John Frieda Precision Foam Colour 6A Light Ash Brown (Brilliant Brunette) review/ swatch

It's been about 6 weeks since I went to the hairdresser for a professional hair color, the last few times I've dyed my hair I've been doing it at the hairdresser since I was just feeling a bit lazy. However the cost is getting a bit ridiculous since good Sydney hairdressers charges an arm and a leg for a cut and color (easily 120-180AUD depending on where you go).

I'm probably going to go to the hairdresser again soon since I need a haircut, my hair grows really quickly (easily 35-45cm a year), so with my few percentage of greys (probably 3% if I must put a number on it) and regrowth, realistically I need a touch up at least every 8 weeks and a cut every 12 weeks.

Between now and my next hair appointment for cut, I decided I wanted to touch up my roots and also the ends as my last color was fading, given I spent a good 4 weeks in the tropics for a relaxing beach holiday (and frequent use of the pool). My hair felt dry and lack lustre too.

I picked "6A Light Ash Brown" (which is the color code in Australia, may differ in other countries). There are several other darker looking browns, but reading from online reviews which complained the color went on really dark, I decided to go with a lighter looking foam color to start off with.

(p.s. I don't know why John Freida makes the top picture of the box black and white, which is pretty useless for a hairdye indicator photo in my books)

I think this is an accurate picture of what the box color is claiming the shade to be.

All my pictures are enlargeable if you click on them. 

Here's the content: instruction booklet, Bottle 1, 2 and 3, and a pair of plastic gloves.

Instructions in details:

Hair color BEFORE the John Frieda foam colour, this was about 6 weeks after my last professional hairdresser coloring. The ends are starting to look a bit straw like and brittle and losing a lot of color.

Below picture is still before hair dye: Under certain lights that color worn off is a lot more visible, e.g. below

here's the top of the head, where you can see a bit more orangy-brown showing with my previous hair color fading.

After mixing the step 1 and step 2 bottles, you get this much liquid in the squeeze bottle.

Squeezing the bottle's body, you get a dense foam like this:
(the gloves are black by the way)

After applying to my full head, which took a good 15 minutes. You can see the foam is there but it's not as dense as what it looks like on the box, which is my common experience with all the bubble foam hair dyes from any brand anyway. Even after massaging in circles like instructed, this is about as foam as I got.

The instructions say leave for 20 to 30 minutes then rinse with warm water. (it doesn't actually say to shampoo off). Then follow with the enclosed conditioner. I believe the 20-30 min instruction should exclude the amount of time it takes to apply to your hair.

I know my hair doesn't take color well, so after the 15 minutes it took to apply the foam, I left it on for another solid 35 minutes to ensure coverage, especially given the few grey roots I have.

After rinsing out, here's the wet hair look:
It rinsed rather easily just in my shower in about 5-10 minutes, didn't stain my tiles either. I forgot to apply lotions or vaseline to ear and forehead and while there was still some transfer on the skin, they came out easily after swiping with some usual face toner (anything with a little bit of alcohol content helps). I also followed with the enclosed conditioner instead of my own usual hair masques, applied for 5 min then rinse off.

The conditioner is decent, better than loreal sublime mousse one in the box anyway. Still not comparable to e.g. Kerastase hair masques.

Note I did not use a shampoo, based on the box instruction. I think shampooing immediately could take too much color out.

Here's AFTER I dried my hair. Indoors:

Outdoors, direct sunlight:

Again outdoors under natural sunlight:

All my pictures are clickable and can be enlarged to really quite large =)

Obviously the AFTER color, looks nothing like the color on the box, which I expected anyway. (I wasn't going after the color on the box). The look I was after was exactly as expected, evening out the faded color previously, cover a bit of grey, and take away that orange tone that was developing for the previous faded color. I also wanted a cool/ neutral brown instead of something red toned.

I'm very happy with the color, the finish and process. The foam was easy to use, didn't stink too badly, rinsed off really easily (easier than L'oreal Sublime mousse which was still staining even after 5 shampoos). 

Since applying this hair color a week ago I've had 6 shampoos and obviously the color has lightened even more. My hair condition is also fine, I don't find this to be super drying.

I'm even more pleased with the slight lightened look now, on the top portion of the hair it looks really nice, like a very natural dark dark ash brown, yet not a boring black indoors either. While the end of my hair looks healthier since it's darkened the faded ends. It looks like the hair color of some of my Eurasian friends- where it's not quite brown and not quite black.

The only gripe I have with this foam color is the grey coverage. It basically 'tints' your grey hair a bit and make the white hair look a bit like a very very light brown tone, but when I look closely at my roots I can still tell "yep that's a white hair right there".  On the whole I think it extends my next hairdresser dye appointment by another 2-3 weeks which is worth the money, but if you have obvious greys, this will not do.

Overall rating 4.5/5, would easily try this color again.

p.s. I have natural Asian black hair- so please bear in mind if you hair color started with medium brown or blonde this may look very different on you. I still think it'll not show up like the color on the box unless you started with very blonde hair. This is a shade that would easily look too dark on any non-natural black hair girls.

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