When it comes to hair colors, there is a huge choice out there. Not only in terms of the actual color you go for, but also the type of hair dye: Permanent, Demi-Permanent, Semi-Permanent, Highlighting and more. If you're coloring your own hair, most people go for a semi-permanent color. It lasts about 6 weeks, comes in a whole rainbow of colors and tends to fade progressively. Something for everybody! We've tried out some of the best semi-permanent hair colors, so take a look at our top 3!
There's something for everyone in our top 3. From glossy color for mostly grays, to vibrant and shocking. And everything in between.
L'Oreal Paris Healthy Look Hair Color, 7G Dark Golden Blonde/Golden Latte
( 4.3 out of 5.0 )
Garnier Herbashine Haircolor, 565 Medium Auburn Brown
( 4.3 out of 5.0 )
Jerome Russel Semi Permanent Punky Hair Colour Hair Cream 3.5oz Turquoise
(4.2 out of 5.0 )
Semi-Permanent hair colors are great options for doing yourself at home. If all goes horribly wrong it won't last forever, whereas a permanent color, or a highlighting disaster will be a long-lived mistake to live with. But at the same time, you want it to last longer than one night. That's kind of the point of semi-permanent hair colors. You will live with the results for quite some time. Although the results will fade, most people would expect to still see evidence of their semi-permanent hair color a good month or two after dying. What's more? They tend to be kinder to your hair, containing no ammonia so you can feel more confident about coloring your locks yourself.
So as long as you're not looking to lighten your hair (because this needs bleach, and semi-permanent colors will in effect stain your hair, they can't lighten it) semi-permanent hair colors are a great way to go. There's a whole array of colors available from the traditional blondes to brunettes as well as some more outrageous colours. Really something for everyone!
Semi-permanent colors are available in pretty much every shade you can think of. So what else do you need to consider, other than just picking your favorite color?
[ Youtube video explaining what to look out for when buying product ]
Whichever color you go for, and whichever product, semi-permanent colors are easy to apply as long as you follow the directions and be a little careful.
Well, it really does vary a lot from person to person. And until you use a hair color, you aren't going to know for sure exactly how long your new look will last. But there are some ways for you to get an idea. Certain things affect how long the color stays, and we've detailed them for you here:
Very porous hair will soak up a lot of color and be a lot darker than you expected. Semi-permanent hair usually just stains the outside of the hair shaft, but in porous hair it will also dye beyond the surface of the hair, meaning the color will last for longer. Bleached hair is always more porous and as such will keep a semi-permanent color for longer.
Much like with porous hair, dry hair will keep hair color for longer. This is because your hair is more likely to absorb more of the dye and it will penetrate deeper. Think of your dry hair as thirsty! It just keeps taking the color in.
Whereas permanent colors will work after a set time and not continue to color your hair, semi-permanent colors just keep going. So the longer you keep the color on your hair, the more it stains your hair. Check the directions for the product you use, but often it's fine to leave your semi-permanent color on for as long as you want and the color will last longer as a result.
If you wash your hair every day, with two shampoos, and with a strong shampoo you will find your semi-permanent color will start to fade sooner rather than later. So if you can leave your hair for an extra day between washes, and use a shampoo designed to protect your color, it will last for longer. The top tip is to avoid anti-dandruff and clarifying shampoos. They really strip the hair of your new color.
We've tried and tested a lot of the best semi-permanent colors on the market. There's a lot of choice and the best one will depend on the result that you're trying to achieve. Remember, you can't lighten your hair with semi-permanent color! Out top three all do a great job, give a color that is accurate to the picture on the box and are easy to apply.
A great semi-permanent color. It lasted really well, and definitely conditioned the hair brilliantly. So not only did the hair have a new color, but was also radiant, shiny and silky. Our testers found that it covered gray brilliantly too - even those with over half a head of gray hairs got 100% coverage. Lasted really well and loved the conditioner that was included in the packet. Only downside is you have to mix the activating creme with the color. But this is easy to do and gloves are included in the packet.
This product will give you the color that it shows on the box. That may not sound like a big deal. But it is. You'll be able to cover grays and it's easy to apply with no drips to worry about thanks to the application nozzle on the color bottle. We all loved how it left our hair feeling - really really smooth and silky. Whether that's the herbashine in the color or the included conditioner I'm not sure. But whichever it was, it really did work. Brilliant color, easy to apply, great looking hair that lasts. Great results and it comes in a wide range of color options too.
Our reviewers found that it took a really long time to rinse the color off their hair. On the plus side it lasted really well, but make sure you allow a long time in the shower rinsing it off. The water will run clear. Eventually. For ease of use some people prefer a product that's pre-mixed, but if you follow the instructions it is simple to use.
It was really hard to choose between this product and the 1st place Garnier color. There really is very little to choose between the two. Both offer a great color, glossy shine and work in the same way with a 3 step process with conditioner and gloves included. It's really easy to apply and gives great, long lasting color. The only reason this one came second is because it isn't quite so good at covering gray when you have more than 50% gray hair. So not a worry for everyone, but certainly if you are more gray than anything else, we'd recommend the Garnier product.
A lovely semi-permanent hair color for anyone wanting an easy to apply, no drip, great lasting color which leaves your hair in lovely condition. If you've got the first signs of a few gray hairs, this is a fantastic product for you.
Some of our reviewers mentioned that they weren't too keen on the smell of the creme rinse. And while this is a subjective thing, I would say that the product is definitely best for people with only a few (say 10-15%) gray hairs. More than that and you'll need to try another product.
Something a little different with this one! And we did have fun trying it out! This product is very different to our first and second placed semi-permanent hair color products. For a start let's mention the color. We tried turquoise. But it comes in 20 colors, all of them definitely living up to the title of "punky". You need to remember though, this is a semi-permanent color. So if you're applying a color to hair that is darker it will be more subtle and won't last so long. There are two ways of using this product. Either as a highlight effect on darker hair (the less risky option!) Or get outrageous color on bleached hair.
The second thing to note is that this product is all that's included in the box. You'll need to buy a Jerome Russel tint brush and some petroleum jelly for around your hairline and on your ears (this stuff will stain!)
My favorite thing has to be the range of colors. It is just so much more fun to think about whether you want lagoon blue or flamingo pink than ash blonde or mahogany brown. This may not be for everyone. And may not be a permanent look. But if you want something a little different look no further.
We all really loved that you can still use the product for more subtle highlights if you don't want to go for it and bleach your hair first. Some of our more mature testers with a lot of gray absolutely loved this. They had all the advantage of the fun punky colors working on their hair, without having to worry about damaging it with bleach. Great result!
It isn't the easiest product to apply. You will need to buy yourself a tinting brush, some disposable gloves and a pot of petroleum jelly. If you've got the kit it's really easy to do.
For all round appeal, ease of use, gray coverage, condition and color we've gone for Garnier's Herbashine Haircolor. It lives up to its promises and won't disappoint.