BPGP: Aveda Clove Conditioner

Five months ago, I went in to have my hair done and ended up with the dye job from hell.  To cover the awful, chunky highlights, I had my color redone every four weeks.  But dyeing and re-dyeing my hair has put a strain on my locks and my wallet.

A friend suggested that I give my colorist a break, and try a conditioner that contains hair color.  But I was concerned that using a product with actual hair color in it could do more harm than good.  I simply couldn’t run the risk of winding up like Anne of Green Gables with a head full of green hair.

Instead, I chose Aveda Clove Conditioner ($18.50) which uses clove and coffee extracts to impart brown tones and freshen up your color.  Aveda also makes color enhancing conditioners for black, red, blonde and grey hair.

The conditioner is really easy to use, just apply it to freshly shampooed hair and let it sit for 2-5 minutes before rinsing.  You will want to clip your hair up off of your shoulders to avoid color transfer onto your skin.  You’ll also want to wash your hands very well.  Condition twice per week for optimal results.

I like this product.  It tones down the hidden blonde tones in my hair and eliminates brassiness.  It also leaves my hair incredibly soft without weighing it down.  And at $20 per bottle, it’s far less expensive than going into the salon for a toner every few weeks.



  1. sarahbee says:

    Belle- on their website, Aveda suggests using the shampoo beforehand. Is this a must? If not, what do you use? Thanks!

    July 5, 2012/Reply
  2. Linds says:

    Sarah–I have used the Aveda Madder Root shampoo and conditioner for red hair in the past, and it's the conditioner that really does the color depositing. The shampoo was fine and I did use it, but if you don't want to drop the extra cash the conditioner alone will do the trick. This was also confirmed by my Aveda colorist.

    I have dyed my dark blonde hair red for a few years now and the Madder Root conditioner really does help keep the red vibrant (and red is the fastest-fading shade so you need all the help you can get). I still lament the fact that Aveda discontinued their Personal Blends line that used your own hair color formula in a color-depositing shampoo AND conditioner mixed in-store just for you.

    July 5, 2012/Reply
  3. L says:

    Do either of you have any problems with the color transferring onto your towel or- worse- your clothes after using this? I think this is exactly what I need, but I have long hair (down to my bra strap in the back) and am scared that the color might transfer from my hair to my clothes.

    July 5, 2012/Reply
  4. Belle says:

    L: No, no issues with color transfer. You just have to make sure to rinse well.

    July 5, 2012/Reply
  5. Linds says:

    My wet hair will bleed a pale pink stain onto a white or light-colored towel, so I just use a dark towel and that solves the problem. I have chin-length hair so I haven't had to worry much about it transferring to my clothes. I would guess that it might be a risk with long hair and, say, a white cardigan.

    July 5, 2012/Reply
  6. P says:

    A stylist suggested that I use this when my roots were noticeable in between highlights. It does a lot to break up the harsh line. Since I stopped highlighting, I use it when I want to change up my color. And I have never had a problem with stains, just make sure to wash your hands and rinse thoroughly.

    July 5, 2012/Reply
  7. Anna M says:

    Thanks for the review!

    I just want to warn folks out there that I tried the blonde version of this and had a terrible allergic reaction! I've never been allergic to a shampoo in my life, but I noticed when I first started using this that I couldn't seem to get my scalp to feel “clean.” After a few uses itching developed and then suddenly my scalp, hairline, and neck became covered in stinging red pimples. It was awful! As soon as I switched to a different shampoo the pain and the itching subsided, but man. It took a full week to recover completely.

    I was told by a doctor to be careful of Aveda products because their pure plant and flower extracts have the potential to be highly irritating / allergenic to those of us with sensitive skin. I think the idea is that your immune system wouldn't normally come into contact with such distilled version of these plants in the wild (unless you live in a tropical country, perhaps?), and therefore your immune system may or may not react to them badly. While we didn't figure out exactly what caused my specific reaction, the combination of chamomile + something else seemed the most likely culprit.

    I must confess I still do love Aveda. I get my hair cut and colored there because their color technique is beautiful and they have price points that my fit my limited budget. Aveda is also very relaxing if they do the mini-facial and head massage. 🙂 I must be careful to wash my hair within a few hours of getting it styled there, though, and I am afraid to purchase any of their products for regular use. They work great, but… be careful!

    July 5, 2012/Reply
  8. Linds says:

    Good to hear that others haven't had staining issues. It really is a useful product.

    July 5, 2012/Reply
  9. Ellie says:

    I have salon made light blonde hair (naturally dirty blonde) and I use a shampoo and conditioner bumble and bumble that's really awesome and very PURPLE – it helps keep it from getting the least bit orange or brassy


    July 5, 2012/Reply
  10. Meredith says:

    Does anyone know how this compares to the John Frieda color specific series? It is my observation that the brown version does deposit some color.

    July 5, 2012/Reply
  11. Marti says:

    Happy you shared this I need something for in between visits to the Salon

    July 5, 2012/Reply
  12. GoGoGo says:

    Love the Anne of Green Gables reference, nerd! 🙂

    The green dye incident did of course lead to a totally cute chin-length cut…

    July 5, 2012/Reply
  13. Not your average beach bum says:

    So happy you posted about this conditioner! I tried the John Freida kind and wasn't thrilled with the smell or results, and I'd definitely rather opt for a natural version. I've had some… “interesting” visits to hair salons since my move from DC and having been trying to hide some highlights as well. Thanks Belle!!

    July 5, 2012/Reply
  14. DH says:

    If you have dark brown hair you can also try, once a week, brewing some black tea in a big pot (about 6-8 tea bags) and then wetting hair with it. Pin it up, let it sit for 15 min, and then rinse out. It won't dye your hair, but will deposit some color, achieving the same effect as this conditioner or similar products.

    July 5, 2012/Reply
  15. helixy says:

    ^ I tried that with a chai tea not too long ago just out of curiosity. I cannot speak to its effect on color, but even after a good three minutes of nothing but rinsing, my hair smelled like chai tea ALL DAY.

    And while I like chai, I don't really dig my locks smelling like it.

    July 5, 2012/Reply
  16. Laura C says:

    love your reviews on these products! I have very dark brown hair, almost black, and am interested in adding an aburn tint to my hair. I don’t to dye my hair with anything harmful, so I plan on using it in my natrual hair. Does it work on natrual hair or is it best for dyed hair? I am debating between the clove or madder root. I want my hair aburn red, not copper red. Which do you recommend?

    May 30, 2013/Reply