woman with voluminous natural curls, dyed a bold red colour

How Long Does Semi Permanent Hair Dye Last? We Reveal How Often You Should Be Colouring Your Hair

Depending on the type of dye used, and your hair’s condition and colour, a semi-permanent hair dye can last anywhere from 6-8 weeks, or on average 28 washes.

Whether you’re decorating your Pinterest board with acid brights, burnt orange balayage, or bold berry hues, experimenting with colourful hair has never been so popular. But before you think about jumping on the bold hair bandwagon, it’s important to know how often you should colour your hair and how the process can affect your strands.

Revealing the answers to your most pressing colour queries, ATH decodes how to choose which colouring technique for you.

Plus, we break down the chemical processes of different dyeing methods (from temporary hair colours to bleaching) and reveals how to make sure your hair stays in its best shape, whatever colour you’re after.


How Long Does Semi-Permanent Colour Last?

woman with medium length hair grey and pink ombre
Source: Shutterstock

If you’re not looking to make a permanent colour change, a semi-permanent hair dye could be the answer, usually lasting up to 28 washes.

Used to tint the hair with a colourful or slightly darker shade, temporary hair colour allows you to experiment with colour without making a lasting change.

It’s the perfect choice if you’re thinking about trying a new hue but aren’t ready to commit to a complete mane makeover, or you just want to add a hint of pigment to your locks for a festival.


How Long Does Permanent Hair Dye Last?

If you’re ready to commit 100% to new hair colour, opt for a permanent colour. This is a great way to get a lasting, rich colour, especially if you’re trying to touch up roots or cover pesky greys.

Permanent dye – especially bleach – is made to last and generally will have to be grown out of your hair as your roots come through, rather than it washing out.

A semi-permanent temporary hair colour, on the other hand, will gradually fade with each wash. So, if you’re looking to make a colour change that will last, permanent hair dye is your answer.


How Long Does Bleach Last?

hair dye: woman with bright blonde buzzcut hairstyle
Source: Unsplash

Bleaching hair involves using chemicals to strip the hair of its melanin, so it appears lighter in colour. Bleaching is a permanent hair dye solution and cannot be washed out.

The hair needs to grow out any bleached sections but, if you want to backtrack on lighter locks, you can use a permanent or semi-permanent hair dye over the bleach. So, if needed, how soon can you re-dye your hair? As and when your hairstylist recommends would be the best course of action.

The same is true for highlights, balayage and ombre. All of these processes involve lightening the hair, sometimes with bleach or high-lift tint depending on your base hair colour and desired outcome.

In all cases, lightening the hair is a lasting change. So, if you’re not sure you’re ready to take the plunge, speak to your hairstylist about the alternative options available to you.

Whatever lightening technique you choose, it’s important to think about the permanent hair damage implications that come with bleaching. The protein bonds inside the hair fibre break because of the chemical process that takes place when bleaching. Unfortunately, this leaves your hair brittle and prone to damage.


How Often Can You Dye Your Hair?

hair dye: woman with short bright red natural hair
Source: Unsplash

It can be tempting to swap from one hair colour to another on a whim. However, dyeing your hair can have a serious effect on how healthy or brittle it looks. We recommend waiting at least 6-8 weeks between dyeing to keep your hair in its best shape.


Each time you bleach, dye or alter your hair chemically, you cause significant harm to the structure of the hair. This breaks down the hair fibre, leaving holes in the cuticle and making it more porous. As a general rule, the more porous hair is, the more brittle it can appear. So if you want to maintain healthy-looking tresses, try reaching for the dye less frequently.

The more you colour your hair, the more protein you lose. This makes your strands difficult to comb, style and maintain. This, in turn, leads to an increased likelihood of split ends and breakage. And nobody wants that.

To help visibly repair the hair, scroll down for our curated product recommendations and hair repair techniques.


How Do I Maintain Dyed Hair?

There are a few golden rules when it comes to looking after freshly-coloured locks:


1. Pick a Colour-Care Shampoo and Conditioner

When looking after the condition and vibrancy of your dyed tresses, it’s important to add wash and care products that are designed for the job, like the Dove Colour Care Shampoo.


2. Always Use a Heat Protectant

As the process of dyeing hair is generally a chemical one, it’s important to treat dyed tresses with a lot of care. The first step? Applying a heat protectant to damp hair before you even think about picking up a hairdryer.

TRESemmé Care and Protect Heat Defence Spray_front of bottle image_300ml_product image

The TRESemmé Heat Protection Spray not only helps guard your strands against heat damage, locks in shine – a huge bonus if your hair is looking a little fried.


3. Hair Masks Are Your BFF

Chemically treated hair is way more fragile than non-chemically treated hair. Whenever the hair is washed, detangled and styled, there is an increased chance of breakage and split ends. To help combat this, use a range that is designed to help counter the appearance and feel of brittle strands.

Toni & Guy Damage Repair Mask - product image

Add the Toni&Guy Damage Repair Mask to your grooming routine 1-2 times per week. This product is formulated to help visibly repair and reconstruct your hair. It will protect, strengthen and nourish your hair to leave it healthier-looking.

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