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

rated 4.0(89 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.0
  • 82% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 4.1
  • Price: $$

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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, 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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rated 5 of 5 on 1/25/2014 8:05:00 AM More reviews by haleygwynne

Age: 19-24 Skin: Very Dry, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

This stuff saved me! Let me tell you how before I get into a technical review.
I have been getting my hair dyed since I was 13/14 anywhere from almost black to milky blonde (I wish it was still milky blonde hah!). I started cosmetology school in 2011 and was going to a wedding and got my hair dyed very dark brown only to wake up the next day to swelling on my scalp, itchy blotchy skin and my lymph nodes were the size of grapes under my skin. I went to the emergency room and they told me I had an allergic reaction to the hair dye, to which I said "I do hair! I've been getting my hair dyed for years and I dye hair everyday... I cannot be allergic to hair dye." - Boy, was I wrong. After another week of severe pain and itching and washing my hair 50+ times, I found an article online about PPD reactions and I was the textbook case! I felt hopeless...

I was in school to be a hairdresser and I am suddenly allergic to hair dye... Great.

So I let my natural hair grow out for over a year (yikes) before I was brave enough to find two professional hair dyes that didn't contain PPD and let me feel pretty again and ION COLOR BRILLIANCE DEMI PERMANENT WAS ONE OF THEM! WOO YEAH!

PACKAGING: Cardboard box - Coated metal tube holding 2 oz of product - Purple plastic screw on lid with poking device to open metal seal.

COLOR SELECTION: If you're using this for yourself, the color selection is enough but I find as a stylist that I would like a wider variety of colors if I chose to use this on clients (I currently don't because I can't do color correction with the colors available).

TEXTURE/SMELL: If used with the ION Sensitive Scalp developer (I highly reccomend) this stuff smells like Granny Smith Apples! No joke... It's one of the least offensive hair dye smells I have ever come across. I do find it hard to mix in a hurry, you need to slowly add the developer (your choice of 2oz or 4oz depending on your need) and mix a lot to get a smooth texture or my suggestion is to buy a mini whisk which will cut back on the mixing time tremendously. It is pretty thick and creamy and easy to spread without being too watery.

LASTING POWER: This stuff isn't permanent, but it's the closest I've ever come to permanent haircolor. I use 3+4N and althought it does wash out a but, it lasts months. Just because it is demi doesn't mean it will eventually come out of your hair, so be careful not to get a lot of color buildup or you'll have a hard time lightening your hair if you decide to. I don't reccomend using a dark demi permanent color along with very light highlights as there is a big chance for color transfer onto your beautiful blonde streaks which might ruin them. With demi haircolor, it is always best to shampoo in luke warm to cold water which will DRAMATICALLY increase the life of your haircolor. For me, it's around 6-9 weeks.

AVAILABILITY: Luckily for everybody, this is avaible at Sally's which means anybody can walk up and buy it!

PRICE: Cost at Sally's is $4.99 online without a discount. For the developer, I seriously, seriously think you should try the ION Sensitive Scalp 10 volume cream developer and a bottle enough for two applications is only $3.19.

TIPS: Wash hair in cool water - Wash hair as least frequent as possible - Don't use a dark demi permanet color along with light blonde highlights as it may bleed - 3N is basically black so be warned ahead of time - Use 4oz instead of 2oz developer - With demi hair color you will see some color the first week of washing so don't be alarmed.

RESULTS: Very shiny hair! Some hair color can leave you looking flat but this has something in it that makes the hair very, very shiny after dying. Of course, it won't stay that way without touch ups, but for the first 3 weeks it is very shiny. I have found that the colors run a tad darker on your actual hair than the hair samples at the store, so if you're wanting brown or dark brown hair, I would NOT go darker than a 4. I use a 3 mixed and it turns it very, very dark.

This product is a great hair dye for those who have a PPD allergy or those who don't even want to risk it and go for something more gentle. Perfect for people who like a "real" hairdye but not so scary and doesn't have a 100+ color selection so it's great for beginners.


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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 1/24/2014 3:30:00 AM More reviews by TBonita

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Cool Hair: Red, Straight, Medium Eyes: Hazel

Medium Ash Blonde 7NA. I am reverting from henna to my natural medium/dark brown color. I used some indigo to tone the red but it was still peeking through. I used greenish/teal manic panic to tone but red still peeking through. I found this laying in my drawer from my blonde days and thought what the hay, at least it's 'ASH'. Mixed 1:2 - color:10 vol and applied for 25 min. It has toned down the red considerably and left me with a warm dark brown. Yes... Medium blonde left me with dark brown. And warning: when they say ash they mean it. Shower run-off and skin stains were green. Which is exactly what I needed and ill definitely buy again to refresh til my natural color grows in, but if you're light blonde or something this will probably turn your hair dark and green. My first time using a Demi color instead of permanent with the lower developer and I'm very pleased; my hair is not damaged. Will use again and again til that pesky red is gone!

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rated 5 of 5 on 12/16/2013 1:51:00 PM More reviews by MercedesDemaris

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Green

This review is for women who use black dye and are allergic or think they may be to PPD. Skip to the bottom for the review otherwise.

I have very dark brown hair that I dye black (roots, only) every two weeks with a demi dye. Then a semi-permanent dye is used all through my hair every week. It's a lot of upkeep and I'm always looking for different dyes that promise jet black hair so I have been the happiest with Wella's Colour Charm demi-permanent dye.
I'll do a fast comparison between this dye and the other Sally Beauty Supply dyes, as well as discussing the PPD aspect.
PPD is a dye used everywhere from hair colour to printer ink that is in highest concentrations in black hair dye. It's the reason why Bigen dye is feared by many- because it's levels of PPD are so high that it can trigger a horrible attack in people who have not known they were allergic to PPD. I have used Bigen and it was great but worked no better than the demi-permanent colours I'm discussing here so use that at your own risk!
I have had my hair blonde and then red with no scalp irritation (these colors do not use PPD). When I started dyeing my hair black years ago I didn't not have scalp irritation either, for several years. But then I have noticed in the last year that as soon as I apply the dye on my scalp I would have some stinging and for days after I would have an itchy dry scalp. I thought maybe it was the peroxide so after doing research I decided to change dyes to see if that helped. I always used the lowest developer as I was depositing colour, not lifting (10 volume or lower when possible). It was not the peroxide that was bothering me, it was the PPD. It's worth noting that PPD won't always irritate your skin during a skin patch test. My patch tests were fine, the only time I knew something was wrong was the progressive worsening of itchy, painful scalp when dyeing and lots of hair loss with otherwise healthy hair.

For years before the PPD allergy flaring up, I have used Wella Colour Charm. My favourite and trusty dye for years. Colour 1N is the darkest black I have found and very neutral. The water runs purple which means the dye is well-balanced. I hate colouring to find the water is running green! (Manic Panic Raven) The dye doesn't smell as nice as others but the colour stays forever and processes very quickly. Downside is your hair must be towel dried to start. And my scalp itches the most with this dye, I believe because it's SO black the PPD levels are higher causing irritation. But the dye is great and cost mere dollars to use.

Clairol Radiance demi-permanent dye is the
second choice dye for me. It is a neutral black, smells absolutely gorgeous. Wella is not harsh at all and Clairol is super gentle with even more so than Wella. My scalp is still irritated and itchy with this but I adore this dye and it gives me very shiny hair before it fades, much faster than Wella.

I have used Redken Shades EQ which was not memorable at all for me. One n Only's Argan Oil dye was the same, in fact it seemed more harsh than any other dye I have used and the colour was not as black as Wella. Then came Goldwell Elumen (the Elumen-trained stylist applied the chunky jell nightmare but the colour wouldn't stick at all).

I started looking into PPD-free dyes as I know a PPD allergy can only get progressively worse and I didn't want my black hair to put me in the hospital one day.
I saw the now discontinued Nice and Easy dye was PPD free, but drug store developers in boxed dyes are far too harsh anyways. Online, PPD-free dye was going for $30-50 a box! The reviews for these dyes were worse than the prices... Just as I was putting off bleaching my hair back to a "safer" colour like light brown, I saw the only demi dye in Sally''s that I had not tried and by a brand I had written off.
Ion Colour Brilliance promised PPD free demi-permanent color. Even in the colour #1- Blue Black. Which is what I got even though I don't look good in blue black. I figured in a few days it would wash the blue out and leave me jet black, anyways. The dye and low volume developer were two dollars cheaper than any other dye as well- $6 for a two month supply! The creme is a bit runny but smells okay, a bit citrusy/floral? The creme does take forever to start turning dark so don't be alarmed. I was using it to deposit only on my roots only so I used a 1:1 ratio on dry hair. I don't know about the other complaints of this doing nothing because when I rinsed it out the colour was very black and incredibly shiny! I couldn't believe a PPD free dye could be so dark. My scalp did not sting at all during dyeing process and my head is not itchy at all today for the first time in years. The colour is not actually Blue Black. But it's a very dark black which will satisfy any raven lover. Especially those who thought black hair wasn't possible with a PPD allergy. I will miss Wella and Clairol but I think I'll stay with this colour from now on, for safety's sake.
I will update with how well the colour holds. I also bought the the semi-permanent rinse colour from the same line so I'll update on how that revitalised my all-over hair colour in between root touch ups.

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rated 5 of 5 on 9/16/2013 9:44:00 AM More reviews by Jane_Dewey

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

My gray hair is really starting to show on my naturally dark, but colored hair. I don't know why I have been coloring my hair with a permanent color when all I wanted to do was cover my gray. I have never changed my hair color all over. I did try highlights once, but they were getting too blond and too drying.

I use this in 8N Medium Natural Blonde in a 1:1 ratio with Ion Volume 10 developer. The colors run dark, so the medium natural blonde actually covers and blends the gray just enough to look like highlights, while the Volume 10 developer (instead of Volume 20 developer) does nothing to the rest of my dark hair, doesn't lighten it.

Blending the gray without lightening or darkening the rest of my hair is the look I was going for, so I am very pleased with the results.

I have to color the roots about every two weeks, and I needed something inexpensive, smells good, and doesn't damage my hair. I was using Ion liquid permanent color in 5N Medium Brown with Volume 20 developer, but I wanted to give my hair a rest from the ammonia and higher percentage of peroxide.

I just leave this on my roots for about 30 minutes. For a demi permanent, it does cover the gray, and it doesn't fade. I have tried demi colors before that didn't work. This does.

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