Ion Color Brilliance - Demi Permanent Hair Color

Ion Color Brilliance - Demi Permanent Hair Color


113 reviews

82% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $$

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $$



Start your review

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 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 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.

31 of 32 people found this helpful.

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.

16 of 17 people found this helpful.

on 1/24/2014 3:30:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair, Cool

Hair: Other, Straight, Fine

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!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

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.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

on 9/2/2013 4:48:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Okay, today I'm trying the 4RV. I purchased the 3RV and the 4RV because I was torn between how dark I wanted this. But after reading reviews it appears that the color comes out darker so I went with the 4RV for now.
I do have the coppola keratin treatment and I have it redone every 3-4 months. I usually wait after two weeks of the treatment before I color my hair. I used the color, processed for 25 minutes, with the 1:1 ratio, after deciphering that I only wanted to deepen my tone I had. I did the light shampoo as directed. I then used the Ion After Color treatment let it sit for about 5 minutes then followed up with the Ion Deep Daily conditioning for color-treated hair. My hair is so soft and manageable right now. I love the color its actually a deep burgandy tone (which is where the old color was) and then a dark brown/almost black. I'm so happy with this

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 8/27/2013 8:46:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Other, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

This color is very gentle to hair and very natural looking. You must go up two levels as results are dark. I use medium blonde natural to get a light brown on my dark brown hair with over 50% gray. I leave color on roots for 45 minutes, and 5 to 10 minutes on the lengths of my hair. I get perfect gray coverage. I like the fact that it fades so I don't get that stark contrast with gray/white roots. I color every 3 weeks for root coverage, so fading is not an issue. I use Ion Daily Repair Conditioner (which is fabulous) and my hair is in great shape.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

on 8/25/2013 10:26:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

This is the worst thing I've ever used on my hair...I chose Medium Natural Blonde, with the help of a clerk from Sally' not only turned my blonde hair a fairly dark brown, it left it flat, with no looked damaged, dull...the color extremely uneven...with the help of some coconut oil and my old standbye Wella 9N, I got my medium blonde color and shine back...and thankfully, minimal damage to my hair...I will never use Ion again!

Age: 19-24

Skin: Oily, Tan, Warm

Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I have black hair, previously dyed to a medium ash brown from a box about a year ago. I wanted to make my hair a dark chocolate brown, but I wanted to keep from using ammonia in my hair dye. The demi-permanent hair dye was ammonia free, so I purchased 2 boxes of medium natural brown and the Ion 8 oz. 30 volume developer. I mixed the dye and developer together, applied to my hair, let it sit about 20 minutes and then washed it out with warm water and conditioned by hair with the Ion Repair conditioner.

Nothing. My hair is still black, but the parts of my hair that were previously dyed are darker now, more brown. So I guess it still worked? So here's the main thing I've learned from this:

Do you research! I wish I researched mixing rations and called the 1-800 number on the box before I did this! I could have easily figured out if I needed to change the 1:2 ratio or get a different dye.

And for those of you wondering, here's the phone number: 1-800-859-3112

Age: Unknown

Skin: Normal, Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Brown

My hair is naturally dark brown, with a lot of gray. I love demi permanents but don't need the box, the gloves and conditioner. I love, love, love Ion Brilliance! I color every two or three weeks, and mix 1 tablespoon 5N Light Natural Brown and 1 tablespoon 4N Medium Natural Brown with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the Ion Brilliance Sensitive Scalp 10 volume developer (3% peroxide). This combo ends up the perfect dark brown (comparable to a drugstore color's "Medium Ash Brown" or "Medium Natural Brown"). I mix it in a bowl and apply with a coloring brush, parting the hair with a rat-tail comb (using Costco disposable gloves). This takes time, versus dumping it onto your hair directly from the bottle, but this way I am able to cover everything strategically and not waste color. It smells very gentle and pleasant. I leave it in for 30-40 minutes, rinse out and put in my own conditioner. This gives me excellent gray coverage; shiny hair; and natural-looking color. I buy the color and developer on sale at Sally's and it is much cheaper and much better quality than drugstore color, but you have to be willing to measure and mix it yourself. For a young person looking for dramatic color change, this might not be the thing, but for me it is perfect. I read somewhere that drugstore demi permanents come with 20 volume developer (6% peroxide) so that they only take 10 minutes to work, and consequently they smell very harsh and I feel that they leave a line of demarcation that this does not. Hint: Wait until you are done coloring before rinsing out your color bowl and brush, so you can re-do any wisps at the hairline that did not get covered.

9 of 9 people found this helpful.

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