Color depositing conditioners and masks have been growing in popularity as an easy way to freshen up your hair color between salon visits. I was curious to see if they could add some vibrance to my hair so I decided to try the Maria Nila Color Refresh.
Maria Nila is a Swedish, vegan haircare line that started as a color-protecting line but now has hair products that range from haircare to styling, as well as their super popular Color Refresh Bombs.
These Color Refreshes come in 15 colors (including White Mix which is meant just for mixing with other colors to take down the intensity). They are hair masks with semi-permanent color pigments that add vibrance or a tint of color to your hair color. They also add softness and shine to your hair because of ingredients like argan oil, sunflower seed oil, and panthenol.
How Long Maria Nila Color Refresh Lasts
The Maria Nila Color Refreshes last for 4-10 washes, so washing less frequently will mean your hair will retain the color longer. This will also depend on how long you left the mask in for and how dramatic the color change is to your hair.
Does the Maria Nila Color Refresh Cover Greys?
The Maria Nila Color Refreshes don’t cover greys. Because they use semi-permanent pigments, the color sits on top of the strand instead of penetrating deeply like a permanent hair dye and therefore does not alter the pigments of grey hair.
How I Used the Maria Nila Color Refresh
I bought both the Bright Copper and the Cacao Maria Nila Color Refreshes. My hair is a medium to dark brown with an auburn tint and I color it roughly every 8 weeks. The Color Refreshes actually work best on hair that has been color-treated before.
I considered mixing the Bright Copper and Cacao colors together but it seemed that with my dark hair, the Bright Copper mask alone would only give me a tint of color. Mixed with the Cacao, it seemed like I wouldn’t get enough red, so I decided to try the Bright Copper by itself.
Maria Nila says to was your hair with shampoo and towel dry your hair before applying, so I quickly jumped in the shower to shampoo and rinse before squeezing the water out with a towel.
Next, I put on some plastic gloves to keep my fingers from getting stained. I brushed my wet hair to make it easier for the hair color to spread throughout my strands. I was a little unsure how much to use and whether it would spread evenly so this was helpful to make sure I was covering my head. I applied the goopy mixture all over, starting just a centimeter from my roots on the top of my head.
The directions say to leave the mixture for 3-10 minutes, but I had already read a different review of someone with medium/dark hair who had left it for 20 minutes and ended up with subtle color. I ended up leaving the mask on for 13 minutes, not wanting to overdo it on my first time but still wanting a definite shift in color. (I had done a test with the Bright Cpper and the Cacao shades separately on small sections of hair for 5 minutes before going all in on my head and the results were very subtle.)
When 13 minutes were up, I washed the mask out of my hair until the water ran clear. I added a little bit of conditioner, but my hair was feeling pretty smooth at this point. Then I let my hair air dry.
Maria Nila Color Refresh Before and After
The result was a definite red tint to my hair. That night I went out to dinner and styled my hair and the effect on my hair’s color and shine really stood out. Before, my hair’s red tints were mostly noticeable in the sun, but now it was pretty apparent even inside. The shine made my hair look expensive and was comparable to many glosses I’ve used.
What I Like About the Maria Nila Color Refresh
- ease of use
- many color options
- clear color change even on dark hair
- adds noticeable shine and softness
- color change was subtle (at least on dark hair)
What I Don’t Like About the Maria Nila Color Refresh
- I would need to apply at least every two weeks to maintain the results
- color change is less dramatic than with hair dye
Does the Maria Nila Color Refresh Work on Dark Hair?
This was one of the questions I had at the beginning and it definitely seems to be the case that the Maria Nila Color Refresh can work on dark hair as well, but it will depend on your hair color to start with. Each of the Color Refreshes notes which hair level is suitable for each color, so some will have very limited results on dark hair, while others such as the Bright Copper will have a subtle but noticeable effect. For dark hair, it makes sense to leave the mask on for longer than the recommended maximum of 10 minutes to see results.
Maria Nila Color Refresh Conclusion
These Color Refreshes were surprisingly easy and effective and gave my hair a nice change in a short amount of time. This was a really fun to punch up my hair when my next hair coloring session is still weeks away. I could see these Color Refreshes giving someone a nice seasonal change or being a regular part of a routine to give hair color more vibrance on a regular basis.