hair color has not faded much.  I have good gray coverage and my hair looks shiny and healthy.  I will update again when I notice the grays coming back.  (As I said, it’s only been about a week since I colored.)

Overall, I would recommend HerbaShine (and the 535 in specific) to anyone looking for a quick way to punch up their color or cover grays.  Just be sure to use a dark towel for a few weeks.

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6 Responses to Review: Garnier HerbaShine Semi-Permanent Hair Color

  1. Good for you! The more we know how to take care of ourselves, the more we are able to save money and stick to a budget. I’ve been doing my own hair/highlights since I was a teenager: the one time I went to a salon for highlights ($60, at the time) I felt cheated! Great post – thanks, Erin!

    • Erin says:

      Totally agree Lisa! I love getting professional highlights but it is just not in my budget! I wish I knew how to do them myself 🙂

  2. Destiny says:

    I have to say I like the price, I like how shiny this product makes my hair… but I don’t like that it made my hair darker than it said it would, and I have naturally curly hair… My curls are gone! My hair has gone completely straight after using this product… ?*!# I will be have to wait for my hair to grow out to get my curls back and will not be using this product again… I love curly hair…

    • Erin says:

      That’s so interesting, Destiny! I agree that it dyes darker than pictured. Very strange that your curls disappeared though – I hope they come back soon!

    • Marsi says:

      I know this is an old post, but I just want to comment that Herbashine made my curly hair go straight as well. It’s a complete mess now, since I had layers for my curls. Please, if you have curly hair do not use this product! I was growing out my hair and now I will have to start over.

  3. lena says:

    I think this is an excellent choice. I have thin and gray hair and harmless hair color is seems exectly what I need.

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