How Long Does Permanent Hair Color Last And Why?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on September 29th, 2023

Navigating the colorful world of hair dye can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to understanding the longevity and functionality of different types of hair colors. If you’re wondering how long permanent hair color lasts and the science behind its longevity, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll cover everything from the chemical processes involved in dyeing your hair to tips for prolonging the vibrancy of your chosen shade.

What is Permanent Hair Color?

Permanent hair color aims to deliver a more enduring color change compared to its temporary and semi-permanent counterparts. How does it achieve this? By deeply penetrating the hair strands. This mechanism ensures a longer-lasting color, often sustaining its vibrancy until your hair roots start to grow out, typically around 6-8 weeks post-dyeing.

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The Science Behind Permanent Hair Dyeing

Unlike conventional hair dyes that act more like paint, adhering color to the surface of the hair, permanent hair color undergoes a more complex process. It opens up the hair cuticle, allowing pigments to penetrate and change the color from the inside out. This makes permanent dye especially effective on grey hair, offering a color change that originates from within the hair shaft, making it look more natural and less prone to flaking.

Can Permanent Hair Color Fade?

Although permanent hair color is designed to last, it isn’t entirely resistant to fading. Factors like frequent shampooing can wash out the color over time. The solubility of hair dyes also contributes to this phenomenon, and red shades are particularly vulnerable. Nevertheless, with the right care and choice of products, you can keep your hair color looking fresh for longer.

How Long Does Permanent Hair Color Last?

The standard longevity for permanent hair color is between 4 to 6 weeks, after which the color will gradually fade back to your natural hue. But don’t despair; several methods can extend the life of your vibrant tresses.

Sun Exposure: Friend or Foe?

While a sunny day might uplift your spirits, it’s not the best companion for your colored hair. Prolonged exposure to the sun can hasten the fading of your permanent hair color. A simple way to mitigate this is to wear caps or use UV-protective hair treatments when outdoors.

The Shampoo Factor

Frequent shampooing can accelerate the fading of your hair color. However, using shampoos specifically designed for color-treated hair can slow down this process. So, either cut down on the number of hair washes or opt for specialized products.

Keep Your Hair Hydrated

Due to the chemicals like peroxide or ammonia in permanent hair dyes, your hair can get dry. Keeping your hair well-conditioned post-wash will help maintain its health and prolong the lifespan of the color.

Tips for Extending the Life of Your Permanent Hair Color

Nourishing your hair after dyeing is crucial. Hair conditioners, especially those formulated for color-treated hair, can help prevent dryness caused by the ammonia or peroxide in the dye. Reducing the frequency of your hair washes and using specialized shampoos can also contribute. And don’t forget, shielding your hair from direct sunlight will help maintain the richness of the color for a longer period.

How To Keep Your Color Vibrant

Maintaining the vibrancy of your color requires commitment and caution. Opt for a non-detergent shampoo, limit sun exposure, and be mindful of the heat-styling tools you use. Heat can damage your hair cuticles, leading to a more rapid color fade. So, a little caution can go a long way in sustaining that hair color you love so much.

How To Apply Permanent Hair Dye At Home

Applying permanent hair dye at home can be a convenient option. Here’s how:

  • Protect Your Skin and Clothes: Use petroleum jelly around your forehead, cheeks, and neck to avoid staining. Wear old clothes.
  • Section Your Hair: Divide your hair into manageable sections and start with one while keeping the rest clipped away.
  • Prepare the Dye: Follow the instructions that come with your dye kit. It’s advisable to wear gloves.
  • Application: Apply the dye on dry hair, ensuring you cover all areas and leave no patches.
  • Wait and Rinse: After application, wait for the instructed time and then rinse until the water runs clear. Most kits also include a conditioner to apply afterward.


Understanding the nuances of permanent hair color helps you make informed decisions and take appropriate care of your dyed locks. While permanent dye offers a more extended lifespan compared to other types, its longevity can be influenced by several factors like sun exposure and hair washing habits. By incorporating a few simple changes in your hair care routine, you can enjoy a vivid and long-lasting hair color.


Editorial Staff

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