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

rated 4.1(93 reviews)

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

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 7/8/2012 12:12:00 AM More reviews by suzanneb

Age: 36-43 Skin: Very Dry, Fair-Medium, Cool Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Green

I am in the process of going back to brown hair, my hair started to fall and has gotten really thin due to high lift permanent color, highlights and bleach, it was down to my waist and now is at chest level. Did a lot of research before choosing this brand since my hair and scalp can't take the multiple root touch up I was doing monthly. I am happy that going back up in the color scale is pretty easy considering that it took me a little under two years to become a level 11 blonde. Two days ago I bought Ion Demi in 8N mixed with 10V, sprayed the pre-color treatment and left the mix for 25 minutes since I had so many different shades of blonde. Color came out pretty uniform and darker as everyone has mentioned, on me it's a dark warm blonde/very light warm brown depending on the light. Hair feels soft, looks shiny and I hope I am on my way to having beautiful, long, shiny healthy hair again.

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 12/28/2011 1:48:00 AM More reviews by jacq1985

Age: 25-29 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Warm Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Green

I mixed two blondeish red shades together, despite having medium to dark hair. I've read you should always use a shade lighter than the color you want with demi permanent hair color. Unfortunately the developer has peroxide in it, so of course it's damaging. I only can tell when I shower though, and my hair is wet, before conditioner. It becomes a tangled mess, and feels coarse. Conditioner makes it feel normal, and once I style it, it's much shinier than it was before I dyed it. I've washed it 3 times and still see haircolor washing out. This was the messiest dye I've ever applied to my hair. By the way, my hair was completely virgin, I had dyed it in the past but let it grow out 6 years. It still got damaged, and of course the roots are brighter than the ends. I really want the color to fade, it's really vivid which I guess is a good thing, but looks so unnatural right now.

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rated 4 of 5 on 11/6/2011 7:30:00 PM More reviews by mrnncastle

Age: 19-24 Skin: Dry, Other, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I bought this in light golden brown and it turned out dark dark brown lol it doesn't look bad I like it and I've gotten a lot of compliments already! I would use it and buy it again its $3.49 with your sallys card. I would suggest to becarful when choosing the color because they run dark but I'm sure you can keep washing it till you lighten it to the shade you like. Good product especially for the price.

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rated 2 of 5 top reviewer on 4/30/2011 8:22:00 PM More reviews by impishnature

Age: 44-55 Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Other

Performs no better/worse than other demis.

My issue was with the color itself; I used 6RC ("dark copper blond"/6.4 which should have been screaming orange-based copper) to refresh the middle/ends my level 6 reddish brown hair. I knew it would be a level or two darker right away...that's fine, I'm happy to wait a couple weeks.

However, like many have complained about this color elsewhere, it has a notable pink/violet base to it, which must be the red in it, a particularly cool toned red, which is completely at odds with what the swatch looks like and what I've experienced with other brands.

I do not like fakey burgundy/cool toned dark reds so this wasn't for me. True to form, it did wash out after 2.5 months or so, so nothing lost.

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rated 5 of 5 on 5/10/2010 3:20:00 PM More reviews by MommaTina

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Medium, Warm Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium Eyes: Hazel

I now color my hair a dark natural brown.This stuff really works.it has saved my hair.I use to color my hair red with other products. I love how soft my hair is now.I rather keep my hair dark.The red was damaging.b/c I had to lighten it to get it that bright red.I have colored my hair dark for so long that it's hard to get my hair very light.My hair looks so natural now.Before people would always ask if I was a real readhead.Nobody ask about this color.My skin is too dark for bright red.The smell of this is very nice & i don' t have to color it often.It lasts so long.I use to have to color with the red every 3 weeks.Now,it's every 2 mos or longer.I love it! I will always use this stuff no matter what color i do.I also use a color shampoo for choc. hair color,it's so pretty! This saves me from getting it done at a Salon to.I paid 130.00 before at a Salon.It turned out better with this stuff. at only about 9.00 total.

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 9/24/2014 10:42:00 AM More reviews by PaulaBenoit

Age: 36-43 Skin: Dry, Olive, Warm Hair: Red, Straight, Medium Eyes: Brown

I purchased the shade 4RV along with their 10 volume developer as I was looking to darken my hair from my current color which is a level 6 light brown to a nice dark burgundy wine shade for Fall.

First I sprayed my hair from the mid-shaft to the ends with Zotos Porosity Equalizer since my hair was previously lightened. Then I mixed 1 tube of the 4RV (2 oz) with 2 oz of developer since the instructions said to deepen color use a 1:1 ratio. I applied it to my roots first and then went back and did my mid shaft to ends and processed for 25 minutes.

As I suspected the color initially came out SUPER dark, especially at my roots. It was almost black with a burgundy tint in the light however after a couple of washes with head and shoulders my hair is now a dark burgundy shade although it took a bit longer for my roots to lighten up. So in future I'd color all of my hair at the same time so it processes evenly.

Now that I have the shade I desire I am washing my root area with sulfate free shampoo every 3-4 days and using Pantene CC on my mid shafts to ends since red fades quickly and plan to use the Ion Color Brilliance Temporary Color Masque in Hot Red to see if it helps to keep the color vibrant.

My hair is so shiny and healthy looking and I've gotten tons of compliments since coloring my hair. I plan on purchasing their 4RV in the permanent line when my roots start to show but will be using the demi permanent color to refresh the lengths of my hair to minimize unnecessary damage.. For color refreshing the instructions recommend mixing a 1:2 ratio (so for me it will be 1 oz of color to 2 oz of developer). Overall I'm super happy with the results. I have before and after pictures in my gallery.

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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 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 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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