woman choosing hair color at salonYou’ve decided to try something different with your hair! Highlights, lowlights or full color can refresh your look or cover up grays. Should you choose permanent or semi-permanent? Beyond one treatment lasting longer, learn more about permanent and semi-permanent color in terms of desired results and maintenance.

What Is Semi-Permanent Hair Color?

Also called “gloss”, semi-permanent treatments add color and shine to the surface of your hair. The treatment does not result in a drastic change; it’s more of a refresher to enhance your current color.

With this in mind, semi-permanent hair color treatments use no ammonia or peroxide, do not alter the cuticle and have an average lifespan of three weeks. Semi-permanent color tends to be ideal if:

  • Your highlights are starting to fade or appear dull
  • You’re not looking to make a significant change to your hair color
  • You want a shinier, fresher appearance for your hair
  • If you’re not as invested in maintaining a color treatment

Gloss effects range from clear to blond, brown or a reddish tint. Because the dye does not enter the cuticle, semi-permanent color is not ideal for covering up grays.

What Is Permanent Hair Color?

Permanent hair color has a longer lifespan. Compared to semi-permanent, application is more intensive and transformative. During your appointment, the color you choose gets mixed with a developer and activator, which allows the dye to penetrate the hair’s cuticle through oxidation. Ammonia and hydrogen peroxide make cuticle more receptive and help your hair draw in more of the dye.

This process better camouflages grays until your roots begin to grow in. At this rate, you may need to touch up the treatment every four to eight weeks to maintain its appearance. Overall, the color’s intensity and gloss may start to dull after some time. Color-friendly shampoos help with upkeep between appointments by providing greater moisture.

Permanent and semi-permanent treatments can also be used together. For instance, permanent color applied to the roots and ends, with gloss on the mid-length areas for more balance and shine.

Other Hair Color Treatments

Along with these two common treatments, other hair color options include:

  • Demi-Permanent: This less permanent, more pigmented treatment is ideal for maintaining a permanent hair color, enhancing existing color and blending grays. However, the shade will start to fade after a few weeks to months.
  • Temporary Hair Color: More commonly an at-home solution, temporary kits in powder or liquid form let you experiment with a number of shades, add accents and quickly cover up small patches of gray hair.

For professional hair coloring, work with the stylists at Catherine & Company! Contact us to schedule an appointment today.