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Semi vs Demi-Permanent Dyes: What Is Best For Redheads Going White?

An expert weighs in..

Getting white or gray hair is a natural part of aging, but not every redhead wants to give up their red hair. If you’ve got white or gray hairs to cover, you have lots of options including root sprays, temporary colors, and permanent colors. 

Root sprays wash out and are good for a quick fix but aren’t a long-term solution. And temporary colors are great but will help less and less as more white grows in. Of course, if you want something more permanent you can always choose permanent dye and touch it up as it grows out. For many redheads, permanent dye isn’t something they want to do, thus making semi-permanent and demi-permanent dyes a popular option.

We wanted to know what the difference between semi and demi-permanent and the most effective choice for redheads. We got the inside scoop from Jessica Shults, hairstylist, and salon owner at Twisted Scissors salon in New York. Here’s what she had to say:

“The difference between semi-permanent and demi-permanent comes down to one thing: demi-permanent penetrates the hair cuticle and semi-permanent does not,” says Shults. 

But what does that really mean to non-hairstylists? Turns out it’s all about how long it lasts.

“A semi-permanent color is usually a vibrant or vivid color. The hair must be lightened first (which is permanent) and then you overlay a semi-permanent color on top of the lightened hair. It does not penetrate the hair cuticle and will fade after 2-4 weeks. Demi-permanent is a hair color that contains ammonia along with a hair developer. With a demi-permanent color, the hair cuticle opens and the color is sealed into the cuticle. It will usually last 6-8 weeks.” 

When asked what is the best option for a natural redhead looking to cover whites, Shults recommended using a demi-permanent color because it is better for covering grays, is more natural-looking, and lasts longer.

There you have it, redheads. Demi-permanent is the way to go.

If you are looking for an alternative to color-depositing products and wanting shiner red hair, look no further:

Finally Glossy® Shine & Luminosity Shampoo for Redheads

It took many years to custom-make the Finally Glossy® formula and we’re so excited for redheads to enjoy it. We’re thrilled to release another clean redhead beauty product. It is paraben-free, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, petroleum-free, mineral-oil, and vegan. It also contains no perfume, is free of gluten and is silicone-free, phthalate-free, formaldehyde-free and cocamidopropyl betaine-free. This clean formula is formulated with Vitamin B3, olive oil, coconut oil and green tea.

redhead shampoo

Rock it like a Redhead!

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READ: This Is Why Red Hair is More Difficult to Dye and What to Do About It