Already have an account?
Get back to the
Us Weekly aims to feature only the best products and services. We update when possible, but deals expire and prices can change.
If you buy something via one of our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more!

The Best Demi-Permanent Hair Dyes to Change Up Your Look

Author photo
Written by Kristie Olivieri

If you’re someone who loves switching up their hair color as often as the seasons change, then demi-permanent hair dye is perfect for you. While some folks leave coloring their hair up to the professionals out of fear of DIY disasters, with demi-permanent dyes, you can experiment with various shades with minimal damage. Regardless of where and how you choose to color your hair, the products you use are very important. Curious about what demi-permanent hair color is all about? We’ve reviewed some of the best demi-permanent hair dyes to kickstart your colorful journey.

The Best Demi-Permanent Dye Guide

Demi-permanent hair dye is very popular because of its low ammonia & low peroxide content, gradual fading, and providing the user with a less permanent change to their hair color. Due to it being in such high demand, there are several options for you to pick from on the market. With this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about demi-permanent hair dyes and be able to make a well-informed decision about your hair-coloring needs. Let’s take a look!

What Is Demi-Permanent Hair Dye For?

If you’re keen on trying all the latest hair color trends, then a demi-permanent hair dye is for you. Even if you end up with a color you don’t particularly like, after just 24 washes with shampoo, you’ll be back to the hair color you started with!

If you feel like your hair needs a bit of a boost to return it to its natural shine and healthy glow, then demi-permanent hair dye is an easy and affordable way to give your strands a new and refreshing look. A demi-permanent hair dye is perfect for coloring gray hair without damaging the follicles. If 25% of your hair (or less) is gray, a demi-permanent dye blends the gray strands into the highlights. 

If  25% or less of your hair is gray, these dyes can blend the gray strands into the highlights. It’s also great for those looking to go with a darker dye because demi-permanent dyes don’t contain hair-lightening agents like bleach or hydrogen peroxide.

Semi-Permanent vs. Demi-Permanent vs. Permanent

Semi-permanent hair dye has no ammonia and deposits color without bleaching or lightening. The dye coats hair stands with color and can last for up to eight washes. Permanent hair dye contains ammonia, allowing the cuticle layer to open and letting the color deposits penetrate the hair’s cuticle, cortex, and medulla– leaving you with a permanent color change. Demi-permanent hair dye falls in between the two.

Demi-permanent hair dye is mostly ammonia-free and contains a developer, which allows it to penetrate the outermost cuticle of the hair. The color from a demi-permanent dye lasts longer than semi-permanent options because of the developer, but not as long as permanent options because it doesn’t completely penetrate the hair shaft.

What to Consider When Buying Demi-Permanent Hair Dye

Coverage

Demi-permanent hair dyes only provide moderate coverage because they only pierce the outermost layer of the hair. If you’re looking for fuller, longer-lasting coverage, permanent hair dyes are a better option, especially if you’re looking for a more dramatic color transformation.

Gentleness

The chemicals involved in the coloring process can be harsh on the hair, potentially causing damage, dryness, or breakage, especially if you don’t implement a hydrating haircare regime. If you’re concerned about damaging your hair by dyeing it, look for dyes that specify that they won’t mess with your hair’s pH, porosity, or natural curl pattern.

Maintenance

Demi-permanent dyes wash out after 20-24 washes, so think about how you plan on styling your hair and how often you plan to shampoo & condition it. Also, styles that require a lot of manipulation and heat (like blowdrying, straightening, or curling) can make hair dyed with a demi-permanent dye lose its color much faster. If you’re looking for long-lasting coverage, you’ll have to keep buying (and applying) demi dye every two months or so. One of the best ways to maintain your color is to wash your hair using cold water.

Longevity

There are many ways to extend the longevity of demi-permanent dyed hair. To minimize damage, wash your hair a maximum of 2-3 times per week, avoid using shampoos and conditioners with sulfates in them, and avoid fully submerging your head in chlorinated water. Both sulfates and chlorine will quickly strip the dye off your hair. You should also avoid using excessive amounts of heat on your hair, washing your hair in hot water, and having your hair in prolonged, direct sunlight.

 

Comparing the Best Demi-Permanent Hair Dyes of 2024

1

Ion Demi-Permanent Hair Dye

Pros

  • Long-lasting and fade-resistant
  • Contains soothing argan and pequi oil
  • Easily covers up gray hair

Cons

  • Color is slightly different than expected

The Ion demi-permanent hair dye features an innovative ionic formula that’s super long-lasting and serves as a deposit-only hair color without any ammonia. This hair color will cover up gray hair without removing any of the hair’s natural pigment. It even allows same-day color with permanent waves and chemical relaxers. The high-quality formula combines ingredients of the finest quality with strong, high-tech compounds to give you beautiful-looking and fade-resistant color.

This hair dye’s formula is paraphenylenediamine-free (PPD-free). It enriches your hair with hyaluronic acid, pequi oil, argan oil, and various botanicals to nourish and strengthen your hair from within. Despite all these characteristics, the dye is super gentle on hair because it contains no bleaching agents. It will leave your hair feeling stronger, softer, and looking full of life. We’ve chosen this demi-permanent hair dye as our best overall choice because of its temporary coloring effects without negatively affecting the health of your hair.

2

Clairol Demi-Permanent Hair Dye

Pros

  • Contains coconut oil and aloe vera
  • Gentle and suitable for all hair types
  • Lasts up to 28 washes

Cons

  • Hair may feel a bit greasy

The Clairol demi-permanent hair dye is a great choice for those looking for a natural-looking and vibrant color for their hair. This product will enhance your natural color and also boost the shine of your locks. Plus, it perfectly conceals pesky gray hairs.

This demi-permanent dye is made with 80% naturally derived ingredients and infused with coconut oil and aloe vera, which enhance natural color and boost shine. Its completely free of ammonia and added parabens, and is also guaranteed to last up to 28 washes. This dye will give you a great color without requiring a long-term commitment.

3

Wella Demi-Permanent Hair Dye

Pros

  • Super pigmented for maximum coverage
  • Lasts up to 24 washes
  • Contains hydrating conditioning agents

Cons

  • Can be difficult to use

The Wella demi-permanent hair dye is meant for dark-haired individuals who are looking to revive their natural hair color. It’s particularly great for highlights and for refreshing hair color that has faded over time. It does this without removing the natural color of your hair. This dye will also cover gray hair up to 50% and last you up to 24 washes.

This hair dye adds extra depth to your strands to make them look healthier and glossier. It's super pigmented and will touch every single strand of hair on your head. It also contains a bunch of conditioning ingredients that will soothe damaged cuticles to leave your hair feeling refreshed, bouncy, and healthy.

4

Raw Demi-Permanent Hair Dye

Pros

  • Free of sulfates, parabens, and ammonia
  • Long-lasting vibrant color
  • Lasts between 16 to 30 washes

Cons

  • Color may be darker than advertised

The Raw demi-permanent hair dye is completely free of harmful and toxic substances and is compatible with pretty much all hair types, textures, and natural colors. It’s super easy to apply and will last up to three to five weeks or between 16 to 30 washes. The product does not contain any parabens, sulfates, or ammonia, which makes it safe to use. The PPD-free formula will restore your natural hair color, shine, and vibrancy.

This hair dye is super long-lasting, which means that you won’t need to use any inhibitors or activators to keep your color looking vibrant for longer. All you need to do is apply the product directly to your hair to get an intense color along with a brilliant shine. Even if it slightly fades, your hair will still look attractive and healthy.

People Also Ask

  • Q: How long does it take to apply a demi-permanent hair dye?

    A:Applying semi-permanent hair dye typically only takes 40 minutes or less, but it depends on the type of dye you’ve purchased. To get optimal results, read and abide by the instructions provided by the dye's manufacturer.

  • Q: How should I take care of hair colored with demi-permanent hair dye?

    A:If styling with heat, always use a heat protectant. Excessive application of heat can lead to the color fading faster and damage to the hair follicle. Wash your hair with cold or lukewarm water and use hydrating and moisturizing hair products.

  • Q: Will demi-permanent hair dye damage my hair?

    A:Demi-permanent hair dye doesn’t contain any hydrogen peroxide or bleach, so it isn’t nearly as damaging as permanent hair dye can be.

  • Q: Can I use demi-permanent hair dye on hair I’ve already dyed?

    A:You can use demi-permanent hair dye on hair you’ve already dyed; however, avoid this if you’ve previously dyed your hair using henna. Certain brands of henna contain metallic salts which will react negatively when in contact with chemical hair dye. Also, make sure your hair is healthy enough to handle a mild chemical dye job before applying.

  • Q: Should I perform a patch test before using a demi-permanent hair dye?

    A:Yes, you should perform a patch test before dyeing your hair not only to see if you like the color, but to ensure you won’t have a negative allergic reaction to the dye. If you experience pain or intense tingling on your scalp while performing a patch test, wash the dye out immediately.

Why trust Us

At Us Weekly, we aim to inform readers to make smart purchasing decisions, saving you both time and money. Our editors are obsessed with finding products in a variety of categories from fashion and beauty, to home and fitness.

We try various products, so we can recommend our favorites, and we also summarize feedback and data from other customers. Data, like product reviews and ratings, helps us recommend the best product choices for individual price points and needs.

On top of that, we highlight unique product features for special use cases, ingredients preferences, and more. We strive to make sure you are discovering new products that can make your life easier, while keeping you up to date with the best product choices for types of items you already know and love.

Author photo

By Kristie Olivieri

Kristie is a documentary enthusiast, horror movie lover, and avid gamer. When not lost in a virtual world, they enjoy curling up with a good book and their feline friends.
Got a Tip form close button
Got a tip for US?
We're All Ears for Celebrity Buzz!