What is Permanent Hair Color?

Article Details
  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
The longest lightning bolt ever recorded stretched 199.5 miles (321 km) -- nearly the entire length of Oklahoma.  more...

October 18 ,  1867 :  The US bought Alaska from Russia.  more...

There are numerous ways a person can change the appearance of her hair. One of them is by using permanent hair color, commonly referred to as permanent hair dye. This chemical is designed to allow color to penetrate existing strands of hair and inject them with color that does not wash away. This color will eventually grow out, meaning that new growth must be dyed if uniform coloring is to be maintained.

If a person wants to change or enhance her hair color, she may notice that there are several types of dye available. All dye, however, is not suitable for every situation. For example, when a person with dark hair wants to lighten her hair, semi-permanent dye may be available in a shade that she likes, but this type of dye is not suitable for lightening. Therefore, permanent hair color is her best option.

Permanent hair color can produce drastic changes. This is because such products lighten the hair first. Once the hair is lighter, permanent color saturates the strands. Although these products lighten the hair, they do not completely bleach it. Therefore, even when the same shade is used, if natural hair color varies, the result of hair coloring is likely to vary. This is why it is common to find charts with hair dye that show what color the hair is likely to be based on what color the hair is before the dye is applied.


There are two chemicals that play a major role in the effectiveness of permanent hair color: ammonia and peroxide. Ammonia, an alkaline, is the lightning agent. Peroxide is commonly marketed as developer when it is sold separate from hair color. This chemical strips the hair of sulfur. Ammonia and peroxide work together to achieve permanent hair coloring.

The chemicals that are in permanent hair color are generally considered harsh and can damage the hair. For this reason, it is inadvisable for a person to dye her hair too often. People are also advised to allow several weeks to lapse between the application of perms and permanent hair color.

Also, there are some permanent hair dyes that are designed for self application. However, there are others that state that they are for professional use only. When a package is labeled this way, it is generally best to heed the warning and allow a professional stylist to do the coloring. In either case, it is important to make sure that once the coloring process is concluded the hair is thoroughly washed and conditioned.


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post 2

I have seen some really bad results from girls trying to go too light with a home color kit. One of my friends came out strawberry blonde, which was really a better outcome than some I've seen.

Being in the pool a lot and not rinsing the hair free of chlorine can do very nasty things when you color at home.

You could always tell who had not been successful with hair color coming to school on Monday morning. Girls would have their hair tied up into a scarf or something. It was pretty easy to figure out. I've seen some gnarly shades of orange on people with formerly dark hair who should have gone to a pro. Light to dark works much better than dark to light when you're dealing with permanent hair color.

Post 1

Most home hair color kits will tell you on the front whether they're permanent or not. If they say something like "Level 3" or "permanent color," then obviously, it's a permanent color.

If the package says, "Level 2" or "semi-permanent" color, then the color will wash out in about a month or so.

I usually color my hair every 8 to 12 weeks, mostly to cover gray. My base color is roughly the same as my natural color. I go a little darker in the winter sometimes, but I stay within the "medium brown" range. That way, if I miss a spot or something, it pretty much blends in or looks like a highlight.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?