Cover Grays

Nice ‘n Easy #116
Q: Great website, but I still have some questions. I am naturally, a dark brunette. I love my color. My hair is healthy. Here's my history:
I use Clairol by the box at home. Several years ago, I began using Natural Instincts to enrich my hair and cover a few grays. First I began with Dark Brown. But, it became almost black over time. I switched to Natural Instincts Medium Brown, which is better, but still, color deposit has left it very dark.
I have about 50% grays now coming in and they are not being covered by the Nat. Instincts. I want to move to Nice 'n Easy. I need a permanent color to cover those grays. I still like being a dark brunette. Should I use Medium Neutral Brown shade? I am hoping it would lighten my color a bit over time because of the peroxide. I don't want light hair. I enjoy dark, just not black hair.
I don't think I am doing anything complicated to my hair. I just want to cover grays and lighten up my too dark hair by maybe a shade or so. Please don't have me mix stuff. I just want to use my Clairol box. Is this possible? Thanks much.

A: You should be able to make use of Clairol's Nice 'n Easy formula to keep covering your gray and gently lighten your current color to a more pleasing shade.
My initial recommendation is to try either Nice 'n Easy #116 Light Neutral Brown, or #118A Medium Neutral Brown (your preference) and see if the results are to your liking. The color formula will slightly lighten existing color, but you need to make certain that you follow the package instructions exactly.
And since you are planning to use a permanent color where you are accustomed to using Demi-permanent colors, you will certainly want to perform a patch test to make sure you will have no sensitive reactions to the product.
See also:
How to color your own hair
How to perform a hair color patch test