Review: Umberto Beverly Hills U Color Italian Demi Color

I am trapped in a vicious hair color cycle!  It’s the nature of the beast that I try out all types of at-home hair color for the site, but I find that I receive the best result with Clairol’s Natural Instincts–it’s just always a drama!  Really, using almost all of them is a drama and I am guaranteed to make a mess.  The notion of just cutting open a packet of hair color and smooshing it into my roots is quite appealing, so enter Umberto Beverly Hills U Color Italian Demi Color

Let it be known: I would love to have a gorgeous multi-tonal hair color job, but it’s really just not practical for me.  I have (more like, used to have) black hair naturally, but the greys are coming in fast and furious these days.  Due to the intense contrast of light and dark, I have to retouch those roots more frequently than I’d like.  It can be quite costly doing it at home alone twice a month, so I already know that even if I went to the salon, had a color-correction job done to slightly lighten all of this black hair color I’ve got in it, then had some highlights thrown in–it would look fabulous for an entire two weeks.  After that, I wouldn’t be able to afford to maintain it correctly, so I just don’t bother!  Instead, I grit my teeth the second I see the silvery strands pop up and dread the inevitable retouch that I have to talk myself into for a few days.  I’ve been hanging on to this box of U Color since my last re-touch just WAITING for the day to put it to the test and that day finally came!

What’s really unique about U Color is that you’re supposed to allow the package itself to do all the work for you.  One sachet actually consists of three individual packages that when folded correctly, allows the color, developer, and equalizer to meet when applied by squeezing all three packets at once.  You don’t want to perforate the three packets, you’ll want to keep them all together, fold, and then snip the top.

If you fold all three packets according to the directions (this is key!), when you snip the top–all the notches will line up and act as a single notch.  I hope that makes sense!

That’s easy enough, right?  The sachet distributed a very pleasant smelling clear gel that I allowed to develop for 25 minutes after a light “smoosh”, resulting in a super shiny black (I used 1.0 Natural Black).  Rinse, shampoo, condition, and wah-lah!  My greys vanished.  I loved the concept behind U Color, it was pretty quick and painless and it worked!  It’s an ammonia-free formula so it’s less-damaging and I truly appreciated that it didn’t smell bad at all.  But the one caveat would be the lack of precision.  If you want to make sure you only apply it to roots, you’ll probably need to use a brush and bowl which can be purchased inexpensively at a beauty supply.  The kit comes with a set of two sachets for two complete applications (which makes it totally economical but longer hair might need both), a pair of latex gloves, and a small precision brush which I used around my hairline.  My hair wasn’t overly dry after shampooing, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to use an additional deep conditioner after applying U Color.

It’s really hard for me to speak on shade accuracy–since I’m almost always the darkest of colors offered from brands, but of all the comments I’ve read regarding accuracy, the common theme is that U Color turned out a little darker than desired.  Both and carry a pretty diverse range of shades that retail for around $12.  Keep in mind, you won’t get a lot of lift with a demi-color (and hair color can’t lift hair color), so if you’re trying to get substantially lighter this won’t be the product for you.  If you’re looking to enhance your current color’s tone, match it, or perhaps go a little darker, this might be a good choice.

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An editorial sample was provided by the company and evaluated to determine my opinion of the product in this post.  Please see the Disclosures page for further information regarding my policies for using editorial samples.
  • E Clarke

    I have used this product several times and have mixed reviews about it. it didnt fry my hair like other products – good. it didnt fume me out of the bathroom while and after application – good. now the bad. the first color selection was the topaz, a nice golden coppery brown on the box. yeah, i became carrot top with that color. then I used the light brown, came out darker than I was hoping for. this last time was golden brown. I am now a brunette.
    its a good product, i just sqeeze the packets into a bowl and smoosh it into my hair, much easier than using a bottle and/or a brush. just becareful of your color selection.

  • Amber

    Hi E,

    Thank you so much for that, because sometimes it’s hard for me to tell everyone how true colors develop. Hopefully your thoughts on it will help someone else!


  • Carol

    While I agree that the color does turn out darker than you would think, the best thing I’ve found with this dye is that it only dyes the hair and not your scalp, as most home dyes are notorious for doing. If you get excess on your skin and areas of scalp that show, you still would be wise to wipe it off, but this is the best I’ve found for binding to the hair instead of everything in sight.

  • Calypso

    I love this stuff, I have used perfect 10 for a long time and a few of feria colors, this time I wanted a true brown, not a reddish brown, as I was trying to cover over greys and a reddish brown that I was tired of… I got chestnut brown, it ofcourse as others have said came out darker than the box, but that was my intention when I bought this as I had already read plenty of reviews about this product.. my color turned out to be a beautiful rich chocolate brown on my reddish brown hair.. this stuff is perfect.. and I would highly recommend it. Did not damage my hair and nor did it stain me up like the others can. It had a pleasant smell even.

  • Judy Shaw

    I used #8.0 It did come out darker then I expected. But over all I liked the product. It didnt cover gray as well as I expected. But it was very pleasant to use.Im guessing it didnt cover well because it doesnt have amonnia.Thats why it doesnt smell bad.I would use it again but its not available in my local stores.