How Long Does Semi-Permanent Hair Dye Last?

Semi-permanent hair dye is an excellent option for those who don’t want to commit to hair color or enjoy switching up their hair color regularly. However, one of the most common questions is how long this type of hair dye actually lasts.

Since semi-permanent hair color doesn’t open the cuticle to deposit color as permanent hair color does, semi-permanent varieties tend to last anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks. A lot depends on the product you use, how porous your hair is, and the color of the dye.

Are you curious about how long semi-permanent hair dye lasts? You’re not alone. Plenty of people wonder how long semi-permanent hair dye lasts – and I’m here to help. Below, you’ll find essential info on how long semi-permanent hair dye lasts (plus some other helpful info).

Who’s ready for a hair color change?

How Long Does Semi-Permanent Hair Dye Last?

For the most part, semi-permanent hair dye lasts anywhere from four to eight weeks, with six weeks being the average. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that the color will begin to fade much sooner.

There are a couple of things that will impact the longevity of your semi-permanent hair dye.

1. Hair Dye Color

Not all hair colors are created equal. Some are prone to fading quickly, while others can last a relatively long amount of time.

For the most part, darker hair colors – like brown and black – will last longer than lighter ones. Surprisingly enough, though, red hair dye fades the quickest.

So, if you’re looking for longevity, opt for a darker shade. If you’re looking for something quick, fun, and spunky, red and other bright colors can be a great choice.

2. Hair Porosity

Another thing to consider is your hair’s natural porosity. Some people’s hair is simply more porous than others – i.e., it can absorb and hold onto products, like semi-permanent hair dye, more easily. Therefore, the semi-permanent hair dye will last longer on porous hair types.

3. Product Used

Some products are designed for more extended wear than others. That said, if you want your semi-permanent hair color to last longer, you need to seek out products designed for longevity – such as Clairol Natural Instincts.

On the other hand, those wanting to shake things up every few weeks can purchase products meant for shorter durations. Manic Panic is the perfect example of a hair dye that adds impeccable color for a short period.

4. Aftercare

How you care for your newly dyed hair will also determine its longevity. For instance, your hair color will not last very long if you’re washing your hair daily with sulfate shampoo and hot water. These are significant no-nos for colored strands.

Proper aftercare is critical for the longevity of semi-permanent hair dye. (Don’t worry – I’ll share the best aftercare tips up ahead!)

How to Make Semi-Permanent Hair Dye Last Longer

There are many wonderful steps you can take to extend the wear of your semi-permanent hair dye. Here are a few of my top tips for longevity:

1. Start With Healthy Hair

Healthy hair is going to retain the semi-permanent hair color for a more extended period. So, get your hair to good health before dying it with your semi-permanent hair color product. Use a deep-conditioning hair mask once or twice a week until your hair is in tip-top condition.

Some other things you can do include: take a hair, skin, and nail vitamin supplement, eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water, refrain from using hot styling tools, and ensure you always use conditioner after shampooing.

2. Use Sulfate-Free Shampoo 

Sulfates strip oils from your hair, which can lead to dried-out strands. What’s worse, it can also strip color. Overall, it’s a bad idea to use shampoo, conditioner, and other hair products that contain sulfates. 

With that said, always use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. Better yet, use a shampoo specifically designed for semi-permanently colored hair, such as this one from Keracolor. These are created to help extend the life of your hair color.

3. Opt for Colder Showers

Trust me – I’m a huge hot shower fanatic. The hotter, the better. However, using ultra-hot water on your colored hair is a big mistake. Hot water opens the hair cuticle, allowing color to escape – leaving you with faded strands.

What is the better option? Keep the hot water away from your hair. Use colder temperatures when washing your locks. Lukewarm or colder, if you can handle it. 

4. Don’t Overwash

You’ll lose some color every time you wash your hair – yes, even if you use a color-depositing shampoo and lukewarm water. 

That said, the only way to make your hair color last longer is to stop washing it so often. Stick to once or twice a week.

5. Ditch the Hot Tools

Hot water is your hair color’s enemy – so it’s not surprising that hot styling tools are also bad news for your hair color. 

While you can use hot tools every now and then (hello, I can’t live without my lush ringlets and beach waves!), it’s best to use them infrequently. When using, opt for the lowest setting possible. It won’t be as damaging to your hair strands.

6. Stay Out of the Sun

Did you know that the sun can also cause fading? Yup, it’s true. If you know you will be under the sun’s harsh UV rays for a lengthy period, it’s recommended to throw a hat on. 

Want to show off your new hair color and don’t want to hide it under a hat? Use a protective spray to block the sun from damaging your newly colored mane.


Now you know everything there is to know about how long semi-permanent hair dye lasts. Pretty cool, huh? If you still want to learn more about this topic, here are a few interesting, frequently asked questions to look at.

Does semi-permanent hair dye wash completely out?

Eventually, semi-permanent hair dye washes out completely. This can be a pro or a con, depending on how you look at the situation.

How long does it take for semi-permanent hair dye to fade?

How long it takes semi-permanent hair dye to fade depends on many factors, such as the color of the hair dye and how it is taken care of. For the most part, you shouldn’t see fading until the two to the four-week mark.

Is semi-permanent hair dye damaging?

Semi-permanent hair dye isn’t damaging. Unlike permanent hair color, it stays on the outer layer of the hair shaft – no penetration. Therefore, semi-permanent coloring is a good choice for those concerned with the damaging effect of permanent solutions.

Semi-Permanent Hair Dye Lasts Four to Eight Weeks

Semi-permanent hair dye typically lasts around six weeks, but many things can affect its longevity. For instance, darker colors last longer, while brighter shades – like red – fade more quickly. Aftercare also significantly affects how long the color lasts, so make sure you follow all of the maintenance tips!

How long does your semi-permanent hair color typically last? How do you make your hair color last longer? We would love to hear all of your stories and tips in the comment section!

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