How Long Does Permanent Hair Dye Last?

If you have ever experimented with hair dye, you know that the vibrant and fresh color you achieve after a dyeing session does not last forever. But just how long does permanent hair dye last? The duration of your hair color’s longevity depends on several factors, like your hair type and texture, your hair care routine and environmental influences. 

In this post, we will delve into the influencing factors that determine the lifespan of permanent hair dye and provide you with practical tips to help make your color last longer. Understanding these factors and implementing the right strategies can help you maintain your desired hair color for as long as possible. Follow us!

How long does permanent hair dye last? The duration of your hair color's longevity depends on several factors (Source: L'Oreal Paris)
How long does permanent hair dye last? The duration of your hair color’s longevity depends on several factors (Source: L’Oreal Paris)

Understanding How Permanent Dye Works

Permanent hair dye does not just sit on the surface of your hair like paint; it gets absorbed into each strand. This absorption occurs when an activator, typically hydrogen peroxide found in hair dye developers, opens the hair cuticles.

Once the cuticles are opened, the pigment can penetrate and become sealed within the hair shaft for a significant period. This unique quality of permanent hair dye results in its long-lasting nature and natural-looking appearance, as the color comes from within the hair itself.

How Long Does Permanent Hair Dye Last in Your Hair?

Permanent hair color is known for its extended longevity compared to other types of hair dye. Typically, permanent hair dye can last around 4-8 weeks, setting it apart from alternative options.

Temporary hair dye, in contrast, does not adhere strongly to the hair and can be easily washed away. Similarly, semi-permanent and demi-permanent hair dyes provide a shorter duration of color retention, usually lasting only about 6-8 washes. This limited lifespan is due to the pigments coating the hair rather than deeply penetrating the strands.

Permanent hair color is known for its extended longevity compared to other types of hair dye. (Source: Formulate)
Permanent hair color is known for its extended longevity compared to other types of hair dye. (Source: Formulate)

How long does permanent hair dye last on bleached hair?

When you bleach your hair, it becomes more porous, which means it can hold onto color better. So, in general, permanent hair dye tends to stick around longer on bleached hair compared to hair that has not been bleached.

How long does permanent hair dye last on bleached hair? On average, you can expect the color from permanent hair dye on bleached hair to last about 6 to 8 weeks before it starts to fade or change.

But here’s the deal: the actual duration of the color on bleached hair can still be influenced by factors like how you take care of your hair, the quality of the dye you use, and even the shade of the hair dye. It also depends on the condition of your hair after bleaching.

Of course, if you want to keep the color looking fresh for longer, you can do regular touch-ups and take good care of your hair. That means using shampoos safe for colored hair and protecting your locks from the sun and chlorine. These simple steps can help extend the life of your hair dye on bleached hair.

When you bleach your hair, it becomes more porous, which means it can hold onto color better. (Source: Hair.com)
When you bleach your hair, it becomes more porous, which means it can hold onto color better. (Source: Hair)

How long does permanent hair dye last on grey hair?

Grey hair, being inherently more resistant to color absorption, can affect the longevity of permanent hair dye. On average, you can expect permanent hair dye on grey hair to last about 4 to 6 weeks before signs of fading or color change become noticeable. 

Individual results vary based on factors like the shade of the hair dye, the quality of the dye, and the initial condition of the grey hair. To prolong the lifespan of the color on grey hair, it is recommended to use hair care products specifically formulated for color-treated hair, minimize exposure to heat and sunlight, and consider regular touch-ups and maintenance.

Factors That Influence the Fading of Permanent Hair Dye

As mentioned, permanent hair color typically maintains its vibrancy for up to 8 weeks, keeping your hair looking as stunning as when you first left the salon. However, for certain individuals, the longevity of the color can be disappointingly short-lived, with changes or fading occurring within just a couple of weeks.

Why does this happen? Interestingly, even if you and a friend both use the same hair dye product, the duration that the color stays on your hair can differ due to numerous factors.

Permanent hair color typically maintains its vibrancy for up to 8 weeks. (Source: Real Simple)
Permanent hair color typically maintains its vibrancy for up to 8 weeks. (Source: Real Simple)

Now, let’s delve into these factors one by one.

Hair Condition

  • Porous Hair

Hair porosity presents how easily moisture can penetrate hair cuticles. When hair is porous, color tends to wash out more quickly. The loosely arranged cuticles allow the pigment to enter and exit the hair strand effortlessly. 

While all hair types have some porosity, textured hair (such as wavy, curly, or coily) and damaged hair tend to have higher porosity. If you have hair with higher porosity, your hair color fades faster.

  • Hydrated Hair

Well-hydrated and nourished hair can retain pigment better. Coloring is less damaging to healthy hair, allowing the cuticles to close and seal in the color more effectively.

  • Damage from Dyeing

If you notice that your hair feels frizzy and brittle after coloring, your hair has likely been damaged. Damaged hair often has raised cuticles, which results in the hair pigment easily washing off, leading to faster color fading.

If you have hair with higher porosity, your hair color fades faster. (Source: Everyday Health)
If you have hair with higher porosity, your hair color fades faster. (Source: Everyday Health)

Water Supply

Did you know the water you use in your shower can affect how long your hair color lasts?

Let’s talk about soft water and hard water. Normally, the water from your tap contains minerals like calcium and magnesium. Soft water has a lower concentration of these minerals, while hard water has a higher amount.

The minerals in your shower water can build up on your hair and scalp. This can cause your hair color to change, become dull, or even fade faster than expected.

If you have hard water at home, there is a simple solution. You can soften it by using a shower filter. This filter helps remove some of the minerals from the water, reducing their impact on your hair color and keeping it looking vibrant for longer.

Soft water has a lower concentration of these minerals, while hard water has a higher amount. (Source: Naturally Curly)
Soft water has a lower concentration of these minerals, while hard water has a higher amount. (Source: Naturally Curly)

The Previous Color

Whether your hair is in its natural state or already dyed, the previous color of your hair can have an impact when you decide to dye it again.

If you have dark-colored hair and choose a hair dye with a lighter shade, the color is not absorbed well and could fade more quickly. On the other hand, if you have lighter hair tones like strawberry blonde, dark blonde, or even platinum, the hair dye is likely to work effectively and last longer.

The reason why lighter-colored hair is more receptive to color is that it contains fewer natural pigments. This allows for better absorption of the dye into each hair strand.

In contrast, darker hair contains stronger and much more concentrated pigments. This means that pale or vibrant dyes struggle to overpower the pigments in black hair.

The previous color of your hair can have an impact when you decide to dye it again. (Source: Chatelaine)
The previous color of your hair can have an impact when you decide to dye it again. (Source: Chatelaine)

The Color You Want

When it comes to how long does permanent hair dye last, consider the specific color you choose, as some colors tend to fade more quickly than others. The size or number of pigment molecules in the color formulation primarily determines this.

In simple terms, colors with smaller or a greater number of pigment molecules have higher coloring and staying power. In contrast, those with larger or fewer molecules tend to fade faster.

Remember this: darker or neutral colors have the longest staying power. In contrast, lighter or more intense colors tend to fade more quickly. For instance, intense red dye consists of large pigment molecules, which do not penetrate deeply into the hair’s cortex, resulting in faster fading. Similarly, pale shades fade rapidly as they contain fewer pigment molecules.

In contrast, black and brown hair dyes, with their smaller molecules, fade the slowest. Dark blue and deep purple dyes also last longer than other vibrant colors, as they contain more pigment molecules.

When it comes to how long does permanent hair dye last, consider the specific color you choose. (Source: Love Hairstyles)
When it comes to how long does permanent hair dye last, consider the specific color you choose. (Source: Love Hairstyles)

Following Instructions

Suppose you enjoy your hair dyeing and have recently purchased a permanent box hair dye. In that case, it is crucial to pay close attention to the instructions provided.

Properly preparing your hair, accurately mixing the colors, and following the recommended duration for leaving the dye in are all essential steps that should be taken with seriousness.

These instructions are crafted by professionals who possess a deep understanding of the hair coloring process. By adhering to their guidance, you can ensure the best possible results for your hair dyeing endeavors.

By adhering to their guidance, you can ensure the best possible results for your hair dyeing endeavors. (Source: Healthline)
By adhering to their guidance, you can ensure the best possible results for your hair dyeing endeavors. (Source: Healthline)

Aftercare

Once you have finished applying the hair dye, the next important step is to prolong the longevity of the color in your hair. How can you achieve this?

The key lies in properly caring for your hair, as the right aftercare routine can significantly extend the lifespan of your color. Keep reading for valuable tips on how to accomplish this!

The right aftercare routine can significantly extend the lifespan of your color. (Source: Femina.in)
The right aftercare routine can significantly extend the lifespan of your color. (Source: Femina.in)

How Long Does Permanent Hair Dye Last? Tips for Extending its Lifespan

Say no to shampooing

To enhance the durability of your hair color, it is recommended to refrain from washing your hair for a minimum of 2-3 days following the dyeing process. This allows the dye to effectively penetrate and seal into the hair fibers, resulting in a longer-lasting color.

Opt for products that are safe for colored hair

Regarding hair care products, many options are designed specifically for dyed hair, ranging from shampoos to hair sprays. Opt for nourishing and sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to promote hair health and prolong the longevity of your color.

For optimal results, we suggest using Biolage Color Last Shampoo and Conditioner, which are specially formulated to protect and maintain the vibrancy of your color.

Reduce washing

Frequent washing of your hair can contribute to faster fading of the hair color. This is because hair dye is soluble in water, causing the dye molecules to dissolve and the pigment to wash away when you shampoo your hair.

Even oil-based dyes can gradually wash out over time. If you prefer daily showers to maintain cleanliness, you will notice your hair color losing vibrancy as early as 3 weeks. To prolong the life of your hair color, consider reducing the frequency of shampooing to once or twice a week.

Furthermore, using hot water during hair washing should be avoided as it can open up the hair cuticles, leading to color loss. Instead, opt for cold water as it helps to seal the cuticles and preserve the color.

Frequent washing of your hair can contribute to faster fading of the hair color.  (Source: The Today Show)
Frequent washing of your hair can contribute to faster fading of the hair color.  (Source: The Today Show)

Protect your hair from the sun

Exposure to the sun’s heat and UV rays can have harmful effects on both the hair cuticle and protein structure. It is important to note that as your hair becomes more damaged, its ability to retain hair color diminishes.

The hair cuticle serves as a protective layer that covers the hair shaft. Prolonged exposure to the sun’s heat and UV rays can cause the cuticle to become dry, brittle, and weakened. This can lead to issues such as frizz, split ends, and overall loss of hair health. When the hair cuticle is damaged, it becomes more difficult for the hair to retain color molecules, resulting in faster color fading.

Minimize using heat styling tools

Similar to the sun, the heat generated by styling tools can be detrimental to your hair. It is twice as damaging. Excessive heat from styling tools can cause the hair cuticles to open up, allowing the color pigment to escape more easily.

To minimize damage, it is advisable to use the coolest temperature setting when drying your hair. If you need to style your hair using a hair iron or curler, apply a heat protector product beforehand to provide a protective barrier for your hair.

Similar to the sun, the heat generated by styling tools can be detrimental to your hair. (Source: Healthshots)
Similar to the sun, the heat generated by styling tools can be detrimental to your hair. (Source: Healthshots)

Practice a hair-friendly lifestyle

Adopting a hair-friendly lifestyle involves taking measures to maintain the health of your hair through your everyday choices.

  • First, prioritize maintaining a healthy diet. Including foods rich in iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc can provide essential nutrients that promote hair health and give it a natural boost.
  • In addition to external hair care, hydration is crucial. Ensuring your hair stays hydrated goes beyond using conditioners. It can be achieved by drinking an adequate amount of water daily, aiming for 8-10 glasses.
  • Furthermore, it is advisable to avoid swimming, whether in chlorinated pools or the sea. These environments can be excessively drying and damaging to the hair.
  • Lastly, focus on relaxation and stress management. High levels of stress can impact the condition of your hair, potentially leading to issues such as hair loss and premature graying. Taking time to unwind and reduce stress can contribute to maintaining healthier hair.

Opt for natural hair color options

For long-lasting color, it is advisable to choose shades that closely match your natural hair color. Additionally, most permanent dyes typically offer a range of natural shades.

However, if you are interested in experimenting with bold and vibrant colors, feel free to explore and express your creativity! Remember to follow the tips above to ensure your hair maintains its stunning appearance for an extended period.

For long-lasting color, it is advisable to choose shades that closely match your natural hair color. (Source: Cutters Hairdressing)
For long-lasting color, it is advisable to choose shades that closely match your natural hair color. (Source: Cutters Hairdressing)

How Long Does Permanent Hair Dye Last Before It Fades?

On average, permanent hair dye typically lasts 4 to 6 weeks before noticeable fading occurs.

Again, the fading process is gradual, and the extent of fading can vary from person to person. Some individuals experience more noticeable fading after a few weeks, while others retain the color longer.

To maximize the longevity of your hair color, it is recommended to follow proper aftercare routines, such as using color-safe and sulfate-free hair care products, minimizing exposure to sunlight and chlorine, avoiding excessive heat styling, and limiting the frequency of hair washing. These practices can help preserve the vibrancy of the color and extend its lifespan.

FAQs

Is it possible for permanent hair dye to completely wash out?

No, permanent hair dye does not wash out completely. Unlike semi-permanent or temporary dyes, permanent hair dye is designed to penetrate the hair shaft and make long-lasting changes to the color. While the color fades over time, it will not wash out completely without the use of hair dye removers or color-stripping treatments.

Which hair color has the longest-lasting effect?

Black and dark brown shades are the longest-lasting hair colors. Generally, darker hair colors tend to stay longer than lighter shades. This is because darker pigments penetrate the hair shaft more deeply, making them more resistant to fading. However, individual hair type, quality of the dye, and hair care practices can also influence color longevity.

Can permanent hair dye have a damaging effect on your hair?

Permanent hair dye can cause damage to the hair, especially if used incorrectly or excessively. The chemicals in permanent hair dyes, such as ammonia and hydrogen peroxide, can strip the hair of its natural moisture and proteins, leading to dryness, brittleness, and breakage. 

Additionally, frequent dyeing or overlapping of color can further weaken the hair fibers. It is essential to follow the instructions, use hair dye sparingly, and maintain a proper hair care routine to minimize potential damage.

To Conclude

How long does permanent hair dye last? Permanent hair dye typically lasts 4 to 6 weeks before noticeable fading occurs. Factors like brand, hair type, and care routine influence its lifespan. To extend the color’s longevity, use color-safe products, minimize sun and chlorine exposure, reduce heat styling, and wash hair less frequently. With these tips, you can enjoy vibrant, long-lasting hair color that suits your style.