Have You Ever Made This Mistake?

You’ve probably known someone or have heard stories of someone who accidentally dyed their hair an unflattering color and then had to live with it until it either grew out or they could dye it again. Other people talk endlessly about the damage hair dye can cause.

Many People Think Dyes Are Risky Business

While many people want to dye their hair a different color, stories like these make the whole process seem risky and unappealing. After all, hair dye is a big commitment, right? Wrong! With certain kinds of hair dye you can alter the color of your tresses with little risk of damage, and without making a long-term commitment. Let's dive in and discuss semi-permanent and temporary color changes.

Temporary Hair Dye

Semi-Permanent Colors Are a Great Option

Semi permanent hair color may be right for you if you feel you may not be ready for a permanent color change. Another bonus is that it does not contain the same harsh components as permanent hair dye. For example, Loreal semi permanent hair color contains little to no levels of peroxide or ammonia, among other things. These types of harsh chemcials cause many people to stay far away from these dyes.

Because of this, many people with frail or thin hair may elect to go with semi permanent hair color over the other options. Semi permanent hair color also does not dry out the hair as much as most other forms of hair dye, and it also does not usually fade your natural hair color (though continuous, long-term use may do this).

There Are Some Other Options To Consider

Temporary hair color is the only other option aside from semi permanent hair color that does not contain harsh chemicals, but it also goes away after just one wash rather than multiple ones. This makes temporary color great for Halloween or other situations where you might want a temporary solution, instead of something that's semi-permanent.

Just How Permanent Is Semi-Permanent?

So, just how long does semi permanent hair color last exactly? This is a kind of hair dye that can be washed out, although it will take several shampoo and rinse sessions. The exact amount of washes for removing semi permanent hair color will vary with each brand of formula, but the number generally falls between six (6) and twelve (12). You may be able to speed up the removal process by using a clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos are typically utilized to remove heavy product build-up, but should work well in this situation. It also can depend on the thickness of your hair, as more hair tends to retain color in certain areas for a longer period of time.

There Are Differences Between Semi-Permanent Color and Temporary Color

Be aware that semi permanent hair color is not to be confused with temporary hair color. Though the two names sound interchangeable, these two types of dye are very different.

Temporary hair dye comes in a wider range of colors than semi permanent hair color. However, temporary hair dye can generally be washed out after one shampoo, and certain kinds of temporary colors may even begin to fade before that. Temporary dye merely coats the hair shaft— it does not penetrate it. The fact that the temporary color doesn't have any penetrating abilities is the reason why it is so much easier to wash out.  

Semi permanent hair color, on the other hand, is made up of smaller molecules than those in temporary color, and because of this it can partially enter the hair shaft. Because of this, semi permanent hair will not wash out until after several washes, although it does tend to fade in that time period.

The downside to semi permanent hair color is that it does not come in as wide a variety of colors and shades as does permanent hair color. The fact is that you cannot go lighter with a semi permanent hair color— only darker. This is because the dye works by enhancing and deepening your natural hair color. For example, light brown will go to dark brown and dark brown will become almost black in color. If you have natural highlights or lowlights, the semi permanent hair color will cause very subtle differences in color across your head.

Another downside to semi permanent hair color is that it does not generally do a very good job of dyeing or concealing gray hair. If you have only a few gray hairs here and there, the semi permanent hair color may be able to blend them in with the rest of your tresses, but with larger amounts of gray it is a lot less effective.

Have You Ever Used Demi Permanent Dye?

Of course, some people may consider it a disadvantage that semi permanent hair color does not last as long as the permanent options. Consider then, demi permanent hair color. This kind of hair dye is very similar to semi permanent hair color in that it will darken your tresses and will eventually wash out, but it lasts between twelve (12) and twenty six (26) hair washes as opposed to six (6) and twelve (12). If you do find yourself wanting a more drastic color change, going permanent will be the best option, though semi permanents and demi permanents could help prepare you for it.

Standard semi permanent hair color can be used on most hair types, but it may be noticeably more effective on certain textures and colors over others. If you have Afro-textured hair (which is typically very curly), for example, you may want to look specifically into semi permanent hair color for African Americans. This type of semi permanent hair color can help give your hair shine and give it a rich, glossy look. Some semi permanent hair dyes for African American's are also plant-based rather than artificial, and this is safer for hair in the long run. For example, henna is often used by African Americans as a coloring option.

The thickness of a person’s hair is also important. If you have a very thick head of hair, you will probably want to get more than one box of semi-permanent hair color as one may not be enough to cover all of your hair (and the last thing you want when altering your hair color are patches and splotches). People with curly tresses may find they need more than one box of color as well, so it is important to know what kind of tresses you have before heading to the store or ordering dyes from online vendors.

Sometimes it is best to get semi-permanent hair color done at a salon first, as the colorist or stylist will be able to give you a professional opinion. If you wish to go ahead and do it yourself (the cheapest way), be sure to read and compare different semi permanent hair color reviews, from both consumers and professionals. There are many different semi permanent hair color brands, so take the time to find the one right for your situation.