A discussion on semi-permanent hair dye colors

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Semi-permanent Coloring
Semi-permanent coloring is an artificial hair coloring procedure. Semi-permanent hair dye colors add color to the hair without affecting the natural melanin present in the fiber. They work best for those who want a moderate change in color intensity.

Semi-permanent coloring dyes are mostly synthetic chemicals. They are composed of low-molecular weight like coal tar dyes and para dyes. Para dyes contain elements like diamines, aminophenols, and phenols. The low molecular weight of these hair dye colors allows them to diffuse freely in and out of the hair cortex which gives a more lasting effect than that of temporary dyes. Despite their penetration into the cortex, these dyes are minimally damaging to the hair shaft when compared to permanent dyes.

Forms and ways of usage
Semi-permanent hair dye colors are usually available as gels, lotions and mousses. Even synthetic henna falls under the semi-permanent coloring category. Different agents such as solvents, surfactants, thickeners, and alkalizing agents are added while formulating semi-permanent dyes.

These dyes are applied on wet, shampooed hair and usually left on for 10 to 40 minutes before being rinsed off. It has been observed that among all semi-permanent colors available, red dyes are the quickest to leak out the color from the hair. This makes red semi-permanent dyed hair look drab after just a few washes.

Benefits of the Semi-permanent coloring method
Semipermanent hair dye colors are best to cover gray hair, add highlights to already colored hair, or get rid hair of unwanted color tones. The application of hair coloring with semi-permanent color tones helps to darken the light natural color of hair. This application of different color tones can be done consecutively for three times without causing any damaging appearance in the hair quality.

Individuals with totally gray hair can also use these hair dye colors and get satisfactory results. While applying on gray hair it is suggested to use a slightly lighter color than the natural hair color. The other important benefit of semi-permanent dyes is that they do not require bleaches and are therefore safer to use than permanent hair dyes.

Effects of hair coloring with semi-permanent colors
The effect of semi-permanent colors are somewhat unpredictable on chemically treated hair like permed, straightened or waved hair. But experts are of the opinion that application of semi-permanent dyes on chemically treated hair may display prolonged effects.

Hair coloring with semi-permanent colors are the best way to get rid of gray hair or to give your hair a new look. As the name implies, it can create a long lasting effect even after repeated washes with hair loss shampoo, but is not strong enough to affect the hair shaft structure.

Chantal Bolduc, Jerry Shapiro, “Hair Care Products: Waving, Straightening, Conditioning, and Coloring”, 2001, Clinics in Dermatology;19:431–436
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