How Often Can You Dye Your Hair?

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Davines. Minor edits have been done by Tousled Online Magazine editors.

Rinsing hair

A quick color change with hair dye is a fun and easy way to play around with your look. But how often do you need to dye your hair in order to maintain your color? And how often can you dye it without causing damage to your hair? The answers to these questions lie in the type of hair dye you and your colorist choose. Each type has its own purpose and the best type for you depends on the results you want.

Temporary, permanent, demi-permanent, and semi-permanent hair color

Below is a breakdown of the different types of hair dyes, including what they’re used for, how they work, and how long the results last. Read ahead to find out which type of hair dye is right for you.

Temporary hair color

  • What it is: Temporary hair color instantly changes the color of hair and is often found in chalk or spray form.
  • How it works: Temporary hair color coats the hair with color.
  • How it's used: Temporary hair color can mask regrowth, coat grey hair, add bright streaks of color or be used to create designs or stencils in the hair.
  • How long it lasts: Temporary hair color washes out in one shampoo.

Permanent hair color

  • What it is: Permanent hair color permanently changes the color of hair.
  • What it does: When mixed with a peroxide developer, permanent hair color opens the hair cuticle on the surface of the hair shaft and delivers dye inside. The cuticle then reseals, preventing the color from escaping.
  • How it’s used: Permanent color is used for hair lightening and darkening; change the color of hair and cover grays.
  • How long it lasts: Permanent hair color permanently alters the color structure of the hair, so it lasts indefinitely.

Demi-permanent hair color

  • What it is: Demi-permanent hair color is a low-ammonia formula that is mixed with a low-volume peroxide developer.
  • What it does: Demi-permanent hair color gently opens the hair cuticle and lets dye penetrate only slightly into the hair cortex. Demi-permanents are sheer and can darken the hair or change the tone. They also add shine.
  • How it’s used: Demi-permanent hair color is used to enhance natural hair color, deposit color over blonde or lightened hair, blend gray, refresh faded hair color, darken the hair, correct hair color, and blend highlights. 
  • How long it lasts: Depending upon the health and porosity of the hair demi-permanent hair color lasts between 12 and 24 shampoos before it fades.

Semi-permanent hair color

  • What it is: Semi-permanent hair color contains no ammonia and does not need to be mixed with a peroxide developer. 
  • What it does: Semi-permanent hair color does not penetrate the hair cortex. It alters the tone of the hair by depositing color onto the surface, like a sheer coating. 
  • How it’s used: Semi-permanent hair dye can be used to deposit color over blonde or lightened hair, to blend gray, and to refresh faded hair color. Davines’ Alchemic line is a system of shampoos and conditioners with semi-permanent pigments that can intensify and brighten both your natural hair and your color-treated strands. Icy platinum blondes can avoid brassiness with Alchemic Silver, dark brunettes can add rich, never-dull tones with Alchemic Chocolate, and vibrant warm reds are boosted by Alchemic Copper.
  • How long it lasts: Depending upon the health and porosity of the hair, Alchemic washes out in about 3 shampoos, before gradually fading.

Tips to make your hair color last

If you use hair dye or bleach to color treat your hair, add these tips to your hair care routine immediately to keep your color from fading.

Use only products suitable for color-treated hair

Especially when it comes to shampoo, which can strip hair color, it’s important to always use color-safe hair products. These types of products contain antioxidants, proteins, and amino acids to strengthen the hair cuticle and prevent pigment from leaking out. Every Davines shampoo for color-treated hair gently cleanses hair, protecting hair color and keeping it vibrant for longer. Their hydrating formulas provide deep nourishment and hydration, and restore softness and shine to color-treated hair. 

Davines shampoo for color-treated hair

Use cool water when you wash

Although true for all types of colored hair, it's especially important to try to ditch hot showers in favor of cool showers to keep your red color vibrant. Hot water opens up the hair cuticle, allowing the color to slip out. Keep it cool to make the most of your dye job.

Condition your hair after every wash

Anytime you wash your hair, you have to re-seal the cuticle. Washing roughs it up and allows for faster fading. A sealed cuticle means nothing gets into your strand or out of it. Conditioner seals the cuticle, keeping color in and environmental aggressors that can accelerate fading out. Use a conditioner as the final step every time you wash.

Be gentle with wet strands

Wet hair is much more fragile than dry hair because when it’s wet, the structure of the hair strand changes. Brushing wet hair is more likely to stretch color-treated hair to its breaking point. Be gentle with your freshly showered strands and only use a brush designed specifically for wet hair to reduce breakage.

Keep your hair hydrated

A good way to do this is with weekly deep conditioning in the form of a hair mask for color-treated hair. Davines’ MINU Hair Mask is designed to deeply nourish colored hair, making it soft and silky without weighing the hair down. 

Final thoughts on how often to dye your hair

If you’ve just started to dye your hair, you’ll likely be able to dye it more often than someone who’s a frequent dyer. But no matter what condition your hair is in, it’s important to give it a break in between dye jobs, especially when using permanent dye. And remember to use high-quality hair care products specifically for color-treated hair. All Davines products for colored hair are free of harmful toxins and use natural ingredients made with renewable energy. Davines’ hair care isn’t just good for your hair, it’s good for the planet.

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