I often get enquiries from people on hair dyes, what kind to go for, what lasts the longest or what covers grey best…. It’s a minefield of information to dive into when you start dying your hair, as new types pop up everywhere you look and it’s hard to know what exactly you’re buying. So I thought I would take a minute to break it down and simplify it for you all, as best I can. Hair colouring products are generally categorised based on the length of time they last as an artificial colour on the hair. There are four main types:
1. Wash in/wash out or water rinse—these colours are only temporary and can be washed out after one to three shampoos. They are not strong enough to permanently change the hair colour just to stain it. This hair colourant uses acid dyes that coat only the hair surface. This type is best used when a more vibrant shade like orange or red is desired. They can come in many forms, for example, chalks, shampoos, rinses, gels, and sprays.
2. Semi-permanent—this hair colourant deposits colour into hair follicles without using a hair developer (peroxide). Semi-Permanent colours do not penetrate the cortex, and so the colour fades out with each shampoo, but they do hang around longer than the water rinse; usually lasting on the hair from 8 to 14 shampoos. Some are even able to cover up grey hair.
They usually come in liquid form.
3. Quasi-permanent—these colours do not contain ammonia but contain a small amount of peroxide, which subtly enhances your colour. They are not strong enough to lighten hair but can colour on the same level, or darken while adding subtle tones. It also can be used as a pre-colour on hard to colour hair and can cover grey. This colour stays for up to 12 to 28 shampoos.
4. Permanent—colour will not be removed even with repeated shampooing. It requires bleaching or growing out to be removed. It contains a developer (hydrogen peroxide) and an alkalizing agent (ammonia substitute) that penetrates the hair fibers, breaking up the melanin, and replacing the melanin with a new hair colour. Amazing!!!
I hope now it all makes a little more sense now! Don’t forget, every colour no matter how permanent or not requires a patch test!
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