New to demi-permanent dye - need advice

EilonwyEilonwy Posts: 12,391Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
I'm looking for a demi-permanent dye to increase the red tone in my virgin, medium-dark brown hair. I'd like dye only, no bleach (although I guess that's how demi-permanent dyes work, right?). And I don't want my hair to turn out darker, or some unnatural burgundy shade.

Should I use a warm reddish dye that's significantly lighter than my hair? Any suggestions about shade, brand, or technique?


  • morrighumorrighu Posts: 707Registered Users
    First off you don't understand how hair color works. ALL hair color has some bleaching action to it. How much depends on the "volume" (some times also called the lift) of the developer (aka the bleach).

    Even a demi-permanent color is going to need to have developer in order to be able to bind with your hair at all. The only difference between demi permenant andn permanent is well - demi permanent dyes wash out eventually.

    As for how to color -

    Coloring your hair at home with professional hair color isn’t nearly as hard as you think. There are a few things to take into consideration, but on whole, if you can bake cake mix, you can do this too! Most of what you need to know applies to hair color period – kit or professional.
    Using professional hair color at home means several things. It means you can custom blend a color to complement your own skin tone. It means that you can pick additives and products that are the least damaging to your hair while still giving you the color you want. General Hair Color Guidelines –
    1. Understand that there are 3 basic types of hair color – permanent, semi-permanent, and demi-permanent. If you are covering grey, you want permanent. Semi and demi are made to wash out/fade over time. Demi will fade the fastest, followed by Semi. That means you’ll have to keep doing your whole head to keep your grey covered. If you’re covering grey, just get full on permanent and be done!
    2. 2 days before you color, do a deep treatment on your hair. You want your hair in the best possible shape before coloring it.
    3. Do NOT get your hair wet for 24 hours before you plan to color it. This will help the color bond to your hair properly and prevent fading.
    4. Do NOT get your hair wet for 72 hours after your color it. This will also help the color bond properly and prevent fading.
    5. Shampoos fade hair color. If it lathers, it probably strips hair color. The only difference is the matter of degree. [buylink=]Low-poo[/buylink] and bars are better than sulfate containing shampoos. Either of those options may be perfectly acceptable to you.
    6. DO NOT USE METAL BOWLS, MEASURING SPOONS, UTENSILS, COMBS, BRUSHES WITH HAIR COLOR. Most hair color will react with the metal and you may well end up with Crayola black hair – UGH!
    7. Sun, salt and chlorine fade hair color. If you must go swimming, be sure to saturate your hair with tap water and conditioner before you go in. Try to wear a hat or keep your hair covered outside. Besides, it’s good for your skin too!
    8. ONLY the first application of a new color should be to your whole head. All subsequent colorings should be roots only. Just work the color into the rest of your hair for the last 3 to 5 minutes of the coloring process if you feel that you need to so that you can cover any fading.
    Professional Hair Color Guidelines
    1. Buy yourself some gloves. You can get them at the beauty supply but it’s usually cheaper to go to Harbor Freight, Home Depot, etc. and purchase the Nitrile gloves. Besides, no one likes dyed fingernails or hands.
    2. If you don’t have one, get a plastic squeezy bottle like the ones that come in the kits or get yourself a bowl and brush to apply your hair color. This will help you apply the color. You can rinse them out and reuse them almost indefinitely.
    3. Use the developer that is made for your hair color. It’s not that much more and most manufactures formulate the developer to work with the additives in their hair color.
    4. When you pick a developer, go with the lowest volume developer offered with your hair color that will color your hair. That’s typically a “10 volume”. It will have the least peroxide in it and be the least damaging. Developer isn’t that expensive – usually about $6 for a 16 oz bottle. You’ll only use a few tablespoons at a time, but this is the part where you can really start to control how much harm you do to hair during coloring. When you do this for the very first time, it’s well worth it to spend an extra $6 or $12 on some developer you may not use so that you can minimize the damage to your hair for rest of your life. Most home kits use a either a 20 or 30 volume developer.
    5. Sally’s sells additives for hair color. I’m going to mention a few here. If there’s not a Sally’s in your area, you can order it on line. Most of these are under a $1.00. If not, most any other beauty supply will have something similar.
    6. Look for an additive called “Care & Comfort”. It’s a pH buffer that will protect your hair and scalp from some of the harshness of the developer. It goes into the hair color. I personally double up on this one.
    7. If you have resistant grey, there are couple of different additives, depending on the color that you are going to, that I would recommend. One is for dark/red shades and another is for ashy (green based or cool) shades. Pick the appropriate one for your color.
    8. 777 is a conditioner additive that helps repair the coloring damage while you’re coloring.
    9. Ion makes a protein treatment that goes into the color that also helps to repair the hair during the coloring process.
    10. If you are custom mixing a color, be sure to measure precisely so that you can recreate it later.
    11. Mix the developer and the color in ratio listed in the directions. Some will be 1:1. Others will not. This is another reason that it’s important to measure accurately!
    12. Mix a bit of your color formula with the right amount of developer and DO THE STRAND TEST. This will tell you if 10 volume developer will work for you or not. Some hair, particularly grey hair, is very resistant to color and 10 volume may not work for everyone. You may need a 20 or even a 30 to get the results you want. You won’t know until you test it.
    13. Once you get your timing, your color mix, and your developer down, then you can color your hair.
    14. Follow the timing from your strand test.
    15. Rinse you hair really well.
    16. Buy the after color conditioner. Sally’s sells the Feria but there are other brands available for use immediately after coloring. This helps to neutralize any developer that’s left in your hair, remove any excess pigment, and seal in your new hair color.
  • sweetpeacurlisweetpeacurli Posts: 343Registered Users
    If you're just looking to increase the red tone without lifting your natural color at all, you should consider deposit-only colors. Demipermanents do have peroxide (bleach) in them.

    Henna is obviously an option, but also consider a true semi-permanent (the box will say it washes out in 6 shampoos, but since most of us don't shampoo, it will last a lot longer for us) or a color-depositing conditioner.

    Good luck! Have fun! :D
    Sulfate and Silicone-free since 2005
    CO-wash convert since October 2010
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    Twitter: @sweetpeacurli

    Currently loving:
    • Vo5 tea therapy conditioners
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    • Giovanni Direct leave-in
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  • pureityhairbeautypureityhairbeauty Posts: 27Registered Users
    Make sure you take into consideration of the undertones of your hair, so that you can use the right type of color that won’t show off too much brightness of like, for example, red hair.

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