What developer to use with semi-permanent hair color? None, unless you want to ruin your hair

toning brassy hair at home

  • Semi-permanent hair dye shouldn’t be mixed with any type of developer. Don’t use 10, 20 or 30-volume developers.
  • The reason is simple: the developer opens the hair cuticles to allow the hair dye pigments to be deposited inside.
  • On the other hand, the semi-permanent hair dye is simply deposited on the surface of the hair. That way, it doesn’t change your base color and fades with washes.


YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN: Does semi-permanent dye damage your hair? When is it a good idea to avoid using it?


I’m going to say one thing, and it may not sound very well.

However, I’m not here to win votes for the next presidential election.

I’m here to tell the truth about certain chemical hair processes, such as hair coloring.

Besides, if I don’t tell the truth, I’ll explode! And I have no intention of becoming a shooting star.


YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN: Will my hair go back to normal after semi permanent dye?


 Semi-permanent hair dye is NOT applied with a developer. Never. It shouldn’t happen under any circumstances or point of view. 

Semi-permanent hair dye is not applied with a developer to change the color, extend its duration, or make the product perform better.


If you want to play with mixtures or weird combinations, buy a chemistry set and experiment. In that case, the collateral damage to your creativity will be controlled.

However, if you start experimenting with mixing semi-permanent hair dye with a developer, you’ll only ruin your hair.

 And let’s not even talk about the color results, which will be unpredictable to say the least. 


You’ll get customized results, it’s true, but you’ll want to avoid going out for at least a month.

The only hair dyes that are mixed with a developer are permanent or demi-permanent ones. Why?



Semi-permanent hair dyes are for direct application to the hair

coloring over uneven hair to match it

It’s that simple. Once you choose the color, you have to apply it directly to the hair. Semi-permanent hair dye comes ready to use.


 Alternatively, if you apply it with a developer, you’ll completely ruin the composition of the product. Its formula doesn’t resist oxidation. 


Permanent hair dyes contain ammonia and other chemicals. When they’re mixed with a developer, they open the hair cuticles for the pigmentation to penetrate and set. This is called oxidation.

Semi-permanent hair dyes, on the other hand, don’t penetrate the hair because they work by depositing pigments on the cuticles and creating a film of color. This is why they fade with washes.

If you read the instructions from the semi-permanent hair dyes manufacturers, you’ll discover that they last for up to 20 washes.


 Semi-permanent hair dyes are non-oxidizing dyes. They don’t alter your hair color, unlike permanent hair dyes. The latter may lighten hair up to two levels. 

Yes, the developer has a lightening action which could be more or less intense according to its volumes.


What happens if you mix a developer with semi-permanent hair dye?

If you mix semi-permanent hair dye with a developer, you’ll only damage your hair by the oxidizing force of the developer. Also, you’ll dilute the semi-permanent hair dye.

Therefore, your hair will be lighter, and possibly drier due to the peroxide.


For example, if you had bleached your hair to dye it a fantasy color, you run the risk of ruining it. After bleaching, the hair is almost always fragile and brittle.

Moreover, if you add the effect of peroxide to that hair, all you’ll do is damage it even more.

And what happens to the color?


Nothing at all. When you mix the peroxide with the hair dye, the color molecules degrade and don’t stick to the cuticles.

 If you don’t want to lose money and hair health, don’t mix semi-permanent hair dye with a developer. 

Having said that, what results were you hoping to achieve by mixing semi-permanent hair dye with a developer?

To help your color last longer?


Now you know you’re not going to get it that way.

Today, however, I’m feeling generous. I want to share more valuable information with you.


5 semi-permanent hair dye secrets you should know

hair washing frequency

If you want to extend the duration of a fantasy color, use a color depositing mask.

One of the brands that my clients use is Moroccanoil, which offers nine different colors.

However, I advise you to do a strand test before using it because the results can vary according to the hair porosity.


If you want to dye your hair with a fantasy color semi-permanent hair dye, your hair must have a light base.

match roots with the rest of the hair

This will also determine the intensity of the color you achieve. For example, if you want a pastel color, your hair should be bleached to an almost white blonde base.


Don’t wash your hair every day.

First, because you’ll weaken your hair. Secondly, because the hair dye pigments are washed out and the color will fade faster.

Wash your hair every two to three days. Also, use a color depositing shampoo once a week.

You can even make your own color depositing shampoo.


You can also make your own color depositing shampoo if you have a unique mix of colors. And here is the recipe.

  • Add the hair dye you applied to SULPHATE-FREE shampoo.
  • Wash your hair using this mixture, and leave it on for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Rinse and use a sulfate-free conditioner.


Don’t abuse heat tools.

heat activates keratin

I know that if you’re a fan of straight hair, it’s impossible to ask you to give up the flat iron. However, limit flat ironing your hair to once or twice a week at most.

Heat opens the hair cuticles. When that happens, pigments escape.

When I talk about heat, I also mean the sun’s rays. Nowadays, you can find sunscreens for your hair. Use them in winter and summer.


Rinse your hair with cold water.

Do it in winter as well as in summer. In winter, use water at the lowest temperature you can stand.

Cold water seals the cuticles and prevents the color from fading. If you follow all these tips, your color will last longer.



Semi-permanent hair dye shouldn’t be mixed with a developer because the latter breaks the molecular chains of the pigments and erodes the cuticles. Therefore, the color doesn’t stick to the hair.

If you want your color to last longer, change your hair beauty routine and add a color depositing shampoo and sulfate-free conditioner. Also, you shouldn’t overuse heat tools and remember to protect your hair from the sun.

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