Sometimes we all fancy a change to our hair colour, but want to exercise a bit of caution too.
A semi-permanent dye or temporary dye can be a great option.
Note, the two terms are often used interchangeably, but temporary hair dye technically lasts even less time – fading after just a few washes.
However, with both dye types, the dye coats the surface of the hair shaft, rather than fundamentally changing the colour, as permanent hair dye does.
Semi-permanent dye lasts four to six weeks, depending on how often you wash your hair.
To make the colour last longer, avoid washing with really hot water, and try to wash your hair as little as possible. Of course, go the other way if you’re keen to see the colour go!
Once the colour has started to fade, you can update with the same colour, or take things in an entirely direction.
There are also colour-protecting shampoos, conditioners, and primers, that can help retain longevity.
Why use semi-permanent dye
If you are feeling indecisive, want to try something new, or are not sure how a colour will look on you, a semi-permanent dye can make it easy to test out a colour, and switch from it if you need to.
Temporary and semi-permanent dye is also good for your hair and can add shine and vivacity to it.
For people with ash blonde or brown hair, semi-permanent dye can be a playful way to add some radiance and deep glow, or a bit of spark, without making an all-out change.
Thin hair can also benefit from a semi-permanent dye, as it adds depth and volume straight away.
Using semi-permanent hair dye to cover grey
To cover grey hair or grey roots, pick a shade that is a bit lighter than your natural hair.
Grey is a strong canvas for colour and dye will often come out slightly more intense on grey hair than on brown or dark blond hair.
Semi-permanent dye will not provide the full coverage over grey hair that permanent dye does – instead it will cover about 20 percent of grey or white hair.
However, it can be a great choice when you aren’t sure how a colour will look, or what you want to do. Or when you want to gently colour the greys but keep their stylish appearance at the same time.
When you have around 20 to 25 percent grey hair, a semi-permanent dye can be a great strategy to blend that in, while keeping the effort involved to a minimum.
Tips for using semi-permanent hair colour
After following the instructions in the box, keep these handy tips in mind.
You can mix dyes, somewhat like paint, to make your own custom shade.
Applying semi-permanent hair colour
There is less risk with a semi-permanent or temporary dye compared to permanent dye, but if you want to be on the safe side, you can test run a little by snipping off a tiny bit of your hair from an obtrusiveness place at the back of your head, and dye that first. That will help you know exactly how the dye looks applied over your particular hair colour.
If you want to regularly upgrade your hair, by using semi-permanent dye every few weeks in order to maintain a colour that you like, first apply the dye to new roots. Wait around 15 minutes, then apply it to the rest of your hair.
If you have extremely long hair, or a lot of it, you may need two boxes of dye for complete coverage.
Ideally, clean your hair with shampoo first, before using the dye. To keep the colour going as long as possible, wash your hair less frequently, wash in warm to cool water, and avoid heat styling.
Wear a hat when out in the sun, or avoid direct sunlight.
You do not need to condition after dying, but you can also use a mixture of white vinegar and water (in equal parts) to prolong the dye’s colour.
Dip your comb in the mixture and comb it through your hair. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse well. The vinegar raises the pH level of the hair, which helps with colour performance.
Try semi-permanent dyes from Reflex which last for up to 12 washes and are enriched with henna and plant extracts for extra radiance and shine.
Available in six different and natural-looking shades, the Reflex series includes a multi-care mask that you can apply straight after the initial dye and then afterwards, to help maintain the colour.
Always carry out a patch test for 48 hours before using any dye.