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If you are looking to add a little style to your look, dying your hair is undoubtedly one way to go. It not only gives you a bold new look, but it can also make you look a little younger, especially if you are aiming at turning up your youthful side. 

There are usually two ways to go, and they are the semi-permanent and the permanent hair dye. Whichever option you choose will depend on the outcome you desire. If you want to know more before making a choice, here’s a short guide on both hair dyes, so you can know which option is best for your hair.

dark hair being styled at the hairdressers

The hair structure and the science behind dying the hair.

A little science won’t hurt if you really want to understand the difference between semi-permanent and permanent hair dyes. The human hair strand is made up of three layers. These are the core, also known as the medulla, the cortex, which contains the hair’s natural pigment, and the hair’s outermost layer, known as the cuticle. 

Now, the extent to which a colouring agent can open up the outer layer of the hair strands determines how long the deposited colour will last. Similarly, the lesser cuticle opening or no opening at all, the lesser the dying action.

Permanent hair dye.

Permanent hair dyes are also known as chemically-acting dyes because the process of depositing the colour on the shaft of the hair involves an oxidation reaction. Oxidizers, hydrogen peroxide, and ammonia are usually mixed with the colour agent prior to the applying process. 

When you apply a permanent dye to your hair strands, the ammonia and hydrogen peroxide present in them make it possible to break open the cuticle or outer layer so that the colour can be deposited deep into the core.

So, does the effect last forever? Like a long-lasting perfume you can get from, the effect of permanent dyes doesn’t last forever as it fades over time. However, it lasts for a long and can be re-dyed whenever you are in the mood for a change of style.

Semi-permanent hair dye.

Also known as temporary hair dyes, semi-permanent hair dyes do not contain ammonia. Meaning, the dye can’t penetrate the hair strands to confer a long-lasting change. Semi-permanent hair dyes only wrap around the outer layer of the hair and can easily wash off after a few weeks. They are often used to boost natural hair colour and are not usually adopted by people that want a completely different and long-lasting hair colour.

Which is suitable for your hair.

Let’s face it, it’s a no-brainer that the long-lasting effect of permanent dyes is one of the reasons people that are in for a longer hair colour commitment opt for it. Furthermore, if you are looking to get rid of grey hairs, or go from brunette to blonde, a permanent hair dye is your best option as it can alter the original colour of your hair. 

On the other hand, semi-permanent might be your stop if you are not looking at a permanent or complete change of your natural hair colour. It’s ideal if you just want to boost your natural hair shine, perhaps, you feel the colour is a bit dull.

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