studio 312 salon logo

What Is the Difference Between Demi and Semi-Permanent Hair Color? 

Whether you have highlights, color blocks, or a vivid hair color, you’re likely familiar with terms like permanent, demi, and semi-permanent hair color. If you are a first timer or newbie, you’re probably confused as to what they all mean.

That’s where Studio 312 Salon comes in. We are so much more than a salon and we love taking the time with our clients to educate them on different hair techniques and treatments so they can choose what is best for their own personal style.

So what is the difference between demi and semi-permanent hair color? Read on for more information about the different hair color types and which one may be best for you.

Understanding Hair Color Types

Before we dive into the differences of demi and semi, it’s important to understand what they each are and how they function on your hair.

Permanent Hair Color: One of the most common types of hair coloring used is permanent hair color. This changes the hair color permanently (until your hair grows out of course) by lifting the natural hair pigment and applying a new color.

Demi-Permanent Hair Color: This application deposits color on your hair without lifting much of your natural hair color. It’s not a way to lighten your hair but adds tone and depth to your color.

Semi-Permanent Hair Color: This type of dye coats the hair’s surface without deeply penetrating the hair shaft. It enhances natural color, adds shine, and does not require a developer.

Temporary Hair Color: A temporary hair color is just that, temporary. It coats the hair and washes out after one or two shampoos. It’s a great way to experiment with hair colors before deciding on a more permanent application.

woman washing her hair after applying color

Demi vs Semi-Permanent Hair Color

Demi-Permanent Hair Color

Demi-permanent hair color is a midway point between semi-permanent and permanent dyes. It is made up of a small amount of peroxide which allows it to penetrate the hair to a small degree.

Unlike its permanent counterpart, it doesn’t contain ammonia or require a high volume developer, which in turn, makes it less damaging to the hair.

It’s a great choice for someone who wants to deepen their natural hair color without committing to something permanent. Demi-permanent is also a good choice for someone who wants something lasting but doesn’t want to worry about touching up their roots.

Benefits of Demi-Permanent Hair Color

  • Longevity: Demi-Permanent hair color lasts for between 20 and 25 washes though this is highly dependent on hair texture and products used.
  • Bold Shine: Because this type of application does penetrate the hair, but only slightly, it adds significant shine and smoothness to the hair.
  • Ammonia-Free: Because it’s ammonia-free, it’s a bit healthier for your hair than permanent dye.

Semi-Permanent Hair Color

Semi-permanent hair color is a wonderful choice for those who want to experiment with their hair color but not risk a long-term commitment in case they don’t like it. It contains no ammonia nor peroxide which means it sits on the hair’s surface as opposed to penetrating it.

Benefits of Semi-Permanent Hair Color

  • Flexibility: Semi-Permanent hair color washes out in 4-12 washes (again dependent on texture and products used) so it’s a great option for trying new colors.
  • No Developer: Because there are no harsh chemicals, it doesn’t damage your hair as much.
  • Enhances Natural Color: This type of hair color application will add depth to the natural color but be a less drastic change.

Woman with pink colored hair on a pink background

Which Should I Choose?

When deciding between demi vs. semi-permanent hair color, it’s a very personal choice. Good salons like Studio 312 will consult with you about your short-term and long-term goals for your style, get to know your hair and its texture, and educate you on all things hair color. That way when it comes to making the decision, you’re completely informed. Some things to consider are:

  • Commitment: How long do you want your color to last? If you’re experimenting with colors and want to see how they’ll look, semi-permanent color might be for you. If you have an event you want to change things up for or you know the color you want without the upkeep of permanent, demi-permanent might be the right choice..
  • Hair Health: If your hair is damaged or you don’t want it to become damaged, try a semi-permanent application. If your hair is healthy then demi-permanent can be a safe choice.
  • Purpose: Are you looking for a long term solution to gray hair or looking for subtle changes? Talk with your professional stylist about your goals to see what is the best solution for you.

When In Doubt, Try It Out!

Both demi and semi-permanent hair colors offer great options that are less of a commitment than permanent hair color. At Studio 312 Salon, we always recommend a hair consultation prior to any big decisions. That way we can assess your hair and goals and come up with a plan based on your hair condition and texture.

The good news is that whatever you choose will create a fresh look and beautifully colored hair!

Book your appointment today for your personalized hair consultation. We are always eager to help people achieve their styling goals.

Share This Post:
More Posts