Techmom: I just started coloring my hair a year ago due to some gray in my hair line and at my temples, not much, but very noticeable when I pulled my hair back since I have dark brown hair.

After doing some research, I decided to try a semi-permanent color. I didn't want to commit to permanent since I really didn't want to change my hair color, only hide the grays peeking out. I decided on Garnier HerbaShine. After trial and error to get the right shade, I finally got the perfect mix of light ash brown and medium ash brown. I found that with this mix my hair color lasted 8 weeks (yes, 8 weeks).

I used the natural medium brown and natural light brown when I was trying to decide on shades. But, my hair had a reddish cast that I didn't like at all. I chose the ash since it is cool toned and I don't get any reddish cast. Now, Garnier has discontinued the light ash brown. Just my luck. I have learned also that semi permanent tends to run 2 shades darker (at least on me), that is why I opted to mix 2 shades together.

I have tried Clairol's Natural Instincts (light ash and medium ash) twice now. While it did okay, the color coverage didn't last on my grays at all (maybe 2-3 weeks at the most) and my hair seemed to be drier than usual.

I'm getting ready to try Loreal's semi permanent line now. I have found that I need ash tones to counteract any red that my hair might pull.

I have thought about trying Sally's semi-permanent lines but haven't went that route yet. If I do, I will most definitely mix med ash with light ash. I get the most natural coloring doing this.


A couple of years ago I started covering the grays...just too many to live with.

Anyhoo..the first one was a box. I have light brown hair and wanted to match it. Unfortunately, I purchased a neutral tone. I have some reddish tones and it brought those out WAY more than I liked. I knew I was in trouble when my wet hair seemed orange at the roots. UGH! I have learned that I need to go with cool tones. I have done a batch from Sally's and it was fine (mixed with a 20). I have also had it professionally colored twice. But that get's expensive fast. So I would like to mostly do the Sally's route and once in a while get it professionally done.

OK...that's all well and good, but what I don't get is the different numbers on the bottles of additives that you buy to combine with your color (from Sally's). Could someone please explain this in very simple terms to me?

For instance, the light ash brown seemed a bit darker than what I really am so I was thinking of the dark ash blonde, but I don't want to strip color, I just want to cover over what is there. Is that possible? My goal is to simply cover the gray. I want to remain as close to my normal color as possible since I am SO bad at upkeep.

Originally Posted by techmom
3B Fine (lots of it), Normal to High Porosity
Low Poo: Elucence Moisture Poo, Renpure Organics
Co-Wash: Tresseme Naturals, Giovanni TT
Rinse Out: Biologe Cond Balm, SS Deeply Decadent Moisturizing Treatment
Leave-In: Oyin Hair Dew, CJ Beautiful Curls,
Stylers: SS Curl Enhancing Jelly, SS Firm Holding Styling Gel, Jessicurl RR and CC, BRHG, Biolage Gelee
Extras: ACV rinses every couple of months