Should You Apply Heat to Semi-Permanent Hair Dye? As a hairdresser, I don’t recommend it

woman with blow dryers in her hand and pink strand in her hair

  • No, applying heat is unnecessary if you color your hair with a semi-permanent hair dye. This type of dye doesn’t penetrate the interior of the hair.
  • Therefore, the only thing you will achieve by applying heat to the semi-permanent hair dye is to extend the duration of the color a few more washes. And if your hair has been bleached several times, you will only deplete it with more moisture and nutrients. Therefore, it really wouldn’t be worth applying heat.
  • If you want to apply heat when you color your hair with a semi-permanent hair color, you can use a heat cap or just the hair dryer. And I’ll tell you how to do it below.


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 If you read the instructions for using any brand of semi-permanent hair dye, you’ll see that none of them indicate applying heat to the semi-permanent hair dye. 


Some of them, attentive to what may be going through their users’ heads, suggest applying heat to semi-permanent hair dyes to achieve a more intense or longer-lasting color.

What is my professional opinion on whether heat should be applied to semi-permanent hair dye?


  •  As a colorist, I recommend not using heat if you want to color your hair with a semi-permanent hair dye. Because your hair is probably bleached.   It has gone through a chemical process already and has lost nutrition and moisture. And the heat would only damage it more.

Having said this, what benefits would you get?

From my point of view, none. Therefore:

hot pink dyed hair

  •  If you want longer-lasting color , wash your hair less frequently, using sulfate-free products.
  •  If you want more color intensity , leave the semi-permanent hair color in longer. In this case, as this type of dye doesn’t contain ammonia, to apply the color you can leave it to act for up to an hour, to achieve a more intense color.


Because, after all, even if you use heat to make the dye last longer, it won’t make much of a difference. I mean, the color won’t last for even three weeks longer. And this will always depend on your hair care routine.


Therefore,  the truth from my point of view: As a colorist, I don’t think using heat with semi-permanent hair dye is worth. 

But if you want to, you can. And that’s what I’ll talk to you about next.


Why you might want to use heat with semi-permanent hair dye

woman with dyed hair blow-drying in salon

Mainly because heat opens the hair cuticles, the outermost layer of the hair. That’s why all colorists recommend our clients don’t wash their hair with hot water. Because hot water opens the cuticles, allowing the hair color to fade faster.


 If you apply heat while coloring your hair with semi-permanent hair dye , you will open the cuticles, and the color will penetrate the middle layer of the hair, extending its duration a little longer.


Now, don’t be fooled. It’s not that after coloring your hair by applying heat, for example, with a Manic Panic Classic Cotton Candy Pink hair dye, your hair will be hot pink for eight weeks. Because even if you apply heat to the semi-permanent dye, the color won’t get to the hair’s core.

It simply adheres more strongly to the outer layers of the hair. And that’s why it may last five or six washes longer. But that’s always assuming you’re doing your hair care routine right.


So you are the only one who can evaluate whether it’s worth using heat with semi-permanent hair color. Because you know your hair, whether it’s dry or moderately healthy, and you’re also aware of the hair products you use.

Now, if you want to use heat with semi-permanent hair color, here’s how to do it.


How to apply heat to semi-permanent hair dye

thermal cap to apply heat to hair

You can apply heat to the semi-permanent hair color in two ways:

  •  A thermal cap , which provides even heat throughout your hair. Just cover your hair with the cap after applying the hair color and leave it on for ten minutes.
  •  You can use a hair dryer , at the highest temperature.


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Apply heat with the hair dryer to the semi-permanent dye

  • When you’re done applying the dye, start blow-drying it.
  • While blow-drying,  don’t stretch your hair . You can comb it to avoid tangles.
  • When your hair is dry and warm, wrap it in a towel and let the dye act for twenty to thirty minutes.
  • When the exposure time has elapsed, rinse your hair with ALMOST COLD WATER, to close the hair cuticles.



You can apply heat to semi-permanent hair dye, although, as a professional colorist, I don’t think it’s worth subjecting your hair to high temperatures.

Also, if you use semi-permanent dye, your hair has likely been through several bleaching sessions, so it’s weaker. But ultimately, the decision is yours.

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