September 22, 2014 | 1839 users online

Hair Color - Ion - Color Brilliance - Demi Permanent Hair Color

rated 4.1(92 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.1
  • 82% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 4.2
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rated 5 of 5 on 8/20/2014 4:20:00 AM More reviews by Partise

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium Eyes: Brown

Really like this product for toning freshly bleached roots. Easy to work with and smells lovely.

My natural hair is a level 6, very thick and very healthy. I have been a full blonde for over 20 years and a Dye It Yourself blonde for the last 10 years. I have only used professional products and never a drugstore box product. All the products I use can be purchased at Sally's Beauty Supply, very cheaply.

Here is my process.
Root length anywhere from 1/4" to 3/4" (depending on how long I have waited between touch-ups)

BLEACH
1.Mix bleach (I use Quick Blue for "On & Off Scalp Application" Powder Bleach) to the consistency of a fluffy whipped cream or thickish cake batter with a 30 Volume Developer (any brand will do - I have used most of them) in a plastic coloring bowl. This does not need to be an exact science, just get it to a consistency you feel comfortable working with.
Thicker consistency the faster the lifting.
Thinner consistency the slower the lifting.
Too thick, then it will dry too fast on the hair and once it dries, it's not working.

2. Section DRY, unwashed hair into 4 quadrants. I find the natural oils in unwashed hair help protect your scalp a bit during the process.
Start applying bleach to back sections first. My hair in the back is more resistant to lifting than in the front. As a note, I have someone help me with the back since I find it impossible to reach around and section thin, even pieces. Continue sectioning and applying to roots until your entire head is covered. This takes about 25 minutes to do.
3. Let it develop for approximately 40 to 60 minutes. I will put a shower cap on during this time to trap some of the heat from my scalp to aid in the lifting process. This is not necessary just something I do. I start timing once all of my hair is covered in product. Check often to see if the hair is lifting to a pale yellow. Not gold but yellow (like the inside of a banana). If you find after say 75 minutes you are still very gold then you may have to do the above process again (Double Lift). I have never had to do this but it is possible. Note: this could be very damaging to thin or unhealthy hair.
4. Rinse out. Do NOT use shampoo. Hair will feel dry, coarse and slightly gummy.
My freshly bleached roots will be pale yellow with slight gold tones in the shaft. I guess the contrast of my fresh roots against my previously colored hair shows any gold that may be present.

PROTEIN FILLER (To help the toner to deposit more evenly on your treated hair)
5. Towel dry briefly and SPRAY on "Colorful Neutral Protein Filler". Use a large tooth comb (gently) to distribute product through hair. Let sit for 20 minutes. Read the reviews on Sally's Beauty Supply to understand this product better.
6. After 20 minutes hair should only be slightly damp. If necessary, use a towel to remove most of the moisture to speed up the process. Hair is now ready to be toned. Slightly damp to fully dry hair can be toned.

TONE (To remove any brassiness, even out the color and deposit a color tone you desire)
7. Mix 2 parts toner (i.e. I use ION Color Brilliance Demi-Permanent Color in 10N-10.0) with 1 part ION Sensitive Scalp 10 Volume Developer into a squirt bottle with a long pointed, angled neck.
8. Apply to all roots first. Working it with your fingers along the roots.
9. After roots are covered, then apply to hair shaft and ends. Use a large tooth comb to distribute product from root to shaft.
Total Time maximum 15 minutes. Start timing from the moment you START applying the toner.

10. Shower - wash, condition and deep condition.
I use the following after lifting and toning:
Shampoo: ION Color Defense Sulphate Free Shampoo
Conditioner: ION Color Defense After-Color Sealer
Deep Conditioner: Any super moisturizing deep conditioner. I leave this on for 20 minutes while in a shower cap. Then rinse, and let my hair dry naturally overnight.

Next day... shiny, healthy hair. :) I do not like ash or gold tones in my hair. I prefer a pale ever so slight sand blonde.

As a note: You can use the ION Color Brilliance Demi-Permanent "Clear 00-0.0" formulation on your hair a week or two later to add more shine and silkiness.

Hope that helps some new DIY Blondes.

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rated 5 of 5 on 8/4/2014 1:39:00 PM More reviews by pollyannahouse

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I was absolutely terrified to use a hair color that didn't include a box or a professional. I researched and researched and watched YouTube videos and read tons of reviews before deciding to take the plunge and try Ion's Demi Permanent Hair Color.

My hair is aging, thin, fragile, dull, dry and lifeless. Pretty much the worst hair imaginable (at least to me). I stopped getting my hair professionally colored about 2 years ago when I could no longer stomach spending $150 every six to eight weeks. So I did some research and decided to start using Revlon's Colorsilk. The first several times I used it, my hair looked and felt great, but over time it seemed to be drier and more damaged even though I hardly had any noticeable split ends. It just looked extremely unhealthy. I read that even though Colorsilk has no ammonia, over time it does damage your hair. My hair could not take any more abuse, so I decided to try a demi permanent color.

I washed my hair with Ion's color-safe clarifying shampoo to get rid of product buildup, but did not use a conditioner. Instead I let my hair air dry, then I saturated it with the Ion Pre-Color Treatment spray. I pulled out a small section of hair at the nape of my neck (about a 1/4 inch thick section) and did a color test. It looked good, so I went for it!

My natural color is a level 4-5, but my current hair was more like a level 6 and was lifeless and brassy. I wanted my color to be richer and deeper. My hair normally pulls orange and then gets brassy as the color fades, so I chose to mix 1 oz. of 7N (Medium Blonde) and 1 oz. of 7WR (Medium Warm Red Blonde) with 2 oz. of #10 Ion developer. I left it on for 35 minutes, but watched carefully as it developed. I followed up with half a packet Ion Color Defense After Color Sealer. I should have left the color on longer because I still have a few grays around my face. Maybe I'll do that section first next time and leave it on 10 minutes longer.

Anyway, I chose colors that were two levels lighter and got exactly what I wanted. It did turn out pretty dark, but it's a lovely chocolate brown with subtle red (not orange) highlights. I would say it took me to a level 4 -- maybe because my hair was dry & porous to start (?). My friends at work said my hair looks super healthy and shiny now!

I am hooked!!

A word of caution: Be careful with the color! I put too much on the brush and a blob fell on the front of my bathroom cabinet and now there is a huge *permanent* stain there.

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rated 5 of 5 on 7/1/2014 8:38:00 PM More reviews by TheMickster

Age: 25-29 Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Other, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Green

I absolutely love ion demi permanents! The color selection is fantastic. I like to use them on clients (and myself!) for lowlights in blonde hair. I've tried basically all of them. The best are the cream demis. A personal favourite is the 6W (it's a warm red blonde); it turns out to be a darker auburn color but is so beautiful.
These hair colors tend to fade quickly but it's just because they are demi permanent. It happens! If you want it to last longer, go for a permanent shade.
I personally enjoy the fact that they fade quickly. I can switch up low light colors on myself frequently and keep my hair supa fresh :)
If used with the ion sensitive scalp developer (in a 10 vol. to add color, or a 20 vol. to lift a few shades) color line is perfection! The color always turns out rich and beautiful.
An added bonus, the smell is very gentle and so is the formula. It left my hair feeling soft and manageable, not dry and crispy. It seems to fix over-bleached, damaged hair quite a bit .

Follow up your color treatment with an Ion Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner, also two amazing products from Ion.

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rated 5 of 5 on 6/2/2014 2:35:00 PM More reviews by kaitlyn1991

Age: 19-24 Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Red, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Blue

Okay so this may turn into a novel but I have to share the gruesome details in order to express how amazing this product is. My hair has been through it all. I've been dying it since I was in middle school so that's a decade of constant abuse of my beloved follicles.

Anyways, most recently I had been super dark, then stripped color and gave myself a light brown base and then highlighted until I was about blonde. I am naturally a redhead (I couldn't appreciate the gorgeous color I had until now) and so my newest endeavor was to go red. And anybody who is a fake red knows the struggle to get there.


I colored over my shoulder length hair, highlights and all with box dye. Typical outcome: beautiful color at roots, bland dull ends due to porousness from bleaching.

I was devastated BUT determined. I googled, I interrogated the Sallys staff, I needed a solution because my ends would not take color. All roads led to giving up and chopping the ends off. Which is like 3 inches and I'm not about to do that. I'm not kidding I utilized protein fillers, varying shades of red with different bases thinking one would take, deep conditioning and prayed to the hair gods. Nothing worked.


so, I stumbled onto this product. I was staring hopelessly at the colorant wall at Sallys and saw Ions little section. Curious, I did some research and discovered the Demi required a 10 developer thus no lightening which was PERFECT. (I.e. If you are going lighter than your current shade I don't think this will work for you ) I followed the directions after doing a crucial strand test, and voila, 30 mins later my hair was the most gorgeous, rich shade of red. It wasn't loud or spotty and best of all, it was shiny and my dry ends seemed to be reborn.

literally, I'm in love. And have gotten so many compliments. Best of all, with the left over color in the tube I will use it to refresh weekly with a conditioning treatment BC it wont damage my hair.


ladies, if you have reached a brick wall with your hair, give this a shot. I legit thought my case was hopeless.


btw, I used the 6rc. And also, the colors are limited but remember you can always dilute or combine shades for a less dramatic effect. Just always do a strand test and deep condition afterwards!!!

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rated 1 of 5 on 4/15/2014 7:37:00 AM More reviews by LBVero

Age: 56 & Over Skin: Normal, Other, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Green

Did not like this at all! Did not cover my grey! Washed right out and left me with ash grey roots! Iam a natural darker blonde and used the 8n, left it on for 35-40 mins and when I wased it out I could still see grey right away! It didn't burn ,but it didn't accomplish anything either! I am going back to ion permanant color, I have used that for years, just thought this might be a bit gentler on my scalp!

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rated 5 of 5 on 3/25/2014 9:12:00 PM More reviews by petuniafish

Age: 56 & Over Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

First timer and I really like it. Was told to go a step lighter than my natural shade. While it looks great, next time will do some mixing and go a step and a half lighter. But very pleased with the color and results. Great gray coverage and I'm probably 50-60%. Hair has depth and shine. Initially when my scalp and face started to break out in blisters when professionally colored in the salon, my colorist insisted that my problem was the developer. But I'd done my research, and knew it was the PPD. I used Jazzing prior to this and despite using heat and leaving on for almost 90 min, it just barely took. This product is exactly what I was looking for- takes beautifully.

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rated 1 of 5 on 3/7/2014 8:33:00 PM More reviews by betriix

Age: 44-55 Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Black, Curly, Medium Eyes: Hazel

This didn't work at all for me. I have naturally dark brown hair. Recently I bleached it a couple of times, and the last time it ended up bright orange/yellow. A little unevenly bleached, but overall very, very light. I thought this should be light enough to tone to a dark blonde (any tone but red). I purchased the Ion Demi in both 9 Ash and 7 Ash (There's no ash version in 8). I combined them 3/4 of 9 to 1/4 7 (the people at Ion said this would make an 8 Ash). This darkened my hair considerably and made it auburn color. I don't know why so many ashy colors are violet based. Violet has red in it, and will deepen the red. And blue is a very dark hue. Both will destroy gold. But I LIKE a little gold. I just don't like red! I'm so desperate to find something green based, that I'm almost willing to try something crazy like Manic Panic green, even though it's not meant to look natural. Otherwise I guess I have to bleach my hair to near white, before I can make it a light brown/dark blonde that's not auburn looking. There has to be a way.

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rated 4 of 5 on 2/26/2014 11:23:00 AM More reviews by shortii53

Age: 30-35 Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Cool Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine Eyes: Blue

I bought ion demi color to use for year while I was dying my hair darker. I always use demi when going darker to only deposit color and little damage to hair. I have found good color combos to use with ion. I wanted a pretty meduim auburn shade. I used 9ng with 4rc, light natural golden blonde and medium copper brown. Beautiful auburn shade. I added the blond with it so it didn't come out too dark. perfect. The shades do run a bit dark. I mix ratio 2:1 with volume 10 developer. Buy a shade or 2 lighter then what you want, but it is shiny and long lasting. I find I use the 9ng a lot as mixing shade so ash tonesare not too ashy and same with neutrals. The neutrals are nice on own though. The 9ng is not very light a name suggests. More a medium to dark golden blond FYI. More yellow gold rather than red though. That is why i mix, to not get too much red if I want a darker golden brown. Buy neutral brown and add golden blond.

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rated 4 of 5 on 2/21/2014 11:12:00 PM More reviews by thunderbolt

Age: 44-55 Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

This is great color!
I have 20% grey, am a natural level 5 and ash. I had been highlighting my hair to a level 7 base with highlights a level 9. Decided to go dark again, but not to my natural dark ash level.I wanted to tone and cover my grey, add shine and bring my color down to a level 6 with a little warmth. Chose level 8 Natural.This color does go on dark and has warmth. Choose 2 shades lighter than what you desire. I mixed 2 oz color to 4 oz developer per directions, though you could mix 2 oz color to 2 oz developer for better grey coverage.
Added 5 drops of unred by Ardell. I pull red and wanted to counter the red a bit. 1st time I used it. It did turn the color dark, as others have said, so i used just a bit. Not sure if I saw an effect, so next time will use more but not the whole packet.
This color is great for great shine and depositing translucent color. It toned my grey, and covered it but not totally, but significantly. Left some of the grey colored and some translucent with color. Thats ok because I did not want flat opaque hair color. I may try mixing in the 2 oz color to 2 oz developer next time to get better grey coverage per the directions.
I left it on my roots for 30 mins and pulled it through the rest for 12 mins. My hair is porous from the highlighting. The color grabbed well through the mid length, though less so at the roots. Glad I did not leave it on longer on length or my roots would have been lighter than length.
The smell is the most appealing I have smelled in various lines.
Btw, before this the other demi's I tried were Clairol demi soy 4 plex: no shine at all, little grey coverage, threw it out. Tried Clairol Radiance-great shine, no grey coverage.
This color does a lot and all with 10 volume developer, which I prefer over more damaging 20 volume.
I will definitely stay with the Ion Demi, try the 1:1 ratio next time, add a little more UnRed.
Hope this helps you in your decision making :)


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rated 5 of 5 on 1/27/2014 5:51:00 PM More reviews by momschicklets

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

This is an outstanding demi permanent hair color. I am 15-20 percent gray with pure white temples, and this product covers it completely, plus it lasts and lasts and lasts and leaves my hair shiny, healthy and soft.

Those who leave negative reviews about how dark it turns out tend to not understand how a demi permanent works. Demis *only* deposit color onto your hair since they don't enter the cortex of the hair, as opposed to permanent hair colors that first enter the cortex to destroy your natural color before depositing the new one. The hair integrity is left intact, and therefore is healthier and stronger. But when you deposit color onto color, it gets darker! And the more natural color you have left (not gray) the more pronounced this effect is.

So you MUST heed the warnings to choose a color 1 or 2 levels lighter than your own in order to achieve the look you want. For example, I am a level 4 brown...that is very dark brown. I use a combination of 5g (light golden brown) and 6n (dark neutral blond) to match my very dark brown hair and blend/cover my grays. It works perfectly every time. Seems like it wouldn't make sense, but if I chose a darker color, the pigmented hair would turn nearly black, and I don't want that.

My method is simple. I apply the combo to my roots only to touch up the grays, leave the mix on for 40 minutes (that's my magic number), rinse and viola! My hair is the same color but without grays and a lot of added shine! Plus (and this is huge) this color doesn't burn my scalp and smells really great...like green apples. My scalp isn't itchy for days, my face doesn't break out, I don't get a headache and feel as if I might pass out and die from fumes. It's gentle, and the most important thing is....my grays are covered! That's why we do it, right? :)

One more thing...and this is extremely important! Because a demi doesn't get into your cortex and destroy your natural color, you cannot go lighter with this product. If you want to go lighter, you need to use bleach or a permanent color. I can't stress that enough. This product is best used on those who want to stay their natural level or go darker, or cover gray.

I will use this for as long as it works to cover my gray. I'm encouraged that other reviewers with far more gray can still use this. I want to cover gray but keep my hair as healthy as possible and with this I can. It's really the best stuff out there at this price.

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