I figured it wouldn't hurt to try John Frieda. It's pricey, but the John Frieda brand is reputable and I've had good experiences with a few of their products.
There were two similar dark browns on the shelf. One was dark chocolate and the other dark espresso. I'd have assumed espresso would be darker than chocolate based on name and the front of the box, but looking at the before and after images, the espresso appeared lighter. So I picked the dark chocolate brown (4BG), which seemed to be the warmer of the two.
John Frieda Precision Foam Hair Colour comes in a choice of 20 shades. The store only had a few, so I wasn't aware of the dark natural brown and deep brown-black shades. I may have chosen the natural brown if it was there.
Once home, I opened the box and checked out the contents. The bottle was different from others I'd used, so I took time to read the instructions.
I'm glad I read the instructions because John Frieda foam color is not meant to be shaken. Instead, I gently turned the bottle up and down five times. That's it. Easy!
It was enough! I didn't get full saturation until near the end of the bottle, but I did cover everything well. I mixed it in well, per instructions, and waited about 25 minutes before rinsing it out.
Rinsing was super easy. My hair didn't feel nasty. It didn't feel like it needed a deep conditioner actually. It was kind of amazing how normal my hair felt while rinsing. I used the supplied conditioner and let my hair dry. It was not too frizzy, not damaged, and I didn't have a lot of shedding while rinsing. Kind of nice for a permanent color. I'm pleased.
Here's a closeup of the after:
I do wish John Frieda hair color wasn't quite so expensive, but I do feel like I got more for my money in quality. My hair doesn't feel damaged and doesn't smell like chemicals. I'm going to see how long it lasts before fading before I decide to make the switch though.
It's been a month and my hair still looks awesome. It isn't nearly as red, but the brown hasn't faded at all. I actually quite like it and because it's so close to my natural color, I can't see any root growth! It's as if I have naturally perfect hair with no roots. Loving it!