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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: 4.2
  • Price: $$

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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 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 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 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: Other, 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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