Garnier Olia Oil Powered Hair Color – BzzAgent Review

As part of the BzzAgent Campaign for the new Garnier Olia oil powered permanent hair color product I received a coupon for a complimentary box of hair color.  Due to an allergic reaction I was not able to use the Garnier Olia on myself. My mother on the other hand who colors her hair regularly was in need of a coloring so I gave the Olia to her. She came to my house and I applied the color for her.

First, I noticed immediately the absence of a heavy chemical smell. There is no ammonia in the product so it smelled more like fragrant perfume or a lotion from Bath and Body Works than typical permanent hair coloring product. It was very easy to mix even though we only used half since my mom’s hair is shorter than shoulder length and not as thick as it used to be. Second, the application was easy. The mix was thick and stayed put and not super runny. The gloves though were a little on the snug side. I do not have big hands by any means and I had trouble getting them on and off. Even my mom had trouble with the gloves and her hands are even smaller than mine. We started with her areas of resistant grays around the hairline and through the crown then saturated the rest of the hair after the roots were done. I went back to the front section and reapplied more hair coloring to the grays at the front hairline and crown to make sure they were completely saturated. It was left on for 30 minutes.

As per the instructions she massaged her hair before rinsing it out and then applied the conditioner. She left the conditioner on for another 5 minutes then rinsed it out. She and I were both a little taken aback at how dry the length of her hair felt. I assumed that with an oil powered hair color we would have found her hair to be silky smooth. Unfortunately, we found her hair to be very dry (compared to when she uses other brands of hair color) and the Garnier Olia did not succeed in covering the grays around the front hairline.

It took two more times coloring just the roots to get any kind of decent coverage on the grays.  She mentioned that even after washing and a deep conditioning treatment she was not impressed with the feel of her hair and rather disappointed that the grays had not gotten colored.  In her estimation, and what I consider expert opinion, the resulting dryness was very similar to the cheapest brands she’s used in the past.  As for the color it was alright for her.  We used the Garnier Medium Brown and it came out almost like a dark auburn.  Also, we were expecting very shiny locks after this hair color and found the results to be muted, dull and not shiny at all.  I’m rather glad that I was not able to use it after seeing how it came out on her hair because I’ve just recently been able to cut out the last remnants of a hair coloring gone bad 2 years ago.  I would not have been happy with such a marked reddish tone and lack of shine.


  • No ammonia
  • Easy to mix and apply thick formula
  • No chemical smell


  • Gloves are too small (may have to get your own elsewhere)
  • Has a hard time covering resistant grays
  • Color resulted in no shine; very mattified
  • Hair was not left as soft as expected; better experiences with coverage and softness with other brands
  • Few options for ash tones


Every body is different as is every head of hair.  Just because Garnier Olia did not work as wonderfully as we had hoped for us doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.  This coloring may be the answer for permanent hair color for the person who is seeking a change, but can’t stand the ammonia smell of other brands or is sensitive to it.  I would not recommend Garnier Olia for someone looking to cover grays.  Also, though there are many colors from which to choose I was disappointed at the lack of availability of ash tones for the Garnier Olia product.


Disclosure: I am a BzzAgent and received a free product from Garnier & BzzAgent for the purposes of this review.  No compensation was received for my activities aside from the product reviewed.

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