Semi-permanent color is one way to try out a new hue on your locks without fully committing to it. If you're just not quite sure about the color change, semi-perm might be the way to go. But you need to educate yourself on hair color choice and this type of hair dye before you make the final decision. It might not provide you with what you're looking for.
Before you make any kind of hair color choice, or dye choice for that matter, you should know your skin's undertone. Just take a gander at the underside of your wrist. Do your veins look blue or green? If they're blue, you need to pick cool colors for your skin type. If you're a green-veined doll then you need to pick warm colors. It's that simple. Don't go against your skin tone when it comes to a new color and you're likely to enjoy the result.
Pluses and Minuses
The obvious advantage to semi-permanent color is that it's temporary. Some colors go away after a single wash; others take 30 washes. Read the box to know for sure. Another plus is that they're not generally damaging to your hair. It's one way to add some shine and a glossy appearance to your locks because they can help to close the cuticles up and lock in moisture. The downside is that semi-perms do nothing for gray locks. If that's what you want to cover, you'll have to go with permanent dye. Probably the biggest downside is that semi-permanent colors do not lighten your hair. They can only darken or add a pop of color to what you've already got going on. If you want to go lighter, you'll have to use a different method.
Cool hair colors are also called ash tones. When it comes to semi-permanent dyes, you're going to be looking in the black, dirty brown and dirty blond (if you have light tresses already) families. Medium, rich-colored, chocolate brown is also a cool tone. One way to know for sure is to pick a color that lacks any hint of red or gold in it.
If you're a brunette who's thinking about auburn, but isn't quite sure about making the leap, then semi-permanent dyes can be just the thing for you. Granted, auburn is going to work best on a warm-toned lady. In fact, any kind of golden brown, blond or red color is best left to those possessing green-looking veins in their arms. Buzz words such as caramel and honey indicate a warm tone in hair colors.
Apart from colors on the natural hair spectrum there's a wide variety of funky, unexpected colors available in the semi-permanent market. Go wild, if it's in you. Feel free to add a stripe of blue or pink to your locks. Just be aware that those rainbow colors will be less noticeable on dark hair than they are on blond.