Ion Color Brilliance Reviews: Is This the Right Hair Dye to Get Stunning Color?

Ion Color Brilliance Reviews

This post was most recently updated on May 7th, 2023

Having colored hair is fashionable. Ombre, burgundy, blue, gray, or purple – so many options to make you feel stunning when walking out the door. The problem is, not everyone has time to go to the salon and get their dream color. Thus, the solution is using a DIY hair dye at home without breaking the bank. Our Ion Color Brilliance reviews will help you determine if this is the brand to give you fantastic hair color at an affordable price.

The Ion Color Brilliance reviews are backed up by hours of research. We provide unbiased information for you about the Ion product range and relevant data regarding their popular hair dyes. This review also gives you recommendations concerning which hair dye is right for you. We cover details of each product, ingredients, and alternatives if you want to find more.

Ion Color Brilliance Reviews - Best Selling Products

What is Ion Color Brilliance?

When you search on Google, “Ion Color Brilliance,” the top search you’ll get is Sally Beauty. If you think Ion belongs to Sally Beauty, yes you’re right. Ion, or what we call Ion Color Brilliance, is one of Sally Beauty’s well-known brands that provides hair products, ranging from dyes to treatments, and tools.

Recently, one of the latest Ion tools, the LUXE Supercharged Hair Dryer, won the Glamor Beauty Award 2022 and the Good Housekeeping Best Beauty Award 2022. However, Ion’s most sought-after product line is Hair Color. If you dye your hair pretty often, you may have heard a lot about Ion Color Brilliance, or maybe thought of trying the products.

Whether you have very dark hair or platinum blonde, Ion Color Brilliance offers an enormous range of shades for you to pick from, and it’s PPD-free and cruelty-free. If you’re a vegetarian, no need to worry because Ion provides many vegan hair dyes. Scared of ammonia? They give you ammonia-free permanent hair color with up to 35 hues. Ion Hair Dyes are also enriched with botanical ingredients that gently nourish your hair while getting the perfect color.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the Ion Hair Color product line.

Ion Hair Color Reviews

Here comes the good part. Ion creates a wide range of contemporary hair color products for their customers. The product lines that we will discuss in this “Ion Color Brilliance Reviews” article are

  • permanent,
  • semi-permanent,
  • and demi-permanent hair dyes, along with
  • hair toners.

Each of these product lines have tons of variations to fit your skin tone and base hair color. Now, let’s discuss them one by one, starting with the permanent hair dye below.

Ion Permanent Hair Color

If you are looking for a hair dye that doesn’t fade and wash off easily with every shampoo, be it a caffeine shampoo or a detox shampoo, then you might want to consider these Ion Permanent Hair Colors. There are 7 variants in this product line, ranging from cream to liquid form and from a single product to kit form.

You can get all of them at Ion Color Brilliance at a very affordable price.

Hair Lightening Guide Before Taking Ion Color Brilliance

After we counted the number of colors from the 7 variants of Ion Permanent Hair Dye, it turns out that there are up to 245 shades. You can choose lots of colors that you dream of, which you might not be able to find in other brands. These colors are available for those who have dark hair to light/ blonde hair.

However, if you are confused about picking which variant is most appropriate for your hair type or what color tone you want to get, in this section we provide all the information for you to pick them. Read on.

Permanent Creme and Liquid Hair Colors

The first variant of this line comes in a cream form with a highly intense color. Ion Color Brilliance Creme Hair Color has a staggering color palette of up to 85 shades. If you are bored with cream dyes and want to try liquid ones, then Ion Permanent Liquid Hair Color, the second variant, is perfect for you. It has up to 43 choices of colors you can pick.

Ion Color Brilliance Permanent Creme Color
Ion Color Brilliance Permanent Liquid Color

Both creme and liquid hair dyes have natural colors ranging from black, brunette, and red to light blonde. Both can also be used on unbleached or not highlighted hair. You can’t find pastel or vivid colors here (those are available in the Ion Permanent Brights Creme Color variant).

Unlike other hair dye brands on the market, Ion Permanent Creme and Liquid Hair Colors contain 38% less ammonia. The Permanent Creme and Liquid Hair Colors’ formula is PPD-free and enriched with nutritional ingredients for colored hair, such as Hyaluronic Acid, Argan Oil, Pequi Oil, and botanicals.

Now let’s check Brights Creme Color range we mentioned above.

Permanent Brights Creme Color

If you want to go bold, this third variant perfectly matches your personality. Ion Permanent Brights Creme Color offers hair dye in cream form with a color palette of 26 hues. You can find many pastel colors in this variant, from magenta to emerald, and lemon yellow to radiant-orchid purple.

Ion Color Brilliance Permanent Brights Creme Color

Pastel colors will be more vibrant if you do bleaching first. Make sure your hair is bleached to a level of 8-10 for a beautiful light pastel color. Just like the other two dyes, Permanent Brights Creme Color is also PPD-free and vegan. The formula used also contains ingredients that strengthen and nourish your hair, such as Hyaluronic Acid, Argan Oil, and Pequi Oil.

Ammonia-Free Permanent Creme Hair Color

Are you a nature lover? Want to avoid ammonia? Then check the Ammonia-Free Permanent Creme Hair Color variant.


  • 100% ammonia-free.
  • Up to 100% gray coverage
  • 100% natural oils, such as pistachio, almond, and avocado oils.
  • Recycled materials for the tube and cap.
  • 100% natural polymer.

This variant also has many color choices, up to 35 shades with 5 color series: Natural, Blonde, Red, Ash & Mushroom, and Violet & Violet Red. In fact, you can get color results that are lifted to 3 levels when using a 40-volume developer. This variant comes in cream form. You can use Ammonia-Free Permanent Creme Hair Color without having to bleach hair first.

Ion Color Brilliance Ammonia-Free Permanent Creme Hair Color

Intensive Shine Hair Color Kit

Who says you can’t get boxed hair dye from Ion? If you want to color your hair more easily without having to buy equipment separately, choose the Intensive Shine Hair Color Kit.

Intensive Shine Hair Color Kit

This variant offers you a more economical way to dye your hair at home, but still provides a wide range of shades, which are up to 26 colors. The shades offered are almost the same as Permanent Creme and Liquid Hair Colors, ranging from brown, and red to blonde.

A kit of Intensive Shine Hair Color contains:

  • Hair Color requested
  • Ion Sensitive Scalp Creme Developer
  • Pre-color Treatment
  • After-color Treatment
  • Gloves
  • Easy-to-follow Instructions

As the name implies, Intensive Shine makes your hair 2.5X shinier due to its natural oil ingredients. This variant has an exclusive blend of Moroccan Argan, Tahitian Tamanu, Camellia, and Coconut Oils. This is what makes your hair smoother and shinier after using this dye.

True Tones for Dark Hair Permanent Creme Hair Color

A gift for brunette heads!

Ion created the True Tones for Dark Hair Permanent Creme Hair Color variant with technology that lifts color on hair at levels 2-4. If you are tired of looking for the right product, which gives your dark or virgin hair an amazingly vibrant color, it’s time to stop and start choosing your dream color with Ion.

True Tones for Dark Hair Permanent Creme Hair Color

Although there aren’t as many colors as the other variants, with 10 shades of black, blue-black, red and blonde, you can enhance your dark hair without having to bleach it first. Even lift to 3-4 levels. Remember, True Tones cannot lift your existing colors. You should remove the old hair color before applying True Tones to get a vibrant color. True Tones variant is infused with Peqi and Argan Oils and is PPD-free.

Brilliant 12 Ultra Gloss Permanent Hair Color

The seventh variant of Ion Permanent Hair Color can lift your hair color to the next level while providing a glossy finish. Brilliant 12 Ultra Gloss Permanent Hair Color is available in 20 colors, with black, brown, red, and blonde color ranges.

Brilliant 12 Ultra Gloss Permanent Hair Color

Not only beautifies your hair, but the formula also helps hydrate your hair evenly, which makes it soft and healthy. Brilliant 12 Ultra is formulated with an exclusive blend of Hyaluronic Acid, Argan Oil, Pequi Oil, and botanicals.

It is free of PPD and contains 38% less ammonia than other brands. This tint cannot lift tint, so you may need to apply a color corrector first before taking Brilliant 12 Ultra.

These are all variants of Ion Permanent Hair Color that you can choose to get the colorful hair you’ve always wanted. Ion provides all shades for all hair types or color bases, from 2 to 10+ levels, which not all brands likely offer. Now, let’s move to Ion Semi-Permanent Hair Color.

Ion Semi Permanent Hair Color

If you love dyeing your hair but don’t want a long-term commitment, then you should be familiar with semi-permanent dyes.

Ion Semi Permanent Hair Color

Ion has two variants of this line: Semi Permanent Hair Color and Brights Semi Permanent Hair Color. With the Ion Semi-Permanent Hair Color line, you can experiment with your hair every 2-4 weeks, without worrying about the damage done that many dyes out there give. Ion Semi-Permanent is formulated without ammonia or peroxide, is vegan, and is cruelty-free.

Ion Color Brilliance Semi-Permanent is available in 8 radiant colors. It is created using Intuitive Color System technology which combines two types of direct dyes, inventing bright natural colors. Ion Semi-Permanent Hair Color can cover up to 50% gray hair and will last up to 10-15 shampoos. Ion Semi-Permanent contains Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil which is capable of deeply penetrating your hair, hydrating and conditioning your hair.

If you need a lighter and more vibrant color, then you can use Ion Brights Semi Permanent Hair Color. This variant offers up to 30 shades, with the colors green, red, purple, blue, yellow, pink, gray, and many more. Formulated in Italy, Brights Semi-Permanent Hair Color is suitable for bleached and natural hair or color-treated hair, and no developer is required.

Basically, semi-permanent hair dye works as a color deposit. The more you add color, the more vibrant the results will be. If you want to get a more beautiful color, then bleaching is highly preferred.

Let’s jump to the Demi Permanent Hair Color section.

Ion Demi Permanent Hair Color

After permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes, now we discuss Demi Permanent Ion Hair Dyes. It can be said that Demi Permanent Hair Color is a blend of permanent and semi-permanent hair dye, or is in the middle between the two.

Ion Demi Permanent does not contain ammonia and is a long-lasting, deposit-only hair color. When applying, demi-permanent hair color requires a developer, but lower than permanent dyes, usually 10 Volume Developer.

Ion Color Brilliance Demi Permanent Hair Color

Ion Intensive Shine Demi Permanent Creme Hair Color is available in 21 luxurious shades and one clear shade. Unlike permanent hair dyes, Intensive Shine Demi Permanent blends gray hair up to 100%, not cover. It also does not lift your hair color to the next level. Intensive Shine Demi Permanent Creme is perfect for:

  • Enhancing your natural hair color,
  • Reviving your slowly fading hair color,
  • Depositing color over light hair, and
  • Adding shine to the color (Ion Demi Clear 00)

Just like Ion Permanent, this PPD-free demi-permanent color formula is also equipped with Hyaluronic Acid, Argan Oil, Pequi Oil, and botanicals. Ion Demi Clear 00 can be used alone or mixed with other shades to lock the intensity of the hues. Ion Demi Permanent Hair Color will last up to 24-30 washes. Now, let’s take a closer look at Ion Creme Toner below.

Ion Brilliance Bright White Creme Toner

When we bleach our hair to get blonde, sometimes the color that appears doesn’t match our expectations.

Ion Brilliance Bright White Creme Toner

This is where Ion Brilliance Bright Creme Toners fill that gap to help you achieve that bright blonde hair color you’ve always wanted. Bright White Toners serve two purposes: Correct unwanted brassy or warm tones in your hair and revive your hair color by adding cool, white, and pastel tones. Bright White Creme Toner is available in 10 options that can be applied to highlighted or all-over hair.

These are Ion Color Brilliance Hair Color lines that you can choose to make your hair color more vibrant. Most Ion Hair Dyes are equipped with special ingredients to protect and hydrate your colored hair. Now, let’s take a closer look at the next section to learn about their key ingredients.

Ion Hair Color Key Ingredients

Above we have mentioned the active ingredients in the Ion Hair Color line. In this section, we will look at these active ingredients one by one, and what are the benefits for your colored hair.


It is the ingredient that can make Ion Hair Color create vibrant, long-lasting colors in your hair. Ammonia is the main ingredient in Ion Permanent Hair Color, except in the Ammonia-Free Hair Color range, which has a concentration of 38% lower than hair dye brands.

Ammonia is used to raise the pH level of your hair during the coloring process. It is because Ammonia is composed of nitrogen and hydrogen atoms, which create a strong alkaline solution when it is dissolved in water.

Hair fiber is multi-layered: Cuticle, Cortex, and Medulla. The cuticle plays a very important role in hair makeup. It forms a protective membrane around your hair shaft, closed to keep your lovely hair healthy. But with certain chemicals, such as ammonia, the cuticle can be weakened or manipulated even though there are about 4 to 8 layers of cells above it.

How does Ammonia work?
Hair, by nature, is acidic. It has a natural pH balance of 3.5 to 5.5. Ammonia is an alkaline with a pH balance of 11 to 13. When it comes in direct contact with a high pH, the hair can open its protective layer, making the cuticle layer lift. This means for the color molecules to penetrate down to the cortex and stay there permanently, an alkaline has to open up the cuticle. This is why Ion Permanent Hair Color gives you a long-lasting vibrant color and 100% gray coverage.

Hyaluronic Acid

You may often find hyaluronic acid in your skincare products.

But did you know that it can also be used for the health of your hair?

As a humectant (not a moisturizer), Hyaluron works by retaining water and pulling moisture into the hair follicles. If your hair lacks hyaluronic acid, you will most likely notice dry and thin hair. This is why hyaluronic acid is essential for hydrating the hair and scalp and reducing the appearance of frizz.

Hyaluronic acid

Therefore, Ion adds hyaluronic acid to their hair dyes to help hydrate your hair, preventing damage from the dye itself. Hair becomes dry from coloring and can’t hold its own water. But hyaluronic acid helps fill in the cracks of the porous hair shaft and maximizes moisture.

Argan Oil

Argan oil is derived from the kernels of the argan tree in Morocco, which has long been used as a home remedy for beauty, including hair loss. Almost all Ion Hair Colors contain argan oil in their proprietary blends. Besides its ability to hydrate your hair, it can also help reduce the damage caused by the chemical ingredients in hair dyes.

In addition, argan oil can reduce frizz and add shine to hair.

Argan oil

Argan oil contains medium-chain fatty acids, especially oleic acid, and linoleic acid. This oil can add a protective layer to your hair, which has been removed by ammonia, thus preventing damage and reducing split ends.

A 2013 study showed that argan oil has a positive effect in reducing protein loss in hair after being treated with hair dye. It reduced damage caused by hair dye when applied to Caucasian hair after the coloring process.

Pequi Oil

This oil is extracted from the seeds of the Brazilian Pequi fruit (Caryocar brasiliense), which contains oleic and linoleic fatty acids. Pequi oil is widely known for curly hair care, reducing the appearance of frizz, and maintaining curls. This is why Ion Hair Color is suitable for curly hair.

In addition, pequi oil can also nourish dry hair, give luster to dull hair, and provide softness.


A study examined the use of pequi oil to retain curls and reduce frizz in curly hair. Hair strands using 1.5% pequi oil resulted in 31% greater curls and a 23% greater reduction in frizz than the placebo group. Meanwhile, the use of 3.0% pequi oil resulted in 36% greater curls and reduced frizz by 34% greater than the placebo.


Ethanolamine is an active ingredient in Ion Demi Permanent Hair Color and Toner. For vibrant, long-lasting (though not permanent) results, Ion Demi Permanent Hair Color uses ethanolamine instead of ammonia. Ion Creme Toner contains both ammonia and ethanolamine to maximize its work.


The way ethanolamine works is the same as ammonia, opening the cuticle so that the color can stay on the cortex because the molecules are similar. Ethanolamine can weaken the hydrogen bonds in hair fibers. Thus, it can assist with the diffusion of dye precursors and oxidants into the fiber.

However, some differences between ethanolamine and ammonia can lead to changes in the behavior of dye formulations. Ethanolamine has also been associated with hair damage although there aren’t sufficient studies to make conclusive claims.

Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil

Otherwise known as Abyssinian Oil, it is derived directly from the seeds of the Ethiopian native Brassica Abyssinica plant. This ingredient is found in Ion Semi Permanent Hair Color, to hydrate your hair. The nutrient-rich Crambe Abyssinian Seed Oil can add shine and reduce frizz. It also makes your strands less prone to breakage and brittleness.

Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil

These are the active ingredients of Ion Hair Color, which can also help hydrate and reduce damage when applying hair dye. Now, let’s check the customer reviews in the next section.

Before and After Pictures of Ion Color Brilliance

In this section, we compiled the user experiences with pictures using Ion Color Brilliance product lines. Let’s see the results one by one.

Ion Permanent Hair Color

Ion Color Brilliance reviews - Angela
Angela used Radiant Orchid on her bleached hair first, and a blue color left from Ion Semi-Permanent. She uses 20 Volume Developer and gets a darker and bluer shade of purple.
Ion Color Brilliance reviews - Danielle
Danielle mixed Ion Radiant Raspberry 5VR with 40 Volume Creme Sensitive Scalp into her dark brown hair. It gives a light brownish-red color and seems to fade quickly after 2 weeks.

Ion Semi-Permanent Hair Color

Ion Color Brilliance reviews - Diana
Diana used two tubes of Magenta after shampooing. Tips: Bleach your hair before using it and dilute the creme to get a more creamy consistency.
Ion Color Brilliance reviews - Rina
Rina mixed Sky Blue and Sapphire and applied them to her yellow-tone bleached hair. She let it sit overnight and rinsed it with cold water. The color stayed vibrant for up to 3 months.

Ion Demi-Permanent Hair Color

Jeniffer has fine, thin hair and used 5G Light Golden Brown to blend her gray. She mixed it with 10 Volume Developer and perfectly lifted the color.
Ion Color Brilliance reviews - Kelly
Kelly mixed Ion Chrome Demi-Permanent to blend her gray with 10 Volume Developer. The dye lifted the color and gave her an ash-blonde look.

Ion Brilliance Bright White Creme Toner

Ion Color Brilliance reviews - Micah
Micah had patchy blonde hair, then she used Icy White Toner to get this excellent silver hair look.
Ion Color Brilliance reviews - Vivian
Vivian mixed Snow Cap with 20 Volume Developer to correct her brassy hair to get silver hair.

Ion Color Brilliance perfectly gives a vibrant color and gray coverage for most people. With the right application, you will get amazing hues on your hair. In the next section, we will discuss Ion Color Side Effects.

Possible Side Effects of Ion Color Brilliance

No hair styling product is perfect, including hair dye.

Even though it’s said to be made of natural ingredients, side effects may occur in some people. Especially if you have certain allergies to specific ingredients. In this section, we discuss the side effects of Ion Hair Color.

  • Skin burns, irritation, itching, or swelling may occur due to the ammonium hydroxide compound being a potential skin irritant. Always do a patch and strand test before applying to all-over hair. Check the reaction every 24 and 48 hours.
  • Using ammonia-containing hair dyes in the long term, may damage the cuticles and make hair dry, rough, and brittle. Since ammonia can draw moisture out and make hair lose its tensile strength.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid hair dyes containing ammonia and ethanolamine. Consult a doctor first before taking any hair dye.

Make sure to check the ingredients to avoid any allergies you may have. If you are a bit skeptical about using chemical hair color, choose natural or herbal hair dye instead. Check the alternatives to Ion Hair Color below.

Alternatives to Ion Color Brilliance

We have selected several hair dye brands that can be your alternative to Ion Color Brilliance. These are oVertone, NaturColor, and Manic Panic. They also provide a variety of hair dyes in tons of shades. Let’s take a closer look.


If you are looking for a hydrating hair dye, you can get it from oVertone, which has been providing hair styling products for 8 years. Their hair coloring products come in semi-permanent Coloring Conditioners. It is vegan, cruelty-free, ammonia-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, and 100% hydrating for your hair.

oVertone Hair Coloring Conditioner has 42 shades that are suitable for all hair types, including curly hair. Since it’s basically a color-deposit hair dye, you can reapply the color every 1-2 weeks to add more vibrant colors.

Click here to read our comparison article about Keracolor vs OverTone.

Ion Color Brilliance Semi-PermanentoVertone Hair Coloring Conditioner
Ion color brilliance reviews - semi-permanent hair colorOverTone Hair Color Conditioner
Current Price: $8.99 for 2.05 fl ozCurrent Price: $32 for 8 fl oz
4.2 / 5 stars from 1,244+ ratings on Amazon4.1 / 5 stars from 5,078+ ratings on Amazon


Are you tired of hair damage from chemical permanent hair dyes?

It’s time to switch to herbal hair dyes like those created by NaturColor. No ammonia, resorcinol, or parabens. This is perfect for those of you who are very sensitive to chemicals but want to color your hair.

NaturColor Gel is designed to change or enhance existing hair color while blending with gray. Available in 31 colors, which are classified as Natural, Ash, Mahogany, Copper, and Golden. Anyone can use this, both women and men with all hair types.

Ion Permanent Creme ColorNaturColor Permanent Gel
Ion color brilliance reviews - semi-permanent hair colorNaturColor Hair Dye
Current Price: $7.99 for 2.4 fl ozCurrent Price: $16.95 for 4 fl oz
4.3 / 5 stars from 2,951+ ratings on Amazon4.3 / 5 stars from 4,680+ ratings on Amazon

Manic Panic

Founded in 1977, Manic Panic has become one of the most popular hair dye brands among colorists. If you are a lover of pastel colors, Manic Panic is here for you. Manic Panic is known as an iconic punk rock hair dye brand, which provides customers with a unique vibrancy and aesthetic.

It is vegan, cruelty-free, Paraben-free, Gluten-free, Ammonia-free, Resorcinol-free, and PPD-free. The most well-known hair color line is Classic High Voltage which stocks 40+ semi-permanent hair dyes. Classic High Voltage was a Winner of the NYLON® Magazine Beauty Hit List for Best Hair Color.

Click here to read our comparison article about Manic Panic vs Artic Fox.

Ion Color Brilliance Semi-PermanentManic Panic Classic High Voltage
Ion color brilliance reviews - semi-permanent hair colorManic Panic High Voltage
Current Price: $8.99 for 2.05 fl ozCurrent Price: $13.98 for 4 fl oz
4.2 / 5 stars from 1,244+ ratings on Amazon4.2 / 5 stars from 18,681+ ratings on Amazon

The three brands are perfect for those of you who are looking for hair dye without ammonia. If you have damaged hair, oVertone can be your go-to choice. The amount per bottle is also more than Ion Color. When it comes to pricing, it is a bit pricey compared to Manic Panic, but a little $3 more affordable currently than Ion Color.

NaturColor is the perfect option if you want to try herbal hair dye, but it’s a bit more expensive than Ion Color. Overall, every brand has its exclusive concept when providing hair dyes, which you can pick as one of the best for you.

Thus, this ‘Ion Color Brilliance reviews’ article discusses their hair color product lines, key ingredients, authentic user reviews, and alternatives. Hope you read this very carefully to decide which one is the right option for you.

Leave us with comments and/ or questions.


Does Ion color brilliance damage your hair?

Every hair color does damage to your hair, especially permanent hair color that can absorb into your hair and stay permanently in the cortex. However, you can find alternatives like semi-permanent hair color for yourself, or try other brands that offer herbal hair dye.

How long does color brilliance ion last?

Ion semi-permanent color will last for about 10-15 shampoos. As for the demi-permanent color, it will last for 24-30 washes. It’s all depending on the shade you pick, its intensity, and how often you shampoo your hair to recover hair.

Do you mix Ion color brilliance with the developer?

Yes. You can use 10 Volume Developer or 20 Volume, even 40 Volume to lift the color even higher with a mixing ration of 1:1. But make sure your hair can handle the intensity first.

Is Ion color brilliance professional?

Ion Color Brilliance has built a great reputation over years, making it one of the professional brands that provide high-quality ingredients and products.

Do you use shampoo after using ion color?

It is best to rinse the color out with normal or cold water and without shampoo. Since shampoo can open the hair cuticle, the color will fade from your hair quickly. To maintain your hair color, it is advised to use a purple shampoo or a color-safe shampoo, so the color doesn’t fade easily.

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