What's the difference between Permanent, Semi/Demi, Temporary, and Alternative Colors?
There are many types of color applications you can choose from when you go to a salon, Here they are:
Permanent hair color generally contains ammonia and must be mixed with a developer or oxidizing agent in order to permanently change hair color. Ammonia, in permanent hair color is used to open the cuticle layer so that the developer and color molecules together penetrate into the cortex. The developer or oxidizing agent, comes in various volumes. The higher the developer volume, the higher the lift will be of a person's natural hair pigment. Someone with dark hair wishing to achieve two or three shades lighter may need a higher developer, whereas someone with lighter hair wishing to achieve darker hair will not need a high developer. Timing may vary with permanent hair coloring but is typically 30 minutes or 45 minutes for those wishing to achieve maximum gray coverage.
- Permanent colors changes hair structure to make colors change
- Will cover grey completely
- Provides Full hair color coverage
- Lasts up to 8 week
Demi-permanents have several advantages as compared with permanent color. Because there is essentially no lifting (i.e., removal) of natural hair color, the final color is less uniform/homogeneous than a permanent and therefore more natural looking; they are gentler on hair and therefore safer, especially for damaged hair; and they wash out over time (typically 20 to 28 shampoos), so root regrowth is less noticeable and if a change of color is desired, it is easier to achieve. Demi-permanent hair colors are not permanent but the darker shades in particular may persist longer.
The final color of each strand of hair will depend on its original color and porosity, so there will be subtle variations in shade across the whole head. This gives a more natural result than the solid, all over color of a permanent color. However, it also means that gray or white hairs will not appear as the same shade as the rest of the hair. If there are only a few grey/white hairs, the effect will usually be enough for them to blend in, but as the gray spreads, there will come a point where it will not be disguised as well. In this case, the move to permanent color can sometimes be delayed by using the semi-permanent as a base and adding highlights. Semi-permanent color cannot lighten the hair.
- Can be used as a hair gloss to create shine
- Clear can be used to add shine
- Lasts up to 8 shampoos
The pigment molecules in temporary hair color are large and cannot penetrate the cuticle layer. The color particles remain adsorbed (closely adherent) to the hair shaft and are easily removed with a single shampooing. Temporary hair color can persist on hair that is excessively dry or damaged in a way that allows for migration of the pigment to the interior of the hair shaft.
The chemical formulae of alternative color dyes typically contain only tint and have no developer. This means that they will only create the bright color of the packet if they are applied to light blond hair. People with darker hair (medium brown to black) need to use a bleaching kit before tint application. Some people with fair hair may benefit from prior bleaching as well. Gold, yellow and orange undertones in hair that has not been lightened enough can adversely affect results, especially with pinks, blues and greens. Although some alternative colors are semi-permanent, such as blue and purple, it could take several months to fully wash the color from bleached or pre-lightened hair.
When you come into the salon, be sure to ask your stylist about the different types of colors you may choose to do!
Some of this text was not written by myself! Here are the links to my sources: