How long does semi-permanent hair dye last? Does it last three washes or several weeks?

  • Semi-permanent hair dye can last for three washes or for several weeks. It all depends on the brand of semi-permanent dye you choose and your hair care routine.
  • Among the semi-permanent hair dye that last the least we could name L’Oréal Colorist.
  • Those that last the longest include Clairol Natural Instincts, up to 28 washes, and Punky Color, up to 35 washes.
  • Whichever hair dye you choose, if you take care of your hair like I’ll tell you here, you’ll make the color last longer.


last up to 28 washes

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When I’m asked these kinds of questions, I’m a bit puzzled. I don’t really know what to answer. Well, I actually know what the answer is, but I also know that it’s the kind of answer that most people don’t want to hear.

My answer to how long semi-permanent dye lasts will always be “it depends”.

I knew you wouldn’t like it! But, let me explain.


 The duration of the semi-permanent dye will depend on two big factors. 


  • The brand and type of dye you choose.

For example, Clairol Natural Instincts can last up to 28 washes, according to the manufacturer.

L’Oréal Colorista lasts 4 to 10 washes, also according to the manufacturer.

That brings us to the first conclusion.


Choose your semi-permanent dye thoroughly.

 If you want the color to last a long time, choose a hair color like Clairol.   If, on the other hand, you want the color to last a few days, choose a dye like L’Oréal’s Colorista. 


But it doesn’t all stop there.

You could choose a hair color like Clairol, and see that it only lasts ten washes. Why?

The answer leads us to the second factor:


  • Hair care and washing habits.

I include everything from the heat tools and frequency of washing, to the type of hair products you use.

The dye won’t last the same if you wash your hair every day or if you do it every three days. Also, which shampoo do you use, any?

That is another mistake that will make your hair color fade faster.


So, my answer to “how long does semi-permanent hair dye last?” is, “It depends”.

Semi-permanent dyes are designed following certain parameters that must be respected in order for them to last longer.


But don’t despair, because today I will tell you:

  • How long a semi-permanent hair dye last according to your hair care habits
  • How long semi-permanent dyes last, according to the manufacturers

Tabla de Contenidos


How long does a semi-permanent hair dye last according to your hair care habits?

various light and dark shades

To understand the importance of post color care, I will tell you the story of Aldana and Magali, two clients, who are also sisters and are always trying new things.

Although they have many things in common, their hair types are totally different. While Aldana has oily hair, Magali’s hair is normal and healthy.


A few months ago, they came to the salon with very clear expectations: they wanted their hair pink. Aldana wanted to dye her hair bubblegum pink and Magali wanted a more traditional but, at the same time, eye-catching pink.

 They agreed to apply a semi-permanent dye because being pink a fancy color, if they didn’t get used to the change, the color would simply fade with washings. 


Before they left the salon, I gave them a series of recommendations focused on the duration of the semi-permanent hair dye:

  • Use sulfate and paraben free shampoo and conditioner
  • Do not wash your hair daily but, instead, every 48 or 62 hours
  • Do not abuse the moisturizing masks, and apply them only once a week
  • Do not overuse the iron


They both told me that they understood and would follow the instructions. In addition, they took notes of my instructions on their cell phones. Millennials, everything goes through the devices!


After two weeks, they showed up in the salon, and I instantly understood that one of them had ignored my recommendations.

Magali had the perfect color, but Aldana... it was impossible to imagine she had had a bubblegum pink! What was left in her hair was a faded pink and, in a few strands, bubblegum pink survived.

What had happened?


Aldana had washed her hair with anti-dandruff shampoo which, in other circumstances, would have been the right thing to do, because her hair is oily and needs a deep cleansing.

However, at the same time, anti-dandruff shampoo, in addition to deeply cleaning her hair, had mercilessly removed the pink pigments from the dye.

This is what happens when you apply a semi-permanent hair color and don't respect the hair care routine at all.


 If you're not willing to stick to that routine, forget about semi-permanent hair color, because it will last almost nothing. I'm not exaggerating and I'll leave it up to you to prove it.[/your_highlight]

While Magalí renewed her color after five weeks, Aldana had no trace of the dye after 10 days.


So, either take care of the color or face the consequences.

Are you ready to take on the responsibility of caring for your new color?


Then, take down notes. This time, take notes to read them as many times as you think necessary.

To preserve the pigments of the semi-permanent dye you will need to:


  • Use sulfate-free and parabens-free shampoo.

shampoo and conditioner

Those chemicals are the components of the detergent and are very corrosive to hair dyes. Therefore, if you use them, after two or three washes, the color will look dull and faded.


  • Don’t wash your hair every day.

with shampoo and conditioner

Regardless of how long the color lasts, you should never wash your hair every day because all you´ll get is dry hair. Your scalp needs time to produce sebum, which is what nourishes and moisturizes the hair fiber.

If you wash your hair every day, the semi-permanent dye will last less and your hair will take a shortcut to frizz.

Ideally, you should wash your hair every 48 to 72 hours.


  • Don’t abuse moisturizing masks.

use it before washing hair

Use them, but do not abuse them. If you apply two or three masks a week to your hair, it will expel the pigments of the dye at the time of rinsing.

You can apply a mask once a week. If your hair needs intensive hydration, you can always apply a few drops of coconut or argan oil, without rinsing afterwards.


  • Don’t abuse heat tools.

Heat tools, such as a hair dryer, iron or curling iron, are excellent for achieving different hairstyles. However, use them carefully because excess heat can dehydrate hair.

Have you ever noticed steam escaping from your hair when you iron it? That's dehydration and the pigment in the hair color goes along with the steam.

  Give your hair a break from high temperatures and you'll see your color last longer. 


All these indications will make the semi-permanent dye last longer. Those indications are the parameters that hair dyes follow to ensure the duration of the color.

Manufacturers calculate the duration of the dye in “washing”, instead of in days or weeks and they don´t fail. They count on you and your care routine to make that duration a real fact.


Now, there are dyes that last longer and others that last less. I'll tell you which column each one is in.


How long do semi-permanent dyes last according to each manufacturer?

apply on faded green hair

Semi-permanent dye is absorbed naturally, like a moisturizing mask, and that is why it is so vulnerable to washings.

So, there are semi-permanent dyes that last 4 washes, and others are designed to last 25 to 30 washes. Those washes only count when you use shampoo and conditioner.

In other words, if you're suddenly caught in the middle of a hellish rainstorm without an umbrella, you won't start getting drops of color all over your face. What makes the dye fade is the shampoo wash.


Let's take a look at the durability of some of the most popular semi-permanent hair dyes:

  • Clairol Natural Instincts: 28 washes
  • Adore Creative Image: 16 washes
  • Colorista L’Óreal: 4 to 10 washes
  • Pravana Chromasilk Vivids: 20 washes
  • Manic Panic: from 4 to 6 weeks
  • Arctic Fox: from 4 to 8 weeks
  • Punky Colour: more than 35 washes


Don't forget,  that the duration will depend on your care routine.  S,o when in doubt, make this post your favorite, and come back to read it as many times as you think necessary.



Semi-permanent dyes have a standard duration of 10 to 20 washes according to the manufacturer.

To make the color last longer, use sulfate-free shampoos, wash your hair every two or three days and avoid abusing heat tools.

In the end, the duration of the semi-permanent dye will depend more on you than anything else.


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