HCP OTNP Garnier Olia 5.15 2
Garnier Olia 5.15 Frosted Chocolate

I’m writing up this review after my second time using Garnier Olia 5.15 Frosted Chocolate, so that would make this more of a “refresh” application review.  I bought two boxes of this shade while they were on offer at Superdrug a few months ago (although, I believe that the Olia range is pretty much always on offer!) and I decided to hold off a little while before I started sharing my thoughts on it.  I often read hair dye reviews that have been written almost immediately after, or only a day after the reviewer has let their hair dry, and I don’t really feel it offers enough of an indication of how effective the hair dye actually is.  On top of the actual process of using the product, I want a decent idea of how well the shade holds up over the next few weeks and washes.

Writing this review up after the second application has given me the chance to see how well the shade lasts as well as the opportunity to see if I actually liked it enough to use it again, which will hopefully give you a better idea of my opinion on the product.

Garnier Olia hair dyes have been around for a good few years now and, while they seem to have very appealing claims, the general consensus seems to be that the dye and shades are a bit “meh”.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of reviews out there from people who seem to be genuinely happy with the results but there also seems to be just too many people who have had either a) not much difference to their hair after using it, b) disastrous results i.e. reports exist of hair turning green after use!

With all of these contradictory claims floating around I decided against giving it a go despite the fact that I had had my eyes on this particular shade for a couple of years.  Unfortunately, the 5.15 Frosted Chocolate shade seemed to be the least stocked and least reviewed.  I wasn’t able to find it in shops that stock the Olia range and I was struggling to find an accurate picture online as to what the shade on the box and on actual hair really looked like.

HCP OTNP Garnier Olia 5.15 Shade Predictions
Garnier Olia 5.15 Frosted Chocolate shade predictions

Anyway, in the past couple of years they’ve opened up a Superdrug Beauty Studio in Cardiff and they actually have this shade in stock now! So I finally had the opportunity to judge the colour on the box for myself and I decided to just bloody well get on with it and buy it!  Although, I did also buy a box of Superdrug Performance Natural Chestnut 5 as a backup, just in case.

I bought the two boxes (plus the spare) two months ago, and I gave Garnier Olia a try the very next day and, I have to say, I was rather happy with the results first time round!  I was happy enough to top up with the second box when I needed it, at any rate.

Before I go any further with my own experience, here’s the little blurb of benefits that Garnier claim the Olia range of dyes has:

Improves the visible quality of hair. Formulated to improve shine and smoothness, 35% smoother hair**. Maximum colour performance. Absolutely lavish, vivid, long-lasting colour. Unique sensorial application. Optimal scalp comfort. Non-drip velvety texture. Delicate floral fragrance. In the colourant cream.

  • No ammonia
  • Maximum colour performance
  • Improves the visible quality of hair
  • Pleasant & easy application

*Information sourced from Garnier UK wesbite

Sounds pretty good, right?  I have lots of fine, curly hair plus a dehydrated, prone to itchiness scalp so anything that claims to offer scalp comfort and smooth hair is a bonus when looking for a hair dye.  It should go without saying, but just in case:

Safety Notice: Always do a patch test 48 hours in advance of using any colourants products. After 48 Hours, please check for any reaction or irritation. If you notice anything, please discontinue use of the product.  For More information please see

The first thing that I will say about my experience with it, is that I did prep my scalp so that it had a better chance of being comfortable during the process, and it did work very well for me! I didn’t feel any tingling at all when I put the dye mix onto my roots.  For those who are interested, I massaged a little bit of Lush Superbalm Scalp Treatment onto my scalp the night before dying my hair and then a little more again about an hour before starting to apply the solution.  It worked like a charm for me, but it may not be the same for everybody so make sure to do your own testing first.

Garnier Olia 5.15 box contents

I followed the instructions’ “Option 1” which was if you’re colouring your hair for the first time or your hair has not been coloured in the past three months. I waited longer than the average six weeks for the colour refresh so the colour from the first application had faded out quite a bit so I decided to treat it like a full, new application.

The application process is much less stressful than with other box dyes.  The perforated box design, so the box can be used as the mixing bottle holder, is such a good idea! It’s hard knowing where to put the bottle while you’re working with a hair dye because some dye might leak out from the bottle and stain your surfaces.  But with this, it’s the box that gets the brunt of it! The bottle itself, or the “Olia Jar” as they call it, is a nice, easy to handle shape and I was able to get almost all of the solution out.  I imagine you could also use just the jar, without the nozzle tip, if you fancied using a tinting brush to apply the product instead of pouring it on directly.

The fragrance isn’t floral in my view but it does smell like a heady perfume.  Not a bad one by any means, but not floral. Even without ammonia, the smell can be a little strong, but it’s not overpowering.  Like I said before, I felt nothing on my scalp by the way of irritation plus the dye didn’t drip off of my scalp or even bleed down my forehead or neck.  And drips of dye that did manage to land on my forehead were easy to wipe away with no stain on the skin.  The solution was quite a light, creamy texture, which felt like adding a lighter than average conditioning treatment rather than a hair dye.  Most dyes, even when damp on the hair, feel like they’re drying the strands out to get the product embedded – but this didn’t feel like that.

Washing it out was easy enough and it didn’t cause a mess! I wash it out over the side of the bath and, looking down at the water, it actually does look like you’re filling the bath with chocolate milk!  I’d say it took only 2 or 4 minutes to get the water running clear – it usually takes longer than that with other dyes I’ve tried.

I finished up with two minutes of the conditioning treatment which is lovely and creamy, rinsed it all out, got my hair into my microfibre turban and left it for about 30 minutes.  Then I finger-combed my hair through with a little Wilko Argan Oil and left it to completely air-dry (which always takes at least 2 hours).

Here are my before and after shots!  Please excuse the camera and lighting quality – at the moment I am relying on natural, bathroom light and my iPod Touch’s camera…

HCP OTNP Garnier 5.15 Before & After
Top row: Before Bottom row: After using Garnier 5.15

As this was only a refresh, the colour doesn’t look like it’s changed all that much in the photos.  However, the slightly faded brassiness has been removed after using the dye but there is still a subtle warmth to my hair.  My hair feels softer and well conditioned after using it and feels much nicer than after any other box dye I’ve ever tried.

Based on this being my second try of Garnier Olia hair colour I personally think it needs touching up once a month as it does start fading slightly after a couple of washes.  Overall though, I’m happy with the price, the process and the results! I doubt it’s a range suitable for those who regularly bleach, treat their hair chemically or heat style/dry their hair.  This formula seems to have a much gentler touch than your average hair dye so  I think looking after your hair, in general, will get you the best results with this range.

As it stands I think this is going to be a colour that I will be going back to regularly to simply enhance my natural colour and tones.  For me, it does what it says on the box and that’s all is ask of it!

Have you guys tried any of the Garnier Olia hair colour range? What did you think?  Have any bad experiences with it?  Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to like, share and follow me for more beauty, book and lifestyle reviews!  Chat soon, guys! xxx

Where To Buy:

Garnier Olia Permanent Hair Colour 5.15 Frosted Chocolate
Superdrug – £5.99 or 2 for £11 on selected Garnier Olia products // 

Garnier Olia Permanent Hair Colour Care Conditioner
Superdrug – £1.99 //

Lush Superbalm Scalp Treatment
£12.50 //

Wilko Argan Oil
£2.50 //


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