First, it is extremely drying to the hair. After I lather and rinse, my hair literally feels like straw. Dry, cracking straw. And my color was only done recently, on virgin hair, so it is not like I have been coloring and highlighting for years over damaged hair. I have not.
When I first used it, it did a great job at toning down the color. Now, I only see a slight difference, and I stress slight.
There is absolutely no way you can use this product without conditioner. The sales girl at Sally never mentioned that this had an accompanying Cool Blonde Condtioner, and sold me the Ion Color Solutions Deep Daily Conditioner for Color-Treated Hair.
I used this conditioner immediately following the shampoo, and had to leave it in for 3-4 minutes (Directions state to leave in for 1-2 minutes and then rinse) before even being able to attempt putting a comb through my hair. It was so knotty from the shampoo!
After finally combing the conditioner through (that took almost another two minutes), I left the conditioner in for an additional minute, and then rinsed. My hair did feel soft after that, but nothing compared to products I have used in the past, (Loreal Total Repair 5, which I am not sure doesn't contain animal products. I have to check on that.)
My hair still looked dry on the ends, but the color did look a bit brighter than it had.
All in all, I would recommend this shampoo only for newly color blondes, or in a pinch. I would definitely not recommend this product for every other shampoo as recommended on the bottle.
Here is a pic after I blew out my hair. I had to add a drop of oil because it still looked and felt slightly dry.