Understanding Semi-Permanent Hair Color & it’s varients

Semi-permanent hair color

If you’ve read our guide on hair care or our other articles on hair color, you probably know by now that both hair dyes and bleaching are bad for your hair when it comes to hair coloring.

If not, you need to know that bleaches open up the outer cuticle layer and decolorize the pigments in your hair shaft, giving it a blonde or white look. Bleaching causes loss of moisture, makes your hair dry & brittle and causes split ends and breakage. Repeated bleaching is extremely harmful for the hair.
Dyeing on the other hand is usually used when one wishes to get a darker shade. The dye opens & penetrates the outer cuticle layer and adds the desired color to the pigment in your hair shaft and although less harmful than bleaching, dyeing does harm your hair to quite a large extent.
The further away you venture from the natural shade of your hair, the more damage it does to your hair. Using poor quality products or coloring methods just adds to the damage.

Damage from hair coloring
Bleach damaged hair. Extremely brittle.


Semi-permanent hair color on the other hand are temporary hair colors which are easier to use and also less harsh on your hair. The benefits of temporary hair color are that they last about 8 to 12 washes before fading away. This is a good amount of time to experiment with a shade and see how it suits you before choosing more permanent ones.
Unlike permanent colors, Semi-permanent hair color lets you experiment more rather than having to wear the same hair color for long periods of time. If a semi-permanent hair color suits you, you can always make it more permanent or reapply it.
However, if you feel it doesn’t suit you as much, you will automatically get rid of it after a month or two as it fades away, something that’s harder to do with more permanent types of hair dyes. This is highly recommended to someone coloring their hair for the very first time or even to experienced veterans opting to experiment with newer shades.

Semi-permanent hair colors are also more easier to use & apply. You can use semi-permanent dyes straight from the applicator as they don’t have to be pre-mixed. Temporary dyes also don’t bleach your hair. Which is a good thing considering the fact that bleaches do more damage to your hair than dyeing it. Last but not the least, they can also be a better alternative for dyeing gray hair.
Ombre for semi-permanent hair colors
Ombres can be a good choice for someone just starting out with hair coloring but not wanting to venture too far from their natural shade


There are also two another types of hair dyes namely demi-permanent hair dyes and temporary hair dyes. Demi-permanent hair dyes are stronger and last about 28 shampoo washes before fading away. Whereas temporary hair dyes survive three to four washes before they get washed out. Semi-permanent hair dyes sort of fall right between the two and offer best of the both worlds.


The first issue with semi-permanent hair dyes is that they will fade away each time you shampoo & condition your hair. These dyes also lose color under environmental conditions like excess sun or swimming.

The second problem is that if a particular dye came out really good, it will eventually fade in a few weeks. Although the same thing could be a blessing when things go bad, they can be a downfall when your hair looks good actually.


Irrespective of the method of hair coloring or the quality of products you use, hair coloring will be damaging to the health of your hair. You do not want to end up with dry, frizzy and brittle hair. A bulletproof conditioning and hair care regime is required to make up for the damage caused by the hair dyes. Check out our guide on hair care

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