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Whether you want to cover up a few strands of gray or just want to update your look, coloring your hair is a quick fix for a fabulous 'do. But the type of color you choose can make a difference in the health of your hair and how often you have to go back to the salon or drugstore. If it's a natural look you're after that won't wash out quickly, then a demi-permanent dye is a great choice for your treasured tresses.
Semi-permament color only last a few washes, while permament dyes can last for months. Demi-permanent dyes are a type of permanent hair color, but they use an alkaline ingredient other than ammonia that is found in permanent formulas. Fashion industry hair color expert Stacey Jones notes that demi-permanent color combines the best of both dye worlds and is a versatile hair color solution that is "easy to use, long lasting, non-damaging and delivers beautiful results." Plus, many demi-permanent hair color lines offer a colorless formula that can add brilliant, clear shine to natural or color-treated hair. The only downside to a demi-permanent dye is it can't be used to lighten hair.
L'Oreal Color Gems
L'Oreal has been in the business of hair coloring since 1907 and is one of the leading names in home hair coloring products. L'Oreal's Color Gems Creme Demi Permanent Haircolor is made using a balance of smoothing polymers for added conditioning and an even color distribution, plus several shine-enhancing ingredients. The line offers 17 shades from clear diamond gloss for no color shine to deep blue-black.
Clairol Creme Demi Permanente
Clairol was the first company to offer one-step home hair coloring in the 1950s, and is still one of the leading names in home hair dye products. Clairol's crème demi permanente hair color uses an exclusive Soy4Plex formula said to boost shine up to 60 percent and gentle enough to use right after using a hair relaxer. The dye comes in 18 intermixable shades that can be combined to create 46 tonally complementary shades. The product works best using a bowl-and-brush application technique in conjunction with Clairol Professional demi-permanente developer.
Ion Color Brilliance is the only hair color the company makes, although it offers both liquid and cream formulas. Ion Color Brilliance formulates its demi-permanent color with botanicals to nourish, moisturize and protect hair from damage. Ion comes in 32 shades plus clear, making it easy to find a color that's right for you. You'll need to mix the dye with Ion's Sensitive Scalp Crème Developer, and the process takes 10 to 40 minutes at room temperature and 10 to 15 minutes using heat from a dryer.
N Rage is demi-permanent dye for the wild girl lurking inside you. Colors range from cobalt blue to bubble gum pink to twisted teal and purple plum. The product should last three to six weeks, but it will be more intense and last longer if it's applied over bleached hair. Plus N Rage dyes are inexpensive and use a one-step process that only takes 15 minutes and doesn't require heat.
Wella has been tending to hair ever since it started making products for wigs in the 1800s. Fast forward to the 2003 when the company was bought by Procter and Gamble and now focuses mainly on shampoos and conditioners, with a line of hair color that includes the demi-permanent Color Touch. KC Ellis, a Vidal Sassoon-trained color correction specialist who has worked in the fashion industry, used the product in photo shoots and recommends it for the way it enriches hair with vibrant color and brilliant shine. The 18 shades are easy to match to your existing color, and the process is simple enough to make it a good choice if you're coloring your hair for the first time.