We understand that words like “hair cuticle” and “porosity” that are used to describe hair while discussing hair color can seem like they come from a foreign language. This is why we have come to translate. To differentiate between demi-permanent vs. semi-permanent hair color, we must first define the terms. The duration of the coloring results is the primary distinction between a semi and a demi. Although both demi and semi are transitory, demi can last through approximately 24–28 shampoos and semi can persist through approximately 3–6 washes. Here, our expert colorists share their advice on how to get the most out of your new hue by breaking down the specifics of each type and explaining when and why to use it. In this article, we will compare and contrast two of the most common dye jobs for your hair.

What is Demi-Permanent Hair Color?

Demi-permanent hair color gets washed out after 24 to 28 washes because it contains no ammonia and is blended with a low-volume developer. Use it on dry hair before shampooing to deposit color on the hair shaft. It will not bleach your hair or permeate your strands, but it will last far longer than temporary hair dyes.

Who Suits this Type of Hair Color?

Demi-permanent dyes are ideal for those who want to experiment with new hues without committing to them permanently, or for those who wish to add depth to their natural color. In addition, those with less than 25% gray hair can benefit greatly from it. Why stop at 25%? For the simple reason that demi-permanent hair dye does not penetrate deep enough into the hair shaft to effectively cover gray hair. However, it will give your grays a translucent “highlighted” appearance, which may make them less noticeable.

What is Semi-Permanent Hair Color?

If you want a temporary hair color that will last for three to six washes, you should go with a semi-permanent dye. In contrast to demi, semi-permanent dyes can be applied directly to clean, shampooed hair without the use of a developer. Besides changing your hair color, semi-permanent hair dyes can also temporarily improve the tone of your hair, whether it is to give a bit additional vitality in between color applications or to balance out brassy tones. A word of caution, though: semi appears darker on hair than it does in the bottle. To achieve the desired hue, select a shade lighter than what you now have. We know what you are thinking, but we promise you will adore your new shade of hair.

Who Suits this Type of Hair Color?

Because it fades nearly five times as quickly as demi, semi-permanent hair dye is ideal for those who want a drastic but short-lived change in hair color. Semi is an excellent option for anyone who wants to try a new hair color for the weekend but does not want to commit to a permanent change due to the rapid fading it experiences. Want a lot quicker semi-truck washout? You can use a clearing shampoo, or you can add a few drops of tea tree oil to your regular shampoo for a quick DIY solution.

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