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How Does Ion Hair Color Remover Work? Complete Step-by-Step Guide

A cute African American woman wearing black Ion hair dye to enhance her natural color.

While you were searching for hair color remover, chances are you came across Ion Color Brilliance Hair Color Remover. Though the hair color remover is by no means new, many still wonder how it works.

If you’re one of these people, read on. In this article, we’re going to examine how Ion Hair Color Remover works and help you decide if it’s the right color remover for you. 

How Does Ion Hair Color Remover Work?

To understand how color removers work, you must first understand how permanent and demi-permanent hair dyes work.

Permanent hair dyes penetrate the hair’s cuticle with the help of cuticle lifting ingredients like ammonia or hydrogen peroxide. The dye goes through the opened cuticle and enters the hair’s innermost layer, the cortex.

Once in the cortex, the dye reacts with the melanin housed inside. This reaction transforms the dye into a larger molecular structure. The new, larger structure becomes wedged inside the strand and changes the color from the inside out.

Hair color remover, in contrast, penetrates your hair shaft and breaks down the artificial color pigments inside so you can rinse them out.

While other hair color removers use caustic chemicals to do this, Ion Hair Color Remover is powered by vitamin C. Vitamin C breaks down the chemicals that hold hair dye in place. 

This color remover leaves your natural hair color intact, lifts dye, and doesn’t cause significant damage to your hair in the process. However, because it is so gentle, it can take multiple applications to see a significant color change with Ion Hair Color Remover.

Cute black girl with dark brown color-treated hair wearing a pink sweater and green glasses.

Ion Hair Color Remover Ingredients 

Ion Hair Color Remover has a relatively short list of ingredients, which you may consider a good thing. The specific ingredients that give it its gentle color-lifting ability are:  

  • Bentonite. Bentonite is a type of clay derived from volcanic ash. It is a deep cleaner that clarifies your hair by absorbing negatively charged grease and dirt. Bentonite also has a basic pH ranging from 8 to 10 (bases, also called alkalis, are the opposite of acids). When your hair comes in contact with an alkaline substance, the cuticle softens and begins to open. This allows the other ingredients to penetrate the hair and reach the dye inside.
  • Ascorbic Acid. Better known as vitamin C, ascorbic acid is a water-soluble antioxidant. This ingredient gives the ion color remover its color removing properties. Vitamin C breaks apart the bonds that hold hair dye in place and loosens the color so you can rinse it out. 
  • Sodium cocoyl. This fatty acid is derived from coconut oil. Sodium cocoyl breaks down the oils and dirt on the surface of your hair, which allows the color lifting ingredients to better penetrate your hair.
  • Polyquaternium. Polyquaternium creates a thin, easily removed film over damaged areas of your hair. When used in moderation, it fights frizz, improves manageability, and helps define curls. It can reduce the damage done by chemical treatments and provides excellent detangling benefits.
  • Sodium gluconate. This ingredient serves as both a conditioning and chelating agent. Hair dye contains a lot of heavy metals like copper, mercury, silver, and iron. Chelating agents bind to these metals and help remove them from your hair.
Pretty black girl with a big smile wearing medium brown permanent hair color (or permanent hair colour).

Is Ion Hair Color Remover Effective?

Ion Hair Color remover is specifically formulated to remove permanent color. While it won’t be effective for semi-permanent dyes, it is suitable for oxidative and nonoxidative permanent color.

This product effectively removes 1 to 3 levels of pigment, so it won’t necessarily strip all the dye from your hair. It also doesn’t provide any type of color correction. 

Reviews on this product vary due to many different factors. While some people can successfully remove their color with Ion Hair Color Remover, others are left with hair that looks virtually the same afterward. 

When Can You Recolor Hair After Ion Color Remover?

You should wait for at least 48 hours before recoloring your hair. Since the color remover opens your cuticle, you want to give your hair enough time to return to its typical porosity.

Dyeing hair with open cuticles can lead to a darker color than intended. 

Always pay attention to the condition of your hair before recoloring it. Hair that’s too damaged won’t take color well and can break off so severely that your only option is to cut it.

If your hair is dry and brittle with lots of split ends, you should reconsider damaging it further. Instead, give your hair some TLC with low manipulation hairstyles, strengthening protein treatments, and plenty of moisture. 

Young African American lady with a light brown natural hair color (or natural hair colour) wearing green glasses.

How To Use Ion Hair Color Remover

Now that you understand how Ion Hair Color remover works, it’s time to get into how to use the product. 

You’ll need: 

Ion Color Remover Processing Steps

  1. Pour 4 ounces of water into an applicator bottle. Make sure it’s room temperature.  
  2. Add the entire packet of crystals into the applicator bottle and shake or mix well. The crystals will take on a gel-like consistency. 
  3. Shampoo your hair and rinse thoroughly. Using a clarifying shampoo can increase the effectiveness of the color remover. Clarifying shampoo removes more oil and cuts through any product buildup coating your hair, which allows the color remover to better penetrate your strands.
  4. Be sure to wear old clothes and an old towel you don’t mind getting stained.
  5. Section your hair and apply the ion mixture to any hair with unwanted pigment.
  6. Use your fingertips and palms to work the gel in. Once your hair is thoroughly saturated, put on a shower cap or processing cap. 
  7. Apply heat to your hair for 15 to 45 minutes using a hooded dryer or blow dryer. Try your best to heat your head as evenly as possible. If you use a blow dryer, move it around constantly, so you won’t put too much heat on any area in particular.  
  8. Once your time is up, remove the cap and rinse your hair with warm water. Keep rinsing until the water runs mostly clear. 
  9. Shampoo your hair repeatedly (up to three more times) to remove as much color as possible. You should use your regular, non-clarifying shampoo for this step. While clarifying shampoo cleans your hair more thoroughly, using it too many times in a row can cause significant dryness. 
  10. Follow up with a conditioner or, preferably, a deep conditioning treatment to restore your hair’s moisture. 
  11. Dry your hair as usual and assess your new color level. 
  12. Repeat the process as needed. Ion Hair Color Remover is gentle enough to use once a week. You can use it more often, but keep in mind that using vitamin C and shampoo multiple times in a row can cause dryness.  
A woman wearing a pink sweater after using Ion Color Defense Shampoo to remove hair dye.

Should You Use Ion Hair Color Remover?

Ion Hair Color Remover is inexpensive and won’t leave you with lasting hair damage. If you have a permanent color you want to lift by 1 to 3 shades, Ion Hair Color Remover may be just what you need.

If you aim to lift your hair more than three shades, are trying to remove semi-permanent hair dye, or have stubborn color, you should choose a more potent color remover. 

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When used correctly, Ion Hair Color Remover effectively lightens new and old color while helping you avoid the damage caused by bleach or harsher color removers.

It’s only effective for permanent and demi-permanent hair dye and will only lift your hair by a few shades. We hope this article has given you some insight into how the product works and helped you determine if it’s the right choice for you.