Tag Archives: semi permanent

Semi permanent hair colour. or ?

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A place to share thoughts post comments and idea’s on matters relating to hair colouring skill and techniques and anything industry related.

Semi Permanent Hair Colour:

Mousse, gels. Demi, permanent,

When we think about semi permanent colour we naturally assume slow wash out or fade maybe 6 to 8 washes up to 6 weeks.

In reality we have to consider so many things be it in the salon or at home? What we expect from this colour .What is my hair condition is it advisable?

Are we going tone on tone? Are we  considering putting a darker shade than our natural level not a great deal is achieved putting lighter over darker!

If putting a cool Red {blue red} over say Blonde as it fades a pinkish, purple, hue could be left. bright true Red could fade leaving {red orange} hue.

The porosity of your own hair plays a part in how these colours may deposit. How long they last and how they fade. As well as the chemical make up of the product.

Buyer beware!

A product that is promoted as semi permanent can still have ingredients in the formulation to open the cuticle and help with the deposit of the said colour.

In some cases they can leave behind trace chemical residue the same can be so of the mousse colour refreshing products Reds. Blondes.  They can leave behind trace elements that build up and can effect professional colour applications.

In some cases they can effect the deposit of professional colour creating banding issues or poor deposit. see article on shampoo with colour pigments added.

So as stylists as always consultation is key:

How many of you have cried their eyes out! after a colour has gone wrong? Been close to shaving your head after unfortunate choice of hair colour? Hands up! Yes ? With hair the colour of scrambled eggs…Dying your hair is not as easy as the adverts make it out to be.  I am not talking about the technique! Just the many things to take into account when considering hair colour both product and desired effect! 

It’s product choice.  It’s hair condition. It’s history of the hair previous colour. It’s application. It’s formulation. It’s timing. Oh did i mention skill and knowledge training?

So the question arises:

I have coloured my hair it’s the wrong shade what can i do?

Was it one tube or bottle or a mix pack?

When you applied the color did you mix 2 things together?  Was it a twist the top asking that you shake 2 suspended liquids together or were you able to apply it straight from the bottle with out mixing anything?

If you mixed 2 things you used a long lasting semi permanent, or what the pro’s call a Demi permanent. They usually contain a very low volume of peroxide and little or no ammonia, they use a different chemical to cause the oxidation instead of ammonia. such a detergent,  {in the form alkaline solution} some have a grain alcohol derivative in them maybe even metallic salts!

If it came straight from the bottle to your hair it was a direct dye or preformed dye molecule in an alkaline solution. The alkaline liquid causes the hair shaft to swell so that the large molecules of color will penetrate slightly into the cortex sticking to the cuticle. This is the principle that the washes out in 15 – 20 shampoos works, the cuticle can’t lie completely flat again because the colored molecules are in the way so each time we shampoo or wet our hair the cuticle raises or swells slightly and the rubbing action of our hands while we lather pulls a few of them off eventually we have none left and our hair is back to nearly its original state.

Having said this continued use or applying to damaged hair you can and will get build up! porosity of hair it’s natural moisture level it’s Ph can be compromised.


Two products mixed together much deeper deposit!

Demi  permanent colours use either low levels of ammonia or MEA {methylethylalamine}  in place of the ammonia, to oxidize  the colour molecule low level of  hydrogen peroxide less than 5vol this cause the indirect dye molecules to mature and develop into desired color. While this is considered Demi permanent because it does not lighten natural pigment with continued use it will slowly lighten the hairs natural level so could create regrowth issues and indeed over time fading issues!

The key here is not to over use and always assess the hair before any application:

                                Demi colour rich brown tone on tone deposit

The above model is a rich Brown tone on tone colour with a short textured razor cut.

Final option the one that covers fully but can create the most issues of effecting condition, deposit, banding, health and shine.

Permanent colour:

Normally mixing from a tube but in some form liquid or gel, mixing colour pigment with a peroxide mix this is a process of lift and deposit. The colour may have ammonia or be advertised as being ammonia free. MEA grain alcohol derivative in all cases the action is to change the ph of the hair open the cuticle, These products have hydrogen peroxide in them this serves to purposes it lifts your natural hair level , it also reacts with the colour molecule to help it mature or to develop it.

This is a process of lift and deposit and is permanent, many issues can arise in this choice of product from over processing to poor deposit to not attaining the correct or desired colour.

It is my personal opinion that any one want permanent colour should at least seek professional advise before embarking on this journey!

Finally a home colour correction tool:

Whilst doing research On line I came across a colour remover Product for home use not a thing I would normally promote. sold in most branches of Boot’s chemist B4 Colour remover.

The key to using any product is to follow the instruction to the latter.  Don’t take short cuts make sure you allow enough time to do this process correctly. This colour removing product is everything it claims to be I was very impressed. But remember it only removes artificial pigment if you have coloured your hair a number of times do not expect your natural colour to appear. If you have over time lifted your natural level with each colour application using permanent may be able to remove the unwanted pigment but your hair’s natural level will be lighter and in some cases very light if hair has been coloured over a long period. Remember none of these products  are a miracle quick fix. So do your re search become informed if in doubt have a professional consultation.

So before using or applying think about your choices and options: Then make a decision and live with the consequences. good luck hope this has been helpful.



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Demi formulation fact or fiction


regular postings of fresh new topic’s

sharing lets talk colour
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Having just posted an article about Demi lotion. I was very interested to find these to articles until i read them. They not only contradict each other they both mislead. The one below in the first line by confusing Demi lotion application as being another name for a semi permanent this article i was

unable to write a comment on!


The second posting although better was still incorrect however i was able to post comment as to whether it gets posted or not is another question!


Article one: from online posting

Semi Demi Colour:

Hair color procedures come in many forms. Semi-permanent (sometimes called Demi Color) is one of my favorites. This color does not enter the hair cuticle[ Demi does enter cuticle to some degree]. It’s a non-ammonia, low peroxide hair color [ As above if Demi Ammonia may be present] that only affects the outside of the hair shaft. It won’t lighten hair but can cover some Grey. I love to use it because it does not have any damaging effect on the hair, in fact it gives hair brightness and shine and makes hair look fresh and less frizzy. It’s a great process for men also as it can cover grey without looking like a guy who’s coloring his hair (which is what most men want)! It’s very natural looking.

I love doing hair color because it has the power to change how people look and feel. In my salon, over 80% of my clients get color. I’ve been doing hair color for over 35 years and still love going to work every day!

I’ve seen every change and new process in the hair salon business and change is what makes the business so exciting for me. I love sharing these changes with my clients, going to advanced hair classes and learning all the new hair trends and treatments.

Semi-permanent hair color is not exactly new but it will make you fell like you’ve got a brand new, fresh look and make your hair look healthy and shiny as well.

Above Written and posted by hairdresser



Demi-permanent hair color: from online posting

Demi-permanent color level lasts much longer, It can last through 24 to 26 shampoos. In the demi-permanent color process, pre color molecules go into the cuticles and will enter the cortex where they then partner to create medium sized color molecules. Their bigger in size which means they can take much longer to wash out. Demi-permanent color products do not contain any ammonia so the natural pigment of your hair can not be lightened. Demi-permanent color does contain a very small amount of peroxide, which adds a subtle, but noticeable, color enhancement to your hair. It also helps to blend and cover gray hair.

Above Written and posted by hairdresser


Article Two:

Demi response to above article:

Had a look great article most informative: But a Demi formulation may well have ammonia or another alkaline in in it, as you stated the colour molecules deposit in the cortex to get in to the cortex the cuticle has to be opened hence need for alkaline such as ammonia to create this environment the colour molecules then develop when they meet with the peroxide stimulating them to swell and develop.

The ammonia or alkaline create the environment for the colour molecules to enter the hair the peroxide reacts with the molecules swelling the new colour

It is the peroxide that lifts hair not Ammonia over time a Demi application can lighten hair given that the peroxide level is around 5vol. This lightening will only occur with prolonged use and over

Razor cutting dem
razor cutting

lapping!Thanks for the article Mike B2MR



By definition Demi Lotion formulation is as follows:

What is Demi colour how does it fit in with permanent and Semi permanent colour?

Demi permanent colour is an opaque hair colour it will generally last about 6 weeks

It main design and application would be for modern Grey coverage and refinement of under tones, also adding richness and shine has a slightly satin finish.

It will not lighten the hair’s natural pigment when mixed correctly with right developer.

It Penetrates the cuticle layer to deposit the new artificial pigment in the Cuticle  and to some degree in the Cortex, ammonia or another alkaline is required for this chemical process,  although not a formulation to lighten the hair over use or constant over lapping will over time lighten the hair slowly, due to the fact that the developer has a low level of peroxide normally less than 5vol. this percentage of Hydrogen Peroxide is required to develop the colour molecules enabling them to deposit partially in the cuticle and cortex, Semi permanent colour tend to be direct dye that lie on the cuticle layer will fade out with washing but may build upon very porous hair, In some formulation a semi permanent may have an alkaline in the to partially open the cuticle for extra deposit.

[ direct dye is fully developed colour molecule the larger the colour molecule the more the cuticle has to be opened the larger ones will not deposit as deeply so will fade quicker]


I hope this is helpful MikeB2MR


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