Difference between Permanent and Semi-Permanent Hair color

There are many hair colors in the market which can confuse you. Here we will discuss about different types of hair dyes, their properties and how to care for them after its application on hair.


Bleach and highlights

This hair product decolorizes the pigment in your hair shaft or in simple words, removes the color from your hair by the oxidation process. Therefore your hair becomes almost white when hair is exposed to this product for long period. It is used when you want a lighter shade such as platinum blond look.

Temporary hair color

This hair product comes in form of spray on color or color depositing shampoo or in form of hair mascara to conceal graying at the root or hairline. This hair color can easily wash out after first wash with shampoo.

Semi permanent hair color

This hair product is also temporary in nature but its life span is comparatively much longer than the temporary hair color which washes out 1 shampoo. This product lasts up to 6 – 12 shampoos and then tends to fade progressively with shampoo and exposure to sun and air. It gives your hair a more natural look and it is easy to use. Since, it doesn’t contain bleach therefore it can’t lighten your natural color. Your hair needs frequent reapplication of this hair color due to its temporary nature which can be damaging for your hair.

Demi permanent hair color

The life of this hair color is much longer than the semi permanent hair color as it lasts up to 12 – 26 shampoos. This color intensifies your natural hair color and lightens only one shade. It is very useful in masking gray hairs, refreshing already colored hair, deepening hair color, altering the tone of hair and lightening hair one shade.

Permanent hair color

This hair color doesn’t wash out instead it grows out. This color can give a dramatic to your hair color by making your hair two or more shades darker or it can also lighten your hair color. You just need touch ups for your roots on every 6 – 8 weeks.

The process of applying permanent hair color is divided into two parts which are:

  • Opening up the hair shaf
  • Adding color

This application process distinguish the permanent hair color from other hair color such as semi permanent color as they cannot open up the hair shaft before adding color. This process can deepen the color or lighten it and thus mask gray hair and change your hair color completely. It contains combination of peroxide and ammonia which removes pigment from hair while depositing new hair color.


You can maintain a perfect hair color by combining the effects of semi permanent and permanent color without making an extra effort. Permanent hair can open the hair shaft which means that if you use semi permanent color like gloss after your permanent color fades a little then the color will get absorbed into the hair and works as a stain.

The semi permanent color goes deeper as the shaft is already open and replenishes the amount of color you have lost. It makes your hair color refreshed and maintained a newly colored look.


Features of semi permanent hair color

  • Also acts as deep conditioning agent
  • Make your hair color darker or alter it but can’t lighten the shade
  • No requirement of developer – activator
  • Can be applied directly as no mixing is required
  • Not designed for gray coverage
  • Doesn’t change hair structure

Features of permanent hair color

  • Provide full gray coverage and color it permanently
  • It can darken as well as lighten your hair color.
  • Developer – activator is required for mixing with color.
  • Can’t be applied directly as it requires mixing.
  • It changes hair structure (opens up the hair shaft) in order to make color changes.
sumit chopra

sumit chopra

Blogger at Blogging Studio
Sumit Chopra is co-founder of Blogging Studio, growing internet marketing company in India. He is an avid reader, other than his work he has an interest in blogging.
sumit chopra

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  1. Erica 3 months ago

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