Best Semi Permanent Hair Color

The best semi permanent hair color products are great for convenient hair coloring at home. They're an easy way to experiment with new shades and find the right hair color for you without committing. Also referred to as Level 1 color, a semi permanent dye should last for 6-12 shampoos. They're usually ammonia-free and more gentle on hair than many demi and permanent dyes. A semi dye doesn't alter your natural hair pigmentation but simply colors over it.

These products excel at enhancing natural color and blending small amounts of gray away. Have you ever wondered 'what's the best hair color for me ?' Try one of these highly rated semi permanent hair color brands to find out. Before using one of these products be aware of what they can and cannot do. You'll be happier with the results if your expectations are realistic. Also, check out the differences between semi- and demi-permanent color products so you can choose the best product to get the look you want. 

Semi-permanents are best at:

  • Enhancing natural color or changing color slightly
  • Coloring hair darker
  • Creating special effects with darker hair such as lowlights hair color
  • Blending grey away by making it appear a lighter shade of chosen color

Semi-permanents are not effective at:

  • Changing to a drastically different hair color
  • Lightening hair color
  • Completely coloring over gray, especially if over 50%

Best Semi Permanent Hair Color Products

Popular Clairol

According to reviewers, one of the best semi permanent hair color products is Clairol Beautiful Collection. Available in 15 intermixable shades, it's enriched with Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E to moisturize hair. Also, it claims to leave hair with up to 45% more shine. Users comment that it works well as a damaged hair treatment and hair color for fragile hair. It's gentle enough to use even after a relaxer service. The fragrance is pleasant and it blends up to 50% gray.

If you have a higher percentage of gray hair, many users recommend simply increasing the process time for gray hair by 5 minutes. Or you can use Clairol's 'Advanced Gray Solution' which is a stronger formula available in 5 shades. If you're a former fan of the discontinued Clairol Loving Care or of the original semi-perm version of Clairol Natural Instincts Hair Color, you may find the Beautiful Collection products to be just as good, if not better.


Herbashine with Bamboo Extract

Another top candidate is Herbashine by Garnier. This product is rich and creamy for easy, no-drip application and works in just 10 minutes. The formula contains a strengthening bamboo extract which Garnier claims fortifies hair by reinforcing the cuticle and wrapping it in color. It's available in 18 shades and has a nice floral fragrance. To blend and cover grey better, users recommend applying it to grey hair first and processing grey for an additional 5 minutes. Users also recommend buying a color slightly lighter than what you want, since the final color tends to be a little darker than expected.

This Garnier Herbashine product is technically a demi-permanent that should last though 28 shampoos. However, most reviewers and online references describe it as a semi-permanent. Quite a few reviewers, even though they rated the product highly, commented that the color lasted about the same amount of time as you would expect from a semi-permanent.

Redken EQ Color

Redken Shades EQ Cream Color is one of the best semi permanent hair color professional products made exclusively for salon use. If you want to use the product but prefer applying semi permanent hair color at home, Shades EQ Cream Color can be purchased from various online outlets. This Redken semi-perm hair color overall received very positive reviews for at home hair coloring. It's a creamy, ammonia-free formula that's enriched with pomegranate oil and rice protein for conditioning. The thick, creamy formula is one of the best semi permanent hair color products for special hair effects such as color blocking and creating lowlights in blonde hair. It processes in 20 minutes and is available in 20 beautiful hair dye shades.

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