How Long Does Permanent Hair Dye Last? The Truth

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Switching up your look is endless fun. From a sun-kissed blonde to a fall-ready auburn, the introduction of permanent hair dye has allowed people to embrace a changing style at their leisure. But how long does permanent hair dye last?

How Long Does Permanent Hair Dye Last

Permanent hair dye lasts for around six to eight weeks. However, you need to ensure that you’re doing as much as possible throughout that time to maintain your new coloring, too.

How long permanent hair dye will last is dependent on how much you’re willing to maintain it, as well as factors like the type of dye you’ve used and its application.

But don’t worry, this article is here to address any questions that you may have.

What Is Permanent Hair Dye?

There are many different kinds of hair dye, but the three best known are temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent.

Permanent hair dye is more chemically-intensive than any other hair color. It can lighten, darken, or highlight your hair, depending on the look you’re going for.

Permanent hair dye works by lifting your hair’s cuticle by way of a developer. Developers usually contain chemical agents like ammonia and hydrogen peroxide.

These oxidize and react with the natural melanin in your strands, thereby allowing the dye to penetrate them.

This is what changes your hair color. It’s also why permanent hair dye is more damaging to your hair than either temporary or semi-permanent color.

Permanent hair color should last anywhere from six to eight weeks.

However, the rate of your hair growth – as well as a number of other factors listed below – will also affect how long permanent hair dye will last.

As your strands grow, the color will inevitably grow out too. This is when you may need a root touch-up or re-color.

Permanent hair dye is designed to be… well, permanent. It colors your hair from the inside out, making it look more natural, shiny, and healthy.

Will Permanent Hair Dye Start Fading?

Will Permanent Hair Dye Start Fading

Permanent hair dye will start fading. If you care for dyed hair, this can be after six weeks – but if you don’t look after your tresses, this fading can start earlier.

Permanent hair dyes tend to be water-soluble.

What that means is that whenever you wash your hair, your strands become saturated with that water, and some of the colors will bleed away.

Frequently washing your hair will therefore encourage faster fading.

Red permanent hair dye is one of the quickest colors to fade, so it may require more frequent touch-ups.

How Long Does Permanent Hair Color Last?

If you take care of your newly colored hair, then permanent hair dye can last from six to eight weeks – but it could even be up to ten.

You just have to prioritize your haircare in order to maximize the dye’s longevity.

What Usually Makes Hair Dye Fade?

woman at salon

There are a number of factors that will lead to permanent hair dye fading faster.

Frequent washing

Remember how we said above that most permanent hair dyes are water-soluble?

The more you wash your hair – including a shampoo-free rinse – the more likely you are to have a faded color.

Human hair is very absorbable, and over-washing your hair will result in premature color fade.

You can always use a dry shampoo between washes if your roots are looking a little oily.

Similarly, you may be a fan of super hot showers, but these are no good for colored hair.

The hot water opens your hair’s cuticle, which will encourage both the color and moisture to bleed out.

In order to ensure your permanent hair dye lasts as long as possible, you need to be taking cooler showers.

Chlorine and saltwater swimming

We’re sorry to say this, but if you’re a regular swimmer in either chlorine or saltwater, this will result in color fade.

Chlorine actually fades your dye pigmentation by up to 60%, stripping hair of its color.

It’s also really dehydrating for strands and is likely to promote dryness, frizz, and split ends.

Saltwater is less bad, but still not great.

If you are a keen swimmer and also dye your hair, you can help to reduce color fade by wearing a swim cap, which acts as a barrier.

Remember to regularly moisturize your locks, too.

Exposure to UV

Just as your skin needs protection from UV rays, so too does your hair.

The sun will lead to significant color fade, making your permanent hair dye last less long.

Using a haircare spray designed to protect your strands from UV rays can help to manage this source of environmental stress.

Overreliance on heated styling tools

Step away from your curling wand or flat iron. If you’re a devotee to permanently dyeing your hair, we’re sorry to say, but regularly using heating tools will increase your color fade.

Heat is just bad for hair, full stop, and over-using your heated styling tools will mean that your permanent hair dye doesn’t last as long.

It’s best to wait a week or so after getting your hair colored to use a heated styling tool, and you must always do so with a heat-protectant product.

How To Make Permanent Hair Dye Last Longer

woman getting hair colored

It’s not all doom and gloom – there are ways to make your permanent hair dye last longer:

1. Use The Right Products

You want to be using a shampoo and conditioner that’s designed to keep color looking vibrant for as long as possible.

Look for products designed to maintain permanent hair dye, and try to avoid those that contain chemicals like sulfates or parabens.

2. Use A Deep Conditioner

Under a microscope, healthy hair should look something like the tiles of a roof. Its layers should lie flat and smooth.

This is what gives hair a soft texture and shiny appearance. When hair is damaged or dry, these layers will lift, and that allows color to bleed out.

Color is more likely to fade from porous, dehydrated hair.

By maintaining the moisture levels of your hair, you can help your permanent hair dye to last longer.

Using a deep conditioner or hydrating mask every so often can help to do this.

However, remember not to go overboard. Deep conditioners work by penetrating the hair follicle (that’s how they inject hydration into your strands).

But this can also encourage the dye to leak out. It’s all about balance.

3. Avoid Over Washing Your Hair

Over-washing your hair is one of the main reasons for the color fade of permanent hair dye. So is washing your hair in really hot water.

Try to reduce the number of times you wash your dyed hair, and only use warm water.

Leave your hair for at least 24 hours after your salon visit. If you can wait 48 hours, even better.

Remember that dry shampoo is your friend.

4. Avoid Heating Tools And Use A Heat Protectant

As we describe above, you need to be reducing the amount you use heated styling tools and ensure you use a heat protectant before grabbing your curling wand or flat iron.

Heat also damages your hair, which, as we’ve suggested, will further encourage color fade.

5. Protection

If you’re a keen swimmer, wear a swim cap. If you’re a fan of the sun, remember your UV spray.

These are simple steps, but they can help to ensure your permanent hair dye lasts as long as possible.

6. Opt For An Oil-Based Hair Dye

There’s a reason that oil-based hair dyes are gaining popularity amongst hair dye devotees.

They help to deliver longer-lasting color and the dye doesn’t dissolve as quickly when you wash your hair.

Your permanent hair dye will last longer, and your hair will be more hydrated – which is really a win-win.

7. Eat The Right Food

You’ll likely already know how important diet is in ensuring your overall health.

But it can actually also have an impact on how long your permanent hair dye lasts, too.

Look for foods that are rich in proteins and iron.

These will stimulate hair growth and improve the overall health, look, and feel of your tresses by strengthening the keratin bonds.

 Foods like leafy greens, egg whites, fish, lean meat, walnuts, and soy are great.

Your vitamin A intake is also important in order to support hair health and structure – all of which are vital in ensuring that your permanent hair dye lasts as long as possible.

 Foods such as spinach, red peppers, sweet potatoes, and fish are all excellent sources of vitamin A.

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