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Difference Between Semi-Permanent and Permanent?

by Shirley Chan {{"2014-12-19T15:04:20-08:00" | blogDate:'MMMM d, y'}}

Image by Madison Reed

There are lots of secrets to great hair, and healthy-looking color is one of them. But with so many choices, it's hard to know where to start. Madison Reed is here to help with an easy guide to two main types of hair color: Semi Permanent Color and Permanent Color.

What's the difference between permanent hair color and semi permanent hair color?

Let's start with a quick definition. Permanent color is what people mean when they say “hair dye” or “color-treated hair.” There are two parts to the permanent process: opening up the hair shaft and adding color. Semi permanent color, also called hair gloss, simply adds color. So the main difference is that semi permanent color doesn't open up your hair shaft before adding color.

Of course, there's a lot more to it than that. For example, hair gloss doesn't have to change the color of your hair. The clear Glassa shade adds incredible shine right on top of your hair color.

The full spectrum of shades is used to boost hair color and correct tone when hair has faded or looks too yellow.

Meanwhile, the complete permanent hair color process can lighten hair and embeds color more deeply into hair. This is why it provides full coverage for grays and complete hair color changes, and lasts much longer than semi permanent hair color. Madison Reed formulated Radiant Cream Color without harsh chemicals like ammonia, and included natural, nourishing ingredients for hair to stay healthier-looking, which helps the color last even longer.

hair shaft before and after adding permanent hair color

Color Reviving Gloss Cheat Sheet (Semi Permanent Hair Color)

  • Semi permanent hair color is also called hair gloss and adds shine
  • Available in clear if you don't want to change color
  • Use to refresh or change tone (does not lighten or darken hair)
  • No developer-activator required
  • No mixing required—use the color directly on hair
  • Use as much or as little as you need—reseal and keep for next time
  • Color lasts up 8 shampoos
  • Doesn't change hair structure or color permanently
  • Not designed for gray coverage

Radiant Cream Color Cheat Sheet (Permanent Color)

  • Permanent color changes hair structure to make color changes
  • Use to lighten, darken, add, or change tone of your hair
  • Covers gray permanently
  • Provides full hair color coverage
  • Must be mixed with a developer-activator before use
  • Can save unmixed color for future use (but do not save mixed product)
  • Color lasts up to 8 weeks, depending on condition of hair
  • Repairs damage to prevent fading and help color last longer over time

Now that you know more about the science behind semi permanent and permanent hair color, get personalized recommendations by building your Hair Profile or calling the Color Crew, our team of certified colorists and professional stylists. They love listening to your hair history and tailoring suggestions to suit your hair and style. At Madison Reed, we love to help people look and feel their very best.

Check out the latest Hair Color Ideas from Madison Reed to find your next inspiration:
Radiant Red Hair Color Ideas
Brilliant Brown Hair Color Ideas
Stunning Blonde Hair Color Ideas

And don't miss our Madison Reed Hair Color Chart.



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