If you're looking for an exciting change to spice up your style that won't require a lot of maintenance, semi-permanent hair color might be the perfect solution. Semi-permanent hair color offers vibrant shades and long-lasting results without the commitment of permanent dyes. If taken care of, it can last up to eight weeks or more before needing touch-ups or completely disappearing.
In this blog post, we'll cover everything you need to know about semi-permanent hair color care, from prepping your locks before coloring to ways to keep those gorgeous colored locks for as long as possible! Read on and find out how you can sport bright, dramatic colors with minimal effort!
What is semi-permanent color?
Semi-permanent color is a type of dye used to give your hair a temporary tint. Unlike permanent dyes, it fades over time, so you don't have to worry about the long-term commitment. It works by depositing color on the outer layer of the hair without chemical modification or damaging effects compared to harsher alternatives. Semi-permanent color is a type of hair dye that does not penetrate the hair shaft, but gives a temporary tint.
- A semi-permanent color simply deposits the color around the hair fiber without chemical modifications.
What is the difference between a permanent color and a semi-permanent?
Both permanent and semi-permanent hair dye are options for those looking to incorporate a new tint into their hairstyle. The main difference between the two is that permanent hair colors contain ammonia and require an oxidizing action involving hydrogen peroxide to create the desired color. On the contrary, semi-permanent dyes do not contain ammonia or other harsh chemicals, but use plant extracts or other natural extracts as well as alkaline agents such as ethanolamine and sodium carbonates. While permanent dyes last much longer due to the high chemical activity involved, semi-permanent dyes eventually fade to leave only the original shade underneath. Therefore, each option has advantages when considering coloring your hair.
- A permanent color penetrates the hair fiber and lasts over time. To remove it, you have to bleach the hair or cut the colored lengths. On the contrary, the semi-permanent coloring is simply deposited on the outer layer of the hair and fades with the washes until it disappears completely naturally.
How long does semi-permanent hair color last?
It is estimated that a semi-permanent color lasts between 6 to 12 shampoos or between 2 to 10 weeks. Many parameters come into play, making accurate estimation impossible. Among these factors are:
- The nature of your hair: certain hair textures allow the color to hold well, while others will have a harder time holding the color.
- Coloring and bleaching: if the hair is bleached, the color will tend to last longer. If the hair has already been colored, in particular by a darker colour, the color will have more difficulty in holding.
- The frequency of washing: the more you wash your hair, the faster the color will leave since the shampoo acts directly on the color.
- The use of heated styling tools: hair dryers, straighteners or curlers damage the hair and the colour.
- The chosen color: some colors, especially red tones, last longer, while lighter and pastel colors fade faster.
Fortunately, simple tips to put in place will allow you to maintain the color in order to make your permanent or semi-permanent color last longer.
How to prepare your hair before coloring?
If you want to change your hair color with semi-permanent dye, there are several steps you need to follow to get the best results. Start by removing any styling products like gel or mousse that may be trapping the pigment and preventing it from coloring your hair as effectively. After shampooing, dry your hair with a soft microfiber towel, then apply a deep conditioner. Leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off thoroughly. This will help your hair retain color better during the semi-permanent process.
- Apply the semi-permanent color to clean, damp hair so that it easily penetrates the hair fiber.
Does a semi-permanent dye damage the hair?
Semi-permanent color has become a popular choice for those who want to experiment with how their hair looks without a long-term commitment. However, some worry about whether this type of coloring can damage the hair. Generally speaking, semi-permanent dyes do not contain harsh chemicals like those found in permanent dyes, which means they are unlikely to significantly damage the hair.
It is important to remember, however, that any form of chemical-based product can alter the texture and strength of your hair when used over a long period of time. To be safe, always use quality products made from natural ingredients that won't strip vital oils and nutrients from your hair. Also, taking care of your hair by washing it infrequently and using heat-protecting products will go a long way to preventing unwanted damage.
How to maintain your semi-permanent color?
Semi-permanent hair color is a great way to enjoy fresh, vibrant hair without worrying about permanent changes or damaging your hair. Although the goal is only to have a temporary dye, perhaps you are looking to make your semi-permanent color last over time. Simple tips exist to maintain your color and make it last longer.
Use treatments suitable for colored hair
Regular shampoos and conditioners can strip your semi-permanent color in a matter of weeks. To make your semi-permanent color last longer, buy hair care products made specifically for colored hair . Not only do these products contain nourishing ingredients that keep color-treated locks healthy and hydrated, but they also preserve color vibrancy and prevent color fading. For example, using a mild, moisturizing shampoo helps prevent discoloration while removing dirt, oil, and product residue without drying out the hair shafts.
- Choose shampoos, conditioners and hair masks specially designed for colored hair, but also for your hair type.
Do regular hair care
Regular hair care is essential if you want your semi-permanent color to last longer. By using products specifically designed for colored hair and by limiting the use of heated styling tools, such as flat irons and curling irons, you will ensure the longevity of your semi-permanent color. Regular use of a deep conditioner once or twice a week will help your hair maintain its shine and health. When washing your hair, use a moisturizing shampoo that doesn't strip oil from the scalp to keep the color vibrant.
- Opt for moisturizing masks to deeply hydrate your hair and maintain the radiance of your color.
Space your shampoos and wash your hair well
Because shampoos contain harsh chemicals that strip color, if you wash them too often, semi-permanent hair color will fade quickly and unevenly. By limiting shampoos to two or three times a week , you can help maintain your color longer. It is essential to use a shampoo designed for colored hair and to choose one that is specifically suited to your hair type.
When washing your hair, be sure to use lukewarm or cold water, followed by a conditioner suitable for dyed hair. You need to work it smoothly into the strands, from mid-lengths to ends, to keep your color vibrant and avoid any damage that could shorten its lifespan.
- A shampoo two to three times a week is enough to gently maintain your color.
- Find out what is the best shampoo for colored hair .
Protect your hair
One of the other key elements to take into account is the protection of your hair against external aggressions such as the sun's rays or the chlorine from the swimming pool. One solution is to use UV protection spray before going outdoors and try not to spend too much time in the sun, as UV rays can significantly fade out vivid hues. Investing in an appropriate hat or swim cap can help extend the life of your color.
Similarly, use a heat protectant spray before each use of heated appliances to protect your colored locks from the harmful effects of heat.
Use vegetable oils
There are several vegetable oils that you can apply, alone or in an oil bath, to your hair in order to make your permanent and semi-permanent color last over time.
- Argan oil or coconut oil: rich in fatty acids, they nourish and moisturize the hair to maintain the radiance of the color.
- Jojoba oil: thanks to the vitamins and minerals that compose it, this oil nourishes the hair in depth and helps to preserve the color of the hair
- Hemp oil : enriched with essential fatty acids and vitamin C, it moisturizes the hair and soothes irritated scalp in order to hold the semi-permanent color over time. You will find hemp oil hair care to facilitate its application.
Semi-permanent coloring: mistakes to avoid
In order to maintain your semi-permanent hair color over time, there are also things not to do :
- Applying the color to dry or dirty hair: It is important to wash your hair to remove impurities that could prevent the application of the color. In addition, for better absorption of the colored pigments by the hair, it is important that the latter be damp during application.
- Use too aggressive washing products: An aggressive shampoo, containing sulphates or parabens, can attack the color and thus make it disappear more quickly. Choose products that are gentle and designed specifically for colored hair.
- Not moisturizing your hair : To maintain color, colored hair needs to be moisturized regularly. This moisturizes the hair fiber and revives the color.
- Color damaged hair: Semi-permanent color lasts better on healthy hair. Indeed, the hair fiber of damaged hair has a weaker color absorption capacity than healthy hair. It is important not to color your damaged hair before having repaired it at the risk of damaging it further.
- Bathing too regularly: Salty sea water as well as chlorinated swimming pool water damages the colour. Indeed, salt and chlorine remove the colored pigments from your dyed hair and strip the coloring. Their action can also modify the color.