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

rated 4.1(32 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.1
  • 84% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 4.0
  • Price: $$

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rated 5 of 5 on 12/31/2010 3:31:00 PM More reviews by PinkHarley

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Brown, Curly, Medium Eyes: Brown

I am 95% gray on top and have been struggling for years to find a brand of hair color that will hide my gray without leaving my hair feeling like straw, and my scalp sensitive. With all of the other brands, I was leaving color on my hair an extra 10 minutes (for it to take) so my ends were almost always turning black, even though I did not pull through the color till the last 10 minutes.
A Sally's consultant advised that I try a DEMI color that would be less damaging.

I tried the standard shade or two lighter than what I wanted and found that in this line - YOU NEED TO USE 3 LEVELS LIGHTER ! The colors are so much darker than labeled and they do not fade like all of the "permanent" lines I used to use.

That being said - you must start out much lighter than you think if this will be your first time using it.

I love that my scalp is happy now becuase I have extremely sensitive skin. Half of all the products I buy go in the trash after a few uses due to bad reactions.

I love the apple smell of the developer. My hair is in great condition. My hair comes out looking very good, rich colors and lost of shine. I also use this on my daughter with NO gray, and she mixes her Demi colors 50/50 with the ION Clear Color - just to give more shine and cut the color intensity down.

I like the professional Salon Revlon COLOR results (my favorite Salon line) as much as I like ION. So why not save money and do it myself?

When you are as gray as I am, the roots don't always HOLD their color. This is not noticeable at all after coloring. It looks good in the beginning, but by the time I am ready to redo my roots, I notice the hair that has only been colored once, has faded just a tiny bit. So I posted a picture of my hair right before coloring to show that next to my roots, the hair colored once is slightly lighter than the rest. By the second coloring, my hair does not fade any more. I had to pull all my hair up and take a picture at just the right angle to show this.

I am also posting a picture right after being colored so you can see how deep and shiny the color is.

I use a Medium Natural Blond with a 1/4 tube of Medium Warm Blond, in a 1:1 ratio with developer per instruction sheet for very gray hair. Notice how DARK my results are.

My hair comes to just below my ears. So If you have never used this line before and you are covering Gray - PURCHASE 2 Tubes !!! Otherwise, mixing a ratio of 1:2 will give you a total of 6 oz, probably enough to do hair to half way down the neck with one tube. But to be sure, I recommend always having 2 tubes of color.

27 out of 27 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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.

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 on 11/23/2012 9:36:00 PM More reviews by Nerds99

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

I'm hoping that this review can give you guys an idea of both my experience, and ways to get the results you want from this color.

First, you should know that researching the basics of hair color is vital if you're going to color at home. You need to understand the levels of color, which colors "live" at each level, and how those factors will affect your results. Also, understanding what the different levels of developer do will make a huge difference in your results. For example, orange "lives" at level 7, so if you buy a level 7 color, that's the tone you will get. Also, if you use a level 5 developer, you will only get deposit, no lift. If you want to lift color, you would use a higher volume of developer, according to the level of lift that you want to achieve. I know it sounds complicated, but if you use Google and do 30 minutes of research, I promise it will make all the difference in the world with your color. I see a lot of people getting hung up on the "names" of these colors, and that's where you're going to get into trouble. When you learn to work with levels, you will be able to choose your color and not get so many surprises. Also, research mixing ratios; those will make a HUGE difference when it comes to how opague your color comes out.

That being said, I have noticed that for me, these colors pull about a level or two darker on my hair. That may not happen to you. My suggestion is to start about a level higher than the color you want, and go from there.

This color line is very good quality. The Sensitive Scalp developer (I use 5 vol) is great for me because its much gentler than anything you will get in a "box color." The color itself is rich, creamy, vibrant and ultra-shiny. It has great staying power and it doesn't damage my hair at all. It spreads evenly, doesn't drip, and stays moist while processing. Because its a Demi, it WILL stain the crap out of your skin. But that's really my only complaint with this color.

If you need any help, no matter what line you use, feel free to inbox me :)

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 3 of 5 on 10/20/2009 10:13:00 PM More reviews by notmyryan

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Medium, Warm Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Hazel

I will share the good and the bad of this product. Though overall, I would buy this product again, but definitely in a different shade. Here's what happened:

I colored my hair about a month or so ago and my hairdresser didn't exactly go as dark as I wanted. In fact my roots were a bit red and I could see a little bit of regrowth peeking through that was darker than the color he used. So I decided to deepen the color on my own. I went to sally's and the lady suggested this brand, but I wanted the demi just in case. I saw the medium brown (which my hair is anyways, but looked dark on the tester). The lady told me that it would come out way too dark so suggested I go with the 5n which is the light brown. She also said I would need 2 since my hair was long. So with along with those, I purchased the ION sensitive scalp developer 10 volume. So after their suggestion and reading the directions, I decide on the 1:1 ratio. I leave it on for the max time for deepening color (25 min) with no heat. I'm not so sure I needed to buy 2 because my hair was sopping with product and I had some left over. Oh well... better more than not enough I guess. Anyways - I Wash/condition - then dry my hair. Wow - is it DARK!! No kidding. I couldn't believe it. Next day I go to my best friends house who colors her hair with some L'Oreal brand Dark Ash Brown and put our hair together and it was the exact same color!! Her hair is as dark brown as brown gets! Think Nicole Scherzinger from pussycat dolls.
Great.
Though, with mine you could tell it was just colored - but that is really typical when you do your color at home so that didn't bother me too much. My friend also said she could see some red peeking through, but that may have been from the color my colorist gave me because I think there was some red in it previous. So the 5N didn't cancel any red out, but not sure if it added any.
Anyways, I decide to do some Vitamin C tonic then wash with dish soap (I know - but it didn't damage my hair). The color looks a little bit better.... definitely not as harsh. It's still a little too dark for me, so I'm going to do the Vit.C again. In fact, it's sitting in my hair right now, so we will see how much of this color I can get out to get it how I would really like to see it.

So why would I buy it again? Well, it gave me a really intense shine! Plus my hair felt soft and not too damaged. I just ended up choosing a shade that was way too dark for me. So I will probably try a lighter shade and use a 1:2 ratio instead. If and when I choose to do that, I will definitely give another update. Until then... I'm a little anxious for this to fade a bit more.

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 on 10/17/2009 3:46:00 AM More reviews by Ohh2pretty

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Tan, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium Eyes: Hazel

LOVE IT!! Even though I didn't realize that I should have chose a shade a few shades lighter than what I did since it was demi, deposit only...I love the rich deep shade of 5N (Lt.Natural Brown) it left my hair soft, and very shiny. The color was a great compliment to my coloring and made my hazel green eyes "pop." I noticed subtle coppery colored highlights in the sun that are probably reminencent of my previous blonde highlights. I have received compliments from many of my friends and co workers about this haircolor. The only thing I substracted one lippy was that even though I bought the creme and not liquid, this dye was very thin and "runny." It splattered all over my sink and dripped everwhere. On the plus side is that it didn't stink the way Wella's Cashmere hair color did....It will be interesting to see if any of this color fades or runs...the wella color was at least two shades lighter (permanent) after a few hair washings with sulfur free & formulated for hair color treated treated shampoo- Hmm? Overall, I was very pleased with this ION product and will use it again.

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 5/23/2013 3:10:00 AM More reviews by nattyngeorge

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Medium, Warm Hair: Brown, Curly, Medium Eyes: Hazel

I really liked this dye. I have medium chocolate brown hair and due to heat styling regularly and using bleach (ombre, past highlights) my hair was several shades of brown. I went out and purchased Medium Warm Brown (4W) hoping to keep the same depth of color, but make my hair one solid color.

I first used Ion Color Corrector to lift any color buildup from my hair, blow dried and then used Ion Pre-Color Treatment all over my hair to even the porosity of my hair for even color (mainly so I won't get light roots and dark ends). I used a Tangle Teezer to evenly coat my hair.

Then I applied the dye as directed with 10 volume developer. I left it in for 25 minutes (which could have been too long, but by the 20 minute mark my roots didn't look dark enough - since they were super light from the color corrector).

Well, I ended up with fabulous, even color.. but the only thing wrong is that my hair is JET BLACK. Much more like a level 2. Way darker than what I wanted.

Most reviews say to pick a shade that is two shades lighter than what you want. Make sure to do that. I will repurchase this brand of hair dye, but I will for sure go two shades lighter for medium-dark brown.

Also, this dye stains the skin worse than any other dye I have used. Make sure to use vaseline around your hairline.

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 3/10/2013 8:24:00 PM More reviews by kjh128

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

This review is for shades 8N and 7N. I want to start by saying that if it weren't for the reviews here on MUA, I wouldn't have taken the plunge and colored my own hair. I am so glad I did! I am like many reviewers, natural color is around the 6N swatch- dishwater blonde or light brown- mousy. I was a heavily highlighted blond for years, then a couple of years ago I went brunette. I loved the rich shiny chocolate color, but when my roots grow out, they are noticeable. I was spending $$$ on keeping that brunette, because my color would also fade quite a bit. The last 2 times I got professionally color treated (single process, demi) I was disappointed that no one could achieve the color I wanted- rich but medium brown- just a richer and slightly darker version of my natural color. I also have about 5-10% silver now. So after reading a lot of blogs, I bought Ion Demi in 8N&7N with volume 10 developer. I was very nervous that I would mess up my hair because after all, the professionals couldn't even get it right! On dry, clean hair, I used 1 oz of 8N, 1 oz of 7N and 2 oz of developer, started at the roots (it had been 4 months since my last color at the salon) and then immediately applied through the rest. My hair is fine, and it soaked up all the product, so next time I will make more (length=midback). I let it sit for 40 minutes- no stinging at all. Nice fragrance. I shampooed with Ion sulfate free shampoo, then conditioned with a packet of after color conditioner (also Ion) that I got at Sally's checkout counter. The Result: Perfect! Very shiny, no staining anywhere, the perfect medium rich brown! I noticed in the sun that I saw copper highlights- but that's my hair- tends to pull reddish-orange. I don't mind them- I love the color! In indoor light, there is no sign of the coppery highlights. Next time if I change anything else, I would go for 7N- I was afraid it would be too dark. Demi color is the bomb! Don't waste anymore of your $ at the salon- or save it for a great haircut!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 7/22/2010 2:07:00 PM More reviews by sctnyve

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I have been using this product since it came out, apox 2yrs. Before using the Demi line, I had been using their permanent color only with a 10vol developer. Every time I go to Sally's I stand in front of the selection of colors for at least 10min, trying to make a decision. With me, it seems to be the most decision of my life, right up there with deciding on a purse or curtains, but we won't go there.
So after coloring my hair successfully for a year and a half, not making huge changes in my naturally dark blonde hair, just keeping the greys hidden and "warming up the shade" a little, my daughter came home from the drug store where she works with a box. "Mom, try this!" It was a pretty color on the front of the box, a couple shades lighter than my color. So to make her happy, I used the box after it sat in the cupboard for a couple of weeks. "YIKES!!!" what did I do?? My hair is now yellow!"
I went back to Sally's and have been using 2:1 ratio mixing 10N and 10NB now for about a month,. I was happy with the results the first time and then after several weeks my new growth is beginning to show, so today I sit with wet hair after toning it down again 2:0 10N and 10NB. We will see after I dry it. I think I may bite the bullet and use 1:1 9N, but my hair pulls red so easily. Wish me luck trying to correct this and then how to decide to keep it up is another problem entirely.

Well, it turned out great!! I love, Love, LOVE this product! The only thing that I may do differently next time, is us a level 9. But I have time to think on this.

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 4/10/2010 11:15:00 PM More reviews by PurpleElephants

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium Eyes: Blue

Wow! This demi is amazing. I wanted to refresh my hair color, which was originally dyed brown over heavy blonde highlights. It was turning into a faded light brown, and I wanted a deeper, richer color.

I know from experience that Ion colors are absolutely beautiful, but that they run a bit dark. I therefore bought the light golden brown and the clear shine. I used 2 parts developer to 1 part color and 1 part clear shine.

It came out as a beautiful dark brown. It is so rich and wonderful, but I am definitely glad that I mixed it with the clear shine. Otherwise, it would have been even darker. I think it is still a bit too dark, but I'm sure it will lighten to perfection after a wash or two.

The smell isn't bad at all, and my hair feels amazing! I'll definitely buy this again and again. Ion really makes high-quality hair color.

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 12/30/2009 1:06:00 PM More reviews by sweetbabylace

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Blue

I was hesitant to like this product b/c it comes from Sally's. I prefer having my hair colored at a salon, although I'm usually not that impressed for the amount of $ I spend. I'm big on shine, and redken shades eq always delivered beautiful color and spectacular shine. But, it's expensive. I've also used many permanent dyes: wella, goldwell, redken fusion, l'oreal, aveda, garnier, etc. The list goes on n on.

Anyway, I've finally found something I LOVE. My hair is naturally a level 7NA (dark ashy blonde/very light brown), and I dye it very dark mahogany brown (think dark chocolate cherry-ish). My hair processed color veeeeeeery slowly and I never feel, when I go to the salon, that my roots are dark enough.

Well, I have found something that is gentle on my hair, ammonia-free, lasts beautifully, fades very little but evenly, deepens perfectly, SHINES LIKE CRAZY, makes my hair feel like utter silk, and smells amazing.

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No