This is my new favorite hair color! My natural hair is dark brown, about 15% gray and is dulling as it ages, changing texture, feeling dry & losing luster. I've been coloring with a few different products: i generally use a Demi/Semi perm every 30 days, with Garnier's drugstore Demi-permanent in black, or Loreal color gems dark brown. I do permanent 2x yearly – once at the salon and once at home with Revlon Colorsilk. All of these have been good for me – but I am IMPRESSED with this new Zotos color! I used darkest natural brown (3N?), used 10 volume developer because i was not trying to lift, just deposit one level darker than natural hair. applied in sections, starting at the front hairline where I am most gray. I applied to roots only, started timing 30min after it was applied. Twisted the rest up & away from my head. At 25 min, I added some warm water and pulled it through the ends as it says to do in the instrux. I washed after w Infusium shampoo for color treated hair, then conditioned w Loreal Feria conditioner, which I had on hand. Blow dried & styled like normal. My hair is truly darkest brown, rich & beautiful color. It's also glossy glossy glossy! Like Demi Moore glossy. It feels great, soft & manageable. Overall, better than my hair has felt since I started coloring it 4 years ago (I am just shy of 37.) The smell during coloring was minimal, and didn't irritate my skin at all. I did need to use Roux color remover on my skin where I got dye, it does stain if you don't get it off quickly. Wasn't runny during application. Definitely found my HG hair color!
UPDATE 4/14/2012: Last weekend, I put the Creme Lightener on the bottom 1/3 of my hair for about 30 minutes, with the intent of lifting it several levels as the beginning of DIY ombre hair (my hair is brastrap-length with angled front pieces.) It did lift my black ends to medium reddish brown. I could have left it on longer but it I freaked out and rinsed it. I used 30 volume developer, which was probably too much. Also, it was on the strong-smelling side. Hair ends were quite dry the first few days and I used Aveda Black Malva conditioner for 3 days to tone down the red. Now, a week later, it feels much better feeling. I bought an Age Beautiful ash blonde with 20 volume developer to put on the bottom of my hair and the medium ash brown to put over the top, with 10 volume, in hopes of lightening the ends more and lightening the mostly black/brown roots slightly, maybe one level, because I am starting to feel like the dark hair is just too harsh for me as I get older and with summer coming, it will be more fresh-looking. I am doing this today, so will update later. OH – also bought the serum. LOVE!