What is Semi Permanent Hair Color-How Long it lasts & How to remove

What is semi permanent hair color and what is the difference between it and permanent hair color? How do the artificial and natural types differ?How long does Semi Permanent Hair Color last from salon on bleached hair? What are the popular brands and and how do users  review and rate them? How is this hair color removed? Read on to learn more.

What is Semi Permanent Hair Color

Hair dyes/hair colors are usually divided into three categories depending on the duration of results and color change they offer: permanent hair dyes, demi-permanent hair dyes, semi-permanent hair dyes, and temporary hair dyes.

Semi-permanent hair dyes as their name suggests offer semi-permanent results, which last several washes (usually 4-12 washes).

What is the difference between semi permanent and permanent hair color?

The following characteristics of semi permanent hair color make it different from permanent hair color dye

  • It contains no ammonia (which is usually found in permanent hair dye formulations).
  • It doesn’t require any mixing with a developer (like permanent hair dye formulations)
  • It doesn’t cover hair roots and grey hair completely but makes any color difference less visible and blends gray hair harmoniously with the rest of the hair so it doesn’t look so much obvious
  • It’s less stressing and damaging for the hair than permanent formulations as it contains lower amounts of harsh chemicals like Ammonia and PPD.
Semi Permanent Hair Color dye
Semi Permanent Hair Color dye

Semi-permanent hair color can be further divided into 2 categories: Artificial and Natural semi-permanent color. The first usually contains artificial pigments for coloring the hair and some brands may contain low amounts of the chemical PPD, which is used to deposit hair color to the hair shaft but may be toxic for health. The second contains mainly natural ingredients derived from plants like Henna, to temporarily add pigments to the hair.

In terms of results, artificial semi-permanent hair dyes may be indicated for giving richer and slightly more long-lasting results, whereas natural semi-permanent hair dyes may give off more subtle and natural looking results. The latter also may additionally nourish the hair and prevent further damage, whilst tinting it naturally.

How long does Semi Permanent Hair Color last from Salon on bleached Hair?

By referring to bleached hair, we are talking about hair that has been lightened multiple shades with a bleach developer e.g. hydroxen peroxide. This process usually takes place in a salon but it’s also possible to bleach your hair at home by using bleaching kit. Now, many will be wondering “how long does semi-permanent hair color lasts on bleached hair?” and if it’s wise to use a semi-permanent hair color on bleached hair. The answer to the latter is YES if:

  • Your hair is already damaged from the bleach and you don’t want to risk aggravating the damage by trying a permanent hair color.
  • You want to temporarily cover or darken 1-2 shades the current shade of your bleached hair.
how long semi permanent hair color dye last bleached on hair salon
Bleached Blonde hair

Now the answer to “How long will semi-permanent hair color lasts on bleached hair?” differs as it depends to the level of hair bleach you have already. In general though, semi-permanent hair color on bleached hair tends to last around 5-10 washes, and then gradually begins to fade out. If you want to make it last longer, it would be wise to use color-safe shampoos and choose a slightly darker shade than the one you’d go to prevent your bleached hair from showing up faster.

The process of re-dying your hair with semi-permanent hair color on bleached hair may also be repeated every 2-3 weeks, as long as the hair dye doesn’t contain harsh chemicals.

Best Semi Permanent Hair Color Reviews

Most major hair dye brands also carry semi-permanent hair dye ranges, suited for those who aren’t looking for permanent results. Here is a list of all major brands reviews on their semi-permanent hair dyes.

semi permanent hair color dye Brands Clairol


Clairol currently carries 2 semi—permanent hair dyes. The first is “Clairol Natural Instincts” and is designed for safe at-home hair color. It contains natural ingredients like Aloe Vera, coconut oil, vitamin E and contains no ammonia. This range is available in 23 shades and waiting time for the hair dye to do its job is just 10 minutes.

Average price: $6.99-9.99 a kit.

Average user reviews: 4.2 (from official websites and beauty platforms reviews)

The brand also carries a semi-permanent hair dye in their professional hair care range: Clairol Beautiful collection semi-permanent hair color. The range is available in 15 natural looking shades and also contains natural nourishing ingredients like Vitamin E and Aloe Vera.

Average price range: $6.29-9.99

Average user reviews: 4.1


L’oreal Paris currently carries 1 main semi-permanent hair dye: L’oreal Paris Healthy Look Cream Gloss or Casting Crème Gloss (European Version).       This product range claims to deliver a healthy and glossy-looking result to the hair without ammonia and drying chemicals. Comes in 35 vibrant looking shades—from black to light amber and light blonde.

Average price: $6.79-9.99

Average user reviews: 4.5/5

L’Oreal also currently carries a semi-permanent hair color range suited for light natural or bleach blonds, looking for a semi-permanent pink hair shade: L’Oreal Ferial pastels available in 3 pastel shades: pastel pink panther, pastel lilac lavender, and pastel peach punch. The product line claims to last up to 6 weeks.


Garnier currently carries 1 semi-permanent hair color range: Herbashine. This range claims to contain no ammonia and it’s enriched with bamboo extract for natural looking and shiny results. Comes in 18, natural looking shades.

Average price range: 3.99-8.75 per kit

Average user reviews: 3.8/5

Other Brands-Revlon & Herbal Essence

  • Revlon. Revlon does not currently carry a semi-permanent hair color line in its range as all of its available formulations are within the permanent hair color range. Luxurious Colorsilk Buttercream is a range that comes close to being semi-permanent as it contains no ammonia and contains natural nourishing ingredients like Mango, Shea Butter, and Papaya.
  • Herbal Essences. Herbal Essences is basically a brand of Clairol and as mentioned above, the only semi-permanent hair color line that it carries is the “Clairol Natural Instincts”.

Apart from the above major brands, John Frieda also carries a semi-permanent hair color range called “ John Frieda Precision Foam Hair color, which is suited for home use and applies as a foam that lasts up to 10 washes. Additional options include: Ion Color Brilliance Semi-Permanent Hair Color and Silk Elements MegaSilk Semi-Permanent Hair Color.

How to remove Semi Permanent Hair Color 

If you have previously tried a semi-permanent hair color range and didn’t like the results, the good news is that, you can easily fade the color out or completely remove it in various ways. Here are some ways to do it:

  • No1: Just let it fade out naturally. The good thing about semi=permanent hair color is that it lasts only a certain number of washes, and then fades into a natural looking shade that is close to the color you had before. To speed up the process, use a clarifying or anti-dandruff shampoo like Head and Shoulders, which may remove additional hair color deposits faster.
  • No2: Mix equal parts of clarifying or anti-dandruff shampoo with baking soda and apply from your hair roots to the hair ends. Leave the mixture for a 3-5 minutes and then rinse with plenty of water. Condition optionally your hair tips as the mixture can be drying to your hair. Note: You may need to repeat the same process 2-3 times to get the desired results and fade out color to the shade desired.
  • No3: Use a few tablespoons of vinegar. Wash your hair first with a clarifying shampoo and rinse with vinegar. The acidity of the vinegar here will help shift the hair color pigments deposited to the hair. Leave to work for a few minutes and then wash and condition your hair as usual. You may repeat the same process a couple of times to get the desired results.
  • No4: Use lemon juice. Wash your hair (as usual) and add lemon juice from the hair roots to the hair ends. Let sit for a couple of minutes and rinse with plenty of water. Note: do not use this method if your hair is dry or has been bleached as it tends to dry out hair. Make sure you don’t leave the lemon juice for more than a couple of minutes.
  • No5: Use a hair color remover. Hair color removers seem to work better than other methods in re-opening the hair shaft so it’s sheds of hair color, partially or completely and restoring its previous shade. The most popular hair color removers available in the market are: Color Zap, By L’oreals hair color remover and Wella Hair Color remover kit. If you have decided to use this method, make sure you read and apply the instructions in the package carefully to avoid any mis-matched results or hair damage.
  • No6: Use a detergent or dish washing soap. Another method if hair color remover is out of your reach is to use dish washing soap or hair detergent. Mix equal parts of the detergent/dish washing liquid with your shampoo, and wash 2-3 times. Repeat the same process another couple of times until you get the desired results.

As you can see, it’s easy to remove semi-permanent hair color with just regular ingredients found in your kitchen or bathtub. Make sure though you don’t leave any ingredient more than a few minutes to your hair as it will dry the hair shaft and aggravate damage:
Here is a video with more tips and idea on how to remove hair dye at home


  1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/05/hair-dye-types-treatment-tips_n_4193049.html
  2. http://www.loreal-paris.co.uk/hair-colour/semi-permanent-hair-colour
  3. http://www.sallybeauty.com/semi-permanent-haircolor/Hair05-02,default,sc.html
  4. http://dailymakeover.com/best-semi-permanent-hair-color/
  5. http://www.garnier.co.uk/hair-colour

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