Product Review: Clairol Perfect 10 hair color

by Bionic Beauty on 11.Apr.2009 · 58 comments

I rarely waiver from my trusted Ion Color Brilliance hair color (available at Sally Beauty Supply in case you’re wonderin’), but I do get the itch to try a new brand occasionally. Mostly I wonder if I’m missing out on some new fangled hair color wizardry. In a moment of wonderment, I picked up Clairol’s Perfect 10 hair color. It was on a huge discount at Walgreens and I figured I wouldn’t be out much if it didn’t perform.
Product Review: Clairol Perfect 10 hair color

Mix the color like usual and then apply. This is where Perfect 10 has a leg up on many “over-the-counter” hair color systems. Perfect 10 has this nifty comb topped bottle that allows you to basically brush in the color. Like I said- nifty. Really nifty!

It’s also quick and non-messy; although I consider myself a pretty expert at-home colorer. I’ve been doing my own hair since I was 16 at home. So it’s pretty much a routine for me. Anyhow, I let the color sit 10 minutes according to the instructions. Plus since I do have incredibly stubborn grays I waited the recommended extra 5 minutes (My grays are more stubborn that a teenager you’ve told can’t go out with his friends because their room isn’t clean. Trust me, it’s bad.). My total cook time equaled 15 minutes.

Hop in the shower, rinse thoroughly and conditioner with the enclosed condition. I have to mention the color rinsed well, didn’t stain my hands or shower floor and the conditioner was scented nicely (so many included conditioners smell like they haven’t changed since the seventies…).

My grays were covered, yippee! I was amazed that something could cover those suckers in 15 minutes! Unfortunately the bad side of my Perfect 10 experience- in less than a week, all the color had washed out. So for me, Perfect 10 is a great quick fix if you need to touchup before a big interview, date, whatever. But it’s not a permanent color if you have resistant or hard to color hair.

For those of you blessed with hair that takes color easily, have at it. I wish I was you. I’ll just stick with my $3.99 Ion color from Sally’s.

Clairol Perfect 10 is $13.99 at Drugstore.comProduct Review: Clairol Perfect 10 hair color and similarly priced in the brick and mortar stores.

Stay colorful and bionic,
Jami - author and editor of the Bionic Beauty blog


1 jessica April 11, 2009 at 9:11 am

How do you use the ion haircolor? Do you have to mix it with other chemicals? I need a new hair dye brand, I hate all the ones from the drug store.
I had the exact same experience with perfect 10. Looked great at first, but washed right out.

2 Marge December 26, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Perfect 10 is a perfect mess, how they can call it permanent color is beyond me. However, I found the regular Nice & Easy to be great, I will go back to it.

3 Liz April 11, 2009 at 9:45 pm

I have fine, medium/blond hair and I have yet to find a at-home hair color that just doesn’t turn it a (really bad, like comic book bad) shade of red. The kind that doesn’t come out for weeks. I’d love to find something that would kick up my highlights without turning it red…

4 joycey couture April 12, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Love your honesty BB. Thanks! 🙂 I’ve actually had the urge to try this product as well… but haven’t let myself shell out the dough. You’re the best!!

5 Bionic Beauty April 13, 2009 at 10:17 am

Hi Jessica, The Ion color is a mix just like what you get at the drugstore, but it is a professional product. Basically with any of the Sally colors (check out Wella Color Charm too- another FAB color line!)- you mix equal parts color cream (or liquid) with the same amount of developer (I get Ion’s Sensitive Scalp developer- sooooo gentle!). Mix them in a glass or plastic bowl (no metal), then paint on your hair. People always freak out too much thinking it’s really hard. And if you have questions, ask the Sally ladies (or email me!) they are always friendly. My other advice with Ion is to pick 2 shades lighter than you think you need. The colors are MORE potent than drugstore color, so they come out darker, and richer, than you are used to. 🙂

Liz, It sounds like your hair is pulling red due to your undertones. You need to be sure to buy color that is marked “Ash” (or cool) or “Neutral”. This will help counteract the red & copper undertones in your hair. Plus, I would strongly suggest using a filler or a porosity neutralizer on your hair before you color. My suggestion is the Neutral Color Filler at Sally Beauty Supply or White Sand’s Porosity treatment (Here’s my Porosity review:

Joycey, I know your hair… and the Perfect 10 won’t work for you. Save your dough. 🙂

I hope this helps you ladies!! Comment back or email me with any hair color questions. I’m happy to help as much as possible!

6 rosemarie January 7, 2017 at 7:21 pm

my silver new hair is hard to color—–
Clairol nice & easy PERFECT 10 works perfectly!!!
Having a hard time finding it at stores. Who is selling it ?
has Clair0l stopped making it?

Thanks for info,

7 Liz April 16, 2009 at 3:35 am

Thanks for the help:)

8 Kristin June 3, 2009 at 7:36 pm

Can you suggest tips for going red? I’ve been going to a salon (I’m naturally blonde) and getting single-process red, which I love. I wish I could try an at home color, but I’m too scared! Mainly of getting too-hot roots. Should I just stick to a salon?

9 Bionic Beauty June 3, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Hi Kristin, Red is the hardest color to maintain as I’m sure you know. 🙂

I would suggest trying a drugstore at-home color first (rather than the pro stuff available at places like Sally Beauty Supply).
And excellent way to “get your feet wet” is to try a demi or semi-permanent color. These last around 2-3 weeks; sometimes as little as 10 shampoos. So it’s no commitment and gentle on your hair. Try: Clairol Natural Instincts or L’Oreal Color Spa both from your drugstore.

When picking a color, pick something close to your red now, if waffling between 2 colors, always pick the lighter color.

To avoid hot roots- don’t wash your hair for at least 24 hours before coloring. And when you apply the color, apply it to your hair first. Keep it an inch or so off your scalp. 5-10 minutes before your developer time is up, put your gloves back on and smoosh the color all through your roots. Add more from the bottle if you need to.

I’d also recommend doing a strand test before coloring. It’s quite easy. Cut a small snippet of hair off (from the back or underlayers) and tape it or tie it with string to hold it together. Apply the color on the strands. Check the time you apply the color and then every 5 minutes, wipe the color off, rinse and check the tone. You’ll find out exactly how your hair takes the color and exactly how long to leave it in. 🙂

Those are my tips. I’ve *never* had my hair colored at a salon and believe that everyone should be able to do at-home color (unless you’re going from black to blonde or something drastic). Don’t be afraid… it’s quite simple these days, and the formulas are very gentle. You’ll be a pro in no time!

Comment back with more questions if you need!
Jami (BB)

10 Tashi June 20, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Please forgive my tardiness to this review, as I only recently stumbled upon it. I just tried this Clairol product four days ago, and was initially very happy with the results. And may I add, very proud of how even and complete a job I did, after not coloring my hair for almost 12 years. I’ve only washed my hair twice, and can already see a gradual fading in the color. What gives??? I’ve never had a problem like this before in hair color, unless I specifically bought semi-permanent color, or had semi-permanent color professionally done. Major disappointment. The box clearly says “permnanent”. But I beg to differ. After reading the other comments to the Clairol Nice ‘n Easy Perfect 10 color, and BB’s responses, I seriously think I will try the Sally Beauty Supply store for future at-home colors (I’m a new customer there within the last week, and am very happy so far! Cool place.). I *WISH* I would have found this chain of comments before I bought the Clairol item. Oh well. Live and learn. Moving on….

One parting question to BB and her readers: How long do the Sally colors last? Would you go the usual 4-6, etc. weeks in between colors/root touch-ups? THANKS for the info and help, everyone. Much appreciated. 🙂

11 Bionic Beauty June 21, 2009 at 10:55 am

Hi Tashi, My experience was pretty much the same as yours. Absolutely gorgeous color at first, but it washed out so incredibly quickly.
I am back to using Wella and Ion Color Brilliance (both from Sallys). They last me about 4 weeks but I have quite a few VERY stubborn grays to cover. If you don’t have as many stubborn grays, then you should get 5-6 weeks certainly.
Plus, with my shorter hair, I get 2-3 colors out of each tube, which makes it even more affordable. 🙂
My only advice, is to pick a shade or two *lighter* than what you normally think you want in the Ion or Wella colors. They are very pigmented and hence can come out a bit darker than you expected. But the colors are so rich and vibrant. Certainly the best color on the market, in my opinion.

Also, don’t be afraid to mix a few colors. Right now I do 1/3 tube of Light Copper Brown plus a teaspoon (or so) of Medium Golden Blonde. I mix in the bit of blonde for my summer browns. It helps “lift” a bit without making my hair looked bleached out.

And another money saving tip: If you buy often at Sally, get one of their Beauty Club Cards. I think it’s $5 for the year. You get about $1-2 off of hair color supplies!! And tons of money off of Seche Vite nail polish base & top coats, etc. Almost everything. Ask the sales assistant for the price trick- she will show you how to read the price tags so you’ll see the price you pay with the Club Card. It’s SO much cheaper. I think I paid about $3.50 for my CND Sticky (nail polish base coat) rather than the $6 it normally is. I saved my $5 purchase of the card in my first trip on hair color alone.

Hope this helps!!
Jami (aka Bionic Beauty)

12 Tashi June 22, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Yes, that all DID help. Gracias! Just made my 4th trip in 9 days to my local Sally store. Got some ion color (7g, specific shade name, I forget, but lighter than what I am only a wk after the Clairol stuff — Light Golden Brown/Full tilt toffee 6g), #30 developer, and stuff in little blister pack to help cover grays, plus a beaker for easier mixing. I will try mixing different colors the time after next, after I see what the ion stuff does to what’s on my head currently. Or whatever color is LEFT. Btw, I mentioned your name to the Sally employee; with all the shout-outs you give them, the entire company oughtta know who you are!! This employee didn’t. Ah well, they got my money, thanks to you. 🙂

13 Bionic Beauty June 22, 2009 at 9:37 pm

Tashi, Thanks SO much for spreading the word about Bionic Beauty! 🙂 You have no idea how happy that made me!!

Please do let me know how your coloring goes. And don’t hesitate to comment back… oh- and you should send pictures too!
Have a great night,
Jami (BB)

14 Tashi June 23, 2009 at 1:35 pm

You’re very welcome for me spreadin’ the Bionic Beauty word! 🙂 I’m glad that my favorite MN blogger, Erin “The Cheap Chick”, mentioned you in the first place, so mad props to her. Even though you’re not a cosmetologist, your experiences and advice are greatly appreciated! Lest I forget, your readers’ experiences too, are great.

I’ll be coloring in the next month, so we’ll see how it all shakes out in the end. Turns out, I got the very same shade of blonde you mentioned above. But I was too chicken to choose a color to mix in. However, I think I will pick something out in the reds family, but not sure what. I’m having issues with my digital camera, but I’ll try to get pictures somehow, once I use my new ion colors. And may I add, I can’t believe how CHEAP it is to buy color at Sally’s! Four bucks??? Let’s not get into what I was paying for years at the salon; it would permanently curl your hair, Jami. 🙂 And thanks, *you* have a great night/day/summer as well!

15 Bionic Beauty June 23, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Heck, the Sally colors are even cheaper compared to drugstore color! And they end up being even cheaper because you can color less, and the tubes are good for more than one coloring if you have medium (or shorter) length hair. I’m so thankful I found Ion. 😀 I’ve been using them for about 4 years now- before that I was exceptionally frustrated that drugstore color would not cover my grays. I was ready to start heading to the salon- but I really didn’t want to spend the time or the money. I can’t imagine sitting in the salon for that long. Unless I could blog, of course. 😉

16 Tashi June 26, 2009 at 10:33 pm

As I build the skills and confidence, maybe my older sister will let me color *her* hair. In about a month, we’ll see how the ion colors work for me, and how good of a job I do on my own head. Fingers crossed! Thanks a *bunch* for all of your advice and input on coloring at home and this Clairol item! 😀 Much appreciated, Jami.

17 jacy August 9, 2009 at 1:08 pm

I had an interview so I was looking for a quite fix. I picked up Perfect 10. I now believe that it was a big mistake. The next day my hair looked good. However, the next two days, no matter how much I washed my hair, the top felt greasy and looked horrible. It seemed to be sticking to my head. I am in the second day of this and don’t know how to rectify the situation. Until the “greasy ” look is gone, I am wearing a hat!

18 Bionic Beauty August 9, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Hi Jacy, Is this your first time coloring your hair (i.e. virgin hair)? Or just your first time with at home color? I’m asking to get some more information on what might be going on so we can get you all fixed up.

Without further info, it sounds like your scalp had an allergic reaction (always be sure to do the allergy test before using new hair color brands, I know we all think we can skip it, but it really *is* important). The color sounds like it stripped the oils from your scalp and now it’s gone into overdrive to protect itself and your hair. The best thing you can do is to wash with super gentle shampoo, and possible doing a warm oil scalp massage before you shower. Jojoba Oil would work well. I know adding oil sounds backwards, but the jojoba will “let your scalp know” that it can stop the overdrive oil production.

You can also use a bit of baby powder or the dry spray shampoo “Pssst” (available at your local drugstore). For both of these- apply slightly and lightly, a little at a time, to your scalp and roots. Brush lightly through to distribute the powder. It should help absorb the oils a bit.

I hope this helps! If you respond back with more info, I’ll try to help more if I can.
And lest I forget, welcome to Bionic Beauty Jacy!! Hope to see you around here more often! 🙂

19 kendra October 30, 2009 at 10:41 am

i am not jacy, but i am having the exact same problem after using this haircolor. i colored my hair nearly two weeks ago. the first and second day, it looked great. ever since then, no matter what kind of shampoo and conditioner i use, the top of my head is sticky and greasy and looks horrible. i have to wear my hair up every day to hide it and it’s still noticeable. even in the shower immediately after rinsing the shampoo from my hair, i can feel the difference in the texture of my hair in that area. the buildup is almost wax like and if anything it seems to get worse each day, not better. this was the first time in a few years that i have colored my hair but i used to do it regularly for years and this was the only time i’ve ever had a problem. add this to the fact that the color i chose faded from black to an auburn brown in a matter of days, and i don’t think i will be using this haircolor again.

20 Shelly January 31, 2013 at 10:48 am

Me too! I have used Perfect 10 before in the same color as I used last night. I woke up with the top of my head beyond greasy- really waxy. It won’t was out. I also lost A LOT of hair. Time to switch products

21 erika September 9, 2009 at 9:50 am

My hair was a light brown but i got blonde highlights in june, i dont have much money and i want to go more blonde. I have no idea if there are any bad side effects from dying your highlighted hair?

22 Bionic Beauty September 11, 2009 at 9:10 am

Erika, Since it’s been a few months since your highlights, basically the only thing that would happen is your highlights will turn out a bit lighter in color than the rest of your hair (since their base color was lighter to begin with).

I hope this helps!

23 Sil November 2, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Hi – need some advice – I colored my hair that was previously processed – light brown with blond highlights – my natural color is a dark neutral brown. I used ion developer 30 with the clairol professional (complements) 4RC red copper base. I started at the ends of my hair and did the roots last but still ended up with hot roots and the color was tooooo intense. I had to go to the salon to have it fixed. The back of my hair for some reason does not develop at the same rate as the top part so the back bottom part of my hair was actually quite nice. I do not like depending on the salon to maintain my hair – I need advice on how to maintain my hair with the products available at Sally’s Beauty Supply. Many thanks

24 Bionic Beauty November 5, 2009 at 10:32 am

Hi Sil, It sounds like you have porosity and ph issues in your hair. It means that your hair absorbs the color at different rates. You can try the apHogee system at Sally Beauty. It comes with a shampoo and pH balancing treatments. Also, look for their “color filler” products that you can add to your hair color to make it blend better. I also HIGHLY recommend White Sands Porosity- you can 2-3 spriztes into your color mix to help color absorb evenly.

Also, any color with red is going to be more intense at first, but they fade the quickest. Red is the hardest to maintain because of the pores in our hair pretty much refuse to hold the red color molecules. So your intense result would fade quickly. I have used the Clairol Professional (Complements) and ended up not liking them since the results were always unpredictable. I always had problems with color coming out wrong, and it didn’t make my hair feel healthy. Plus they faded super quickly. I use the ION Color Brilliance cream colors.

Also, why did you pick the 30 volume Developer? I know there was probably a reason, but I have never seen anyone have to use one that strong in the ION line. Most cases (even going from dark brown to blonde in the ION range) are fine with the gentler 20 volume.
Other questions that will help: How old are you, do you flat iron/heat style daily, what shampoos & conditioners do you use?

Thanks for being a Bionic Beauty reader! I hope I can help you sort out your at-home hair color!

25 Tashi November 5, 2009 at 10:28 pm

For those who have only recently tried the Clairol NNE Perfect 10 color — my sympathies. A few months ago, shortly before I discovered Jami’s awesome web site, Bionic Beauty, I tried this color for the first time. I wrote about my similar awfully disappointing experience back then, and asked Jami for advice. While she’s not a hairstylist, she can speak from experience, which REALLY helped me. (Thanx again, J.!! You rock, sister.) I found that the Perfect 10 color was rubbish, and so I use Sally Beauty Supplies’ Ion Brilliance colors now. Awesome-fantastic stuff, and MUCH better than anything at the stores!! In fact, I just did my newest coloring tonight. While it can be intimidating at first, you CAN color your hair really well at home. What I did, was save the bottle from the Perfect 10 color, wash it out thoroughly, and use it for my Ion Brilliance colors. I don’t usually advocate buying a product just for the plastic bottle, but I have done just that, simply because it’s easier for *me* to do my color. The price for that kit went down to $10.09 at Target, and I found a whopping $5 off coupon in the Sunday paper, so the wasted money wasn’t as hard a sacrifice (I previously trashed the other bottle, therefore, needing a new one.). I can re-use the bottle, and it works fab! I just mix up 2 colors (my preference, not a requirement — ask Sally Beauty folks and Jami for advice on that), put about 20 drops of Gray Magic in (available also at Sally’s), and developer in the Clairol Perfect 10 bottle (shaking it like there’s no tomorrow!), and proceed. The consultants at Sally are very helpful, even if most/some aren’t hairstylists. I would say, go ahead and buy the Clairol product once, if ONLY for the bottle. Throw everything else out, and buy the colors and other few start-up supplies from Sally’s. Trust me, you’ll be so pleased!! 😀

26 Haley November 30, 2009 at 11:25 pm

I need some advice… Well my hair is naturally a light strawberry blonde (more blonde than red) and at the beginning of September I had it dyed a neutral light blonde with a few lowlights around the front that were a few shades darker, Anyways… I loved it at first because it actually looked cute, that doesn’t happen much at salons, But when I went to school the florescent lights made my hair look pretty ashy and beige, it also made my skin look washed out, pale and beige-y. I believe that my skin is a light warm peachy color and my eyes are a dark golden brown so cool colors don’t look good on me. It’s been about 3 months since I had it dyed and about an inch and a half of my strawberry blonde roots are showing. Partly I’m too lazy to go get it done again and I really don’t have that kind of money. I don’t want to buy a box from WalMart either because box color never turns out like I want it and I always manage to miss spots. Anywho, I wanted to dye my hair a light golden brown. Not something too drastic because I’m not really that confident and I’m afraid people won’t like it and talk about me. But i definatly want it darker, At the salon they said i was going about an 8 or 9 but it’s not at all close to Platinum like my mom’s. It’s quite a bit darker than hers. anyways, I want it too look natural without any highlights really, but I heard and know (from experience) that going darker makes my hair feel thicker, look shinier, and look less damaged. Also, do you know of any eyebrow dye i can use? I wouldn’t dye them the same shade but a little lighter than now. They are naturally dark brown and they really clash with my hair color.
P.S. I plan on going to Sally’s. The closest one to me is about 45 minutes away.

27 Bionic Beauty December 5, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Hi Haley, It sounds like you could use a level 7 or 6. I would pick a Dark Golden Blonde from the Ion Color Brilliance range at Sally’s; and a bottle of their 20 Volume Developer (purple bottle). However, if you miss spots and have trouble with home color like you mentioned, you may have the same issues with the Ion since it does take some practice to become efficient at home. Enlist your mom’s or a friend’s help to get the back of your head and check for spots you missed. Also be sure to comb the color through your hair after application. That will help make sure it is distributed evenly.

I wouldn’t worry too much about your eyebrows. Many blondes have dark brows, it’s completely natural for your brows to be 1-2 shades darker than your hair color. If you ever see someone with their brows dyed the same color as their hair, the brows look odd. They weren’t meant to match. However, if you do want them dyed… you MUST go to a salon for that. Your eyesight is simply too precious to risk at home. Those chemicals could seep into your eyes causing major (and potentially long-lasting) damage and ill-effects. It’s too risky for an at-home process, especially if you are newer to coloring.

I hope this helps you out a bit. Be sure to also enlist the help of your Sally’s employees when you go. They are usually licensed cosmetologists, so can be very helpful!

Please let me know how your adventures in hair coloring turn out!!
Jami (aka Bionic Beauty)

28 Tashi December 5, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Great advice, as usual, Jami! I wholeheartedly agree, especially on the DON’T dye your brows at home. I have been tempted, but will *never* try it. I used to have it done at the salon for ages, but have nipped that expense for now.

Haley, like Jami said, be sure to comb through the hair after applying the color. I have found that doing so throughout the application, has helped me immensely. When I went to the salon recently for a cut, my stylist mentioned how amazed she was at how even the distribution was. Most times, I don’t have the luxury of enlisting help to get the back of my head done, but combing through helps!! Because of Jami, I discovered the absolute wonders of Sally’s and their employees. By all means, seek their assistance in choosing the stuff you need to do great color at home. Speak of the devil, I’m fixing to color my hair this weekend! Jami, I swear, one of these days, I’ll send you/Bionic Beauty my picture afterwards. 🙂

29 Haley December 6, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Thanks for all of your help! 🙂 i’ll definatly go to a salon for my eyebrows though!

30 Haley December 9, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Hi again! I was looking on and I saw some human hair extention that you can buy and have them put on your hair. These ones,,default,pd.html?cgid=Hair16-03

But I was wondering what color to get them in. When I dye my hair I want to dye it this color,

The color I want is the very bottom of her hair, That golden light brown color.

-What ion color would give me this color?
-And which color extensions i should get to go with that color?

So it says on the website that you can buy them and bring them to a salon to get them attached any way or you can just clip them in, which i don’t like.

-what is the healthiest way to have them attached?
-about how much do you think it would cost?

I use ‘Wen’ cleansing conditioner instead of shampoo and it works great.

-Can i use that with extensions?

Also my hair is about collar bone length and its a blunt cut on the bottom.

-I would need to get it thinned on the bottom to get it to blend with the extensions right?

and about an inch of my roots are showing,

-will the ion color cover it up?
-and will it make an ashy color of hair more golden if i dyed it a light golden brown?
-or will it come out a weird color?

Haha sorry for all the questions, I just really want to be educated about this:) Thanks!

31 Bionic Beauty December 11, 2009 at 12:40 am

Hi Haley, You are asking some great questions! I’m going to start with your haircolor question. Unfortunately I can’t tell you which Ion color you should use without knowing what color your hair is now. To pick any hair color product, you need to take into account your hair’s porosity, whether it’s been dyed before, and your current color. Also, it’s helpful to know if your skin is cool or warm toned. If you can provide those details, and possibly post a link to a picture of you (or email it to me), I will certainly help as best I can.

Regarding gray coverage and roots- Ion is superior in covering resistant grays. That’s why I originally tried Ion. I have some VERY resistant gray hairs, and I was recoloring every 2 weeks! It was getting pricey, even with the drugstore colors (I’ve tried them all!); and also damaging to my hair; and was time-consuming! I started looking around by visiting salons in my area and just asking for a tour, and paid attention to what color brands they were using. I’m SO glad I found Ion. I now go 4-6 weeks before touching up my grays. If you don’t have noticeable grays, the Ion will probably give you even a few more weeks (like 6-8).

If you don’t want your roots to be ashy when you touch up, you could use a Neutral or a Golden. Of course, this depends a LOT on what color your hair is currently. If your roots are very ashy, try a Golden. If it’s too brassy or red, go with a Neutral. Also remember to go 1 shade lighter than you really want. I use Ion’s Light Red Brown and the results are Medium Red Brown. When it doubt, pick the lighter shade. Weird colors can result when you pick the wrong tone for your hair. For instance, if you are a light golden brown and you dye over it with Light Ash blonde, it could come out a bit greenish. Basically you have to think of the color wheel we all learned about in elementary school. Gold brown + gray yellow… Uh oh. 😉

Extensions- Pick your extensions AFTER you’ve colored your hair. That way you get them to match. I use clipin extensions sometimes when I want a burst of color. I have the Sally’s clip-in extensions in Blue and Purple.

As for the rest of your questions on extensions, I really can’t guide you since I have never had extensions. I do hear that it’s usually $100+ for a full head. There are very specific ways to take care of them- shampoos, certain styling products, etc. I would guess that Wen maybe okay for human hair extensions though. I’ve had friends get the sewn-in extensions at the salon and they liked the look at first, but when they grew out a bit in 4 weeks (similar to how much of your roots would be showing after 4 weeks of growth), the hair starts to part and you can see the “knots”. You also need to be careful with brushes so you don’t catch the stitches. But I do know, you don’t have to get your hair thinned to blend them. A good hairstylist will be able to meld the extensions right into your blunt cut. My Sally clipins match right up to my real hair.

I would suggest trying some cheap clipins from Sally’s to see how you like the idea, even if they are not adding any length. You can see what they feel like against your head. Sewn-in ones would be much different, of course. They can be tight the first few days (similar to when you pull your hair back in a super tight ponytail), but you’ll get used to them and they will adjust/stretch to your head.

If you do decide to go with sewn-in extensions, you should call your salon before you buy the ones at Sally’s. Some salons will not put in extensions from outside sources.

I hope this helps!

32 Jude December 23, 2009 at 9:22 am

I have been coloring my hair for years but I still don’t know when the timer starts. Is it when you start application or when you finish? I have a bottle of Perfect 10 but I’m afraid to use it, it usually takes me about 5-8 minutes to get any product on. So does that mean I rinse in 2 minutes? If that’s the case the last part of my hair is not going to have much color. Help!

33 Bionic Beauty December 29, 2009 at 10:58 am

Hi Jade, Always start your color timing *after* you have finished application. Apply the color first to your resistant areas (grays on root line, temples, etc), then move to touch up your roots, then pull through the rest of your hair. And start your timer. This way the color is on the longest where those areas need color the most. 🙂

I hope this helps. Have a great New Year!!

34 Kelly January 3, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Hello! I am so frustrated with my hair! It is a new year in more ways than one. I am determined to renew myself, beauty, mind, and soul. So, with that said, I want to start the beauty part with my hair color and hair cut. Since this can be a very expensive endeavor I need tobe able to cut cost by coloring my own hair. I have done this for many years and would consider myself “good” at it. However, as the years go by, the more gray it becomes and I am no longer able to find a product that will cover this super resistant gray! My favorite color is Golden blond. Currently the color is a very blah light brown with 1″ -2″ of gray roots. I need suggestions on what exactly to ask for when I go to Sally’s. Also, my hair is just a little longer than shoulder length. Your suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

35 Bionic Beauty January 5, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Hi Kelly, Basically covering (very) resistant grays is my TOP priority when finding a good hair color. You definitely want a permanent color- not semi/demi or other color types. Semi and demi’s don’t cover grays nearly as well.

I found my match with Ion Color Brilliance (see my comments above in the thread for some of my suggestions). I would also suggest the Gray Additive that is available at Sally’s as well. I use it, and a few family members and friends use it as well (and I *know* some Bionic Beauties have tried it per my recommendation with good results as well). You simply mix your color with the developer (equal parts color + developer). I use the Ion Color Brilliance 20 vol gentle developer (also at Sallys). Then add 10 drops per ounce of color you mixed (2 ounces = 20 drops of gray additive). Stir or shake well. Then apply. Start at your most resistant areas, then more to your longer strands. I would guess with your length of hair, you’ll need to use 1/2 to 2/3 of a tube of Ion color per hair color session.

For you color choice, it really depends on what color your hair is now. What color are the roots that are showing? And what color is the rest? Do you have golden tones throughout, or red highlights in the sun, or ashiness, etc? The more information the better. To get the correct color results, you really have to look at what color and tones your hair has NOW, then we can back you into a proper color from the ION (or any color brand, actually). I do always recommend picking 1 shade lighter than what you want for your results. So if you want Dark Golden Blonde, pick Medium Golden Blonde. But again, we need to take into account your current base color. So post back when you have a chance!

I hope this helps. I’m not a professional hairstylist, but I’ve used most all of the color brands out there. I have colored my hair (and bleached it) to every color under the sun. And it’s still in great shape. 🙂

P.S. Welcome to Bionic Beauty!! I really hope to continue to see you around the blog.

36 Bionic Beauty January 5, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Everyone… I’ll be doing an upcoming series on at home hair color since this has been such a popular topic. I even took (SCARY) pictures of me coloring my hair last time. So you can’t poke fun of my creepiness in the pictures. 😉 Stay tuned!! ~Jami

37 Bionic Beauty January 5, 2010 at 6:02 pm

It’s hair color day in Bionic-land. Here’s some helpful videos on Color Theory and different hair color techniques: Straight from the Ion pros. 😀

38 Dee Dee January 12, 2010 at 4:24 pm

I searched the web for problems with Perfect 10 and found this site. I used perfect 10 once. In the past I used Feria. After using Perfect 10 on area on my head feels like it is coated with oil or conditioned or something. I have tried everything to remove it. Today I found alot of information on this and I found that other people using this product has this problem. I think it is very strange. I contacted Clariol and they told me they didn’t think it was the product (of course) and to stop using the conditioner and try Herbal Essence Debunking shampoo. So I will try but I think I will have to wait for it to grow out. This is really driving me crazy!!! I feel like my hair is greasy.

39 Bionic Beauty January 12, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Hi Dee Dee, First off… welcome to Bionic Beauty! I really hope to see you around the blog more often! 🙂 Don’t forget to check out the free samples I posted yesterday!

Next, I’m SO sorry to hear about your experience with the Clairol Perfect 10 hair color. If you want my suggestions on the oils issue, see my response to Jacy a few comments up. Those should help you in the meantime. I would NOT suggest Herbal Essences’ Debunking shampoo. It will strip all the oils and actually cause your scalp to MAKE MORE oil.

You need a gentle shampoo. If you don’t have any sulfate-free shampoo in the house, you can pick up some Johnson’s baby shampoo or L’Oreal EverPure Sulfate-free (that is my absolute favorite hair care line, even compared to pricey brands! reviews are here on Bionic Beauty too, they had some free samples awhile back. You could check if those are still active by looking under the “Freebies” section here on the blog”).

I hope things clear up for you. Read through the comments above, and let me know if you have any questions. There are also some good recommendations above on hair colors that do work. And like you said, I like Feria as well. it just didn’t cover my grays well enough for me.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope to “see” you on here soon!
Jami (aka Bionic Beauty)

40 Lori February 20, 2011 at 1:40 pm

I just used the Perfect 10 and am experiencing the same thing. The hair on the top of my head is constantly greasy even after I wash it. I used different shampoos and conditioners to try to get rid of it. Anything I can do?

41 Brittany January 28, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Hi there,
I have a known allergy to hair dyes whether in the salon or in a box (it happened 3 days before my prom and I had boils the size of twoonies on my head..gross!). I have also tried the “all organic”-Henna only type of hair dyes without luck. I was just wondering if you could recommend any hair dyes that are less likely to cause a reaction?
Just reading your blog, dang girl you seem to know your stuff; hope you can help me out! Thanks 🙂

42 Bionic Beauty February 3, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Hi Brittany, Welcome to Bionic Beauty and thanks for your nice compliment! I’m so sorry to hear about your reaction to hair dyes. If you had a reaction to henna all-natural dyes, then I would suggest seeing a dermatologist before trying any further hair colors. A dermatologist will be able to test you to figure out what ingredient you are allergic to. Then we can figure out which products don’t have that ingredient(s) and hopefully find you one that works!

Please keep me in the loop on what you find out! And I hope to see you around Bionic Beauty in the future!
All the best,

43 bella June 22, 2010 at 5:13 pm

i am a hairstylist. it sort of frightens me to see a site like this. there are all sorts of factors that play into hair coloring. some of the things you suggest are correct, but some are not.

henna is not good for your hair. just because it is natural, does not mean it is gentle. it deposits metalic dyes into your hair and can react crazy when another chemical is applied over it later.

the people at “open to the public” type beauty supplies are generally do not have hairstylists working for them and do not give the best advice. be careful if you take this path.

44 Bionic Beauty July 2, 2010 at 2:31 am

Hi Bella,
First, Welcome to Bionic Beauty! I appreciate you stopping by and hope to continue to see you around the blog. Please always feel free to comment, ask questions, or lend suggestions.

I’m sorry that you were upset a bit by the discussions here. I’m no longer a licensed stylist, but I have had extensive training as a colorist, as well as various other cosmetology courses. You are correct in that it is quite hard to “diagnose” someone’s hair via the internet without pictures. That’s why I frequently discuss color theory with my readers (we do quite a bit of correspondence via email so some things were missed in the public eye/comments section), as well as the condition of their hair, desired results, problems from the past, experience level, etc.

As for Henna, if you look at the comment above to Brittany I suggested that she see a dermatologist and did not say that Henna was good for your hair. If anyone asks me about henna, I ask them my standard questions about results, long term plan, etc because like you mentioned you MUST let Henna grow out before coloring with another form of hair dye over top. The only hair dyes that I’ve found that are “gentle” are vegetable dyes such as Manic Panic and Special Effects, but many people aren’t looking to go pink, purple or green. 🙂

I’ve only been to one CosmoProf store, but that one was not staffed by professional stylists. However, every Sally store in my area always has at least one professional, & currently licensed, stylist in the store at all times. However, that very well may just be my local area since I’m in an area with an overwhelming number of stylists.

Please do comment back with your knowledge. I really do appreciate your comments, and I know fellow Bionic Beauties could learn from you. If you’d like to share guidance on anyone’s questions above, please do. It’s an open forum here at Bionic Beauty. I *do* moderate comments for spam and such, but beyond that, I let most everything through (unless someone starts bashing a person directly or using foul language- which I’ve had my share of that too. ha ha! Some people can’t be trusted on the internet.).

Anyhow, I hope you have a great rest of your week and a wonderful holiday weekend!

45 Kellie August 12, 2010 at 6:59 pm


I am 35 years old and have decided to become more frugal in my “old” age by coloring my hair at home. I am a HUGE fan of Sally’s and have been using the ION Color Brilliance line (color 5G) Light Natural Brown. I have resistant grays along my temple and along my forehead. I probably could color my hair every 3 weeks but I suffer through my grays and color every 4 or 5 weeks to prevent damage.

My question is do you think ION is the best line at Sally’s for covering gray? I have been very tempted to try the Wella Color Charm line. My only concern is I use only a 10 volume developer and Wella does not offer a 10 volume. The Wella website states to make a 10 volume to mix one ounce of 20 volume with one ounce of distilled water then to mix in your color. My other question is in reqards to ratio. I know ION is a 1:1 ratio but Wella is 1:2?

Your thoughts and help about the Wella Color Charm line would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you and happy at-home hair coloring!


46 Bionic Beauty August 24, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Hi Kellie,
I would say go ahead and give the Wella Color Charm a shot. If you use the Ion Cream version, you will have to adjust a bit since the Wella is very fluid/liquidy. I tried it twice (a medium brown color) and it covered my grays “pretty well”. However it didn’t last nearly as long as the Ion color does.

I have VERY resistant grays on my temples, so I use 20 volume developer and add 10 drops per ounce of color of the Gray Solution (it’s usually over by the anti-brass drops; and comes in a white box with black lettering; or grab a trial size tube for 99 cents). I color every 3-4 weeks with no damage. I do use a deep conditioner after coloring and then twice a week (every week), then a spray in/leave in conditioner after every shower; and also only wash my hair every other day with a Sulfate-free shampoo and a moisturizing conditioner.

Let me know if you try the Wella color since I’d love to hear another person’s results with it! Like I said, it was “okay” for me, but nothing stellar like Ion is. 😉
Best regards,

47 Lisa S. August 29, 2010 at 3:52 pm

All I can say, Jami, is THANK YOU!!!  THANK YOU!!!
I’ve been coloring my hair at home (always sparingly to avoid damage) with store brands for a few years, and never have had any real disasters.  Such limited experience definitely qualifies me as a “color novice”.  So it’s taken me most of the morning to gather the information I needed to correct my color mistake of 2 days ago.
I started my quest today learning a little bit here and there about re-coloring with a volume 10 developer, etc.  And then I found a PRICELESS review by “nebulaesinbloom” at,default,pd.html?cgid=Hair05.  It finally provided me with some of the highly useful answers that I was seeking.
When I found this Bionic Beauty page, I knew I had truly been saved!  🙂  And thanks to you again, Jami, I’m now not afraid anymore to “DIY” fix the job.
For anyone else who might find themselves in my shoes one day, here’s what happened:  I usually color with L’Oreal Feria #63, which is described as “Sparkling Amber”.  It’s a very nice shade of ever-so-slightly reddish “light brown”. I love that color and always get excellent results from it.  But I haven’t been able to find it anywhere lately.  So with an event coming up in a week, I knuckled under and picked up what looked to be the next best thing. . .L’Oreal Feria #64, which is described as “Light Coppery Brown”.  NOT.  Of course, I realized that it was a touch more “strawberry blonde” than the other, and I’m not afraid of that at all.  But this is Ronald McDonald RED.  🙂
I will be following all of this excellent advice to get my proper color back.  That hasn’t been my “natural” color for a long time, though.  I always hated it. . .a dirty, mousey, very dark ash blonde (now with some ugly grays to go along with it).  Too bad we can’t keep the color of our youths.  I was a platinum blonde throughout grade school.  LOL  And my hair has always been baby-fine (though relatively plentiful).  So I do have to be extra careful when coloring.
Thanks again!

48 melissa November 28, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Hi i need help. i have recently ued perfect 1o darkest brown. i have used this hair dye for years. i was at the time about 5 months pregnant when i did it last. the night after i dyed my hair my head became very itchy. so itchy i had 3 people check me for lice. the next day my whole body was very itchy and the back of my ears were all busted opened oozing clear yellowish stuff out of them. its been over 2 weeks now and they are still oozing and my head is still itchy i went to doctor she checked me for lice again and nothing. could this be a bad allergic reaction?
this was the first time i dyed my hair since id been pregnant. i didnt leave it on any longer then 10 mins. and did rinse it all out bc when i washed my hair again for the frist time after dying there was very little brown in the water. and my natural hair color is light brown. those are the factors please help

49 Brittany February 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Hi there,

I recently used the nice and easy foam haircolor in light brown. I really disliked the foam as it stained my scalp much more than any other haircolor I have used. It seems to be fading quite fast as well. I used to get my hair done in the salon but it just got too expensive to keep up. Now I just want to have a nice rich brown color, but I don’t want it to be so dark that it just looks black. Is there any way to get this without having too much red in the color? What Sally color would you recommend?


50 gina March 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm

i bought ion liquid hair dye and sensitive scalp developer. i have dark brown almost BLACK hair. i bought medium intense red blonde. and 30% developer. it was about $10.00 with sallys card which i got for free since husband is in the military. took it home and used a previous applicator bottle i had laying around. mix 1 entire bottle of ion color with 2oz of developer. shake and apply. i also put a walmart plastic shopping bag on my head, tied it and then applied blow dryer on medium heat going round and round my head. then left it on for about 45min. my hair is a FANTASTIC intense red. not ronald mcdonald red. more of a strawberry blonde on my extremely thick curly dark brown almost black hair. it did NOT stain my shoulders or my tub. smelled better then a boxed one from the store. very gentle too. and when you rinse, just rinse it out in cool water, NO SHAMPOO at all and a color safe sulfate free conditioner. DO NOT use heat for at least 24 hours. let your hair airdry. i am in LOVE with ion. and my new haircolor. perfect price, color, and so easy to use. i didnt even do a strand test first.

51 JJ June 12, 2012 at 11:58 am

Great info on this website. I have a few stubborn grays at my roots. Very few but my hair is dark brown and they show up. I used drugstore semi’s but when I would use even a light golden brown, my hair would grab the color and and turn darker. I tried Ion with the pore filler and left it on for 30 mins, and it did a so-so job of grabbing grey. I bought the Wella color charm Demi and I’m about to use it. My questions are: how long should I leave it on? Should I use the grey magic and/or pore filler? And why do people say I should use a 1-1 ratio when they state I need to use 1-2 ratio? Because my hair grabs color I bought light golden brown. Thank you for your advice in advance!

52 Alexander June 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm

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53 Peggy October 28, 2013 at 7:06 am

Hi, I am writing for advice. I am 68 and have had healthy, normal hair all my life. I have used Clairol Nice and Easy most of the time, at least 25 years.
In the past several years Ihave used the Root touch up product with good success although it doesn’t seem to last as long as suggested.
In Oct I bought a new supply of the Root Touch Up. Usually I buy 6-10 boxes at once on sale and so, this was a new purchase after a year and half supply ran out.
Suddenly, since using this new box, I have an oily residue on my hair that I have never had in my life! When I washed it, still same problem after a day.
Is there something in their product NEW or new formula?
I am writing and probably will call them, but since they may not be totally honest about any issues with the product, I am reaching out here.
Has anyone had this happen? What to do?

54 Dylan July 9, 2014 at 10:35 am

Pretty! This was a really wonderful article. Many thanks for providing these details.

55 Bionic Beauty July 16, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Hi Dylan, Welcome to the Bionic Beauty blog! And thank you for the wonderful compliment. I hope to see you around BB in the future.
All my best,

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