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What Developer Should I Use With Semi-Permanent Hair Color?

Semi-permanent hair color is a convenient and safe way to color your hair short term. It does not contain harsh chemicals such as ammonia and hydrogen peroxide, which dry your hair and scalp. Also, it does not contain bleach, so it can be used on relaxed and permed hair. 

What Developer Should I Use With Semi-Permanent Hair Color?

Semi-permanent hair colors do not require a developer. They do not need to be mixed and are applied to the hair directly.

Some people mix semi-permanent hair color with a developer to make it more effective and produce lasting results. However, mixing the color with a developer makes it less effective.

The hydrogen peroxide in the developer breaks down the dye making it difficult to adhere to your hair strands. The result is an uneven color on your hair that fades within a few washes.

How to Apply Semi-Permanent Hair Color

How to Apply Semi-Permanent Hair Color

Below are the steps for using semi-permanent hair color.

Prepare Your Hair for Application

For best results, apply the hair color to clean hair. However, you do not want to apply it to dripping-wet hair. Therefore, wash your hair a day or two before application to remove any dirt, oil, and product build-up on the scalp and hair strands.

Apply the Semi-Permanent Hair Color

Put on latex or plastic gloves. Part your hair into two to three sections. Read the product packaging for specific application instructions. Apply the dye section by section. Leave it for 5-10 minutes, then rinse.

Wash Your Hair With Color Care Shampoo, Condition, and Air Dry

It is best to avoid blow drying or flat ironing the hair as it will dry it making it prone to breakage.

How to Make Semi-Permanent Hair Color Last Longer

How to Make Semi-Permanent Hair Color Last Longer

There are several things you can do to help your semi-permanent hair color last longer:

Follow the Right Procedure for Applying Dye

First, ensure that your hair is damp. Moisture loosens the hair fibers and opens the cuticles, ensuring even dye distribution. However, the hair should not be too wet as the dye will run before it has been absorbed.

Secondly, leave the dye on the hair for 15–45 minutes. The minimum recommended setting time for semi-permanent hair color is 5–10 minutes. However, you can leave it for up to 45 minutes to allow it to absorb and set in better.

Do not worry about damaging your hair by leaving the dye on for longer. Semi-permanent hair dyes are gentle on the hair; they will not damage it even if you let it sit for longer. The only risk is that your hair may turn darker than intended.

Finally, use heat to help the hair set. Wear a shower cap after applying the dye for 15–30 minutes, or sit under a hooded dryer for 15–30 minutes. The heat opens the cuticles, enabling the dye to penetrate the hair strands better.

Use Color-Safe Shampoos and Conditioners

Color-safe shampoos and conditioners are formulated to be gentler on color-treated hair and help preserve your dye’s vibrancy. Avoid products with sulfates. Sulfates are a type of detergent that can strip hair of its natural oils and fade the color. Instead, look for hair care products that are sulfate-free to help preserve your color.

Alternatively, use color-depositing shampoo and conditioner. Finish the wash cycle by applying a leave-in conditioner. It keeps your hair moisturized and slows down fading.

Avoid Hot Water

Hot water can strip hair of its natural oils and fade color faster. Use lukewarm or cool water when washing your hair to help preserve the color.

Avoid Heat Styling  

Heat styling tools, such as hair dryers, flat irons, and curling irons, can cause color-treated hair to fade more quickly. If you must use heat styling tools, use a heat protectant spray to minimize damage. Or, wait a few days after dyeing before using heat styling tools on your hair.

Avoid Chlorinated and Salt Water

Chlorine and salt water can strip hair of its color. They also dry your hair and scalp, making the hair prone to breakage. Therefore, it’s best to avoid swimming in these environments or wear a swim cap if you do.

Avoid the Sun

UV rays weaken the chemical bonds on the dye, causing it to fade. They also dry the hair resulting in damage. If you go out in the sun often, apply a thin layer of shea butter oil, coconut oil, or castor oil on the hair to create a protective layer against the UV rays.

Touch Up Your Roots

As your hair grows, the roots may begin to show. Touching up your roots with the same color can help to maintain an even, natural-looking color.

Unlike permanent and demi-permanent hair dyes, semi-permanent hair color does not need to be mixed with a developer. Doing so weakens the dye making it lighter and more difficult to set in the hair. It also washes off easily.

Since semi-permanent dyes do not contain harsh chemicals such as bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and ammonia, they are generally safe on hair and easy to use. They are safe for at-home application too.

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