Part of the fun of dyeing your hair is creating a custom shade. Stylists make it look easy, but if you don’t want to pay that much for a salon visit, you might feel tempted to mix your dye at home.
Before you get started, you’re probably wondering: can you mix permanent and semi-permanent hair color?
What Is Permanent Hair Color?
Permanent hair color uses ammonia or hydrogen peroxide to strip your natural pigment from your hair. It uses a developer to alter your hair color and add a new color to the strands. The chemicals open the hair cuticle and deposit dye so it’s added to the hair structure.
Since this dye changes the composition of your strands, permanent hair color doesn’t fade. This means you’ll have noticeable roots before too long. You can touch them up with root applications between full-dye jobs.
Just remember that peroxide is harsh on your hair, so you should use color-safe conditioners after dyeing your hair (Do not mix conditioner with permanent dye as it contains developer).
Some people want to add semi-permanent hair color to permanent to lessen the damage of the chemicals. Unfortunately, this isn’t what happens. Instead, the peroxide in the permanent dye dissolves the semi-permanent hair color. It will turn a different hue and not look right on your hair.
What Is Semi-Permanent Hair Color?
Semi-permanent hair color doesn’t use hydrogen peroxide. The color won’t last as long because your natural pigment wasn’t stripped. The color only coats your strands. But because there aren’t harsh chemicals in the dye, it’s safer for your hair and won’t dry it out.
Because many semi-permanent hair colors are vivid, you might want to soften the hue without mixing dyes. In that case, you can stir in some conditioner. This will make the color more pastel, and your hair will also feel nourished by the conditioner.
Many semi-permanent hair colors include conditioning elements and add shine to hair. It’s also a great way to give a new color a test run before you commit. An application of semi-permanent dye is likely to last anywhere from four to ten shampoos before fading.
Can You Mix Permanent and Semi-Permanent Hair Color?
No, you can’t mix permanent and semi-permanent hair color. Because permanent hair color uses peroxide as a developer and semi-permanent hair color doesn’t, the chemicals are incompatible.
You have to oxidize permanent hair color with peroxide for it to strip your hair color and dye a new color in one application.
Semi-permanent dye, on the other hand, goes on your hair as-is.
If you want a vibrant semi-permanent hair dye, you can bleach or lighten your hair with a permanent dye first. Make sure your hair is completely dyed and dried before you apply the semi-permanent dye.
If semi-permanent dye mixes with peroxide, the hue turns patchy and off-color. While you might find it time-consuming to take multiple steps when using semi-permanent hair color, you’ll get better results in the long run.
Keep in mind that it’s possible to mix hair dye to get your dream color. Just make sure that the dye types are the same. That means both dyes should be:
It also works best if the same brand makes both dyes. That way you know the ingredients are similar so the only thing you’ll be mixing is the color. Mixing colors and dyeing your hair at home isn’t hard if you know tricks from the stylists.