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What Is the Difference Between Semi Permanent & Demi Permanent Hair Color?

Updated April 17, 2017

Semi-Permanent and Demi-Permanent hair colours are similar in terms of the end result. However, they differ in how they are formulated and the way the colour deposits onto hair follicles.

Semi-Permanent Color

Semi-permanent colour is a collection of small colour molecules which deposit colour onto the hair without lightening it.

How it Works

Semi-permanent hair colour is designed to raise the cuticle layer of the hair and deposit colour onto the hair shaft. Heat can be used with semi-permanent colour without any worries as to negative effects on the colour or your hair's natural colour.

How Long it Lasts

Colour normally lasts between six and 12 shampoos after which the colour begins to fade.

Demi-Permanent Color

Demi-permanent hair colour uses a cream-based, mild developer to process the colour onto the hair.

How it Works

Demi colour utilises peroxide and sometimes contains an ammonia substitute, which allows the colour to penetrate the cuticle layer and the hair shaft to deposit colour directly onto your hair. The results might cause your natural hair colour to lighten slightly. Demi is recommended for covering grey hair.

How Long it Lasts

Demi colour can last up to two months or longer, depending on your hair care regime.

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About the Author

Candace N. Smith is a fashion and business writer in New York. Beginning her writing career in 2007, her work has appeared in various fashion publications including "Kouture Magazine." Graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in fashion marketing from American InterContinental University, Los Angeles, she's taken her experience in fashion, marketing and brand management, and shares that knowledge in her writing.