How Long Does Semi-Permanent Hair Dye Last?

Hair dyes come in two types: permanent and semi-permanent. Semi-permanent hair dyes are mainly used as a temporary solution. This goes for those looking for some color change without committing long-term to a color.

Many people who are not confident about their hair color looks will feel bad. They may think that it affects their ideal appearance and thus, do not look good. For those with a more outgoing personality, this can be quite a disadvantage!

However, for the introverted or shy, the right hair color can have an amazing effect on their mood and confidence levels.

Semi-permanent hair dyes vary from the typical permanent hair color. This is because they don’t penetrate as deep into the cuticle layer of your hair follicles. This means that you can apply them directly on top of your natural pigment. Or, you can also darken your existing color with one application.

In this article, we will discuss how to apply semi-permanent hair dye and some of its benefits.

What are semi-permanent hair dyes?

Semi-permanent hair dyes are a type applied to the hair, left on for some time, and then rinsed off. They create color change in lightened or natural colored hair without stripping away its essential oils.

Apart from changing your hair color, they add shine to your hair cuticle in the aftermath. This way, it improves your natural shade without affecting your natural hair.

Semi-permanent hair dyes offer many benefits. This includes gentle treatments with softeners such as honey and aloe vera in some. This aspect makes them more suitable for frequent use than permanent dye colors. Your hair shaft will get a softer treatment as there is no bond-breaking involved.

Some semi-permanent hair colors have been also developed specifically for covering grays. Others help cover up unwanted growth patterns in curly hairs by filling in lighter strands with darker ones.

There are also temporary shades made from vegetable extracts instead of ammonia. So, they end up protecting your scalp and hands during application and rinsing.

How do they vary from permanent hair dyes?

Semi-permanent hair dyes are temporary and will wash off after a certain period. They also don’t last as long, but still require touchups to maintain the color. Permanent hair dye is more permanent and lasts longer than semi-permanent ones.

Semi-permanent hair dyes are only ‘tinted’ with peroxide to give them a temporary, “living” color. When first applied, the peroxide breaks down and lightens the color gradually over time. This will only coat the outside spongy layer of your hair cuticle.

This is a good choice for people who want to dye their hair regularly, but don’t want to have a big change in appearance. Also, semi-permanent dyes make your hair look softer.

Once you dye your hair with permanent dye, it can be very difficult to turn it back to the original color. You might harm your scalp (sometimes permanently!) if you try to change it back. This is because permanent dyes break the protein bonds first to add color to the hair shaft.

As the name suggests, permanent hair dyes last until your hair grows out or gets cut off.

Permanent hair dyes are normally made of ammonia and hydrogen peroxide. These chemicals help them cover all strands of hair by breaking and setting color in the hair.

After breaking the protein bonds in your hair, it usually leaves holes. This makes your hair more susceptible to breakage and splitting. They also make your hair’s texture coarse and tangled.

Semi-permanent hair dyes do not have such chemicals and are totally safe on hair. This also means that you can use them more frequently than permanent dyes.

What are demi-permanent hair dyes?

Demi-permanent hair dyes are a more long-term type of semi-permanent dye. They last significantly longer than traditional washes. Still, they don’t last as long as permanent hair dyes.

Demi-permanent hair colorants are normally applied to the roots. You can also work them throughout the length of your locks for an all-over brightness boost!

When done right, the effect lasts between 8 to 12 weeks. The intensity fades gradually over time until it reaches its final natural state. At that point, you’ll need to touch up with additional treatments if you so desire.

Demi-permanent hair dyes are a great option for people who want to update their look without committing to the permanence of permanent dye. It’s also ideal if you want something that lasts a bit longer than regular semi-permanent dyes.

Benefits of semi-permanent hair dyes

Semi-permanent hairs dye have their benefits. Some of them are:

  1. They’re less damaging and toxic to your hair because it washes out in a day or two.
  2. There are many colors available. This allows people with different skin tones and eye colors to find something suitable for them.
  3. The color will last anywhere from 4 -8 weeks depending on how often you wash your hair.
  4. Semi-permanent hair dyes have no bleach. That’s great for people who don’t want their locks lightened too much.
  5. When washing off semi-permanent hair dyes, there’s little chance of any residue left behind. This means they’re not as messy as other types of colorants like hair chalks.

How to apply a semi-permanent dye

The best place to get your new temporary hair color is at a professional salon. Still, you can use the following steps to apply a semi-permanent hair dye when at home:

  1. Start with a shampoo and conditioner to clean the hair.
  2. Prep your hair by spraying it down with heat-activated styling spray. This helps protect the hair during the application of the semi-permanent dye.
  3. If you have fine or fragile locks, use one pump of protective serum before blow-drying your hair. Doing this will help prevent breakage and flyaway hairs while applying color.
  4. Once dried, comb out any knots (if there are still any) in preparation for coloring.
  5. Divide up dry locks into sections depending on how many colors you want to apply. Most people can get away with two different shades at a time if they want more depth.
  6. For a lighter effect, start with the lightest shade and move to the darkest.
  7. If you want an ombre color, apply first a lightening product before applying your base dye. Alternatively, for rich hues that will deepen over time, work from darker colors to lighter shades.
  8. Rinse, dry, then put on some protective spray after you’re done.

How long do semi-permanent hair dyes last

Semi-permanent hair dyes can last about 4 to 6 weeks before they’ll need a touch-up.

During touch-ups, you can re-apply the same color again to maintain the desired level of coloring. This can vary, depending on how often you get your hair cut and if it’s curly or straight.

This can also vary based on the hairdresser you pick or the level of the coloring selected.

Get a professional who understands your hair type and its specific needs. They are in a better place to recommend the right semi-permanent color for you.

It’s also good to be able to go to the salon every few weeks. You can cover up any gray hairs before other people can see them!

Are semi-permanent hair dyes safe?

There are many questions about the safety of semi-permanent hair dyes. Some are “Are they safe for color-treated hair?” and “Can they damage my scalp?”.

Well, there are always precautions you need to take when applying such products. They will help you avoid any potential risks.

For instance:

  • Some people may have a sensitivity or allergy to ingredients in temporary hair dye or tattoo ink. When in doubt, it’s important to test it on a small patch of skin beforehand. If you don’t see any reaction, you can then use the product on your hair.
  • Semi-permanent dyes are not meant for use with color-treated hair. They can actually strip natural colors from locks that have been chemically altered.
  • And as they only affect the outer layers of strands, they won’t restore any damaged cuticles or follicles. That is why you need to practice care on how often you apply them. Otherwise, they could lead to excessive breakage there’s still protein breaking involved with them.
  • Use a shampoo that will not remove the dye color when you cleanse. If your locks are already damaged, this can lead to additional issues. The most prominent is the weakening of your hair follicle. It can eventually make it much more likely for your head of tresses to fall out.

Despite the few risks, semi-permanent hair colors are much safer than permanent dyes. This is because they can fade away after a few washes. Also, it’s because they don’t need heat application as other colors do. Heat processes are a known cause of most hair damage.

How to make the semi-permanent hair dye last longer

If you’re looking for ways to make your semi-permanent hair dye last longer, some simple tricks can help.

Some of them include:

1. Wash your hair less often!

I know that sounds counterintuitive. But the truth is washing your hair too frequently can strip away all of the essential oils from your scalp. This, in turn, makes it more difficult for any type of product (including semi-permanent dye) to properly bind with hair strands.

So, the next time you think about washing your hair, wait at least 24 hours.

2. Use protective shampoo and conditioners

Get yourself a conditioner or shampoo that’s specifically designed for your color-treated hair. The right products will help bring out the natural colors in your strands. And they’ll do exactly that without stripping away any of the colors already applied.

3. Use heat protectants for hair

Heat protective spray is a way of protecting the hair against heat styling. The most effective ones help protect the cuticles. They’re made with natural ingredients that won’t make your hair stiff or leave a residue. Residue from hair dyes can cause your hair to feel dry, lifeless, or weighed down.

Thus, using a heat protectant spray can help avoid damage when under the dryer.

How to remove semi-permanent hair dye from your hair

If you want to remove semi-permanents from your head, use one of these methods:

  • Soak it in clarifying shampoo or conditioner mixed with water.
  • Shampoo twice during showers with non-color-specific products.
  • Use lemon juice on dry hair before washing out.
  • Rinse with baking soda diluted in vinegar.

Note: Clarifying shampoos can have a drying effect on your hair. So, it’s important to follow up with an ultra-moisturizing conditioner or mask afterward.

Other alternatives to semi-permanent hair dyes

What other temporary alternatives can you use instead of semi-permanent hair dyes?

Let’s look at some of them below:

1. Hair chalks

One of the best things about this type of colorant is that it doesn’t create a mess as other methods do. There is an added advantage of using hair chalks over semi-permanent dyes. You can color any parts you want, such as just one side of your head.

The downside to this process is that it’s not effective for deep coloring. Especially if you have a lot of dark or black hair in certain places on your head. In such a case, hair chalk won’t show up very well and may not be also true to its original color.

2. Color sprays

Color sprays are a great way to temporarily change the color of your hair. They make it easy to get a mixture of colors.

The only downside is that there’s limited coverage for this type of colorant. This means it won’t cover the back or front of your head, as well as other methods, would.

In other instances, some colors won’t work with others. If miscoloring happens, you may have to dye your hair again.

There are various types of color sprays available but not all have the same coverage.

One good example is highlight sprays.

Highlight sprays can cover the front and back of your head with temporary color. At the same time, it also maintains the natural texture of your hair. They work well on dry or wet hair. Just make sure that you create even layers to avoid clumps.

It’s best if you apply from root to tip for better results. Highlight sprays have medium coverage so it won’t do much for those parts that have darker colors like brown, black, etc.

Even so, it will work wonders on lighter shades such as blondes or redheads.

Tip: Try not to use too many highlights on your hair. This is because they may give your hair an unnatural look which probably isn’t what you’re going for.


Semi-permanent hair dyes are a great option for those who want to experiment with different colors without committing. They give you color that lasts about six weeks. Afterward, they start to fade away naturally as your hair grows out.

This is the perfect opportunity to test out all of the fun shades before deciding on one! You should also know that semi-permanent hair dye does not contain ammonia or peroxide like permanent dye. This makes it less damaging, but still gives you long-lasting results!

So, if you’re looking for something new in your life, consider giving them a try. If anything, just do an internet search for “semi-permanent hair dyes” and see what pops up first. I’m sure there’ll be a ton of color ideas for you to try out on your own!

I hope this helps!

Feel free to share with me your ideas in the Comments Section below!

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