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How long does it take for ion color brilliance to work?

Ion Color Brilliance is a professional permanent hair color made by Ion that can significantly alter your hair color in a single application. But how long does it take for the color to fully develop and reach its maximum vibrancy? Here’s a detailed look at what to expect with the timing of Ion Brilliance hair color results.

The Initial Dyeing Process

When you first apply Ion Color Brilliance to your hair, you’ll immediately see some color change, but the final results will take more time to develop. The initial dyeing process with the developer lasts around 35-45 minutes. During this time, the hair cuticles open and the dye molecules penetrate the hair shaft. Rinsing away the dye stops further development during this stage.

The color you see after first rinsing is a good indication of the eventual end result, but it will still be lacking some depth and vibrancy at this point. Your hair needs more time for the color to fully oxidize and settle into place.

How Long Does it Take to See Final Results?

Most permanent hair dyes require between 24-48 hours after the initial application to fully develop and reveal the final color. Ion Brilliance is no exception. Here’s a general timeline of what to expect:

  • After the first day – You’ll notice the color intensifying and becoming more vibrant.
  • After 2 days – About 50% of oxidization and color development.
  • After 3 days – About 80% of the final color.
  • After 4 days – The full, final result will be apparent.

As the dye continues to oxidize with the air over several days, the color molecules rearrange and settle into their permanent positions within the hair shaft. This produces a deeper, richer, longer-lasting result.

Maximizing Color Development

There are a few things you can do after the initial dye process to help the Ion Brilliance color develop properly:

  • Avoid washing with shampoo for the first 2 days. Let the color set without disruption.
  • Rinse and air dry only for the first few washes to prevent fading.
  • Use a sulfate-free shampoo once you do shampoo to retain color.
  • Rinse hair in cool water instead of hot.
  • Avoid chlorinated pools or hot tubs for the first week.
  • Don’t brush hair when wet for the first few days.
  • Use a deep conditioning hair mask to lock in moisture.
  • Protect hair from sun exposure with hats or gentle styles.

How Long it Lasts

With proper maintenance, you can expect the vibrant color results from Ion Brilliance permanent hair dye to last 4-6 weeks before you notice significant fading or a need for touch-ups. The longevity depends on a variety of factors:

  • Your natural hair color – Darker shades tend to hold better than light colors.
  • Your hair’s overall health and condition – Dry or damaged hair fades faster.
  • Exposure – Sun, chlorine, hard water all accelerate fading.
  • Your maintenance routine – Frequent shampooing, heat styling, and lack of conditioning shorten color life.

To maximize the lifespan of Ion Brilliance hair color, follow a regular regimen of sulfate-free shampooing, moisturizing masks or treatments 1-2 times per week, and limited use of hot tools. Avoid environmental factors like sun and chlorine as much as possible.

Touch-Up Frequency

Most people need to re-apply permanent hair color every 6-8 weeks. But with Ion Brilliance you may be able to stretch it to more like 8-10 weeks, thanks to the brand’s fade-fighting ColorLock technology. Here are some signs it’s time for a refresh:

  • Noticeable roots showing at your part or hairline.
  • Overall faded or dull color.
  • Yellow, brassy undertones appearing.
  • Dark re-growth highly visible.

Plan your touch-ups based on how quickly you notice these signs of fading. Always do a strand test to determine how much your color has faded before applying more dye. It’s better to touch up too soon than to let it go too long.

Color Correction

If you are unhappy with how the Ion Brilliance color turned out, some adjustment may be needed. Here are your options:

  • Toner – A toning treatment can cancel out or counteract unwanted undertones like brassiness or yellowing. This is the least damaging correction method.
  • Color remover – Removing permanent color requires a specially formulated remover product. This avoids the need for bleach while still stripping the color.
  • Bleach – Lightening unwanted dark hair color requires bleaching. This is damaging so use a treatment afterwards.
  • Re-dye – You can go darker or adjust tone by simply dyeing again after some fading occurs.

Any corrections should wait at least 48 hours after the initial dye application. Always do a patch test first. Seek help from a professional colorist for tricky color changes.

Achieving Long-Lasting Color

Here are some top tips for getting the most long-lasting results from Ion Brilliance permanent hair dye:

  • Select the right strength and formula for your hair.
  • Do an allergy skin test 2 days before coloring for the first time.
  • Strand test color to check results before full application.
  • Fully saturate and evenly apply to hair and roots.
  • Leave the color on for the full processing time.
  • Rinse thoroughly after the time is complete.
  • Use a sulfate-free, color-safe shampoo and conditioner.
  • Condition regularly and treat with hydrating hair masks.
  • Protect from sun exposure when possible.
  • Avoid chlorine, salt water, and other damaging elements.
  • Let hair air dry instead of heat styling.
  • Get regular trims to keep hair healthy.

By following all the steps for proper application, development, and maintenance, you can get the most vibrancy and longevity out of Ion Brilliance’s permanent hair dye with results lasting 4-6 weeks or longer.

Considerations for Covering Gray Hair

Ion Brilliance can provide excellent gray coverage due to its conditioning formula and use of Micro-Pigment Technology for rich, lasting color. Here are some tips if you’re using it to cover grays:

  • Opt for warm, golden shades to neutralize gray tones.
  • Use a demi-permanent or permanent formula for better penetration.
  • Apply thoroughly from roots to ends to prevent a demarcation line.
  • Use a comb or brush to ensure even application.
  • Process for the full amount of time recommended.
  • Refresh color more frequently than for non-gray hair.
  • Use a clarifying shampoo once a month to prevent dulling.

Covering stubborn gray hairs requires extra care but is certainly achievable with Ion Brilliance dye. Expect to need more frequent touch-ups than non-gray hair which will fade faster. But the results will be shiny, vibrant color that grays seamlessly blend into.

Does Ion Brilliance Damage Hair?

All permanent hair dyes involve some level of damage to the hair structure due to the bleach or ammonia in the formula that lifts cuticles and strips underlying pigment. However, Ion Brilliance uses ingredients to help minimize this damage.

Key features that make it gentler on hair include:

  • Lower ammonia – Less than 5% vs. standard 12%.
  • Added conditioners – For softer, shinier hair.
  • pH balanced – Won’t over-dry or irritate.
  • Protein enriched – Fortifies and strengthens hair.
  • Antioxidant protection – Reduces oxidative stress.

Unless you have very sensitive or compromised hair, you should not experience any notable damage from Ion’s Permanent Shine Brilliance formula as long as you minimize chemical treatments and heat styling. Proper deep conditioning will also help combat any drying effects.

Best Practices for Minimal Damage

You can take certain steps to reduce the risk of Ion Brilliance causing excessive dryness, breakage, or other damage:

  • Avoid over-processing – Never leave dye on longer than directed.
  • Use a protein filler – For strengthened, intact cuticles.
  • Rinse thoroughly – To remove all traces of residual chemicals.
  • Apply a hair mask – For hydration and to seal cuticles.
  • Let air dry when possible – Limit heat tool use.
  • Wait 6-8 weeks between dye jobs – To allow hair recovery time.
  • Use Olaplex or similar – As extra insurance against damage.
  • Get regular trims – To remove any split ends before they worsen.

As long as you take precautions and properly prep and care for your hair before and after, permanent dye like Ion Brilliance can color your hair beautifully without significant risk of damage.

Coloring Already Damaged Hair

If your hair is in poor condition from over-processing, heat damage, or other factors, extra steps should be taken to minimize stress on the hair strands when using permanent dye like Ion Brilliance. Here are some tips:

  • Use a lower volume developer – 10 or 20 instead of 30 or 40 volume.
  • Pick a warmer, gentler shade – Avoid ash tones.
  • Opt for a demi-permanent formula – Less damaging than permanent.
  • Apply a protein-rich treatment – Before and after coloring.
  • Leave the dye on for less time – To prevent over-processing.
  • Apply protective oils – Focus on the ends.
  • Stretch out coloring – Wait 10-12 weeks instead of 6-8.

If your hair condition is already very compromised, you may want to avoid permanent dyes altogether. Talk to your stylist about alternatives like semi-permanent or demi-permanent colors that deposit pigment without fully penetrating the strands.

How to Soften Brassy Tones

Some people find that Ion Brilliance leaves hair looking somewhat brassy or orange. This is common with permanent dyes. Here are some ways to neutralize and soften the brassiness:

  • Pick an ash shade – Ash counteracts warmth.
  • Add a toner or glaze – For instant cooling results.
  • Use a purple shampoo – To cancel out yellow/orange.
  • Try a demi-permanent – Less lifting so less warmth.
  • Rinse with cold water – To prevent cuticle swelling.
  • Use a clarifying shampoo – Remove buildup making brass look worse.

It also helps to avoid alcohol-based products, dryers set on high heat, and over-shampooing, as those can exacerbate brassiness. With some minor adjustments, you can achieve the right tone for your preferences.


In summary, Ion Brilliance permanent hair dye requires a full 48 hours after the initial application to fully oxidize and reveal the final results. For best color development, avoid washing for 1-2 days, rinse with cool water, apply masks and oils, and protect hair from sun exposure after coloring. With proper maintenance, Ion Brilliance can last 4-6 weeks or more before fading or needing a touch-up. While permanent dyes involve some damage, Ion Brilliance is gentler than most and the effects can be minimized with the right precautions and hair care regimen.

Time After Application Level of Color Development
After the first day Some increase in vibrancy
After 2 days About 50% of final color
After 3 days About 80% of final color
After 4 days Full, final result

Following the instructions carefully and allowing enough time for the color to stabilize results in beautiful, lasting color from Ion Brilliance permanent hair dye without excessive damage to your hair.