We are a generation living in a fast-paced world, and yet we love to take our time and try out all our options before we commit to anything in life. Why should hair coloring be any different? If you're looking to get a change but worried about permanent hair color's lasting effects, then semi permanent hair coloring is your safest bet. These colors gradually fade over time and leave you with the option of further experimenting with new shades.

To know the difference between semi-permanent hair color & permanent hair color, we must understand the science behind it. But first, we need to know what precisely a strand of hair contains. Each strand of hair has these three layers: Medulla, Cortex and Cuticle.

Hair structure

The difference between permanent and semi-permanent dyes is the all-important cuticle opening and closing process. The less cuticle opening and closing you do, the less damaging the dyeing process will be. In comparison, permanent dyes open up cuticles to deposit the color into the hair. Once the cuticle is open, the dye reacts with the hair's inner portion, the cortex, to deposit the color. It's essentially the same process as lightening, except a colorant is then bonded to the hair shaft.

That being said, semi-permanent hair for the typical dark Indian hair requires bleaching. Bleach is used to lighten one's hair. The bleach reacts with the melanin in the hair, removing the color through a chemical reaction. The bleach oxidizes the melanin molecule. Hydrogen peroxide is one of the most common lightening agents, which is also found in permanent hair dyes.

Semi-permanent dyes don't contain ammonia or peroxide and therefore does not require any pre-mixing before application. It can be applied straight onto your hair, all by yourself at home, and is a non-damaging, short-term solution to your hair color needs. Apart from its easy application, DIY aspect, and simple maintenance, it also adds gloss and sheen to dull-looking hair and accentuates the real result of your hair coloring experience. It requires about the same hair care as a permanent hair dye. Using a good shampoo and conditioner would help maintain your hair's quality, the vibrancy and tints of the color. Color protection conditioners close the cuticle after coloring to seal in and protect the new color.

Because semi-permanent dye fades gradually, it does not create a visible line of change between your natural hair and the colored portions. Instead, it gives a more natural blend between the two. I hope this clears up many things for you, and now you can make an informed choice for your hair.