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To make the best decision about colouring your hair it is important to understand a little about permanent hair colours work...

How do SEMI-Permanent hair colours work?

A true semi-permanent colour is designed to stain the hair cuticle with colour - it cannot penetrate inside the hair to physically change your hair colour permanently. Think of it in the same way as wrapping coloured cellophane around a light bulb; the light bulb itself doesn’t change colour, it simply picks up the colour from the cellophane. The colour clings to the hair shaft and is able to resist being washed off for numerous washes - the number of washes depends on the brand and the condition of the hair prior to colouring.

Semi permanent hair colours are an excellent choice for those who:

  • are reluctant for a permanent colour change
  • are seeking a “change” but unsure whether the colour choice will suit them
  • feel that their hair is dull or drab; wish to give their hair a colour lift, for example, following illness
  • have sensitivities and are concerned about ingredients
  • are allergic to PPD’s or PTD’s (confirm on packaging)
  • are pregant, have had a serious illness or chemotherapy (check with your doctor before you colour)
  • wish to avoid the harsh line of hair regrowth at the roots that can occur with permanent colouring - semi’s fade gradually
  • wish to “retouch” the roots with colour, in-between permanent colour treatments
  • love the ease of application - one bottle of formula applied to the whole head

There is increasing demand for semi-permanent colours. This is due to heightened concerns over PPD allergies, as well as modern trends for changing hair colour often to match fashions and seasons. Semi-permanent shades offer gentler colouring than permanents, as the cuticle of the hair does not need to be opened by raising the pH of the hair. Semi-permanents colour the outside of the hair and should not contain PPDs/PTDs - but always check the packaging to confirm. If you are pregnant, have had a serious illness or chemotherapy, semi-permanents are most likely the best choice for you: nevertheless, you should check with your doctor before colouring your hair.

What results can I expect?

Semi-permanent hair colour can deepen colour tones without altering the natural hair colour and will last for anywhere from 6 to 8 shampoos or 8 - 12 shampoos (depending on the brand) before needing to be reapplied to maintain a rich colour. The colour gradually fades with each shampoo.

Semi-permanent colours should result in:

  • enhanced natural colour of your hair
  • added golden or red highlights
  • natural colour of the hair is deepened
  • refreshed colour on faded tints
  • natural-looking colour on grey or white hair

They are also excellent for very thin or damaged hair that has been permed or relaxed because they have gentler ingredients and add shine and lustre.

As with all hair colouring products, make sure you do a skin sensitivity test and fully read the ALL the instructions BEFORE proceeding.

What should be my criteria for choosing a brand?

When considering a brand of hair colour, you should be primarily concerned about the health of your hair - without compromising on results. What you really want is:

  1. No damage to hair
  2. Outstanding colour results (healthy shine, long-lasting)
  3. Supported by after-care range (companion products such as shampoo, conditioner, treatments etc that have been specially formulated to improve the health of your hair and ensure lasting colour)
  4. No impact on health (nasty chemicals are replaced with naturally derived alternatives; contains certified organic ingredients)
  5. Cruelty-free/environmental ethics (check packaging for evidence)
  6. Accessible/Affordable (available from health food stores or online)
  7. Support clearly available (eg. website with product information including ingredients etc and contact details for asking questions)

Your shopping checklist for choosing the best brand

When you buy take-home semi-permanent hair colour, try to choose a brand that:

  • is easy to apply - no mixing required
  • is 100% free from PPDs and PTDs (check packaging)
  • is 100% free from ammonia, resorcinol, parabens, propylene glycol, napthol and peroxide
  • will cover at least 80% grey hair
  • will last between 6 and 12 washes
  • fully discloses ingredients on packaging and on website
  • Contains certified organic ingredients
  • Uses natural extracts such as Vitamins E & C, aloe, etc
  • Is available in a variety of colours that can be mixed to create your perfect shade
  • Includes everything you need in the pack to perform a professional standard treatment, eg:
  • sachet of clarifying shampoo (pre-colour wash)
  • pH balanced shampoo and conditioner that restores the pH of the hair and closes the cuticle to prevent colour fade and ensure natural shine and feel
  • disposable plastic gloves
  • plastic cap to assist with colour development
  • is packaged in boxes made from 100% recycled board
  • Is not tested on animals - eg. Certified Cruelty-free

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home | permanent | semi-permanent | lighteners | henna colours | professional salon solutions | about hair colour options