Ion Vs Wella

Ion Vs Wella: Differences, Similarities & Which One Is Right For You

Coloring your hair can be a risky business, especially if you’re not entirely sure if your new look will suit you.

You need to find the best color for your skin tone and also decide on a quality brand. If your color fades easily, it’s a massive commitment to keep up your new style. 

You need to find a color that works with your look, locks into your hair for a long time, and also treats your hair well, preventing damage or breakages to leave a healthy and natural look. 

Both Ion and Wella are the top-recommended brands by salons when it comes to keeping your hair looking fresh and healthy. But which one should you go for?

Wella & Ion History


Ion is one of the leading brands when it comes to hair coloring. They are currently owned by Sally Beauty Holdings, Inc which supplies products to over 5,000 stores worldwide.

The original enterprise started in 1964 in Louisiana. The brand began life with hair care products, later branching out into skincare and nails.

However, they maintain their highest revenue from hair coloring because they’re known for not just considering the hair, but your skin too.

They’re a firm believer that the scalp is a massive part of keeping your color looking healthy and natural and the skin on your head and face plays a massive part in your hair health.

They work hard to provide a color that perfectly matches your skin tone to give you a confident natural look that lasts. They even have an app to match your color to your skin tone.

A concept that sets Ion apart from most other hair color brands. 


Wella is one of the oldest beauty brands out there with its conception in 1880. It all began with hairdresser Franz Stoher who was a hair care professional and wig maker based in Rothenkirchen, Germany.

However, the Wella brand name didn’t materialize until 1924, inspired by the German word of “waves.” 

The brand started off with hair cleaning soaps and perming agents, spanning the bleaching and hair coloring a little later.

The growing popularity of Wella led to it taking over the Kadus German hair coloring brand in 1974 and together with this, launching their System Professional range of scalp treatment products into professional salons.

Some of these products are still used professionally today. 

Ion Vs Wella General

  • The Wella company operates through its own name, but also owns or has shares in many other well known hair care companies such as Londa, Kadus, SebMan, weDO, Clairol and GHD.
  • Wella now has over 6,000 employees and sells products in over 100 countries worldwide. 
  • Ion offers 120 shades of color to match any hairstyle or skin tone. 

Ion Vs Wella for Permanent Hair Color

Finding the best, long-lasting color is essential to keep your hair looking young, natural, and healthy.

A good quality color will also save you lots of time when it comes to touching up. Both Ion and Wella are leading brands when it comes to permanent hair coloring. But which is right for you?

Ion offers the Permanent Color Crème selection, which is not only designed to color the hair, but to rejuvenate the hair make-up, sealing in the color and preventing breakages. 

Wella provides the Koleston Perfect Permanent Hair Color range which is formulated to cover grays, last longer, and uplift and hydrate dry hair. 


Both brands require a 50/50 mix between the hair dye and a developer to help with conditioning and bleaching the hair.

Without the developer, the hair won’t absorb as much of the color, and you may find that the color fades easily. 

Both products also boast and “up to 100% gray hair coverage.” This obviously depends on what level “up to” covers.

However, both brands do have great reviews when working with gray or white hair and are also known to condition the hair, so it has more body and shine. 


The Wella product is free from animal products and animal testing, so you can feel good about your hair color.

It’s also free from radicals such as superoxide anion, hydrogen peroxide, and nitric oxide, meaning it protects the hair and gives it strength, just like a conditioner.

This helps the hair to absorb the color and lock it in, for a longer-lasting effect. 

The Ion product is packed with vitamin C and Ployquaternium-6 that’s built to retain moisture in the hair and repair the cracks that appear in individual hair strands using the color formula.

This allows the color to stay in place for longer and reduces static produced by dry and damaged hair. 

The Wella Koleston range is also formulated without harsh chemicals, meaning it’s kinder to the scalp and better for people who often suffer from skin reactions of allergies when dying their hair. 


The Ion product comes out on top here. It’s specially designed to help treat and condition dry and aging hair to keep it feeling smooth and looking sleek for longer.

The conditioning formula helps to lock in moisture as well as color, meaning your hair can look and feel great with no static. 

However, if you suffer from skin irritation after regular dying, you may want to consider the Wella alternative. This is free from some of the harmful chemicals and fragrances that can cause itchiness and redness on sensitive skin. 

Ion Vs Wella for Permanent Dye Developers

Before dying your hair, you should always mix the color you’ve chosen with a developer. This cuts down the harshness of the chemicals in the dye, helping to keep your hair smooth and conditioned.

It works by forming a protective layer on the hair strands to retain moisture and prevent the dehydration of the hair that can be caused by the dye. 

Both Ion and Wella offer developers that work within a 50/50 solution with their hair. 

Wella supplies the Koleston Perfect 20 Volume Crème Developer which maximizes the effects of color when paired with Koleston hair colors. It’s easy to apply from home – no salon required. 

The Ion equivalent is the Sensitive Scalp 30 Volume Creme Developer. This is designed to lighten your hair by up to 3 levels and again, is easy to use from the comfort of your own home. 


Both products are relatively good value for money and allow your color to shine through for much longer than other standard coloring products on the market.

They’re kind to hair and help to unlock the full HDC potential of your hair to support the hair structure and give you a fabulous blend.

This means that both developers work particularly well for highlights or covering gray hair. 


The Wella formula is a “drip-free formula.” This gives you much more control while applying in the home, with no nasty staining or unsightly accidents on the skin.

It’s also suitable for all hair types, from dry to oily. However, because of the thicker consistency and conditioning properties, it does recommend using this on drier hair types for maximum effect. 

The Ion option contains wheat germ extracts that help to fill in the protein gaps caused by breakages in the hair.

It is also soothing to the scalp and can help to prevent irritation, especially if you’re prone to sensitive skin around the ears and neck. 


The Ion developer comes out as the winner here. It’s not just a great mixer for lightening the hair, but it also takes the skin into consideration.

The kind formula and texture keep your scalp feeling fresh, promoting thicker hair growth. It also has a refreshing fragrance that some dying products sometimes lack. You’ll feel like you’ve freshly conditioned your hair. 

Ion Vs Wella Toners

Toners can be used on top of a flat hair dye to add highlights and lowlights to make your hair appear more natural. 

The Ion Lightener contains natural seed extracts and keratin to strengthen the hair while it brightens the shade. 

The Wella Blondor was developed to create a sun kissed and multi-tonal coloring, best for blonde hair, especially if you aim to have natural color tones throughout the hair rather than a single flat color. 


Both brands offer a toner that provides a natural look and should add condition to the hair.

They also last around 5-6 weeks without fading, if you use the full range correctly, so this could save you endless trips to the salon while still feeling confident. 


While most toners and lighteners from Ion come in liquid form as a mask to apply, the Wella blonders are available in dry powder, granules, and creams to mix together.

So, they’re a little more flexible depending on your situation and preference. This does mean though, that the Ion versions can be a little more moisturizing for the hair. 

However, because of this flexibility, the Wella option can be a little easier to control if you’re just looking for a few touch-ups here and there, or some highlights.

Whereas Ion could work for an ombre style or a full hair lightening. 

Ion Snow Cap Vs Wella t18

Because Ion is an amazing brand for trying to match your hair color to your exact skin tone, they excel when it comes to platinum or pastel tones and are great for lighter hair. 

The Wella t18 gives a slighter darker tone to add violet hints to dirty blonde or light brown hair. 

Both solutions require you to mix the toner with a developer and leave on damp hair for up to 30 minutes.

Ion Color Brilliance Vs Wella

The color brilliance leaves an excellent tone and revitalized color to your hair. However, it can leave the hair feeling dry and brittle after a few uses, so you may need to use a leave in conditioner more regularly. 

The Wella color is designed to hydrate dry hair and works excellently on gray hair.

However, the solution can be difficult to apply yourself without making a mess, so it’s a good one if you’re intending to go to the salon for color treatment. 

Ion gives a better and more vibrant color to the hair but can cause some damage in the process. Whereas the Wella won’t last as long but will improve the condition of your hair. 

Ion Vs Wella Demi-permanent

Demi-permanent coloring is a color that lasts much longer than a wash-in, wash-out, but isn’t quite permanent. The Ion product can last up to 24 washes, while the Wella boasts a full 28 washes without any serious fading. 

For both options you’ll need to leave the color on the hair for up to 40 minutes before washing out. 


Overall, Wella is slightly more available worldwide and is most often recommended by salons for color treatment.

It contains less harmful chemicals which help to keep your hair conditioned and replace the protein that’s lost in the coloring and styling processes.

The products also ensure the scalp is moisturized and healthy to help you with future hair growth and thickness. 

However, the Ion products come with a color chart to help you perfectly match your new hair look with your skin tone, so you can look totally natural, and they offer a wider range of choices.

They also cater much more efficiently to the skin, offering products specifically for sensitive skin and allergies. 

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