I've been coloring my level 6 blonde for about 15 years, mostly to cover grey (close to 50%) and I usually go a shade or 2 lighter. I've used Nice & Easy, Preference, and Garnier Nutrisse. The last time I colored, I used Superior Preference in Light ash brown because I wanted to go darker. For some reason, it didn't color my hair any darker (it had faded to a medium/dark blonde) and my greys were poking out everywhere. I really wanted to color again because it looked like I hadn't, but didn't want to damage my hair. So I decided to try the Natural Instincts, which is a demi-permanent color.
I bought Tweed (light ash brown), and left it on for 40 minutes instead of the 20 recommended by the package instructions.
My hair came out a nice light brown, and I didn't see any grey hair. At all. My hair is very soft and conditioned; it feels wonderful. As of yet, I don't know how long the color will last, but for now, I love it. It really isn't an ash color; I've tried a lot of ash tones and I think it's difficult to get a true one. But....my grey is covered and I do like the color.
I recommend reading the Clairol website on hair color....it is full of helpful information on what type of color to use for what you want to accomplish. If you follow the instructions, you shouldn't have any problems. The only thing I did differently was leave it on for a full 40 minutes.
Update: After almost three weeks, the color is only slightly faded and my greys are still mostly covered; I can see a few when I'm standing under the light in front of my mirror. I like this haircolor a lot!! I recommend it!
Thought I'd write a review, since I recently had a wakeup call about just how much I loved NI Medium Brown (#21, here in Canada anyway). I used it for 5 years and it always left my hair shiny and gorgeous. It did leave my hair darker than I had expected it would, but I kind of liked that. And I never had 'roots' as the colour faded. I don't have tons of grey - just a few strands here and there, but I know where they are, so it's easy to tell how efficiently they've been covered and how long it's lasting. Usually I'd start seeing grey peek through just after the 3 week mark - sometimes longer if I'd consistently been using a shampoo/conditioner for colour treated hair...but that stuff can build up so I'd often use a regular or just moisturizing shampoo, etc., because that's when I would get deep shine. Loved it!
THEN, I started wondering if I 'should' be going lighter again - ya know, considering I'm late 50's. And a hairstylist family member kept dropping hints that I should go MUCH lighter, that I would look soooo much 'better' that way, considering my skin tone. Paranoia developed...'gee, maybe I've been thinking I look good, but don't.' :/ So I took the plunge, letting her lighten it up with highlights, etc. I have (and always have had) thick porous hair that's quick to process (I warned her). She kept a good eye on things, but it wasn't enough - highlights (even with Joico products & a respected hair stylist), I discovered, ruined the texture, ruined the shine, and gave me hair from hell. Note to self: That soft little inner voice that builds before a hair appointment that says "Gee, but I'm really loving my hair the way it is! I'm enjoying it!" - that voice is smart. Listen carefully for that voice - the one that always tells you what 'i' really want. It never screams messages of 'horror', but it will tell me what I 'really' want. For some gals, that voice might have said 'highlight' - DO IT!!! In which case, do it. But reiterate note to self: "No one knows what's best for me. I am the boss of me. If I'm loving it, it's all good!!!!" lol
I'll be doing another NI colour in a month or two - though, probably a lighter one next time. I'll do an update then. ;) Thank you to all reviewers who validated my instinct to stay away from that 2-week colour refresher package that comes in the box. I'd always avoided using it, because my gut told me to leave it alone. I'm glad I listened.
I'm 63 and a natural redhead (light auburn), but my color is fading with age, so I began to use a 6R permanent color every few months about 2 years ago. I noticed over the last year that coloring has really dried my hair out, so switched to Natural Instincts this month. I chose 15RG, which is called Golden Sienna/Light Golden Red instead of 16 Light Auburn because many reviewers have said that colors are usually darker than you'd expect. I'm so glad that I listened, as the Light Golden Red is perfect. It's very close to L'oreal's 6R, which I'd been using because it's close enough to my natural color that it fades out (as red will) beautifully. I don't know if it's from the lack of ammonia, the conditioner that came with the Natural Instincts, or both, but my hair is much softer than before coloring. If it stays that way, I'll definitely continue to use this product. One super nice thing is that it doesn't smell like the permanent colors do. One kind of creepy thing is that when I put the color on my head, it turned a purplish black color, which really scared me---but when I washed it out, my hair was a nice light red---no signs of purple. I did my top regrowth first, waited 5 minutes, then did the rest and waited 10 minutes and there's no noticeable difference between the approx 1-2" of regrowth and the hair that was previously colored with a permanent dye. I've given it 4 of 5 stars because I do think that salon color is better, but I can't afford it, so this is the next best thing.
I usually use Age Beautiful from Sally's but I was on a trip and bought this in Black for the convenience. The grey was completely covered in 15 minutes. No complaint about grey coverage but I lost so much hair that I will never touch this hair color again. My hair is thick and granted, it falls a bit after coloring but this product was a disaster.
I've bought the shade in Dark Brown multiple times to refresh my color in between appointments when I haven't had time to re-book for the salon. It works nicely, matches my color and the conditioner it comes with is really good quality. It's easy to apply and because its ammonia free if my clumsy self drips any, it wipes right up without staining. Nice!
I bought this in Linen (med ash blonde) to tone down the red of henna (which was over very overprocessed hair bleaching etc); I used henna for hair repair but decided I just wanted to grow out my natural color. Which is a mid/darkish brown. Shoot light w this one, ESP if you have overprocessed hair! All demis deposit way more color than stated on box/swatch when your hair is damaged - it soaks up the color like a sponge. Linen - although in the mid blonde range - matched the dark auburn shade of my henna, just changed its tone to cool/ash. It really worked! The conditioner it comes with is lovely but coney. I threw that 'color refresh' packet away and instead bought John Frieda colour refresher in cool/ash browns, which really is ashy. I also snatched up the remaining boxes of linen later that day. Yes, it's that good. Remember: medium ash blonde equaled medium/darkish ash BROWN on my damaged hair.
I used to love this stuff. But they changed it and it destroyed my hair. I have so many split ends now! Ugh. And it does not cover gray well at all. I recommend staying away from this product
I have been using this for years and it does a good enough job that no one really believes I color my hair or I am completely-100%- gray!!
It does cover gray but you must leave it in for much longer than the stated ten minutes. One day while getting my hair cut, my hairdresser told me to leave it in for 40 minutes and I trusted her. It worked to cover gray hair, and it has not damaged my hair. Semi permanent color needs time to really penetrate the hair shaft... so if you are trying to cover gray, leave it in for 40 minutes and see for yourself.
I use light suede at the roots, like clockwork every month. My daughter helps me to get all the roots by sectioning the hair. Then I use either pecan or another choice close to that shade on the rest of my hair every other month so my hair doesn't look so dark. The reason I do this is if you use a color with warm reds or gold's on gray, it will turn the hair pink or orange. This strategy really looks very natural and gives some variety in the hair color. Dark hair is aging.
Light neutral brown or Suede is a light brown that comes out medium to dark brown. As other reviewers stated, go lighter.
I throw away the refresher packet based on other reviews on MUA.
Great product. I used nutmeg for years and love how it looked.
For a semi-permanent hair color, the color longevity and payoff is pretty awesome. Of course, I do not wash my hair very frequently, but the color seems to take hold quickly and last with great shine. I use the deep auburn color, which I was not expecting to come out so nice, but in fact it is true to the picture. This has a modest price for a good product. I am very satisfied.