The color was too dark. It didn't look medium brown at all, it's definitely dark brown. I was a little embarrassed with the results. I've had my hair permanently dyed twice and both times ended up with an unintended reddish-orange undertone, so I've given up on permanent dyes. I have gray to cover, and this product did well. It also got rid of the red-orange undertone. I must be nearing 28 shampoos now. It's still covering my gray, and I can see roots growing in. The reddish-orange is still mostly toned down. I would not purchase this color again, but it might be acceptable in a different color. I didn't think it improved the shininess of my hair or the condition, but it didn't seem to damage my hair either. If I recall correctly I didn't like the smell of the conditioner, but at least it's not something I would use every day.
Used this yesterday, I've been having trouble keeping up with my medium brown hair without any brass, I love medium brown hair but it has been giving me more problems than when I was blonde, yesterday in desperation I used NI Clove #24 knowing that medium brown in NI language means dark brown, left on the 10 minutes per instructions, probably could have done 15 since I can still see a little bit of the brassy highlights on some parts of the roots and the ends,overall it worked pretty well, I can see now why people are running in panic writing reviews about this color turning their hair black, if you are a natural dark brunette, you will definitely not see any black color whatsoever, it's a true dark ash brown color. Hair came out mega shiny and soft, can't tell any of the trauma it has been thru lately. Other colors I love are Nutmeg and Ebony Mocha, the dark shades work much better on my hair.
turns hair into a dark, dull hot mess, I can't even describe the color, it looks exactly like ashes mixed with pieces of black charcoal, it wasn't brown, it wasn't black, it was a weird matte undescribable color.
I am very pleased with this purchase. I am very happy I read Natural Instinct reviews on MUA before I selected a color.
Right now, I am growing out permanent color. My roots are about 3 1/2 inches and the ends are orangish as they have been dyed and then not dyed for about a year. My hair dresser told me hair that hasn't been dyed in awhile can oxidize and turn orange or reddish.
I had been using henna as I wanted to go as natural as possible and it works well. But it requires $10, or a 20-30 minute drive to a health store or Whole Foods. It's also very time consuming to apply and rinse out and clean up after.
My hair is a natural dark brown and the Medium Cool Brown was a *perfect* exact match to my natural hair color. It's very natural and not flat and inky. My hair tends to pull red and that is why I chose a cool/ash color. I almost bought dark brown or ebony mocha and am very glad I didn't. I would have black hair if I did!
My advice is to totally ignore the misleading and non-helpful picture on the front of the box. Choose either warm/golden, cool/ash, or just neutral (the shades not listed as either like dark brown, light brown).Then just a whole shade lighter than you think you would need and that should be a pretty good color choice.
I was a little disappointed at the amount of color in the box. I have to the top of my shoulders, thick, curly and coarse hair and one box wouldn't cover my whole head. I need two boxes. I don't typically use them gloves that come with hair dye, they are usually bad quality and tear at the seams. I use gloves I purchase separately.I did really like how the formula is a gel. It didn't drip and was easy to apply. Even easier than a creme in my opinion. I applied with a brush and mixed in a plastic bowl. Ten minutes was a good time but with my hair's coarseness I think 15 minutes is better.
For the ladies complaining about uneven color, their hair turning way too dark or their roots different color than the ends, I used to have those problems. That was back when I dyed my hair a lot. The dye can strip your hair, make it porous, damage it and that is why it colors unevenly or too dark. There isn't much you can really do as far as I know besides using a neutral protein filler before you color or by adding it to your hair color.
Also, for newbie's, semi permanents only add tones and can darken slightly. They will not lighten your hair shades.
EDIT: After a few weeks the color was inky and flat and my hair was very dry. I would not use again. I went back to using henna.