How Long Does Permanent Hair Dye Last?

how long does permanent hair dye last

How long does permanent hair dye last? Hair is a staple in beauty and fashion. It can be a drastic form of self-expression, especially when it is dyed. Hair dye has been around for centuries, but many people wonder, how long does permanent hair dye last? Surely it doesn’t last forever or does it?

To fully understand the inner workings of permanent hair dye, we’ll need to take a look at the different types of hair dyes.

Different Types of Hair Dye

The different types of hair dyes are: temporary, semi-permanent; demi-permanent; permanent. A quick understanding of how the different types of dyes work will be helpful to understanding how long hair dyes last either on the hair or skin.

Temporary Hair Dye

Hair Color Wax, Unisex Blue Instant Hair Dye Wax 4.23 oz Temporary Hairstyle Cream Styling Hair Paint Party Cosplay
Source: Amazon

When you think of temporary hair dye, think back to your favorite Halloween party. You may have seen someone with golden or silver metallic hair or maybe someone with purple, orange, green, and blue-spotted hair.

This more than likely is a temporary dye. You put it in your hair and it lasts for a few hours or until you wash it out of your hair that night and you don’t have to worry about any residue left behind of said colors because the large color molecules of the dye do not penetrate the hair cuticle, but instead sits right outside of the hair cuticle (oh yeah, we’re getting into the science of things!).

Semi-Permanent Hair Dye

ARCTIC FOX Vegan and Cruelty-Free Semi-Permanent Hair Color Dye (8 Fl Oz, VIRGIN PINK)
Source: Amazon

Let’s now take a look at a semi-permanent hair dye. One popular semi-permanent hair dye brand is Manic Panic that’s known for its vivid, bright colors. What makes this dye semi-permanent is that it consists of large and small color molecules.

Like the temporary dye, the large molecules rest along the hair cuticle while the small color molecules penetrate the cuticle and get slightly into the hair cortex, making your color last for a few more washes.

Demi-Permanent Hair Dye

RAW Lagoon Blue Demi-Permanent Hair Color, Vegan, Free from Ammonia, Paraben & PPD, lasts over 45 washes, 4oz
Source: Amazon

Now we have demi-permanent hair. With Demi-permanent dye, small molecules get past the cuticle and penetrate even deeper into the cortex of the hair. It is important to keep in mind that these color molecules are deposits only. What does that mean exactly?

Deposit only means that these color molecules will not lighten the hair or lift any color from the hair strand, period. Its only job is to deposit the necessary color to your hair.

Permanent Hair Dye

ARCTIC FOX Vegan and Cruelty-Free Semi-Permanent Hair Color Dye (8 Fl Oz, PURPLE RAIN)
Source: Amazon

And finally, we have the permanent hair dye! Permanent hair dye penetrates deepest into the hair cortex than any other type of dye. Permanent hair dye is used to lift and deposit color into the hair. Now, it won’t lift your hair color a ton, but just a little to give a richer color.

A small amount of ammonia is added to the dye so that it can open up the hair shaft and allow for the color to enter the cortex.

Although we refer to it as “permanent” hair dye, meaning everlasting, it actually does not last forever.

How Long Does Permanent Hair Dye Last Before it Fade?

John Frieda Precision Foam Color, Medium Natural Brown 5N, Full-coverage Hair Color Kit, with Thick Foam for Deep Color Saturation
Source: Amazon

The answer to this question can vary based on a number of reasons to include the product brand, your hair type, and how you care for your dyed hair. But the reason hair fades is that the dye is water-soluble. This means when your hair encounters water, whether it be shampooing, swimming, or getting caught in the rain, the color molecules will dissolve and some of the colors will wash away.

Because of this process, hair colorists recommend getting color touchups once every six to eight weeks. This is also around the time that your hair has probably grown a few centimeters and should be touched up at the roots at this time as well.

How Long Does Permanent Hair Dye Last on Skin?

It’s important to wear gloves and an apron when working with any hair dye, especially permanent dye. But every now and then accidents happen and some dye somehow ends up on our hand, arm, or maybe even forehead!

If this has happened to you, then you know that hair dye can and will leave your skin stained. Although the stain is not permanent on the skin, it can last on the skin for days, maybe even weeks in some cases.

According to Healthline, there are a few methods you could use to help fade and remove hair dye from the skin. The first suggestion is the obvious, soap and water. This method is most effective when the dye has not had a chance to dry completely.

A few other suggestions include using olive oil, rubbing alcohol, toothpaste, nail polish remover, and dish soap with baking soda. Even with all of the said methods, hair dye will need to fade out the skin.

How Long Does Temporary Hair Dye Last?

6PCS Temporary Hair Dye for Dark & Light Hair, Hair Chalk for Girls, Kids Hair Dye for Temporary Hair Color for Kids, Washable Hair Dye, Girl Gifts for 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Year Old Girls Birthday Gifts
Source: Amazon

There’s a lot of talk about permanent hair dye, but what about temporary hair dye. As stated before, temporary hair dye does not penetrate into the cortex of the hair. Instead, it only covers the outer hair area, also known as the shaft of the hair.

Because of this, temporary hair dye only lasts about one to two washes before it is out of the hair completely. This is great for those who are looking for a “one-night only” type of look or if you need a quick touch-up before your next appointment. However, if you are in search of a longer-lasting color, temporary color is not the way to go.

How Long Does Permanent Hair Dye Last on Bleached Hair?

How long permanent color lasts on bleached hair can depend on a number of factors. The most important factor to keep in mind is the more you wash your hair, the higher the chance of the color breaking down and fading quickly.

Although the color may break down and fade, on bleached hair, it never completely goes away. When we bleach our hair we are stripping the color out of it. When we dye our hair we are adding color. Once color is added, it’s impossible to get that bleached blonde look as before unless the hair is bleached once again.

But be careful! Bleaching the hair too many times can cause the hair to melt and become damaged. We’ve all seen the ramen noodle hair that leaves you wondering how things got so bad.

Our hair is our crown of glory and our way of expressing how we feel without ever having to say a word. It can help restore youth by covering up our gray hairs or show our bolder side with bright, vibrant colors. There are so many aspects to hair and the dying process and it is important to know what you want your end result to be before ever deciding to change your hair color.

Once you’ve committed to a color, it’s best to allow the professionals to handle the rest, but if you are a do-it-yourselfer and feel as though you are capable of dying your own hair, remember to understand what each type of hair dye does and which one best suits your end goal and go from there.

If you make a mistake just remember the basics when it comes to hair color and keep in mind, you cannot lift color with color, you can only lift color by bleaching and then depositing your permanent hair dye afterward.

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