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Refresh Your Permanent Hair Colour

Published on 28th March 2008

Is it just me or does permanent not mean permanent anymore when it comes to hair colour?
I’ve been experimenting with permanent blacks which just aren’t black enough and given 3 weeks are noticeably faded to dark brown. I’ve also noticed that hair colour manufacturers are selling products to revive their “permanent” hair colours. Hmm could it be that they’re deliberately making them less permanent to shift more hair dye?

Whatever the reason, it’s unusual to get a permanent hair colour that doesn’t eventually fade despite your best attempts to keep it looking fresh.

So you refresh the colour while doing a root touch up by running the colour through your hair for the last 5-10 minutes to put a bit of the colour back in but doesn’t that accumulate and cause damage? Well most hair colourants are designed to be used in this way so it’s only going to cause minimal damage but sometimes I think it tends to make the colour worse; gradually lightening the ends and making them more porous.

Here’s an alternative.
Let’s say, like me, you’ve dyed over your bleached hair with a permanent black. After a few weeks the black washes out to a golden brown colour. When you apply more black dye the same thing happens only your hair is a little bit more damaged. What can you do?

Well if it’s black you’re after and you want something blacker than natural black, get your hands on some blue hair dye – the darker the better. Blue is a great way to turn your dark brown/black into a deep raven colour. I recommend using something like Special Effects Blue Velvet which in itself is almost black to begin with. Apply to dry hair direct from the bottle, leave to soak in for 30 minutes or so and rinse out. Voila your hair should be unnaturally shiny with a blue glint. It won’t last as long on unbleached hair and there will still be the problems of rub-off that go along with dark blue but it’s worth it for the blue shimmer. What makes it better than redyeing with the permanent is that it causes no damage to your hair.

This isn’t just for blacks or dark browns. Red shades fade notoriously fast, so what can you do? Apply a semi-permanent red of course! A bright pillarbox red will liven up any faded red shade or for something more adventurous go for a bright orange colour for an amazing unnatural glow. If your intended colour was a ruby shade go for a deeper red to revive the colour.

Plums as also a pain when it comes to fading. You guessed it, a deep purple or purple-red shade will really perk up the plum tones in your hair colour.

These are semi-permanent dyes so it’s a semi-permanent solution but the colours you can achieve with this method often outshine the original box colour. When the colour fades you can still experiment by recolouring with a different shade so you can go from a dark plum red to a brighter violet plum. When you get bored of it, just dye it over with the original dye.

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  • Don't mix a semi-permanent with your box-dye permanent. The results will be patchy and uneven.