Hair dye is a common practice that consists of changing natural hair color. Purposes are usually cosmetic; covering aging hair, to be on trend, or to restore visible damage. Is hair dye a permanent procedure?
Hair dye can be permanent if proper care is administered. There are different types of hair dye; permanent and semi-permanent. There are different options among each category; some hair dyes have fully chemical compositions, while others contain more natural ingredients.
The choice of hair dye varies depending on what particular change each individual is seeking, and the procedure necessary to create such a change. The less chemicals within hair dye, the less potent it becomes, therefore the less damage it causes in the long run.
Permanent Hair Dye
In order for hair dye to be considered permanent, it must include the chemical process of ‘oxidation’. This process consists of combining an oxidizer (the most commonly used being hydrogen peroxide) and ammonia with the coloring agent.
The mixture is then applied to the hair and left to act. The formula of permanent hair dye contains a large amount of chemicals necessary to create the long-lasting effect. Permanent dyes are applied once, and retouched when the roots grow. Clairol niceneasy is a popular permanent at home hair dye.
In certain permanent hair dye products, companies replace the ammonia with monoethanolamine, a chemical compound that includes amine and alcohol. This is done in certain cases as ammonia is known to have a considerable damaging effect on hair. Signs of hair damage due to ammonia include brittleness, split ends, and a change in texture.
Semi-Permanent Hair Dye
Also known as temporary hair dye, semi-permanent hair dye results in a more natural color that fades with time. They are made to last approximately six weeks; however, the more consistently hair is washed, the less amount of time the dye may last. The difference between semi-permanent hair dye and permanent hair dye, is that semi-permanent hair dye does not contain bleaching chemicals. The natural hair color is not transformed, but instead covered with a different shade. Semi-permanent hair dyes need to be reapplied consistently as they fade, for a more long-lasting effect. Consider that the constant reapplication process can also lead to significant hair damage. LorealParis Magic Retouch Temporary Concealer Spray is a best-selling temporary hair dye option that can be used at home.
Hair Dye Care
To maintain hair dye of any kind, whether it is permanent or temporary, users must be careful to follow a set of rules that include:
- Wash and shampoo only after 72 hours of application.
- Attempt to use sulfate free hair products.
- Implement a cooler water temperature when washing.
- Attempt to wash less often.
- Apply heat protectant before using hot tools.
- Avoid contact with chlorine.
If rules are not followed, the hair dye will remain as hair grows longer in the case of permanent coloring. Temporary coloring can suffer a shorter life span. However, both permanent and semi-permanent dye can be affected by not following proper care. Effects include a dull appearance and less vibrancy. Read How to Maintain Your Color – Treated Hair for more information on rules and maintenance procedures.
Conclusion: Permanent or Semi-Permanent?
Hair dye can be permanent or semi-permanent depending on the option that is used. Whilst temporary hair dyes contain less chemicals, and therefore may cause less damage to the hair, they have to be continuously reapplied. However, consider that permanent hair dye needs to ‘sit’ on the hair for a longer period of time in order for the chemicals to act properly.
Choose either option depending on the lifestyle you lead and specific needs you have for your hair.