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 semi  -  permanent hair coloring   -   color rinses

How it works, methods, hair colouring products, hair colours, tips & tricks.              |       Related subjects Bleaching | Coloring |


Color rinses

Temporary hair colours give your hair a temporary new hair colour. The colouring products only coat the outside of the hair shaft with non-penetrating dyes. Generally the colour is washed out after one or two shampoos. You will only get good results if your new colour is darker than you natural hair colour.

Sometimes temporary plant-based hair colours are being used (such as henna, see below).

It is important to know that the lighter your natural hair colour the more intense the colour from the rinse. You should be careful with bleached hair - the already damaged shaft allows the colour pigments to penetrate deeper into the hair shaft and therefore are more difficult to wash out. Especially lighter shades of hair, such as blonde or red, will show the most change.

The colour pigments are deposited directly on the hair shaft and, because they don't penetrate the hair shaft, no physical change of any kind takes place within the hair.

If your hair is less than 10% gray you might be able to disguise the gray - they only offer a sheer, translucent veil of colour over the hair.

Link: Colour rinsing products  | 

semi  -  permanent hair colouring products

The manufacturers only call them "semi"-permanent hair colouring products, they have some ability to embed themselves into the top layers of the cuticle and diffuse into the cortex. The actual dyes used in semi-permanent products are pre-formed, meaning they don't require peroxide or ammonia to be assemled, developed or embedded into the cuticle.

Just like colour rinsing no physical change of any kind takes place within the hair. The colour pigments only penetrate deeper into the cuticle and therefore the colour will last longer than a colour rinse.

Semi-permanent hair colours can make your hair only a little brighter or darker.

Semi-permanent colours fade a bit with each washing, so there is no discernible grow-out. Instead, the colour fades away until all that remains is your own colour. Just as with temporary hair colours, lighter shades of hair wil pick up semi-permanent hair colour more noticeably than darker shades.

If you already have coloured or bleached hair it is not to be advised to use a semi-permanent hair colour - the results are unpredictable.

Both colour rinses and semi-permanent colour products can only camouflage up to 10% gray. They are formulated to stay on the hair for 6 to 12 washings.

Tips for colour rinsed hair


  • Have some highlights before using a colour rinse product so you will become different shades of hair colour.
  • You can refresh your hair colour by using a rinsing mousse or colour shampoo.
  • Be careful with chemically dyed or bleached hair! It is difficult to predict the results. In this case you should see a hair stylist.
  • Wash your hair with colour enhancing products such as rinsing shampoos, conditioners and mousses. They will deposit minuscule amounts of colour in your hair.
  • In order to choose the right hair colour you need to make this choice based on a personal analysis of your natural hair colour, eye colour and skin tone.
  • Colour rinsed or semi-permanent coloured hair will loose it's colour every time you shampoo your hair.

Related links:
Hair-care products
  |  Grey hair | Blonde hair | Red hair | Hair facts | Dying hair | Henna coloring | Highlights |


Color shampoo

Between applications you can use a color shampoo to enhace your colored hair. If you have up to ten per cent grey hair it will cover up 50 per cent grey.



Highlights can be achieved by using different techniques, like for example using a comb, foil (also called colourbourd technique), cap or "balliage." This technique paints bleaches paint onto sections of hair to create noticable layers and lines of lighter colour. Generally it is not applied to the roots, so no regular touch-ups every four to six weeks!

Highlights which have been made by using a special cap can become darker after a while. The reason is that during the bleaching process the locks are binded and for a week they hold on to locks. After every hair wash and hair styling the hairs mix more and more with the remaining hair, so it seems the hair looks darker.

So it is not the locks themselves which become darker, but the separate hairs mixing with the other hairs. If you make larger locks then the beautiful, yellow blond will be kept longer.


If you don't know which highlight colours to choose get some advice from your hairdresser - colourist. You might ask him to test a couple of highlights in your hair (on the back of your neck).


plant  -  based hair colour  -  henna

Often the main ingredient of plant-based colouring products is henna (more about henna, see below) mixed with other plant dyes like indigo, camomile, senna,... more