How Long Does Semi-Permanent Hair Dye Last?

So you’ve decided you want to try a fun new color, or just refresh the current color of your hair. ‘Tis the season to switch it up! Before you book that critical salon appointment, it’s always a good idea to brush up on the different kinds of hair dye, so that you have a better idea of what you’ll need to achieve your desired look. Today we’re discussing semi-permanent hair dye: what is it, what are the benefits of using it, and (potentially most importantly) how long does it last?

Semi-permanent hair dye doesn’t contain any ammonia, and deposits color onto the hair shaft. For most people, semi-permanent hair color will last anywhere from 8-10 shampoos; as is the case with any type of color service, this estimate is also dependent on the hair products you use and your usual styling routine.

“At Davines, our semi-permanent color is Finest Pigments. Our demi-permanent color is View, and the Alchemic family is great for depositing temporary color. For a more dramatic change, our permanent colors are Mask with Vibrachrom and A New Colour. Ask your Davines stylist what they recommend to get your desired look!” —Sunny Brewer, Davines Technical Education Manager.

Davines Finest Pigments semi permanent

The Benefits of Using Semi-Permanent Hair Dye

The biggest difference between semi-permanent and permanent hair dye is what happens to your hair shaft: while permanent hair dye penetrates into the hair shaft, semi-permanent dyes only coats the outer layer. And that’s actually one of the main benefits of using semi-permanent dye; here are some of the others:

  • Because it doesn’t contain any agents like ammonia, it’s often less damaging.
  • Lower color commitment since it only lasts for 8-10 washes
  • Semi-permanent dyes can be applied directly to the hair without using developer.
  • Although a temporary color, semi-permanent dyes can add vibrancy, tone, shine, and dimension to your current hue.

Our semi-permanent color line, Finest Pigments, is an ammonia-free direct coloring system formulated with natural pigments and ingredients up to 98% natural origin. These natural pigments are derived from ingredients like ginger, saffron, and Indian walnut, and the 14 shades can be mixed together to get your desired shade. It’s a great choice for anyone looking to either temporarily try something new, or enhance the dimension of your current shade — the Finest Gloss is also amazing for boosting shine.

photo courtesy of Chemistry Salon

Does Semi-Permanent Hair Dye Damage My Hair?

Due to many of the factors discussed above, such as semi-permanent dye not containing any ammonia, it is one of the least invasive and low-commitment types of color you can use. Just remember to talk with your stylist to see what kinds of colored hair maintenance products they recommend you use, to make sure you’re extending the life of your refreshed look as long as possible. Before your color appointment, you should try to get your hair into as healthy a state as possible, and then stock up on the right products to keep it looking that way.

4 Non-Permanent Hair Coloring Options

Aside from semi-permanent color, there are other temporary hair dye options you can try if you’re not ready to commit to a fully permanent look — these are the best choice for anyone who either wants to refresh a current color, temporarily try out a new look, or just lessen the chance of damage and breakage from over-processing and bleaching.


Made to enhance both natural and cosmetic color, our Alchemic family of shampoos and conditioners are made with pure pigments to intensify and brighten. The six color families can even be mixed together to create your desired custom shade. 

Alchemic Creative Conditioners

Beyond the standard Alchemic assortment, you can also ask your Davines stylist for a bold (temporary) color change by using Alchemic Creative Conditioners. From teal to lavender, these bright and beautiful shades are amazing for offering a temporary color change on lightened or naturally-blonde hair. And don’t forget to pick up some in-salon to help extend the life of your look at home!

Color sprays

Whether you needed a shocking hair change for Halloween, or easy root touch-up in between color appointments, pigmented color sprays are one of the simplest ways to temporarily change your hair color.

Hair chalk

Since hair chalk just coats the outermost surface of the hair, they’re another great way to switch up your look for a day. 

How Do You Know If Your Hair Has Damage?

Many people have at least some kind of damage — chemical damage from bleaching color-treated hair can present as the most extreme, but even parts of your daily hair care routine such as aggressive brushing or pulling your hair into a tight ponytail can lead to damage or breakage. Here’s how hair damage can present itself, going from the least to most severe cases:

  • Dry hair: Strands that feel or look parched can be a cue that the cuticle, which locks moisture into hair, is damaged. 
  • Split ends: The hair strand starts to fray or split into pieces after further damage.
  • Breakage: This happens when a strand has its layers deteriorate enough to cause weak spots along the shaft.
  • Hair loss: Severe damage that pulls on the hair’s roots can produce permanent follicle loss.

If you’re currently dealing with any of the issues listed above, be sure to read our past blog post on how to repair chemically damaged hair for some of the best ways you can revitalize your hair health.

The Six Best Hair Masks for Dry and Damaged Hair

Another way to help deal with damage, or even to help prevent it in the first place: frequent masking! Although conditioner should be a part of your usual wash routine, dry hair will benefit from swapping in a nourishing hair mask at least once a week in its place. Perfect for anyone who has recently bleached, permed, or relaxed their hair, the NOUNOU Hair Mask is specifically formulated to heal and nourish highly-processed hair. 

For best results, make sure to apply the mask through your lengths and ends, avoiding the roots, and try out a few different types of masks to see what works best with your hair type and damage levels. And be sure to check out our blog posts on the six best hair masks for dry and damaged hair for a complete rundown.

Find a Salon Near You

No matter what kind of color refresh you’re looking for, start by talking to your stylist to see what they recommend. They’ll not only recommend the right kind of semi or permanent dye, but also ensure that you’re stocked up with the right color-protective products and styling routine to keep your look as fresh as possible. Head to our salon locator to take the first step toward your new color journey!

by Lauren Hannel, staff contributor

cover photo courtesy of @mabelsalontucson

Illuminating and protective shampoo for colored hair.

Illuminating and protective conditioner for colored hair.

Illuminating serum to intensify the color of cosmetically-treated hair.

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