How to Make Semi-Permanent Hair Dye Permanent? How to Make it Last Long?

Changing your hair color is a fun way to switch up your appearance and style, and there is no limit to how far you can go with blending and mixing colors. 

However, it is normal to be cautious sometimes, especially when you are trying a new color or something extreme and you’re not sure how it will turn out.

So, instead of going permanent with your hair dye, it is safer to opt for semi-permanent hair dye, which takes off the tension of a long-term commitment and allows you to experiment with ease.

But when things turn out great with the hair dye, you probably wish you had used a permanent hair dye. The big question here is; can you make your semi-permanent hair dye permanent, so it can last as long as you’d like?

Let’s go on to find out if you can make that beautiful semi-permanent hair dye permanent and how to keep your hair dye for as long as possible.

Can semi-permanent dye become permanent? 

No! You cannot turn semi-permanent hair dye into permanent dye, just as you cannot turn permanent dye into a semi-permanent dye. The reason is that permanent and semi-permanent dyes contain different ingredients.

Semi-permanent dyes don’t contain chemicals like peroxide or ammonia that you find in permanent dye. These chemicals are responsible for making the color penetrate your hair cuticle and change its structure, which results in long-lasting color.

So, you really can’t make it permanent, but you can make it last a really long time, depending on the result you desire. 

It is also necessary to know that permanent hair dye is not also permanent in every sense of the word. It would also eventually fade, except that it lasts a lot longer than the semi-permanent dye.

While semi-permanent hair dye wears off in about three weeks from the day you apply it, permanent hair dye will last for six to eight weeks. However, you’ll need to touch up the roots every four weeks of using the permanent hair dye.

Thankfully, colorists and hair experts have come up with ways and techniques to make a semi-permanent hair dye last longer than usual, so there’s something to look forward to.

7 Important Tips to Make Semi Permanent Hair Dye Last Longer

Now that we know where we stand with semi-permanent hair dye, let’s look at some things you can do to make your dye last longer.

1. Avoid washing too often, and use cool water when you do

Every time you wash your hair, you are losing some color, so washing your hair every day is definitely a no-no.

First, avoid washing your hair until at least three days after applying your hair dye. This time allows the color to lock in properly.

Then, stick to washing your hair once or twice a week, or even less, to keep your hair color for longer. 

Avoid washing your hair with hot water because it will loosen the bond the hair dye has on your hair, leaving you with no color in a short time. Always use cool water when you wash your hair.

Finally, avoid scrubbing your hair too much when washing because it will cause the color to wash out. Instead, gently massage your hair using your finger pads.

2. Use color-safe products

Your shampoo and conditioner should both be color-safe and sulfate-free for long-lasting color. 

You can also opt for dry shampoo sometimes to prevent you from washing your hair too often. The dry shampoo will help you control dirt and excess oil until your next wash.

You can also add your leftover dye to your shampoo or conditioner, but ensure that you wear gloves when washing your hair if you do.

You can also invest in color-depositing products such as a color depositing shampoo, root concealer, or a color-boosting conditioner. However, they can cause dryness so don’t use them on every wash

3. Wash your hair with Vinegar  

One trick for long-lasting color is to rinse your hair with white vinegar shortly after applying your hair dye. A vinegar rinse raises your hair’s PH level and gives the dye as much permanence as it can.

Here’s the simple process of getting a vinegar rinse:

  • Rinse out your semi-permanent hair color until the water runs clear.
  • Measure half a cup of white vinegar and add the same amount of water in a bowl, then mix.
  • Pour the vinegar mixture over your hair and ensure it touches every side.
  • Comb your hair from root to tip so that the mixture gets in properly.
  • Then rinse your hair with cold water.

4. Avoid heat styling 

Just as hot water is an enemy to your semi-permanent dye, you should avoid heat styling appliances and processes. 

Avoid using a blow dryer and opt for towel drying. Also, avoid using curling irons, straighteners, and other heat styling products because they will make your hair dye fade faster. If you really need to curl your hair, then try rollers.

5. Avoid sunbathing/sunlight exposure

Don’t go sunbathing, spend lengths of time on the beach or go hiking with your hair exposed. Prolonged exposure to sunlight will make your hair dye fade faster.

Use a large hat, a scarf, or a hair serum with UV protection when you’re out in the sun. 

6. Stay away from Chlorinated Water

Swimming is another activity you should avoid when trying to make your semi-permanent hair dye last longer.

The chlorine in pool water can affect your hair color negatively and strip off your color. If you absolutely have to swim, using a swimming cap that won’t let water get in.

7. Avoid Alcohol-Based Hair Products

Check all your hair products to ensure that they are not alcohol-based. Your mouse, gel, or hairspray is a likely culprit, so read those ingredient lists to be sure. Look out for alcohol-free alternatives to your hair products and opt for gentler hair products.

What happens if you leave semi-permanent hair dye in too long?

Most hair dye products come with a guide telling you how long you should leave on the dye before washing off. However, some persons wonder what will happen if you leave it in for too long.

If you’re thinking of leaving your hair dye overnight or for some hours longer to make it permanent, that might be an exercise in futility.

Luckily, semi-permanent dye is free of harsh chemicals, so you are unlikely to experience extreme effects such as hair loss or brittle hair. You will most likely not suffer any harm to your hair. 

However, you also won’t enjoy any benefit from leaving it for longer, such as improved color. So, it is best to stick closely to the product instruction.

Final words:

Semi-permanent hair dye is a blessing for people who want to experiment with colors without long-term commitments. However, it cannot give you the permanence that you can get from permanent hair dyes. 

But, if you follow the above tips closely and use the recommended products, you can enjoy your beautiful hair color for a little longer!