Semi, Demi or Permanent ?

Let me explain a bit, before pre-lightening, when you put a dye in, the hair because of its good condition (hopefully), took a certain amount of time to 'accept' the new colour. When it did, it 'held on' to it for a good length of time before either being washed out gradually (semi-permanent) or fading/growing out over time (permanent).

Now your hair reacts quite differently. Due to the damage on each shaft which is unavoidable I'm afraid, your hair is now what's termed as very 'porous'. This means that the hair now soaks up the dye very quickly.'Great' I hear you say,alas, this means that the hair also LOSES the colour pretty quickly too.


Well I guess the fact that it's called permanent might give us a hint there. Once it's in you're pretty much stuck with it until it grows out. On lightened hair it will probably fade quite a bit but the overall shade remains. Permanent dye penetrates into the hair shaft and deposits pigment rather like a tattoo needle does under the skin. So it's not washed out but can fade over time.

PROS :- Far more choice of permanent shades for blondes. All major brands have a very wide choice and range. There is no constant colour change like with semi-s, semi's fade very quickly. Permanent dyes are less high mainteance than semi's.

CONS :- Make a mistake and it's very hard to correct it if you decide you don't like it. You certainly don't want to be putting your hair through all this again too often. Also it means more work for touching up the roots as they will have to be separately pre-lightened and then ONLY the pre-lightened roots get an application of the same shade of permanent dye. As you can imagine this can be tricky and you may get bits of 'colour' overlap between root and previously coloured area.


These are wide ranging in 'time span'. From sachets of 'wash-in wash-out' toners for example Wella shaders and toners to colour mousses, to packs which last for up to 24 washes which are known as Demi-permanent. The amount of washes is based on natural haircolour though. Yours probably won't last as long but you may find that the colour can be quite strong for the first few days. Semi-s just 'sit' on the surface of the hair, sort of like temporary tattoos, which is why they can be washed out.

PROS:- Mistakes are easily rectified.

Tip : If you don't like the colour then wash hair with a shampoo for 'dandruff control' or shower-gel, a few times if necessary, remembering to condition afterward and you'll find the colour fades pretty quickly. Also 'deep' hot oil conditioners can also cause the colour to fade .

There's no commitment to particular shade for long so you can experiment to see what you like and if you do go for a permanent then you have a good idea of what suits you. They also don't cost as much. Root touch ups are also not as complicated as only the roots need a separate pre-lightening first, then the chosen semi-permanent can go in over the whole head so overlap won't occur. Good idea to let the previous semi fade out before getting your roots done obviously.

CONS :- Not nearly so much choice unfortunatley. Fades very quickly so you'll find that you have to 'top them up' every so often between salon visits (or home root touching up if you're brave enough !).

Warning :- For both semi's and permanent dyes the key is NOT TO LEAVE THEM ON FOR TOO LONG. Even wash-out semi-s are capable of very 'intense' colour results (due to how porous your hair is). Strand tests for timing are a MUST with permanents and even with semi's it may be advisable at least for the first time you use a particular shade.


More Blonde Tips and Tricks

Oops ! Overdone the Bleach ?

Hair gone Orange ? Or Green ?

Examples of Blonde Shades

Back to Brown ? How ?

Fighting the Frizz

Highlighting Basics

More Hair Disasters, Stories, Tips and Advice.

Pregnancy Info, Articles and Advice

        Hair and Beauty Tips and Advice

Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Advice

Using Retin-A for wrinkles

Revitalising Facemasks

Invigorating Bodyscrubs

Make your own Lipgloss

Do your own French manicure

Home Facial Techniques

        Product Reviews and Suggestions

Aveda Cherry/Almond Bark Conditioner

How to Choose an Anti-Aging cream

Reviews of 'Sun-In' Hair Lightening Spray


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