Can You Use Semi Permanent Hair Color Over Permanent?

by  Mila M.Cosmetologist

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Are you looking to change up your hair color without committing long-term? You’re not alone, as many of us ponder whether we can apply semi-permanent dye over our permanent color. This article will guide you through understanding how different types of hair dyes interact and the possible outcomes.

Keep reading to unlock all the tips and tricks for your next perfect coloring experiment at home!

Key Takeaways

  • Factors to consider when applying semi – permanent hair color over permanent dye include the brand and type of dye used, desired results, hair condition, and potential issues that may arise.
  • Risks of using semi – permanent color over permanent dye include unpredictable or unsatisfactory results, uneven or patchy appearance as the temporary pigment fades differently than the underlying permanent dye.
  • Safely bleach permanently dyed hair by conducting a strand test, deep conditioning beforehand, protecting your scalp, sectioning your hair, following instructions carefully, avoiding overlapping previously bleached areas, rinsing thoroughly and deep conditioning again after bleaching.

Can You Apply Semi-Permanent Hair Color over Permanent Dye?

When considering applying semi-permanent hair color over permanent dye, there are factors to consider and potential risks that you should be aware of.

Factors to consider

Switching from permanent to semi-permanent hair color involves some necessary considerations.

  1. Identify the brand and type of dye used for both the original coloring and the layers you wish to add; some combinations of products work better together than others.
  2. Confirm if your semi – permanent dye does not need a developer. Dyes like Jazzing, Beautiful Collection, Adore, or Color Showers are good choices when applying over permanent dye.
  3. Consider your desired results and find a semi – permanent hair color that matches your expectations; not all colors cover similarly.
  4. Check on your current hair condition since damaged, overly processed hair can react unpredictably to further chemical treatments.
  5. Learn about the potential issues switching from permanent to semi-permanent can cause – unexpected colors or uneven application are risks you take in altering hair chemistry.
  6. Consult with a professional hairstylist to get their expert advice when shifting between different types of dyes.
  7. Understand that temporary hair color increases hair volume by expanding strands, an aspect that significantly changes your look and feel in unexpected ways.
  8. Study previous dye applications on your hair; repeated use may alter how any future applications will respond.
  9. Ensure you follow all instructions provided on product packaging to maximize effect and minimize risk when using semi-permanent color over permanent dye.

Risks and potential issues

Using semi-permanent hair color over permanent dye or henna treatment can come with some risks and potential issues. Firstly, the outcome may not always be predictable or satisfactory.

Factors like hair condition, previous dye applications, and the specific products used can affect the results. Additionally, certain brands of semi-permanent dye may not work well on top of permanent color.

It is important to note that temporary hair color is meant to gradually fade and wash out, whereas permanent dyes create a long-lasting coating on the hair strands. This means that using semi-permanent dye over permanent color may result in an uneven or patchy appearance as the temporary pigment fades differently than the underlying permanent dye.

How to Safely Bleach Permanently Dyed Hair

To safely bleach permanently dyed hair, take necessary precautions and follow recommended techniques to minimize damage and achieve desired results.

Necessary precautions

To safely bleach permanently dyed hair before applying semi-permanent hair color, consider the following precautions:

  1. Conduct a strand test: Before applying any bleach or dye to your entire head of hair, perform a strand test to assess how your hair will react and determine the processing time needed.
  2. Deep condition beforehand: Prior to bleaching, deep condition your hair to strengthen and moisturize it, reducing potential damage from the harsh chemicals.
  3. Protect your scalp: Apply a protective barrier like petroleum jelly along your hairline and on sensitive areas of your scalp to prevent irritation or burns.
  4. Section your hair: Divide your hair into manageable sections using clips or hair ties to ensure even application of bleach and avoid overlapping or missing spots.
  5. Follow instructions carefully: Read and follow the instructions provided with the bleaching kit, including recommended mixing ratios, processing times, and rinsing procedures.
  6. Avoid overlapping previously bleached areas: If you have already bleached certain sections of your hair, be cautious not to apply bleach over these areas again as it can cause excessive damage.
  7. Rinse thoroughly: After the recommended processing time, rinse out the bleach thoroughly with cool water until the water runs clear to remove any residual chemicals from your hair.
  8. Deep condition again after bleaching: To restore moisture and nourishment after bleaching, use a deep conditioning treatment specifically formulated for chemically treated or damaged hair.

To safely apply semi-permanent hair color over permanent dye, follow these recommended techniques:

  1. Start with clean, dry hair to ensure optimal color absorption.
  2. Conduct a strand test to determine the desired processing time and final color result.
  3. Apply a protective barrier cream or petroleum jelly along the hairline and on the ears to prevent staining of the skin.
  4. Section your hair and clip away the sections you are not working on to make the application process easier.
  5. Use a tint brush or gloved hands to evenly distribute the semi – permanent dye from root to tip, making sure all strands are coated.
  6. Allow the dye to process according to the instructions provided with the product or as determined during your strand test.
  7. Rinse out the dye thoroughly using cool water until the water runs clear.
  8. Apply a deep conditioner or hair mask to nourish and moisturize your hair after coloring.
  9. Avoid shampooing for at least 24-48 hours after applying semi-permanent dye to help prolong its longevity.
  10. To maintain vibrant color, use color – safe shampoo and conditioner formulated for colored hair.

Using Semi-Permanent Hair Color over Henna

When considering using semi-permanent hair color over henna, there are potential challenges to be aware of due to the strong coating henna provides.

Potential challenges

Using semi-permanent hair color over permanent dye can present some potential challenges. One challenge is that the final result may not match your desired color since semi-permanent dye cannot lighten or significantly darken hair.

Additionally, if you have previously colored your hair with a dark permanent dye, applying a lighter shade of semi-permanent color may not show up well.

Another challenge is that the outcome can vary depending on factors such as the condition of your hair and previous dye applications. If your hair is damaged or porous from repeated coloring, it may absorb more pigment from the semi-permanent dye and result in a darker shade than anticipated.

Waiting period and alternatives

After applying permanent hair dye, it is important to wait for a certain period of time before using semi-permanent hair color. This waiting period allows the hair cuticles to close and helps achieve better results. If you don’t want to wait, there are a few alternatives you can consider:

  1. Deep conditioning treatment: Instead of using semi-permanent color immediately after permanent dye, opt for a deep conditioning treatment. This will help nourish and repair your hair, making it ready for the next coloring session.
  2. Hair masks and treatments: Use hair masks or treatments specifically designed to protect and enhance color-treated hair. These products can help maintain the vibrancy of your permanent dye while providing temporary color variations.
  3. Temporary sprays or rinses: If you want a quick change without committing to semi-permanent color, try temporary sprays or rinses. These products offer temporary color that can be easily washed out, allowing you to experiment with different shades without long-term commitment.

Tips and Advice for Coloring Pre-Lightened Hair at Home

For the best results, always follow the instructions provided with your hair dye kit and perform a patch test before applying color to your entire head.

Best practices

To ensure the best results when using semi-permanent hair color over permanent dye, follow these best practices:

  1. Conduct a strand test: Before applying the semi-permanent dye all over your hair, perform a strand test to see how the color will turn out. This will help you determine if the desired shade can be achieved and if any adjustments need to be made.
  2. Choose the right shade: Select a semi-permanent hair color that closely matches your current permanent dye or natural hair color. This will help achieve a more seamless blend and prevent any noticeable patches or inconsistencies.
  3. Prepare your hair properly: Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo to remove any buildup or residue that may interfere with the color absorption. Also, make sure your hair is completely dry before applying the semi-permanent dye.
  4. Apply evenly: Section your hair into manageable portions and apply the semi-permanent dye evenly from roots to ends. Use a wide-toothed comb or applicator brush for even distribution.
  5. Follow instructions carefully: Read and follow the instructions provided with the semi-permanent hair color product. These instructions will provide specific guidance on application time, processing time, and any necessary additional steps.
  6. Rinse thoroughly: After allowing the recommended processing time, rinse your hair thoroughly until the water runs clear to remove any excess dye. Follow up with a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to maintain vibrant color.
  7. Practice proper aftercare: To extend the longevity of your semi-permanent hair color, avoid excessive heat styling, sun exposure, chlorinated water, and harsh shampoos. Opt for sulfate-free and color-safe products designed specifically for colored hair to keep it looking fresh for longer.

When it comes to choosing the right semi-permanent hair color to use over permanent hair dye, it’s essential to opt for reputable and effective brands. Here are a few options that are generally well-reviewed and widely recommended:

Product NameBrandFeatures
JazzingClairolOffers bold and vibrant colors, does not require a developer
Beautiful CollectionClairolMoisturizing color with a gentle, no ammonia formula
AdoreAdoreRich in natural nutrients, provides gentle and lasting color
Color ShowersRenbowPerfect for enhancing color, adding depth and dimension

Each of these products has its strengths and unique features. They are all semi-permanent dyes that do not require a developer, making them safe to use over permanent hair color. However, results may vary depending on your specific hair type and condition, so always do a strand test first.


In conclusion, using semi-permanent hair color over permanent dye is possible in many cases. However, it’s important to consider the specific brand and type of dye being used, as well as any potential limitations or issues that may arise.

It’s always recommended to consult with a professional hairstylist or read the instructions provided with the dye products for best results.


1. Can you use semi permanent hair color over permanent dye?

Yes, you can use semi-permanent hair color over a permanent one. It may allow for natural color to return gradually and provides options for dyeing hair with different coloring methods.

2. What happens when I apply semi-permanent color on previously dyed hair?

Applying semipermanent color on previously dyed hair helps in transitioning from permanent to semipermanent hair color, corrects any mistakes made with a permanent dye, and maintains existing color as the new one fades gradually.

3. Can semipermanent dye be layered over permanent color?

Absolutely! Layering semipermanent dye over permanent color is a popular method of maintaining the vibrancy of your chosen hue or blending different shades together.

4. Is it possible to mix temporary and permanent hair colors?

While many people experiment with mixing temporary and semi-permanent dyes over their permanently colored strands, consulting professionals remains key because these are two different types of treatments involving varying techniques.

5. How does demi-permanent dye work compared to semi-permanent ones on colored hairs?

Both demipermanent and semipermanent dyes can be applied on permanently colored hairs for similar results like tonal shifts or correcting hues but the latter typically has more staying power providing longer lasting effects till complete fading off.

Can You Use Semi Permanent Hair Color Over Permanent?
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Mila, the veteran beauty cosmetics professional and author of this article, while cutting and styling the hair of her client

Hi! I’m Mila M. I share my 44 year-experience as a Cosmetologist & Beauty Professional in this blog. This content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Consult your trusted Beauty Professional for your personal beauty needs.

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