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Temporary, Semi-Permanent and Permanent Hair Color – Which One Is Best for You?

Discover the advantages of different types of hair color to work out which one matches your hair needs and routine – from wash-out to long-term color.

The world of hair color is full of technical terms and different types of dye. It can be difficult to work out what’s available and right for you. In this article, we will look at temporary, semi-permanent and permanent hair color in more detail to help you make up your mind.

Temporary Hair Dye – Hair Makeup

Temporary color often gets mixed up and mistaken with semi-permanent hair dye. Temporary hair color coats the outside of the hair shaft. It doesn’t last very long and usually rinses out after one shampoo wash. Think of temporary hair dye like hair makeup that comes in many forms, from sprays to tubes and hair toner. Some root concealers also use temporary hair dye to cover grey roots.

Reasons to choose temporary hair dye

  • Great for special occasions or trying out new colors
  • Gentle leave in formula with no bleach or hair damage.
  • Grey root coverage to space out colorings.

Reasons you may want to give it a miss

  • Color only lasts one wash
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Semi-Permanent Hair Dye – Natural Results That Gradually Fade

Semi-permanent hair color lasts longer than temporary hair dye, usually 6 to 8 weeks, depending on how often you wash your hair. They provide more color options than temporary wash-out dyes as they penetrate the outermost layers of the hair shaft, from natural shades with simmering tones to bright pink. You also get gloss and shine. Semi-permanent hair dyes don’t contain bleach, which is good for your hair, but means you can’t go lighter than your natural color.

Reasons to choose semi-permanent hair dye

  • More natural color than wash-out dyes
  • Last longer than temporary dye without fully committing to a color
  • No bleach or harsh chemicals like ammonia

Reasons you may want to give it a miss

  • Color fades after 6-8 weeks – regular re-application can dry out your hair
  • Won’t fully cover all grey
  • Can’t go lighter than your natural color
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Permanent Hair Dye – Vibrant, Lasting Color in Any Shade

Permanent hair dyes are specially formulated to give long-lasting hair color. When mixed with a developer, the dye opens the cuticles on the surface of the hair shaft to deliver the dye deep inside. They don’t wash out over time. But you’ll need to re-color your roots or give your hair a touch up as the color fades or grows out. Some hair dyes contain anti-brassiness purple technology to help maintain the color over time. Others contain a protective cool coloring cream enriched with pro-keratin to protect the hair as it colors.

Reasons to choose permanent hair dye

  • Long-lasting color
  • A multitude of shades regardless of your hair color
  • Full grey coverage

Reasons you may want to give it a miss

  • Stronger chemical including an oxidizer and sometimes ammonia
  • Regular upkeep to cover roots and boost color
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