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How to Use Ion Semi-Permanent Hair Color | It’s Easy!

It’s time for a change. You want to go bold, but you’re concerned with the commitment of being too drastic. Why not choose a semi-permanent hair color that is different, daring, or vibrant?

After all, semi-permanent hair color is exactly how it sounds: semi-permanent. It provides color that will slowly wash out after four to six weeks

It’s simple to learn how to use Ion semi-permanent hair color, even if this is your very first time coloring your hair. So follow these simple steps and go for that new do you’ve been dreaming of without hesitation.

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Ion Permanent Brights Creme Hair Color Red Red

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Using Ion Semi-Permanent Hair Color: A Summary

  1. Choose color
  2. Preparation
  3. Application
  4. Aftercare

Choosing the hair color you want will probably be the most challenging part of using Ion semi-permanent hair color. Are you looking to go brilliant in black, or would you rather become a fiery redhead?

With Ion semi-permanent hair color, purple or orange are also an option.

They have a line of bold, fun colors that look like they’ve been plucked from the rainbow. So, once you’ve got the color you want in hand, you are ready to get started on your way to your new do.

How to Use Ion Semi-Permanent Hair Color

Here is how to use semi-permanent hair color in only four steps!

1. Choose a Color

There are only two rules when picking a hair color that will guarantee your happiness with your selection:

  1. Personal preference 
  2. Skin tone

Picking the right color should be a personal preference. You could almost say that the sky is the limit when it comes to color choices since Ion has a selection of dozens of colors available. Even if you are looking for trendy colors like magenta or aqua.

Just be sure it works with your style and usual color palette. If you are looking for a more traditional hair color, pick something that goes with your skin tone. 

Matching Your Skin Tone

To match hair color to your skin tone, you must first figure out if your skin tone is warm or cool. The easy way to determine this is to look at the veins on your arm. If your veins look deep blue, your skin tone is cool.

Conversely, your skin tone is warm if your veins look more greenish blue. Once you know your tone, you can now look for the color base that goes with your tone.

Here are the bases to look for:


  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Ash
  • Icy


  • Bronze
  • Gold
  • Red
  • Orange

Every color offers a warm and cool side in the color wheel of hair dye, even black. So, using this strategy as a baseline when choosing a color gives you much better odds of picking the right color for you.

However, if you are still on the fence about a color, why not go virtual. Using a Hairstyle Makeover app to change your hair color in a photo can give you a realistic point of view of how your hair will look once it is dyed.

But, of course, if you’re still unsure, you can always get color advice from a professional stylist or salesperson. You, you can just take our “what hair color should I get” quiz. It’s easy and only takes 30 seconds!

2. Preparation

First, it’s highly recommended to do a test patch on your wrist or behind your ear 24 hours before using new hair dye brands to ensure you’re not allergic. After you know your color won’t cause an adverse reaction on your skin, it’s time to get the rest of your prep work done. 

Here’s a list of items you need before the application:

  • Hair Dye
  • Gloves 
  • Applicator brush
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Cape or smock
  • Rattail comb
  • Hair clips
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Towel
  • Timer
  • Wet cloth or paper towels

Read the Directions

Read over the directions that come with Ion semi-permanent hair color. Natural hair colors can take different setting time. Ion semi-permanent hair color doesn’t use developer, so it is gentler on your hair. Semi-permanent hair colors are a lot less damaging than permanent hair coloring.

Wash Hair

Wash hair with shampoo right before using Ion semi-permanent hair color and towel dry. By washing your hair first, you will wash away some of your natural oils while opening up the hair’s cuticle. When the cuticle opens, it allows the hair to absorb the color better, allowing it to last longer.

Protect Your Skin and Clothes

Apply petroleum jelly around your hairline and ears to prevent staining. A thin coat of jelly will be plenty to keep the dye from soaking into the skin.

Next, put on a cape or smock that you don’t mind getting color on. Semi-permanent colors will still stain fabric, so make sure you use an old or dark towel for the final hair rinse, as well.

Put Your Gloves On

Use rubber gloves to apply the color. The color can be messy and stain your skin if it gets directly on it. However, before you crack open the bottle of dye, there is one more part in the preparation stage.

Section Your Hair

After detangling your clean, wet hair, it’s time to section it off for even coverage. Part the hair into even sections and use hair clips to keep them separated. 

3. Application

Maybe this should have been said sooner, but if your hair is extra thick, long hair, you may need two bottles of color. Otherwise, one should be plenty.

Time to Color

First, shake the color thoroughly. Keep wet paper towels or a washcloth nearby in case of drips during the application process. Next, you can put the color into a mixing bowl or use it directly from the Ion bottle. 

Apply the color in even ribbons throughout one section of hair at a time, using either applicator you choose. Start at the root and pull the color towards the ends.

Once you’ve finished one section, move on to the next section of hair in the same fashion until your entire head of hair is saturated with color.

Use your fingers to massage the color into the hair and move the dye down to the ends. Finally, set the timer. Most hair takes about 25 minutes to set.

Using a heat dryer with a plastic cap or wrap around the hair for 10 minutes can result in deeper penetration of color into the hair shaft. If using heat, allow it to cool for an extra five minutes before rinsing out the color.

Rinse It Out

After the color has had plenty of time to set, it’s time to rinse it out. Be sure to use lukewarm or a cool water temperature to rinse out the color. Continue to rinse the hair until the water runs clear. This step might take some time, but getting all the loose color out is essential. 

Add conditioner to your locks to condition and hydrate your strands once the dye is out. Even though semi-permanent hair dye is gentle, it’s still important to keep hair nourished and healthy. Rinse out the conditioner and towel dry.

4. Aftercare

After your hair has been dyed with Ion semi-permanent hair dye, you can dry and style your hair as usual. The color should last around four to six weeks before it needs to be done again.

Keeping Long-Lasting Color

Wait 48 hours before washing your hair after coloring. It will allow the color to set better. To maintain the color longer, it’s recommended to wash hair every other day using a color-safe shampoo and conditioner.

If you can go three days between each wash, you’ll get extra time with your new color.

Using a good conditioner will help maintain color since dried-out strands will dull a lot faster than moisturized-enriched hair. It’s also best to wash hair in cooler temperatures to maintain vibrancy. 

Protect Your Hair

As you know, dried-out hair can dull faster, so using a heat protectant product on your hair before drying or styling can help maintain not only color but health.

Spray-on heat protectors are lightweight and repel heat from pulling out too much moisture in the hair shaft. Using satin can also help maintain hair health.

Satin helps prevent frizz, and that’s because satin doesn’t dry out hair like cotton and polyester. Using a satin pillowcase or a satin shower cap at bedtime can prevent hair from drying out while you sleep.

Read Next: How to Make Semi-Permanent Hair Color Last Longer

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman applying semi-permanent hair dye to her head for a piece on how to use Ion semi-permanent hair color


Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about  using Ion semi-permanent hair color:

What is demi-permanent hair color vs. semi-permanent?

Demi-permanent hair color lasts a bit longer than semi-permanent hair color. That’s because demi-permanent, unlike semi-permanent, has a tiny bit of developer in its ingredients.

The developer opens up the cuticle to allow the strand to absorb more color. Semi-permanent hair color doesn’t naturally open up the cuticle, so it is considered more of a hair stain.

What are the benefits of using semi-permanent hair color?

There are several benefits to using semi-permanent hair color. First off, it’s safer on hair since it doesn’t have ammonia or bleach. It’s not permanent.

So if you don’t like the color, it will eventually wash out thoroughly. Also, it’s a great option if you like experimenting with colors. With semi-permanent hair color, you can change the color every several weeks.

How to remove ion semi-permanent hair color?

There is a safer way to remove semi-permanent hair color faster than repeatedly washing it. Using vitamin-C mixed with shampoo can safely pull the semi-permanent color from your hair without damaging it.

Mix a crushed supplement of vitamin-C with shampoo to make a hair mask. Apply on wet hair and let it sit for 45 minutes. Rinse hair thoroughly and condition. Color should drastically fade.

Can I use temporary hair color over permanent?

Yes. You can use semi-permanent hair color on top of permanent hair color. The color should last for several weeks.

However, you might have more of a challenge using permanent hair color on top of semi-permanent hair color since the permanent hair color cannot take appropriately into the cuticle until the semi-permanent hair color fades after several weeks of washing.

Do shampoos for colored hair actually work?

Yes. Color-safe shampoos can actually work in preserving hair color because they are made with less harsh chemicals. Cleansing and clarifying shampoos strip hair to remove pollutants and can be drying to hair if used too often.

Color-safe products will nourish colored hair with ingredients that allow the color to last longer, but remember that all colors will fade over time. 

Shop Hair Color
Ion Permanent Brights Creme Hair Color Red Red

Click the button below to shop Ion semi-permanent hair color. There are many colors and tones to pick from!

Check Latest Price
We may earn a commission when you click this link, at no extra cost to you.

So, How Do You Use Ion Semi-permanent Hair Color?

Using Ion semi-permanent hair color is relatively simple. After you do a test patch on your wrist, you are ready to go. Getting the full coverage you are looking for, especially the first time, can be slightly messy or challenging.

Nevertheless, it will get easier over time as you gain courage by doing it. Just remember to work with your skin tone, prep before starting, apply in sections, and maintain good aftercare to achieve the best results. Happy coloring!