Demi and Semi-Permanent Explained | Salon Secret Africa
Colour Inspiration

Demi-permanent and semi-permanent colour – what’s the difference?

31 October 2018
long black sleek hair
Salon Secret

Salon Secret

The online destination for all things hair.

The site showcases stylists’ professional expertise and promotes the latest industry innovations. Through smart, conversational content, Salon Secret brings stylists to their clients in a new way.

With regards to the latest hair colour trends or hair colour ideas, you’ve no doubt heard all about demi-permanent colour for you know, when you just can’t bring yourself to commit to a more permanent hue. What then, is the semi-permanent technique all about?  

If you’re feeling confused, don’t worry - it’s very easy to mix up the two, but we’re going to fix that! Let’s take a closer look at demi-permanent and semi-permanent colours, and explore their similarities and differences in more detail. 

Demi-permanent colour

To briefly recap, this technique is ideal for those who want to try out different colours (on a temporary basis), hide regrowth, or both. Demi-permanent colours only last for around 12 to 24 washes, so if you do go with this option, you’re looking at anywhere between 4 to 8 weeks of coverage. 

Demi-permanent colours can maintain shades or darken them. They can’t be used to lighten locks, however. Finally, this technique features no ammonia, but there is a small amount of peroxide which opens hair cuticles slightly so that they can absorb some of the colour. 

Semi-permanent colour

 This technique is ideal for those who want an even more temporary change in their life – it only lasts 6 to 12 washes. Like demi-permanent, semi-permanent products feature no ammonia. There’s no peroxide whatsoever though, which means that colour is being coated onto the hair, as opposed to deposited into the cuticle itself.  

And that right there is why the two techniques truly have different applications and uses. Semi-permanent colour is great for shifting or enhancing an existing shade, but not for changing colour entirely. On top of that, semi-permanent doesn’t offer full grey coverage - it can be used to soften the appearance of those pesky aged strands to blend in with others if needed, however. 

Demi vs Semi

So, which technique is for you then? If you’re not quite ready to commit for the long-haul, with a permanent hair colour makeover, you can safely experiment with either demi or semi. Making an informed and final decision about which to use though, depends on what it is you’re trying to achieve. 

Basically, if you want to only slightly alter the tone of your hair, within its existing colour group, and for a very short period of time, semi-permanent is the way to go. If you want something more vivid, impactful, and long lasting on the other hand, you should choose the demi-permanent colour route.

Whatever you decide to do (or even if you’re still unsure about which technique to choose), be sure to visit a hair expert for their helpful insights, advice, and hair colour ideas. You can find your nearest salon, here
I like this article
Be the first to like this article

Oops, something went wrong! Please try again later...

More to discover

colourful hair makeup
11 January 2019

Change your hair colour in a flash for a special occasion

Can’t commit to a dramatic colour change but want to showcase your creative spirit through your locks for one night only? Special Occasion Hair is a thing, and here’s how to embrace the concept.

pink and blonde hair
16 November 2018

Gem roots is the hair trend we never knew we needed

There’s a brand-new hair trend brightening up our lives and this time its inspired by crystals. Say hello to gem roots!

long black sleek hair
31 October 2018

Demi-permanent and semi-permanent colour – what’s the difference?

If you’re feeling confused, don’t worry - it’s very easy to mix up the two, but we’re going to fix that!

Salon Locator

Salon Locator

Find your nearest hairdresser on our Salon Locator and experience the latest hair trends and techniques by the best hair experts. Visit a salon and benefit from their professional tips, which include all regimens to maintain and prolong your hair look at home. It's time to get pampered!


We use cookies to give you the best user experience and personalisation on our site and third party sites. By continuing to browse our website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, see our Cookies Policy.