Demi Permanent Hair Color Guide + Our Top 3 Picks

Updated on October 12, 2023
Boshika Gupta By Boshika Gupta
Boshika Gupta

Writer, Beauty & Wellness Enthusiast

Table Of Contents

    Demi Permanent Hair ColorPIN

    Demi Permanent Hair Color Guide + Our Top 3 Picks

    Switching to a different hair color can feel utterly empowering. You know what’s better than that? Achieving a brand new look all by yourself, knowing that you can transform your style when you feel like it. Demi permanent hair color is, by the way, an excellent choice for someone who is experimenting with a new hair color at home.

    Demi color for hair is a product formulated without ammonia, an ingredient notorious for being harsh on natural hair. Thankfully, demi permanent hair color is less harmful, lasts for a decent amount of time, and is a good way to cover your grays when you need a quick solution.

    What is Demi Permanent Hair Color?

    Decoding the different types of hair color can be a bit baffling. This is especially true if you’re a newbie and are still trying to figure out things like the difference between highlights and lowlights (quick tip: the former is lighter than your hair color; the latter is darker).

    Okay, but can we focus on demi permanent hair color and explain what it actually means? Sure, we can. An important thing to know is that demi permanent hair color lasts for a short period compared to permanent hair color. On the bright side, it is not as damaging as permanent hair color options. It also usually has minimal amount of developer, also known as hydrogen peroxide.

    That said, a demi permanent hair color formula usually doesn’t include:

    • Ammonia
    • Bleach
    • Harsh chemicals

    Zohna Tip

    If you're interested in sporting a new hair color for a while but don't want to risk damaging your precious tresses, consider opting for demi permanent hair color instead of permanent hair dye.

    Demi Permanent Hair Color Meaning

    We totally understand your point – it’s normal to feel puzzled when you hear words like demi permanent hair color, temporary hair dye, or semi permanent color. We’re here to rescue you.

    All you need to do is remember that demi permanent hair color is a dye with more staying power than temporary hair dye but not enough to beat permanent hair color. It’s somewhere in between, really. Does that make sense? Oh, and of course – another critical point. There are no harsh ingredients (like ammonia) in demi permanent hair color. Nobody is complaining about that one.

    Demi vs. Semi Permanent Hair Color

    We know, we know, things are still pretty confusing around here. You’re probably staring into space and asking yourself fun questions like, “Okay, if demi permanent hair color and semi permanent dyes are both temporary options, how are they different from each other?”

    Don’t sweat it; here’s your answer: it’s actually pretty simple to distinguish between the two. While semi permanent hair color is a type of dye that lasts for a really short time, demi permanent hair color does a better job in that department.

    Zohna Tip

    Semi permanent hair color might be a better choice if you simply want to find out what you'd look like with a new hair color and don't want to commit to a new color.

    That said, there are some other important differences between the two types of hair color. But not to worry, we’ve made it easy for you. Check out this super helpful table for a quick look at the key differences between the two. You’re welcome.

    Demi permanent hair color Semi permanent hair color
    Lasts up to 24 washes Will usually start fading after 5 to 10 washes
    Has small amounts of developer and gets into the outer layers of your strands Is a deposit-only hair color and doesn’t contain any kind of developer
    Can be used to cover your gray strands May not work as well on gray hair
    May be a bit more damaging to hair Is less damaging and a more gentle option for your hair

    While demi permanent hair color and semi permanent color are both mild options compared to permanent hair color, you may notice a bit of frizz and dryness after using demi hair color. Take a deep breath and relax – demi permanent hair color is unlikely to cause long-lasting damage to your hair as long as you take steps to keep your strands healthy.

    Zohna Tip

    Protect your hair and keep it healthy by using a deep conditioning mask once a week.

    Demi vs. Permanent Hair Color

    While we’re discussing different hair color types, it’s natural to ask a pertinent question at this juncture, such as the major differences between demi color for hair and permanent hair color. What really sets them apart?

    As you’ve probably guessed, these two options are vastly different from each other. Let’s go over some of the most important distinctions between the two.

    Staying Power

    Permanent hair color is exactly what it sounds like – it’s meant to stay for a longer period. With ingredients such as ammonia and larger concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (and other oxidative dyes), permanent hair color can make your hair color significantly lighter and cover stubborn gray hair.

    Additionally, permanent hair color is far more resistant to hair washes and won’t disappear quickly. Meanwhile, demi permanent hair color is usually created without ammonia and contains ingredients like hydrogen peroxide in significantly lower amounts.

    It’s also likely to disappear or fade after six (or eight) weeks. Plus, you cannot use demi permanent hair color to:

    • Significantly change your hair color to a lighter shade
    • Cover all your gray strands
    • Experiment with funky styles like highlights

    Zohna Tip

    While highlights aren't possible to achieve with demi permanent hair color, you can still have fun with lowlights if you like.


    Opting for a permanent hair color is a far more intense process and is usually time-consuming. Your stylist has to perform multiple steps to achieve the desired results. Plus, you’ve got to stay patient and have faith in the process.

    Meanwhile, applying a demi permanent hair color is relatively more straightforward. It can even be a DIY job (which is undeniably convenient.) It’s less expensive and is a somewhat easier decision to make because the color will start to fade and tends to disappear after a few weeks.

    Harsh Ingredients

    While you’re likely to find oxidative dyes in demi permanent hair color and permanent hair dye, the latter has far more harmful ingredients, such as higher concentrations of developers and ammonia.

    Demi hair color is a relatively gentle option for your hair and is ammonia-free. It works out well for someone who wants to temporarily change their hair color without too much stress.

    It’s fair to say that the battle between demi vs. permanent hair color is an interesting one. Both options have their pros and cons, after all. We’ve summed them up for your convenience – take a quick look at the table below.

    Demi Permanent Hair Color Permanent Hair Color
    Is a relatively less damaging option for natural hair May alter your hair structure and cause damage to your strands
    Can be used to try a new hair color for a few weeks but won’t really lighten your hair This long-lasting option works if you want a drastic makeover and sport a lighter hair color
    May not completely cover gray hair strands Will cover all your gray strands easily
    Doesn’t require a long-term commitment and is easy to use on your own You’ll have to be ready to rock this new hair color for months and will probably need a hair colorist to switch up your hair color

    What you choose will largely depend on the results you’re looking for. Maybe you want to get your hair colored at a local salon and forget about the upkeep for a few months. Permanent hair color options might be the right choice in this case.

    Zohna Tip

    If you want to minimize the damage on your chemically treated hair during the coloring process while opting for a lighter shade, ask your colorist to use a bond builder.

    If you’re scared of committing to a bold new color that’s trending on social media and would like to try it for a short period, you may benefit from getting yourself a box of demi permanent hair color. The icing on the cake? Less damage to your hair.

    Demi Permanent Hair Benefits

    Going for a demi permanent hair color may not be a long-lasting option, but it does have some distinctive advantages. Shaking your head in disbelief? Take a look at some of the most prominent benefits.

    Doesn’t Damage Natural Hair

    It can be super scary and exciting to get your hair colored for the first time. It’s a mix of emotions – you’re looking forward to an entirely new look but are scared that your hair won’t be the same anymore. Will it have more frizz? Will it be too dry? Well, there’s an easy solution – demi permanent hair color.

    Getting a hair makeover with a demi permanent hair color is a safe option because it doesn’t really alter your hair’s structure and leaves your tresses relatively undamaged.

    Doesn’t Have Harmful Chemicals

    Some of the most potent chemicals, such as ammonia and bleach, have a bad rep for being harsh on hair. You don’t have to worry about those ingredients if you’re going down the demi permanent hair color route, though.

    This type of hair color doesn’t really have harmful ingredients that could’ve potentially caused long-lasting damage. Easy to apply, easy to remove – there’s not much to be afraid of.

    Can Be Safely Washed Off at Home

    One of the best things about getting your hair colored with a demi permanent hair color? You can simply allow the color to run its course without thinking about going for touch-ups or coughing up a lot of money for maintenance.

    Demi color for hair will gradually fade away on its own. You don’t even need to use a clarifying shampoo if you’re happy with your hair color and like how it looks.

    Zohna Tip

    Use color-safe hair products to make your demi permanent hair color last for a slightly more extended period.

    Best Demi Permanent Hair Colors

    Excited to rock a new hair color? Here are some of the most exciting demi permanent hair colors worth considering for your next makeover.


    Who doesn’t like the idea of sporting dazzling red locks? Pair your red demi permanent hair color with a red lip for a fiery style that’ll make you stand out effortlessly.


    This shade is definitely worth trying if you have naturally blonde or dirty blonde locks or have bleached your hair to a lighter color. Very few things are as sexy as someone who can rock their pink locks with reckless abandon.


    A beautiful and elegant option for all dark-haired beauties is to opt for a brown shade. This gorgeous color looks so warm and inviting that you’ll be tempted to try this demi permanent hair color many more times.

    Top Demi Permanent Brands

    We get it. There are far too many options in the market. When you’ve got so many choices, making a decision can feel like a mammoth task. We’re here to help. Here’s a roundup of some of the top demi permanent brands to choose from.

    One ‘n Only

    Available in a few shades of brown and black, the One ‘n Only demi permanent hair color has moisturizing ingredients such as 100% argan oil. The cream claims to color hair with rich, stunning shades that don’t fade away easily.

    The ammonia-free hair cream is also supposed to make hair softer, stronger, and shinier. That’s the dream, isn’t it? On the flip side, it’s tricky to find a complete list of ingredients that may not go down well for some.

    Ion Demi Permanent Hair Color

    This highly popular pick offers a wide range of shades to those who’d like to switch up their hair color from the comfort of their home. Some options include light to medium ash blonde, warm blonde, light golden brown, plum color, and even intense violet.

    Plus, this product claims to make hair shinier. It is formulated with nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, argan oil, pequi oil, and more.

    Joico Lumishine Demi-Permanent Color

    This demi permanent hair color claims to care for hair that needs a little TLC by strengthening it and making it extra shiny with a unique bond-building formula that protects hair during the coloring process.

    Additionally, the product is versatile and can be used to salvage dull hair with a glossy new hair color that’s non-damaging.

    Our 3 Demi Permanent Hair Color Picks You Can Apply at Home

    Still wondering which one is the best option for you? Here are three of our favorite demi permanent hair color options that are convenient to apply at home.

    Clairol Natural Instincts Demi-Permanent Hair Dye

    Created with moisturizing ingredients such as aloe vera, this demi permanent hair color is ammonia-free and can last up to 28 washes. Also, it has a large number of vegan ingredients and is a gentle option that can work well for different hair types and textures.

    This is especially important for those who are trying hair color for the first time and want a gentle product that’s non-drying and easy to use.

    Wella Demi Permanent Hair Color

    02/18/2024 12:07 am GMT

    This popular brand offers demi permanent hair color options in over 20 shades, making it easier to customize your style. This product claims to make hair look glossier and shinier and can be used when you’re in a rush – you need only 20 minutes from start to finish.

    This demi color can also tone highlights or give faded color a quick boost. Formulated with shea butter, this demi permanent hair color doesn’t have ammonia, gluten, or parabens.

    N’rage Brilliant Demi Permanente Hair Color

    N'rage Hair Color
    $15.99 ($4.00 / Ounce)

    This demi permanent hair color has a few bold, vibrant colors to choose from, such as cobalt blue, teal, and fuchsia. This is perfect for you if you’ve been aching to try something that’s unconventional and a sight for sore eyes. Also, the N’rage demi permanent hair color can be used easily at home and shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to apply.

    Plus, it is formulated with amino acids for a bright, rich color that is long-lasting. This demi permanent hair color makes hair shinier and keeps it moisturized with ingredients like Verbascum flower extract.


    • How Long Does Demi Permanent Hair Color Last?

      You can expect your demi permanent hair color to last up to 24 washes. It may fade faster if you wash your hair frequently or use a strong product like a clarifying shampoo.

    • How to Apply Demi Permanent Hair Color?

      If you would like your demi permanent hair color to last longer, apply it to dry hair for better results. Make sure that you have all the essentials that you need for a perfect application, such as:

      • Gloves
      • Mixing bowls and brushes
      • Wet wipes to quickly remove stains
      • A comb to ensure that your color is evenly distributed
    • What Developer to Use with Demi Permanent Hair Color?

      The best option is to choose a 10-volume developer or something lower while coloring your hair with demi permanent hair color. If you’re doing this at home, make sure to check your hair coloring product for instructions.

      1. Before you begin, mix the developer and dye in the right amounts to prevent hair color mishaps
      2. Add a bit of Vaseline to your hairline to avoid staining your skin
      3. Set a timer to ensure that you’re not letting the product stay in your hair for too long
    • How Often Can You Use Demi Permanent Hair Color?

      While you can use demi permanent hair color every month, remember that it’s essential to take care of your hair throughout the process. If you overdo it, you may risk dealing with hair that feels:

      1. Dry
      2. Dull
      3. Frizzy
      4. Unmanageable
    • How to Remove Demi Permanent Hair Color?

      Not a fan of your new hair color? No worries. You can try to safely remove demi permanent hair color by using a clarifying shampoo. This may take several attempts, which is why it’s important to condition your hair and use conditioning masks to keep it healthy. If you’re unsure or aren’t pleased with the results, consider approaching a professional hairstylist for help.

    • How to Fade Demi Permanent Hair Color?

      If you want to try a different color or need your hair color to fade quickly, you can attempt washing your hair more often. Ensure that you’re using hot water if you really need that color to fade faster. Clarifying shampoo may help in this case too. Or try using baking soda with your regular conditioner.

    • Does it Wash Out?

      The short answer is yes. Even if you do nothing except wash and condition your hair, as usual, demi permanent hair color will definitely wash out and isn’t expected to last for more than 24 washes.

    • Does Demi Color Damage Hair?

      While demi color is a lot less damaging than permanent hair color, it can still make your hair slightly dry or frizzy. The best way to avoid this is by deep conditioning your hair often and using a heat protectant whenever you’re using hot tools like blow dryers.

    • Does Demi Permanent Hair Color Work for All Hair Types?

      Yes, it is. Demi permanent hair color is safe for all types of hair, primarily because it is a relatively mild option and doesn’t have tons of harsh chemicals or harmful ingredients.


    Demi permanent hair color may work as a great option for those who want to switch up their hair color for a month or so without worrying about damaging their tresses. If you’ve been eyeing a new hair color and feel like experimenting, go for it. A demi permanent hair color will have you flaunting your new style in no time.