From Kylie Jenner, Emma Stone, Kim Kardashian, and even Cara Delavigne- these celebs seem to have a different color on their head every time they step out. Besides the rapid transformations, their hairs don't appear damaged at all. What's the secret? Temporary or semi-permanent hair dyes. The best semi-permanent hair color allows you to switch up your look in minutes without any major commitment. You could be bubble-gum pink this month and purple the next and then go back to your natural color as if nothing had happened.
Unlike permanent hair color, these bleach-free hair dyes only coat the outside of your hair strands, depositing temporary pigments that come out after 10 to 30 washes. This means they are less damaging to your hair because they don’t mess with the hair cuticle or cause any bond damage. The results last long enough for you to decide if you like the color but not so long if you hate it. In fact, some of them can come off after two washes, especially if you use a clarifying shampoo.
The best part about this dye though is that you can easily apply it at home on your own. The variety of semi-permanent hair colors come as shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, and sprays that you apply and have a different color in a matter of minutes.
With that out of the way, let’s check out the best semi-permanent hair color for every need.
1.L'Oreal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color- Best Overall
- A collection of beautiful trend shades ranging from light pastels to...
- Our semi-permanent hair color is created with pure dyes in a...
- Gentle, vegan formulas with no animal derived ingredients or...
- Try mixing and matching different shades to create the perfect rainbow...
- Semi-permanent hair color is the best way to experiment with different...
If your hair is blonde or bleached and you want to add some pop to it, this L'Oreal Paris Colorista is the best semi-permanent hair color for you. The formulation has a whopping 50 shades of bright and bold hues, from hot pinks to blue, purple, and greens. It is created in a conditioning hair mask, making it easy and quick to apply.
The L'Oreal Paris Colorista temporary Hair Color is ammonia-free, extremely gentle, and quite affordable. If you like to experiment with more hues, this formula has a clear mixer that allows you to mix different shades and create something magical just for you. The color lasts anywhere between 4 to 12 shampoos, so you have to do touch-ups if you want it to last longer.
2. Lime Crime Unicorn Semi-Permanent Hair Color Full Coverage- Best for Bold Colors
- Semi-Permanent Fantasy Hair Color; Unicorn Hair Dye in Aesthetic...
- Ultra-Conditioning Formula Softens Hair; Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Dye...
- DIY-Friendly, Damage-Free Formula; This gentle, deposit-only dye won't...
- The Color You Crave; Unicorn Hair is a semi-permanent hair color...
- Cruelty-Free Ingredients; Lime Crime products are PETA verified vegan...
If you want to fully transform your blonde or pre-bleached hair into a bold, intense shade, this Lime Crime Unicorn Hair temporary hair color is your best bet. The fantasy dye has an array of 19 rainbow-inspired shades that give you full coverage and transform your mane into a magical shade of mauve. It also deep-conditions your hair while depositing color, leaving it silky soft, strong, and smelling delicious.
The dye is a gentle, damage-free formula with no ammonia, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide. It's DIY-friendly and quite safe to use at home because there is no mixing or developers required. Since these are very bold colors, it helps to do a small patch test just to make sure that's the color you want.
3. Keracolor Clenditioner Hair Dye- Easiest Application
- Color Plus
- Light Pink
The reason people go to the salon for color treatment is the fear of messing up. With this Keracolor Clenditioner Hair Dye, there is not a chance that you will mess up. Once you shampoo clean your hair, you simply apply this clenditioner the same way you do your regular conditioner. Let it sit for 35 minutes or so, and then rinse. It's that simple.
With this dye, you get up to 13 shades of natural and vibrant colors that will last 10 to 15 shampoos. The lighter your hair is, the more bold the colors will turn out, so you may want to do a few applications if your hair is dark. The Keracolor clenditioner is keratin based to promote strength, shine, and softness to your hair, even as it adds stunning hues and vibrancy between salon visits.
The company’s motto is 'do no harm', so their product is sulfate and paraben-free to ensure your hair doesn’t dry out.
4. Maria Nila Colour Refresh- Best Vegan
- Non Permanent Colour
- Colour Guard Complex
- Softening Argan Oil
- Sulphate & Paraben Free
- 100% Vegan Ingredients
Coloring your hair doesn't mean you have to pump it with chemicals. This vegan, cruelty-free Swedish brand has 15 shades of color ranging from bright to more natural options. The gentle hair masque allows you to choose the intensity of the hair color depending on how long you leave it on your hair before rinsing out. The color washes out completely after 4 to 10 washes, and you can go back to your natural color.
The result of your application will largely depend on the color of your hair and how porous it is. What’s more, you can mix different shades to get that perfect nuance or use the white mix to dilute your preferred color. Besides changing your hair color, it also conditions and leaves your hair soft and shiny.
5. Shrine Drop It Hair Colourant- Best Customizable Color
- SIMPLY ADD DROPS FOR THE PERFECT COLOR: Unleash your inner artist,...
- SPECTRUM OF COLOR AVAILABLE IN ONE BOTTLE: With just one bottle of...
- MIX COLOR DROPS FOR ULTIMATE CUSTOMIZATION: Just by adding a few drops...
- SEMI-PERMANENT HAIR DYE, DELIVERS GORGEOUS RESULTS: Do you want to...
- VEGAN, CRUELTY FREE & PLASTIC REDUCING: Our products are cruelty free...
Sometimes you want to custom-create your hair color from scratch because the ones you get don’t look exactly how you want. This Shrine Drop It Hair Colourant is a multi-use temporary hair dye that comes in a small bottle with 200 drops. With this bottle, you can create up to 30 head colors or more, depending on how many drops you use.
To use the dye, simply add a few drops to your regular conditioner and apply on your hair. You can start with 2 drops and keep adding until you get the color intensity you want. According to customers, the color lasts longer the darker you mix it, and it will fade after about 6 to 8 weeks.
Shrine Drop It Hair Colourant comes in a wide range of colors, and it is vegan, and it's vegan-friendly.
6. Clairol Natural Instincts Semi-Permanent- 4 Dark Brown
- Get a rush color and a boost of shine for radiant, healthy looking...
- Our most gentle color to the hair, with 80percentage naturally derived...
- Perfect for all hair types and textures
Many temporary hair colors are formulated to work best with bleached or light blonde hairs. It’s refreshing to find a semi-permanent color that works on medium, dark and deep brown hair. The Clairol Natural Instincts for dark brown enhances your natural color with demi-permanent hair color that lasts up to 28 washes. The formula is 80% naturally derived ingredients and is loaded with coconut oil and Aloe Vera for healthy-looking and radiant hair.
The conditioner is available in 38 natural-looking shades, so you won't have trouble finding the perfect hue for black, brunette, and red hairs. It is vegan, ammonia, and paraben-free and suitable for all hair types thanks to its no-drip creamy formula.
7. Manic Panic Hair Dye Classic- Most Colors
- Purple Haze Hair Dye Color; A Warm Very Dark Purple Hair Dye That...
- Mixable Colors And Tones; Manic Panic Hair Colors Are Safe To Mix To...
- Semi Permanent Hair Dye; Formula Gradually Fades In Four To Six Weeks...
- Cruelty Free And Vegan Formula; This Color Cream Hair Dye Features...
- For Best Results; Vibrant Color Results Are Best Achieved By Applying...
Manic Panic is a pioneer of vegan and cruelty-free products, and this classic semi-permanent hair dye is no exception. Their high-voltage hair colors, as they call them, come in 44 shades that are free of parabens, ammonia and gluten. The formulation is creamy, easy to apply and it's fortified with conditioners that add moisture to your hair, leaving it soft and strong.
For best results, you should lighten the hair a bit though it will still work on your natural hair color. The color lasts 4 to 6 weeks if you wash regularly, and it does not dry or damage the hair at all. As a precaution, wash it on the sink instead of taking a shower because the color will get on everything. It’s also important to use sulfate-free shampoos to clean the hair if you want to stay longer.
8. Softsheen-Carson Dark and Lovely Color-Gloss Ultra Radiant Color Crème- Best for Black Hair
- CONDITIONING HAIR COLOR: This shine-infusing, deeply conditioning hair...
- LUSTROUS COLOR & SHINE: This conditioning color delivers lustrous,...
- VIBRANT & CONDITIONING HAIR COLOR: We make an array of hair color...
- UNIQUE LOOKS: We help people of color celebrate unique looks & styles...
- SOFTSHEEN-CARSON: For over 110 years we have provided beauty to all...
The Softsheen-Carson Dark and Lovely range of semi-permanent hair colors were developed for black women and women who would like to add some shine and color to their lackluster natural colored hair. It comes in 6 shades of brown and black that intensify your natural color and make it look brilliant.
What makes this formulation better, though, is that it is loaded with tons of natural nourishing agents like coconut oil, argan oil, olive oil, shea butter, and pomegranate oil that condition and strengthen your hair. This is undoubtedly the best semi-permanent hair color for dark hair, especially because you don't need to lighten your strands for it to work.
The conditioning color delivers a touchable softness and covers grey tones up to 100%. The shine-infusing hair color rejuvenates every strand, and it has no ammonia, peroxide, or parabens that can harm your hair.
9. dpHue Gloss+ Semi-Permanent Hair Color and Deep Conditioner
- Color boost with crazy healthy shine
- Works on natural or color treated hair
- Deep conditioning treatment
- Semi-permanent results
- Can be used as often as desired without any damage to hair
If you are looking for a subtle, more natural effect as opposed to a dramatic color change, this dpHue Gloss temporary hair color and Deep Conditioner will do just that. It is a deep conditioning base that’s intended to enhance and deepen your natural hair color and cover grays effectively. If you have color-treated hair that’s fading and losing its shine, this conditioner will revitalize and boost it back to life.
The gloss semi-permanent hair dye comes in 11 shades that can also be mixed to create your ideal gloss. This formulation is infused with hydrating ingredients that leave your hair soft, nourished, and illuminated, and it is easy to use. The dye has no peroxide or ammonia, so it's safe to use as often as you like because it won't damage or dry out your hair.
10. John Frieda Defy Grey Blending Blow Dry Foam- Best for Grey Hair
if you are sprouting some grey hairs and haven't decided if you want to cover them or show them off, this John Frieda Defy Grey Blending Blow Dry Foam will hold you up in the meantime. The foam expertly deposits natural-looking color to the hair, blending in the greys, so they are not noticeable anymore. This works because the foam reacts to heat and transforms the greys into a multi-dimensional brunette.
To activate the dye, you apply it all over your hair after a thorough wash and then blow dry it on high heat. You should use it after every wash until you get the desired result. Besides adding natural color and shine, the foam also leaves your hair soft and strong.
What to Look for in a Semi-Permanent Hair Color
When buying a temporary hair color, there are 3 main things you must consider;
The primary advantage temporary hair dyes have over permanent hair color is less to no damage on hair. The elements that damage your hair are ammonia and hydrogen peroxide because they lift the cuticle covering your hair and leave it vulnerable to dryness and breakage. Make sure your temporary dye contains none of those chemicals, and if possible, it should have no sulfates or parabens.
Unless you want a hair dye that will last a few days, the color should remain at least 4 to 8 weeks with regular washes. Any dye that comes off after only a few washes is a big waste of money.
3. Nourishing ingredients
The best semi-permanent hair color doesn’t just deposit color to your hair; it also conditions, softens, and nourishes it. Look for dyes with nourishing and hydrating ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, Aloe Vera, and argan oil to strengthen and condition the hair.
Even with the best semi-permanent hair color, you must take every precaution to ensure your hair is well maintained. Regularly deep conditioning and moisturizing the hair is still crucial, and you must try to avoid direct sunlight as this affects how the color looks. Last but not least, always do a strand test before application to ensure that it is the color you want before you go full head with it.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Semi-Permanent Hair Color
1. How do you make temporary hair dye last longer?
Semi-permanent hair dyes are not formulated to stay long on your hair, so they will start to fade away in weeks. If you want to prolong that period, you have to shampoo your hair less frequently and use color-safe shampoos and conditioners. A good rule is washing your hair once or twice a week instead of every day. It's also vital to stay three or four days after applying the day without washing your hair so the color can set.
2. How do you remove temporary hair color?
If you apply a temporary die and you don’t like the color, you have the option of removing it and going back to the original color. All you have to do is wash the hair with a clarifying shampoo several times, and the dye will come out.