The 5 Hair Color Types and How to Choose Between Them | kzfbfkttn.com

The 5 Hair Color Types and How to Choose Between Them

When you’re looking for a change in life, switching up your hair color is a surefire way to get yourself in a new head space—literally and figuratively. But you can’t simply slap on some dye and pray for the best, or hop into the salon chair with your fingers crossed. No, it’s important to understand what you want and the best type of dye to get you there—because, news flash, not all dyes are created equal, and not all dyes will give you the desired effect.

Whether going into the salon or DIYing at home, it’s important to understand the basics of hair dyes. Luckily, we tapped some of our favorite professionals—April Allen, Laura Gibson, and Tatiana Ramos—to break down everything you need to know about the five hair color types and how to use them. Read on for more.

MEET THE EXPERT

Permanent

Beyonce with white blonde hair
@BEYONCE / INSTAGRAM

What It Is

According to Gibson, permanent hair dye goes deep into the hair shaft to change its natural color for an extended period. It’s great for those who want a more lasting and noticeable change in hair color.

What It Does

Permanent hair dye works via a combination of ammonia and peroxide, Gibson explains. The ammonia helps lift the outer layer of the hair, called the cuticle, making it more receptive to color. The peroxide then helps oxidize and activate the color molecules, allowing them to penetrate the hair shaft. Once the color is inside the hair, it undergoes a process to develop and bond, providing a long-lasting hue.

Who It’s For

Permanent hair dye is a great option for anyone looking to cover up grays. Gibson says she’d also recommend this option to anyone who wants a lighter base color or is looking for a long-lasting darker tone.

How Long It Lasts

Permanent hair dye is, in fact, fairly permanent, though it can fade in tonality over time and require touch-ups as new growth comes in. It’s worth noting that changing or reversing a permanent color can be challenging and will likely require additional chemical processes, further damaging and stressing the hair.

How Much It Costs

Expect to spend somewhere between $70-$300 for permanent color, according to Gibson. Note that the cost can vary greatly depending on the salon, experience of the stylist, and location.

Maintenance

Despite being called permanent, the color can still fade over time, especially with exposure to sun, chlorine, or harsh haircare products. As such, Gibson suggests using a color-safe shampoo, like the Joico K-Pak Color Therapy Shampoo ($23).

As hair grows, the natural color at the roots will start to show. You’ll need to visit the salon for touch-ups every few months to maintain a consistent look.

Semi-Permanent

Hayley Williams with natural red hair and bright red face-framing pieces
GETTY IMAGES

What It Is

Unlike permanent hair dye, semi-permanent dye adds color to the hair without significantly altering the natural pigment. It’s worth noting that semi-permanent hair dye can’t lighten your natural hair color; It can only deposit color and add richness. So typically, hair needs to be pre-lightened to use semi-permanent color.

What It Does

Semi-permanent dye doesn’t contain any ammonia or peroxide. Instead, Gibson says, it usually contains smaller color molecules that coat the hair shaft and create a temporary change.

Who It’s For

Semi-permanent dye is a great option for those who want to experiment with different hues without committing to a long-lasting change. According to Gibson, most semi-permanent hair colors are used for “fantasy tones and shades,” like bold pinks and bright blues.

How Long It Lasts

Semi-permanent dye typically lasts a few weeks—around four to eight at the absolute maximum, gradually fading with each wash.

How Much It Costs

Gibson says semi-permanent dye is usually included in a highlight transformation, which can cost anywhere from $150 to $1,000. As we’ve mentioned, costs for any service will vary based on the salon, experience of the stylist, and location.

Maintenance

Maintaining a semi-permanent color requires more frequent application than a permanent color. But other than that, there’s no real maintenance routine; it simply washes out over time. Still, Gibson suggests using a color-safe shampoo to wash and protect the hair.

Demi-Permanent

Camila Morrone with demi-permanent chocolate hair
@CAMILAMORRONE / INSTAGRAM

What It Is

Demi-permanent hair dye blends the characteristics of both permanent and semi-permanent options, resulting in a medium-term hair color.

What It Does

As Gibson explains, demi-permanent dye contains low levels of peroxide to allow the color to penetrate the shaft to an extent, but without ammonia. The ammonia-free formula makes it gentler on the hair than permanent dye, but less long-lasting. The result lands somewhere in between permanent and semi-permanent dye. It’s also worth noting that demi-permanent dye has limited lightening properties. It can enhance your natural color (or darken it), but it won’t lift the color significantly.

Who It’s For

Demi-permanent dye is a fairly versatile option, particularly suitable for those who want a bit more longevity than semi-permanent options but without the commitment of permanent color. It’s also great for those looking for a lower maintenance routine. Demi-permanent dye fades gradually without a distinct line of demarcation, offering a more natural-looking grow-out.

How Long It Lasts

Generally, demi-permanent dye can last up to 30 washes.

How Much It Costs

Considering various factors, demi-permanent hair dye can cost anywhere from $75 to $1000.

Maintenance

Perhaps the greatest benefit of demi-permanent hair dye is its low maintenance. Because the grow-out process looks fairly natural, there’s no need to visit the salon for touch-ups unless you’d like to keep the color.

Temporary Hair Color

Auli'i Cravalho with temorary bright pink hair
GETTY IMAGES

What It Is

Temporary hair color is a single-use, wash-out color. It’s the quickest and least permanent type of hair color on the market.

What It Does

Temporary hair dye coats the outside of the hair shaft in pigment, which washes out when shampooed. It won’t lighten the hair or cause any permanent changes to hair color.

Who It’s For

Temporary hair color is a great option for those who get bored with their hair color quickly or want to experiment with new hues. It can also help spice up a look for a specific event without requiring a commitment.

How Long It Lasts

Temporary hair color washes out within one or two shampoos.

How Much It Costs

Temporary hair color is usually sold in-store (versus in a salon), and prices can range from $5 to $70.

Maintenance

There’s really no maintenance needed with temporary hair dye since it washes out immediately anyway.

Translucent Color Glaze

Florence Pugh with glossy white blonde hair
@COLORBYMATTREZ / INSTAGRAM

What It Is

Translucent color glaze is a semi-permanent hair coloring technique that involves applying a sheer, tinted gloss over the hair to enhance shine, refresh colors, and alter or reduce unwanted tones, Ramos explains.

What It Does

A translucent glaze helps fill in any holes within the hair color while adding vibrancy, depth, and shine, enhancing the existing color.

Who It’s For

It’s a great option for those who feel like their color has faded, especially blondes who like to be on the cooler side, Allen says. She’d also suggest a translucent color glaze to clients who want to subtly enhance their current hue without committing to a permanent change.

How Long It Lasts

Translucent color glazes last anywhere from eight to 12 weeks, or six to 12 washes.

How Much It Costs

Prices vary greatly, but it’s always much less expensive than a color change. Ramos estimates a translucent color glaze can cost anywhere from $30 to $60. Pureology’s Color Fanatic Top Coat + Clear Hair Gloss ($36) is a great at-home option.

Maintenance

The benefit of a translucent glaze is that it will blend with whatever is going on with your hair color and won’t leave any harsh demarcation line. For at-home care, Ramos echoes previous suggestions of color-safe shampoos and conditioners.

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