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Permanent Hair Color

Definition: Permanent Hair Color

While permanent color is just that — permanent — it does tend to eventually fade with time. Hello, oxymoron. However, it's the only type product that can actually lift pre-existing color out of the hair, since it relies on hydrogen peroxide and ammonia to get the job done. It's also the only type of hair color that can cover gray completely, and it also has the ability to change the hair up to four levels — sometimes even five.

After combining the tint of choice with a developer, the permanent hair dye is applied, and the ammonia immediately begins opening up the cuticle. Then, the peroxide moves in, breaking up the melanin in your hair shaft, replacing what's left with the pigment of your choice (hopefully). Might I suggest getting permanent color done at a salon, as they are trained to deal with the subtle nuances of tones, levels, and proper formulations?

The downside to permanent color is that roots will become more obvious, and the only way to remove the artificial pigments is to strip them out. To keep permanent color looking fresh, a touchup on regrowth is needed every four to eight weeks. Allow at least two weeks before other chemical services to give hair a little break, and deep condition regularly to make color last longer and keep hair healthy.

Stumped on hair-color terminology? Find out more here: The semipermanents; The demipermanents, and the quick and handy temporaries.


Join The Conversation
AshleyMaye AshleyMaye 8 years
Its been a year since a stylist used a permanent BLACK on my hair without permission, and after many times of foiling it is still noticeabley there! My NEW stylist told me the dark will just have to grow out! AVOID permanent dark colors unless you are covering up gray!
wolfjinx25 wolfjinx25 8 years
I love using Perfect 10 hair color. It's the only one that doesn't smell bad and the color lasts longer.
Allytta Allytta 8 years
i do my permanent colour at home (i use garnier) every two weeks. my hair grows like crazy. i do roots only. i also liek to go dark brown platinum blonde and ginger red all in one year so my hair really gets hit with all the chemicals. and permanent colour is a bitch to get out. i'm growing out my red ends now so the ends are strawberry blonde and the rest of the hair is platinum blonde. very annoying to me, but girls say it looks good. i avoid salons because they usually use very strong chemicals that kill my hair, when i try to explain that i need only 3% they look at me like crazy and say i'll be yellow with 3%. then they use 9% and fry my hair. also they tell me that I like to be bossy. so yeah, i found the perfect colour, my hair looks shinny and doesn't tangle after i use it and is sooo soft. and cheap!
cents4dollars cents4dollars 8 years
I switched salons a while back and asked the stylist to dye my already died brown with highlighted hair to mahogany red. Stylist did and it looked great for exactly 3 washes! The i realized it was washing out and one wash later i looked like carrot top! She gave me a refund but could not explain what went wrong... i recently tried again to go red, this time doing it myself from a box and it looks great (i think!) .. hair can be so finicky!
ModernGraceKelly ModernGraceKelly 8 years
Always go semi if you have brown hair, otherwise the color keeps depositing and gets darker. :)
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