Colour that is richer in tone (eg red) or darker than your natural hair colour can be easily created with a demi or semi permanent colour.


Images on this page are all from Caterina Di Biase @ Heading Out Hair & Beauty, Melbourne, Australia.


Semi-Permanent or Demi Permenant Colour: Colour that fades out

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The two names are often used to describe the same type of colour although a "demi" lasts longer than a "semi". They are designed to fade gradually. Depending on the exact manufacturers range, they last between 6 and 8 weeks, some will last even longer. They are applied to all of your hair and will change the reflect (copper, red, chocolate etc.) or darken it. In-salon application would take less than an hour then add you cut and blow-dry time.

The Positives:

  • Conditioner based so will improve the condition of your hair.
  • If you have never tried colour in your hair before these are a great introduction without the commitment of having to keep the colour up.
  • These are the best types of colour to use in conjunction with a perm to maintain condition. The other advantage of a semi-permanent colour is that perms will fade your coloured hair and a semi-permanent colour can be done on the same day as your perm to refresh your look (you have to wait a week between a perm and a permanent colour).
  • Semi/Demi-permanent colours are generally a cheaper service than a permanent colour.
  • If you have a tendency to want to try new colours all the time this is a good way to go as long as you let each one fully fade away before doing the next.
  • Can be used in conjunction with a permanent colour, by your hairdresser, to keep the ends of your hair healthy and looking freshly coloured.

The Negatives:

  • Will not lighten your hair. Although on rare occasions, if you have naturally very fine hair some lightening may occur.
  • Will only give partial coverage on grey hair, the amount of coverage varies with differing brands (30 to 70%).
  • They gradually fade out over a period of weeks or washes so the colour changes quite a bit as it does this, and you may not like all of the stages of faded colour.
  • If your hair is very fine or you repeat too often (before the last one fades out) you will get a re-growth.
  • May require an allergy test if you are worried.
  • Your own colour will effect the results possible.

At the end of the day, there are many different types of semi-permanent colours on the market and a consultation with your hairdresser will be the way to choose the best one for you. Check out changing your hair colour for even more detail.

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