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What Is Demi-Permanent Hair Color?

May 15, 2020

If you’re a hair color fanatic like us, then you likely know that you have way more than one option when it comes to different types of hair dye. While semi-permanent and permanent hair dyes are probably the options you’re most familiar with, alternatives like henna hair dye and demi-permanent hair dye may be on your radar, too. Speaking of the latter, if you’re wondering what demi-permanent hair color is, we’re here to fill you in. Keep reading for your guide to demi-permanent hair dye—from what it is to who should use it!


What, exactly, is demi-permanent hair color? By now, you probably know that semi-permanent hair dye is an ammonia-free hair color option that coats your strands and can last through about eight shampoos. On the other hand, permanent hair dye contains ammonia and can penetrate your strands, allowing for longer-lasting color. So, where does demi-permanent hair dye fit in? Demi-permanent hair dye falls right in between semi-permanent and permanent hair dye. 

Demi-permanent hair dye typically has an ammonia-free formula that contains a developer, allowing it to penetrate under the outer cuticle of your hair. This helps the color last longer than semi-permanent alternatives, but not as long as permanent hair color since it doesn’t fully penetrate the hair shaft. Like temporary and semi-permanent dyes, demi-permanent hair color will wash out over time.

Editor’s tip: Clueless when it comes to hair anatomy? Head over to our article, What is Hair Made Of?, for a quick lesson on what hair is made of, how it grows, and more.


Ah, it’s time to answer the age-old question about demi-permanent hair color! How long can you expect your new hue to last? Demi-permanent hair dye typically washes out after 24 shampoos, making it an excellent pick for those who love to play with color but don’t want to wait for their new shade to grow out before they can experiment with something else. As we mentioned above, this hair color contains a developer that allows your hair color to last longer than semi-permanent options—that’s the major difference between the two types of hair dye. Basically, it’s the sweet spot for hair color lovers!


Wondering who should use demi-permanent hair color? Below, find a few reasons it may be worth opting for a demi-permanent hair color over other types of hair dye.

Use a demi-permanent hair dye if…you want to try one of the latest hair color trends. Oftentimes, we find ourselves scrolling through endless pins on Pinterest, trying to determine the perfect new hue to color our mane. If you’re torn between options, using a demi-permanent hair dye will give you the freedom to try more than one hair color—after 24 shampoos, that is. Consider it the optimal solution if you crave a mane makeover on a month-by-month basis.

Use a demi-permanent hair dye if…you’re on the fence about a new hair color. Aside from having the freedom to try a different shade every few months, demi-permanent hair color is ideal for those who aren’t quite sure if they want to commit to a new ‘do. The color will last longer than its semi-permanent alternative, allowing you to get a better feel for if you want to color your locks permanently. If you decide the hue isn’t for you, no worries! After around 24 shampoos, you’ll be back to your starting hair color sans damage.

Use a demi-permanent hair dye if…your hair is in need of a boost. If your mane is looking a little lackluster, a demi-permanent hair dye is an easy way to give your locks a refresh. Use one in a shade that’s close to your natural hair color to infuse your strands with life.

Use a demi-permanent hair dye if…you don’t want to damage your hair. Since demi-permanent hair color, like semi-permanent, doesn’t contain ammonia, it won’t cause damage like other hair color options might. This is an ideal option for those who wish to color their strands but also need some TLC.

Use a demi-permanent hair dye if…you want to go darker. Demi-permanent hair dye won’t lighten your hair, as it doesn’t contain hydrogen peroxide or bleach in its formula. This means it isn't the right pick for those trying to adopt a lighter hair color. On the flip side, if you want to go darker, demi-permanent hair dye is a great option!


Once you decide to give demi-permanent hair dye a test drive, it’s essential to learn how to maintain your gorgeous hue. Follow the four tips below to help you care for your newly colored strands the right way.


First things first, you’ll need to swap out your current hair care system for an offering that’s specifically formulated to care for color-treated strands. We can’t get enough of the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair and Defense Conditioner. Show your strands a little extra love by swapping out your conditioner for the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair Remedy Balm once or twice a week for extra nourishment.


While there is nothing like enjoying a hot, steamy shower, you may want to scale it back once you opt for demi-permanent hair color. Super-hot H2O strips hair of its natural oils, which will leave you with a dry and dull mane—and that’s the last thing you need. Simply turn down the dial in the shower to keep your strands and your hair color in mint condition.


By now, you likely know that consistently using heat tools can wreak havoc on your mane. Instead of reaching for your blow-dryer or flat iron, put them on ice and switch things up with heat-free styling methods. It’s a great way to give your hair a break from the heat, and you won’t have to sacrifice styling your hair. Give it a shot with the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle CURVE IT Elastic Curl Mousse. Apply an egg-sized amount to your strands, crunch from the ends to roots, and let air dry. Once dry, you’ll be able to enjoy bouncy heatless curls.


We totally get it! Sometimes the perfect hairstyle calls for you to use your heat tools. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protect your strands from heat damage at all costs. Spritz on a heat protectant, like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray, which works to calm frizz, seal in shine, and protect your hair against high temperatures.

Next up: Consider yourself even more of a low-commitment person when it comes to hair color? Wash-out hair color will be your best friend. Check out our articles, How to Use Hair Makeup for a Temporary Mane Makeover and How to Use a Temporary Hair Color Spray, to learn more.

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