Can you mix semi permanent hair dye with developer? Short answer: Nooo!!

let the dye work for 20 minutes

  • The short answer is NO. Under no circumstances should you mix semi-permanent hair dye with a developer.
  • If you do, the hair dye pigments won’t be deposited on the surface of the hair. What’s more, you’ll damage the color molecules.
  • If you intended to use the developer to extend the duration of the color, look for other options. You could opt for a permanent hair dye or choose a semi-permanent hair dye brand with maximum durability. Today, I’ll tell you what they are.


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Oh, you’ve got a head full of crazy ideas!

Why do you want to mix semi-permanent hair dye with a developer?


Let me guess because I’m going to try to put myself in your shoes.

I’m trying to think about your reasons, and I’ve only come up with two:

  • The first reason why you might want to mix semi-permanent hair dye with a developer is that you want the color to last longer.
  • The second reason may be to try to lighten the shade by adding a developer to the hair dye.


I can’t think of any other reasons, but I can assure you with absolute certainty is that semi-permanent hair dye shouldn’t be mixed with a developer under any circumstances.


Peroxide fades the pigment concentration of the hair dye. That’s why you’ll never get the color you had chosen.

  You shouldn’t play with hair products just as you can’t mix water and oil nor bleach with ammonia. 

That’s true, especially if you plan to apply those mixtures to your hair.


It’s the biochemists hired by the big brands who are there to explore new possibilities, research, and play.

Don’t forget that a developer is a chemical. It can change the results of any combination of products.

 If you choose a semi-permanent hair dye, it’s because you wanted to avoid using peroxide. So, why would you want to mix them? 


Truth be told, it doesn’t make sense.

Also, if you chose a semi-permanent hair dye, it’s because you like to change your hair color frequently, you have damaged hair, or you’re vegan.

The developer is at odds with your goals in any of those cases.

Because the developer is responsible for opening the hair cuticles for the permanent color to be deposited.


The developer is responsible for permanently changing the color. That’s why it’s used in permanent hair color.

 It makes no sense to mix semi-permanent hair color and developer because their objectives are opposite. It would be like wanting to walk backward and forward at the same time. 


Also, it makes no sense to mix semi-permanent hair dye and a developer because they are ready to use when you buy them.

They are deposited on the surface of the hair, so there is no need to add a developer.  Even if you add a developer, they won’t become permanent as many people think. 

The only thing you would achieve is to completely ruin your semi-permanent hair dye. The chemicals degrade the color, and it won’t have the effect you are hoping for.

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If you want your semi-permanent hair dye to last longer, choose brands that will ensure maximum durability but don’t add a developer

yellow, green, purple and pink

As hydrogen peroxide is an oxidant, it prevents the pigments of the semi-permanent hair dye from adhering to the surface of the hair. So, they lose their effect.

The hair dyes are designed for direct use to avoid damaging the hair.



A good start to extend the duration of your semi-permanent hair dye is to choose brands that ensure extra durability or more intense pigments.

Each hair dye brand has its specific duration because the semi-permanent hair dye fades with washes. So, every time you wash your hair, you lose a little color.


Some of the longest+lasting semi-permanent hair dyes are:

  • Splat: up to 30 washes
  • Clairol Natural Instincts: up to 28 washes
  • Manic Panic: up to 16 washes
  • Got2b Creative: up to 15 washes
  • Punky Colour: up to 12 washes


Also, dark colors like brown 4, violet, or blue will last longer than lighter shades like light blonde 8 or pastel pink.

This is because darker colors contain more pigmentation. Therefore, they adhere better to the hair and achieve greater covering power.


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You also shouldn’t add a developer to semi-permanent hair dye if you’re looking for a lighter shade

Most of the brands I mentioned above have a color chart with many alternatives.

If you want a lighter color, choose a lighter shade. It’s as simple as that.


Manic Panic, for example, offers alternatives.

 Some of their shades allow you to play with the exposure time to achieve different shades of the same color. 

And some of those shades are Cotton Candy Pink or Electric Pink Pussycat.


In that case, you’ll achieve a softer shade because you leave the hair dye on for less time. It has nothing to do with adding peroxide to the hair dye.

Therefore, it all adds up to a universal truth.


If you want your semi-permanent hair dye to last longer, instead of mixing it with a developer, check your hair care routine

sulfate free

Beauty products like shampoos, conditioners, and masks contain chemicals that are corrosive to color.

Sulfates, parabens, and metallic salts can remove your semi-permanent hair dye in just a few washes.


  •  That is why you should check all the products you use  and replace them with those that can maintain your color without modification.

The sulfate-free shampoos are ideal if you’ve dyed your hair with a semi-permanent hair dye. The big brands have launched entire lines of these products that include Pantene Pro-V Rose Water and Herbal Essences Honey & Vitamin B.

Of course, these are just two examples. Nowadays, almost all the well-known and lesser-known brands have launched sulfate-free hair products or products with a lesser amount of toxic ingredients.


all in one shampoo and conditioner

  •  You can also use a color depositing shampoo  that deposits pigments in each wash to extend the duration of the color.

For example, if you colored your hair blue, you could use a blue color depositing shampoo.

If you colored your hair pink, you could use a pink depositing shampoo.



  • And lastly, do you use a flat iron or blow dryer very often?

You can start changing your habits because the heat opens the cuticles of the hair and the pigments of the hair dye come out.


I’m not saying that you can’t use heat tools anymore.

 Just make smart choices about when you flat iron or curl your hair.  When you do, use a sulfate-free heat protectant to care for your color.



Could you solve your questions?

That’s great news for your hair! Because semi-permanent hair color should never be mixed with a developer. A developer isn’t designed for it.

If your idea is to extend the color duration or to get a lighter color, now you know how to do it without risking your hair.

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