Differences Between Semi-permanent And Demi-permanent Color

There are lots of differences between semi and demi-permanent colors. The major difference is demi has a peroxide-based developer while semi-permanent does not have any developer. That’s why semi will only be helpful to coat the hair shaft.

Major differences are listed below:

        Semi-permanent color

        Demi-permanent color

It does not contain any developer

It contains peroxide developer

It can cover gray

It provides more coverage

It will last for about 12 washes

It will last for almost 12 to 24 washes

It will change tonal slightly

It will bring more change

It just coats the hair

It will penetrate deep into the hair

Safe to use

Rough to the cuticles


On the other hand, the peroxide present in demi will help to slightly open the shaft cuticles this will allow the color to penetrate. So that’s the reason semi-permanent last for less time and demi-permanent last for more time. Let say semi will last for 12 washes and demi for in between 12 to 24. 

Hair comparison

Semi doesn’t have any developer so they are basically used to change the tone of your color. In simple words, it will act like a blur effect. Demi will only change the color slightly. It does have the power to totally change the color. It will just totally darken the color. Both of these types have the potential to cover gray. It will depend on the coverage you are going for. If you want subtle gray coverage, then semi is best for you because this coverage will fade quickly and effective for those who have minimal gray. If you want more opaque color then select demi. 

As far as safety is concern semi is safe to use because it does not contain any developer. Demi will also not cause serious damage because it contains a peroxide developer so it will rough the cuticles. Using both you will want less pace of fading. The best solution for this is less shampooing or using a moisturizing shampoo will do the job very nicely. Don’t expose your hair to the sun too much it will fasten the pace of fading. 

What is semi-permanent hair color and how it works?

It is a temporary hair color that will stain the hair only for 12 washes. It does not contain any developer like the demi-permanent. You will just have to do shampoo before applying it. Semi-permanent is not just used for coloring the hair, but it will also enhance the tone of your hair. Mind that it will show darker on your hair as compared to the color on the bottle. There is a solution to this problem. It is better to buy one shade lighter color that will do very nicely for you. 

Semi-Permanent color is ideal for those who want temporary hair color change. It fades almost 5X faster than demi. So if you want a bright color on the weekend tries this one out. If you want to remove this color faster you can try a clarifying shampoo or few drops of tea tree oil will remove the color quickly from your hair. 

What is a demi-permanent hair color and how it works?

It is an ammonia-free color and contains a little amount of developer. It washes out 12-24 shampoos. Apply it to dry hair. It will penetrate deep into strands of hair. It will lighten the color. It will not last much longer like the other temporary color options. It is perfect for those who want to add a temporary color change. It is ideal for those who want to change the shade of their current color. It is perfect for those who have only less than 25% gray. It will not allow the color to go to roots and change the color. 

Both options are safe. They will not cause any serious damage as the permanent color does. Both of these colors will provide healthy hair. They are the best alternative for dyeing the hair. They can also be used for the conditioning of hair. If you want to grow your hair without any damage both the options can be used. 


If you want a long-lasting color change then go for demi-permanent hair color. It will stay for a longer period of time. If you want to change the shade just for a party or any other event then try to use semi-permanent hair color as you will be able to remove the color after few washes. Many people don’t know the difference between them. As such, there are not too many differences. Semi-permanent will provide shine to your hair. 

When you are interested in dyeing your hair, there will be lots of questions that will come in your mind. The first one is what type of hair dye you should use? Remember all the dyes are not created equal and will not do the same job. So the choice you make will be the color of your hair. It is also up to you. You want to dye color for a long time or a shorter time? Be clear while selecting dye. There are permanent and semi-permanent dyes available in the market. 

If you are not looking for a drastic change it is better to go for semi-permanent color. In semi-permanent, there is no ammonia and no developer like peroxide so it will penetrate deep into your hair. The color will only coat the hair or stains. So that’s why it is referred to as a “Wash”. It will be washed out after 6 to 12 shampoos. 

The demi-permanent color is used for long-lasting color. It does not contain ammonia but there is some quantity of peroxide developer that will open up the cuticles so that color can absorb in. It will do a nice job in darkening the color than a semi-permanent color. This color will fade after almost 12-24 washes. There are some precautions. If you are under the sun both the colors will fade away at a rapid pace.

Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form
Sky Hoon
Hair Lover, Idea Starter. He started HairQueenie, which is ranked #27 in the FeedSpot Top 40 Hair Care Blogs and mentions in ManeAddicts and Tempest. Hair is not everything but something. He started Hairqueenie to share great hair products. Over time, he found there are more value to share answers to hair problems that cannot be found easily.
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