What is Demi-Permanent Hair Dye?

Do you love hair colour as much as we do? If you do, then you’re probably already well aware that you’ve got many options when it comes to types of hair dye. If you aren’t as well-versed with the world of hair dye, you’ve still probably heard of permanent and semi-permanent. One type you may not have come across before is demi-permanent. And no, that isn’t a typo. Wondering what demi-permanent is? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Get the low down on exactly what demi-permanent is and what it can do for your hair from our hair colour experts.

So, what exactly is it?

To understand exactly what demi-permanent hair dye is, first we have to look at its closely related cousins, permanent and semi-permanent hair dye. As you may or may not already know, semi-permanent hair dye doesn’t contain ammonia, which means it coats your hair strands rather than penetrating the hair follicle, so it tends to only last around 8 shampoos. In contrast, as the name suggests, permanent hair colour however is much longer lasting. This is due to an alkalising agent, such as ammonia, which allows the colour to penetrate the strands to change the colour.

So, where does demi-permanent dye fit in? Well, demi-permanent falls pretty much right in between semi-permanent and permanent hair dye.

Similar to semi-permanent formulas, demi-permanent contains no ammonia but includes a low-volume developer which allows the dye to penetrate under the outer cuticle of your hair. Because of this, demi-permanent lasts longer than semi-permanent hair colour, but not as long as permanent hair colour. Demi-permanent hair dye will fade over time as you shampoo.

How long does demi-permanent hair colour last?

Now we’ve established that demi-permanent hair dye lasts longer than semi-permanent, but won’t replace the longevity of your permanent hair, it’s time to find exactly how long that is.

As a general rule, you can usually expect demi-permanent hair colour to wash out after around 24 shampoos, however this is dependent on many factors including the colour chosen, your hair type, and your hair care routine. This makes demi-permanent an excellent choice for those who love to experiment with their colour on a regular basis or for trying out a hair colour before you take the full plunge. Thanks to the formula you’ll be loving your coloured locks for longer than semi-permanent options, making a demi-permanent formula the perfect sweet spot! 

Who should use demi-permanent hair colour?

Wondering if demi-permanent hair colour is the right choice for you? a few reasons it may be worth opting for a demi-permanent hair colour over other types of hair dye.

Use a demi-permanent hair dye if…

…you want to try one of the latest hot hair colour trends. So, you’ve been wanting a hair colour change for a while and you’re totally obsessed with all the cool hues you’re seeing on Instagram, but you’re not quite sure whether you can pull it off. That’s where demi-permanent comes in. Dip your toe in the water before plunging in headfirst – a particularly good approach if you’re looking to walk on the wild side, with a bolder hue. Want to try another colour next month? No stress!

…you’re on the fence about a new hair colour. Aside from having the freedom to try a different shade more frequently, demi-permanent hair colour is ideal for those who aren’t quite sure if they want to commit to a new ‘do’. The colour will last longer than the semi-permanent alternative, allowing you to get a better feel for whether you’re ready to more permanently commit to your new locks. If you decide the hair colour isn’t for you, no worries! After around 24 shampoos the colour should have washed out.

your hair is in need of a boost. If your hair colour is looking a little drab or lacklustre, a demi-permanent hair dye is an easy way to give your locks a refreshing boost of colour. Choose a demi-permanent dye in a shade that’s close to your natural shade to add a richer hue to your hair.

…you don’t want to damage your hair. Since demi-permanent hair colour are gentler formulas, they are kinder to your hair. This is an ideal option for those who want to colour their strands but also need some TLC.

…you want to go darker. Demi-permanent hair dye brighten your natural hair colour as they contain a low-volume hydrogen peroxide developer. This means that a permanent hair dye is the right choice for those trying to adopt a lighter hair colour. If a lighter shade is what you’re after, read our guide on how to bleach hair at home. For those looking to go darker, demi-permanent hair dye is the perfect option for you

Know that a demi-permanent dye is the right type for your needs? Discover how to dye your hair at home like a pro.

How to use demi-permanent hair colour

Step 1: Choose your demi-permanent hair colour

The first step is definitely the most fun – choosing your demi-permanent colour. With our Casting Crème Gloss range, you can transform your hair and achieve an ultra-glossy, natural looking result! Our revolutionary, virtual try on tool Modiface will allow you to trial each shade before making your decision.

Step 2: Perform the 48 Hour Allergy Alert Test

Preparation and care are key to getting the best out of your semi-permanent hair colour. Before you get ready to colour your hair, it is essential that you perform a hair allergy test 48 hours before each use of a hair colourant, as an allergy can develop suddenly, even though you have previously used the same hair colourant or the colourant of another brand. To carry out the allergy alert test, follow the instructions supplied with your colourant.

Step 3: Apply the demi-permanent hair dye

Ready, set, transformation time! Now you are ready, it’s time to apply the hair dye. After opening the box, read the application and safety instructions and wear the enclosed gloves prior to application. Casting Crème Gloss requires 20 minutes on your hair strands for the dye to achieve those ultra-glossy results. Next, rinse, style and embrace your gorgeous new hue.

How to take care of demi-permanent hair colour

Once you decide to give demi-permanent hair dye a whirl, it’s essential to learn how to take care of your new gorgeous hue. Follow the four tips below to help you care for your newly transformed strands the right way.

TIP #1: Reach for a colour-treated hair care system

First things first, you’ll need to swap out your current shampoo and conditioner for products that are specifically formulated to care for colour-treated hair. Our favourites? The Elvive Colour Protect Shampoo and the Elvive Colour Protect Conditioner . Your new colour-treated hair care routine doesn’t stop at shampoo and conditioner. Once or twice a week, treat your hair to some extra TLC and use a nourishing hair maskOpt for the Elvive Extraordinary Oil Hair Maskto infuse some extra nutrients and ensure your healthiest looking hair yet.

TIP #2: Rinse with lukewarm water

While there is nothing like a hot, steamy shower, you may want to scale it back if you colour your hair with a demi-permanent hair dye. Super-hot H2O can more easily strip hair of its demi-permanent colour and natural oils, which can leave you with a dry and duller mane. Simply turn down the dial slightly in the shower to keep your strands and your hair colour in prime condition.

TIP #3: Say no to heat stylers

By now you likely know that consistently using heat tools can wreak havoc on your hair, causing breakage, split ends, or leave you with a rough, dry texture. Instead of reaching for the hair dryer or flat iron every single day switch things up with heat-free styling methods. Introducing heat-free styling techniques is an easy way to give your hair a break from the heat, without sacrificing on a stylish hair-do.

TIP #4: Protect those locks!

We totally get it! Sometimes the perfect hairstyle calls for you to use heat styling tools, you’re only human after all. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t incorporate steps into your routine to protect your strands from the damage heat may cause. We love the Elvive Extraordinary Oil Treatment or the Elnett Satin Heat Protect Styling Spray for a two-in-one that will nourish and heat protect your hair, while helping you to achieve your favourite look.

Now you’re armed with the expert tips and tricks for using demi-permanent hair colour, discover more in our Hair Colour Hub.