There are a wide range of semi-permanent dyes on the market, many of which come in vivid shades that you are unlikely to stumble across in permanent form. This is frustrating for those who want to keep their colour for a long time, as well as being costly since you will have to ensure that you keep topping up the dye. Another reason why you may want your semi-permanent hair colour to last longer is due to fading - whilst some colours look fantastic as they fade, others do not, and many people aren't happy with the faded look simply because it wasn't what they wanted for their hair. There are a few ways, however, that you can attempt to get your semi- or demi-permanent hair dye to last as long as possible.
Check The Brand
Some brands of hair colour are stains, rather than dyes. This means that the depth and somewhat of the length of your colour will be dependent on how much you use. Using too little of a stain will tend to result in a different shade to the one that you are looking for. Checking whether your hair colour is a stain or a dye is also useful for knowing how long you can use it for - some people leave stains on overnight or for long periods of time during the daytime in order to ensure that the colour takes as much as possible.
Prepare Your Hair
In an attempt to make the hair more porous, some people choose to wash their hair with shampoo and no conditioner prior to applying the dye, drying it completely before doing so. If you have had trouble with getting hair dye to last and you tend to have very well-conditioned hair, this technique might work for you.
Whilst the dye is on your hair you can apply heat in order to ensure that the colour sinks in more. You can do this either by using a hair drier (if your hair is in a shower cap then ensure that it is not made of a material that may melt, burn or is flammable) or straightening irons (be aware that this one may get messy!). Alternatively, you could simply ensure that your house is at a warm temperature, or stay away from any cold breezes or drafts. Applying heat is a great way to ensure that you can get the best out of your dye - if you've ever noticed that your roots take to colour better than the tips of your hair then you will realise this, since this is because the development of colour on your roots has been assisted by your body heat.
Washing The Dye Out
Conversely, when washing your hair dye out, cold water is the best option. This will not only help to ensure that the dye takes as best as it can to your hair, but will also leave your hair shinier and more manageable for many people - if you can bare it, that is!
You can also prepare in advance for washing out the dye, buying a coloured hair shampoo and/or conditioner especially designed to retain your colour. Using this from when you first dye your hair, you are likely to keep the colour longer as well as keeping it vibrant.
Don't Wash Too Much
Once your hair has been dyed, try to wash it less frequently than you are used to. This will not only ensure that you are not washing out large amounts of the dye but will also help your hair to recover from the dying process - natural oils are in the hair for a reason! By keeping them in your hair you can ensure that it retains as much quality as possible, as well as not scrubbing out the colour.
Top Up Your Colour
One way to keep your hair colour looking vibrant is to top it up. It would be both costly and damaging to constantly keep re-dying the whole of your hair, but you can keep the bright effect without having to keep doing full dyes! You can do this once every 1-2 weeks, preferably with a hair dye or stain that is kind to your hair.
Combing a small amount of hair dye through damp hair and leaving for 5-10 minutes is one method to do this. Alternatively, if you're worried that this method might leave your hair colour uneven, you can mix a small amount of hair dye with conditioner - apply to wet hair and, again, leave for 5-10 minutes before washing out.
Since topping up your hair colour only requires a small amount of hair dye, you can get a tub to last a long time and your hair colour will keep bright for longer.
Want a More Permanent Hair Colour?
Semi- or demi- hair colours are a fantastic option for those who are looking for less than ordinary shades, but for those who want longer lasting vibrancy they can be frustrating. For some shades of red, purple or black-blue you can find permanent dyes, meaning that you can keep your colour for as long as you wish, simply topping up where roots come through when necessary.
maryhoneybee from Richmond, Virginia on May 08, 2012:
Thank you for the tips! I dye my hair often, and the bolder shades, like Manic Panic's Vampire Red, didn't last as long as I would have liked. I think I went wrong with washing my hair too much and not using cool water when rinsing out the color! Good hub!