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The Best Semi-Permanent Hair Dyes of 2024

Kaitlyn Neese
Written by Ashley Neese
Semi Permanent Hair Dye

Are you looking to dye your hair but not commit to months and months of the same color? If you are, semi-permanent hair dye is the perfect solution for you. Semi-permanent hair dye contains no ammonia, no developers, and only deposits color to the outside of the hair shaft– meaning the dye will only last for about 3-10 shampoos. Semi-permanent dyes cause the least amount of damage to hair, so you can retain silkiness and moisture while switching up your colors fairly often. 

In our review, we looked at ingredients, range of colors, and level of pigmentation of the best semi-permanent hair dyes. The ARCTIC FOX Semi-Permanent Hair Dye is at the top of our list because of its highly pigmented formula and great shade variety!

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Why Choose Semi-Permanent Hair Dye?

Semi-permanent hair dyes have a lot of benefits, which can help make them a better alternative to permanent dyes. They tend to be easier to use and apply because you don’t have to mix them with any developers or bleach. Most semi-permanent hair dyes are activated after exposure to oxygen, not peroxide. Typically, a semi-permanent hair dye lasts between six to eight washes, meaning you won't be stuck with the color very long and are free to experiment without damaging your hair.

Also, most semi-permanent hair dyes are infused with natural ingredients with conditioning properties. These include argan oil, keratin, and collagen, which help keep hair soft and add shine to dull-looking hair. And, since many brands provide a lot of shades, you have many options to choose from.

How to Use Semi-Permanent Hair Dye Correctly

Different brands of semi-permanent hair dye have different application processes, which is why you need to follow the exact instructions on the packaging. However, there are a few general tips that you can follow for perfect application and the desired results each time.

Wash Your Hair

After you have purchased the color you like, the first thing you’ll need to do is wash your hair thoroughly using a clarifying shampoo. A clarifying shampoo removes build-up and dirt from hair, so the dye has an even base to work on. However, do not condition your hair before applying the dye.

Dye Your Hair

Some brands recommend applying the dye on towel-dried, damp hair, while others suggest applying it on completely dry hair.  if you're unsure, follow the manufacturing instructions. If the box doesn't clarify what state your hair should be in when you dye it, we recommend freshly washed but completely dry hair. Wear gloves to avoid staining your hands, and start applying the hair dye just like you are shampooing your hair. Some brands provide an applicator, while others recommend using a brush for a more even application.

Comb Your Hair

After your hair is completely saturated with the dye, use a comb to spread the dye out evenly and ensure that each strand is coated. Leave it in for the time mentioned on the packaging; this varies according to the formula and ingredients used. Now, rinse your hair with water and only use a conditioner if the manufacturer recommends it.

It is normal for the color to bleed in the shower, but you must be a little careful after rinsing it. Wet hair can stain your towel and clothes, so use an old towel to dry your hair. Avoid laying down on pillows and bedsheets until your hair is completely dry, as the color will likely bleed onto them. To be safe, cover your pillow with a towel for the first few days to prevent your staining your sheets.

What To Look for When Buying Permanent Hair Dye

When buying permanent hair dye, there are several factors to consider to ensure you achieve the desired result while also maintaining the health of your hair:

Hair Type and Color

Consider your natural hair color and type. Certain dyes work better on specific hair types or colors. For example, some dyes may be more effective on dark hair, while others work better on lighter shades.


Check the ingredients list for harmful chemicals such as ammonia and PPD (p-Phenylenediamine). Opt for dyes that are free from these harsh chemicals, or at least have lower concentrations if you have sensitive skin or allergies.

Color Range

Ensure the brand offers a wide range of colors to choose from, including shades that match your desired hair color or allow for experimentation if you're feeling adventurous.


Look for dyes that offer long-lasting results. Check reviews or product descriptions to see how long the color is expected to last before fading.

Conditioning Properties

Some permanent dyes contain conditioning agents that help nourish and protect the hair during the coloring process. These can help minimize damage and keep your hair looking healthy and shiny.

Application Method

Consider whether the dye comes with an easy-to-use applicator or requires mixing multiple components. Choose a dye that fits your comfort level and skill in applying hair color.

Allergy Testing

Perform a patch test before applying the dye to your entire head to check for any allergic reactions. This is especially important if you have sensitive skin or a history of allergic reactions to hair dye.


While price shouldn't be the sole determining factor, consider your budget when choosing a permanent hair dye. Keep in mind that higher-priced products may offer better quality or additional benefits, but there are also affordable options that deliver excellent results.

By considering these factors, you can select a permanent hair dye that not only achieves your desired color but also maintains the health and integrity of your hair.

Which Semi-Permanent Hair Dye Is Best For You?


ARCTIC FOX Semi-Permanent Hair Dye


  • Made from natural, vegan ingredients
  • Long-lasting and highly pigmented
  • Conditions the hair
  • Available in multiple colors


  • Might rub off easily on pillows
Arctic Fox’s Semi-Permanent Hair Dye is a highly pigmented and gentle dye that comes in several shades. It is made from natural and vegan ingredients without any animal byproducts, which means it is cruelty-free as well. Since no artificial or harmful ingredients like ammonia, peroxide, and alcohol are used, this semi-permanent hair dye will not damage your hair like permanent ones. Even more, you can use it frequently because it has conditioning properties that’ll soften your hair. Best of all, it has a pleasant scent and won’t smear too much which makes it very convenient to use. For a more vibrant color, it is recommended that you apply it to pre-lightened hair. So you can really express yourself, you can choose from 27 different colors in 4 and 8-ounce bottles. We chose this semi-permanent hair dye as our top pick due to its vibrant colors and ease of application.

Adore Semi-Permanent Hair Dye


  • Makes your hair shiny and silky
  • Ideal for gray and light hair
  • Wide range of color options


  • Damp hair can stain pillows and sheets
The Adore Semi-Permanent Hair Dye is another one of our favorites because it is vegan and free from harmful ingredients like peroxide, ammonia, and alcohol. The formula is designed to deliver a rich color, while also making sure that your hair remains shiny, soft, and silky. If you feel the color is too dark, you can mix it with conditioner and then apply it as this will lighten the pigment. This hair dye is ideal for gray hair because it fades gradually, so you will not have to deal with grown-out roots that need to be retouched frequently. Best of all, you can choose from several options, ranging from dark colors to pastels. This lets you find a color that’ll best fit the look you’re going for.

Kiss Semi-Permanent Hair Dye


  • Infused with natural, conditioning ingredients
  • Free from sulfates and ammonia
  • Convenient applicator shape
  • Available in many colors


  • Thinner consistency than others
The Kiss Tintation Semi-Permanent Hair Dye is a good option if you have dry hair and worry that dyeing your hair will dry it out more. This dye is infused with conditioning ingredients like keratin, argan oil, collagen, and olive oil, which ensure that your hair remains soft and healthy. Additionally, aloe vera water is used instead of distilled water, which is a popular conditioning ingredient in many hair treatments. The shape of the applicator makes it very convenient to use, and you only need to leave it in for about 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it out. Just make sure you are applying it on towel-dried hair and refrain from using conditioner after applying the dye. And, to sweeten the deal, you can choose from 58 vivid colors, ranging from jet black to softer shades like platinum, rose gold, and silver.

Keracolor Semi Permanent Hair Dye


  • Colors, cleanses, and conditions hair
  • Ideal for frequent touch-ups
  • Keratin-infused formula ensures soft hair
  • Available in 18 colors


  • Some shades can dry out hair
The Keracolor Semi-permanent Hair Dye is a three-in-one product that is designed to color, cleanse, and condition the hair. The company calls it a “clenditioner” because you do not need to shampoo your hair after applying this — rinsing your hair with water will be sufficient to maintain color. And, since it is a non-lathering conditioner, you can apply it after getting your hair colored professionally to maintain its vibrancy. This semi-permanent hair dye works a little differently than other alternatives. Instead of applying it only once, you can use it as many times as you want to maintain the hair color. With every wash, this product will add color to your hair, so you can easily touch it up if the color is fading. In order to make sure that the dye is distributed evenly through your hair, use a comb to saturate every single strand.

Clairol Professional Semi-Permanent Hair Dye


  • Color will last for about 12 shampoos
  • Convenient shape for easy application
  • Intermixable shades make it customizable


  • Can bleed onto pillow cases initially
  • May stain the scalp
Last but not least, Clairol’s Professional Semi-Permanent Hair Dye is another one of our favorites because it uses oxygen to develop the color instead of peroxide, which can be damaging to the hair. It is ideal for covering up gray hair because the formula is designed especially for light or pre-lightened hair. It is recommended to process it for at least 25 minutes before washing it out, and it works best on towel-dried hair after shampooing your hair. Do not shampoo immediately after using this semi-permanent hair dye. This semi-permanent hair dye is available in nine shades, which are intermixable, meaning that you can create your own shades as well. It’s ideal for refreshing professionally colored hair without the damage of chemical dyes, and will also enhance your natural hair color. Best of all, the ingredients include natural substances that are designed to make your hair soft and silky.

People Also Ask

  • Q: How long should I wait to shampoo my hair after dyeing it?

    A:We recommend waiting at least 48 hours after the first rinse after applying semi-permanent hair dye. This will prevent the color from fading too soon.

  • Q: Can I get rid of the color faster if I don’t like it?

    A:If you’re unsatisfied with the color, try washing your hair more frequently. Doing so will cause the pigments of the dye to fade away. Be careful washing your hair too much, though, as you could completely dry it out and cause breakage. You can also use hair dye removal products.

  • Q: Can I use semi-permanent hair dye on previously dyed hair?

    A:Yes, you can use semi-permanent hair dye on previously dyed hair. However, the result may vary depending on the existing color and condition of your hair.

  • Q: Can semi-permanent hair dye damage my hair?

    A:Semi-permanent hair dye is generally less damaging than permanent dyes because it doesn't contain harsh chemicals like ammonia or peroxide. However, frequently using any hair dye can still cause some damage, particularly if the hair is already damaged, broken off, or extremely thin.

  • Q: Can I lighten my hair with semi-permanent hair dye?

    A:Semi-permanent hair dye cannot lighten your hair; it can only deposit color or enhance your existing color. If you want to lighten your hair, you'll need to use a permanent hair dye or bleach.

  • Q: Can semi-permanent hair dye cover gray hair?

    A:Semi-permanent hair dye can help blend gray hair with your natural color, but it may not provide full coverage, especially for stubborn gray hairs. Consider using a permanent hair dye specifically formulated for gray coverage for more effective coverage.

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.

Kaitlyn Neese

By Ashley Neese

Hi, I'm Ashley Neese and I graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.  I'm passionate about all things beauty, fashion, and wellness — specifically skin care, makeup, and natural health. I love writing about things that help people feel like their best selves, whether it's finding their perfect lip color or a supplement to alleviate anxiety. In my free time, I am usually reading a romantic comedy or playing with my two dogs.

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