Love this stuff! Have tried Natural Instincts and another demipermanent line whose name I can't recall, and this provided far prettier color and better coverage at a rock-bottom price. My hair is a medium brown, 20% gray, and regularly colored. Based on the reviews here about how dark the results are, I went light and bought a 7N. Came out just right--hair is still a medium brown, but a prettier and far less gray one now. Used 1:2 proportion, did roots first, then went to ends. About 20 mins total processing. A little more do-it-yourself than the regular drugstore kits, in that you have to buy the developer separately, provided your own plastic gloves, etc., but the extra effort is completely worth it. Just use a nice conditioner after you rinse and shampoo.
My Colorgems shade (Golden Copper Brown 4.63) has been discontinued, so I switched to Ion Color Brilliance 4RC, which was supposed to be the equivalent shade. It's a good formula which actually lasts longer than the Colorgems did, and it conditions the hair nicely. However, the color went much darker than I expected it to, and left stubborn dark areas on my hair that turned out to be more or less permanent. So be careful as you mix this up, and go lighter than you think you should. The main reason I won't be buying it again is that the copper is just not coppery enough. It leans towards pink rather than orange, and doesn't look as natural because of this. If you like violet shades, this might be perfect for you. But if you're looking for a true copper, skip this line.
I have been using this for a few years. Before this I was using the Wella Demi which I also had pretty good luck with.
I have about 50% gray at the crown and a few others mixed in. My normal level is about 5 (with gray). I tend to go orange, so want to counteract that and I previously experimented with 7N and some 7G (didn't like the results). I have also used 7N by itself w/developer, but that came out very dull on me.
I was in the mood to go darker (I know the outgrowth will be a negative), but I picked up 5N and 3RV, plus some clear color gloss and the 10 vol. developer.
I used a tube of 5N with a small dab (about an inch), of the 3RV (to counteract the gold tones), and then the developer to equal the color 1:1. This came out very dark on the roots, but I left it on over 30 min. Next time I would not let it go that long, maybe 20. Ended up the root area was a dark cherry cola shade which is beautiful, but more like a 4 level on me.
Then for the length I mixed 1:1 5N and 00 (Clear gloss) and ran that through and left on for 10 min. That did a good job of refreshing the length and producing shine.
~just remember to be careful about the level go a shade or two lighter until you find the level you like.
My hair is not damaged by this brand and I will continue to use it, since I like experimenting with customized shades.
The Ion Effective Care conditioner is really wonderful.
I can spend $10 and do my thick, shoulder length hair.
I agree with everyone else, the color certainly runs a couple of shades darker, so be very careful when choosing your shade. Let me share my experience with all of you...
My hair is naturally curly, my natural hair color is a level 4 brown. Originally when I started to use this product, I bought either a level 4 or even a 3!!! While I didn't mind the darker shade of brown, with time, the ends started to look almost black compared to my roots. I had to do something to remedy the situation.
I decided to get highlights done to try and blend the dark color with some lighter tones in an attempt to get closer to my natural color level. This has worked well but needed a couple of visits to the salon for full foils before I really saw a difference. It was a much safer alternative than completely bleaching my hair and starting from scratch!
Needless to say, I've learned my lesson, I am not going to touch anything lower than a level 6 in this product, there are plenty of tones to choose from (natural dk blonde to dk copper blonde) depending on my mood. These colors blend beautifully with highlights. I did the copper blonde for a few months and just re-colored with dark golden blonde. This has yielded a beautiful shade of brown with tons of shine!! It's also pretty darn close to my natural color but better! I am very pleased with the results.
I bought this at Sally's Beauty Salon and was impressed with the coverage. I chose light reddish brown and it came out a medium cranberry auburn color - a little artificial at first but more natural looking after about a week. The color is intense and lasts longer than any other demi-permanent including Wella and Goldwell. I used the 10% sensitive scalp developer and left it on the roots 30 minutes, ran it through the rest of the hair, and left it on another 15 minutes. I then washed it out and used the ION shampoo and conditioner afterward. I am over 50% gray and this covered my grays and white hairs completely. Other than the slightly artificial shade for a few days, this product really delivers at an unbelievably reasonable price. I highly recommend it.
WAY DARKER THAN EXPECTED! Ok, so against my better judgement, 3 months ago I touched up my permanently dyed dark brown hair using a combo of 5n and 3rv before reading the reviews on MUA. As previously mentioned, I came out with BLACK hair. I don't mind black hair, but the only problem was there was no reddish tint to it (which I think softens the look). I did a bleach cap to remove color, and after months of trims, protein treatments (thank you Aphogee), and professional demi tint jobs, I've decided to go this route again. I am going to be trying this again with a level 6 or 7 mixed with clear. I figure I'd rather be too light than too dark. I will update my review once I try this lighter process. *fingers crossed*
After trying this again in a level 8, I still ended up with black hair from root to tip, so I know it's not just from the damaged hair's porosity. This stuff runs way too dark for me. After letting this fade out (which took FOREVER), I used redken shades eq in 5cb, and the color is just what I wanted. I bought it online for about what I paid for the ion. I will not be buying ion again.
My hair has been all over bleached blonde for a couple of years and I'm tired of the washed out look. I decided to add some lowlights in with this product. I used a cap, pulled through some pieces and put on the Light Nuetral Blonde shade. I went with the nuetral because my hair already has lots of ash tones and really thought any more ash tone could turn it green! It came out pretty good for my first time trying lowlights! And talk about cheap.... I only used half the packages so I still have enough to use for another time. This is a good product. I have paid big $$ in the past for lowlights and for about $4 this is just fine. It will only get better as I practice with it.
Mixed ION demi 7A with Wella 6N. I've used Wella is in the past so I have to assume that the ION stained my scalp. It was odd and unnatural. 1:1 ratio which I use with demis still produced a darker shade. I only do roots so that's good in this case. I want to stay with demi shades that will produce a light brown and then add highlights whenever not very often. You need a Neutral shade to cover gray. I throw up my hands again.
UPDATE: Mixed 7N with Wella Demi 8A using 10% developer 1:1 ratio. Roots lightened a bit and the grey coverage was uneven. Noticed that on the day of coloring.
amazing hair color and soooo cheap! i got it at sallys for $3.99 for each color solution and the developer was very affordable as well. much cheaper than buying 2 boxes of natural instincts every month to work on my super long hair. overall, totally would recommend to a friend :) bought it in the blue-black color and my hair is loving it.. soft and shiny!
This stuff is the BEST!!! After a bad mistake I made in my college days when I decided to bottle-dye my brunette hair blonde (what was I thinking??) and it turned my hair to straw, I have been terrified to bottle-dye my hair ever since. In the last few years I've been going darker to a deep chocolate brown, but with the economy I can't afford to get to the salon as often as I'd like anymore. Naturally, bottle-dye is much more cost friendly, but I've been so afraid to use it even to go darker for fear of haystack hair. I researched this demi color from Ion and decided to take the plunge. Not only is it ridiculously affordable (hellooo $4.50), but it turned out the perfect shade of dark brown, and it has left my hair feeling like SILK! It smells and feels so luxurious, and it was so easy to use. I am overjoyed that I now have a cost-friendly way of coloring my hair the perfect shade of chocolate that I want for less than $5. I'm still waiting for the catch....