Semi-permanent hair colors are the best and easiest ways of transforming your hair and overall look without the commitment of a permanent hair dye. From vibrant fashion shades to darker natural tones, these are the 13 best semi-permanent hair color formulas you can try from the comfort of your own home.
Best Semi-Permanent Hair Colors Overview
- Best Overall: Arctic Fox Semi-Permanent Hair Color
- Best for Blondes: L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color for Light Bleached or Blondes
- Best Demi-Permanent: Clairol Natural Instincts Semi-Permanent Hair Color
- Best Neon Colors: Good Dye Young Semi-Permanent Hair Color
- Best Vegan: Manic Panic Amplified Semi-Permanent Hair Color
- Best Long-Lasting: Wella Colorcharm Paints
- Best Multi-Tasking: dpHUE Gloss+ Semi-permanent Hair Color and Deep Conditioner
- Best Intense Colors: Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Semi-Permanent Hair Color Full Coverage
- Best Color Range: Adore Semi-Permanent Hair Color
- Best Fashion Colors: Ion Semi-Permanent Hair Color
- Best Conditioning: Punky Colour Semi-Permanent Conditioning Hair Color
- Best Natural Colors: Clairol Professional Beautiful Collection Semi-Permanent Hair Color
- Best Professional-Grade: Pravana ChromaSilk Vivids
When it comes to at-home use, Arctic Fox is considered one of the best semi-permanent hair dye brands. The colors are vibrant, creamy, and easy to work with, and the actual range of colors is massive. The formula includes soy protein, so it’s very fortifying and moisturizing to the hair. The hair dyes smell a little bit like grapes, so get ready to feel fruity! They’re available at Ulta and Amazon.
L’Oreal’s entry into the semi-permanent hair color arena is a welcome one since their permanent hair dye offerings are just so good. The range of colors has a youthful vibe, with options like peach and lime, not to mention a color mixer for achieving pastels. The dyes are formulated like hair conditioner, so they’re very moisturizing, and applying them to the hair is a very easy process. You can buy them on Amazon.
This is the best demi-permanent hair dye in natural shades that lasts a little longer than a typical semi-permanent color. If you want to shift your hair color to something natural and subtle, you really can’t go wrong with this formula. It comes in a wide range of deep, natural tones, and the formula itself is gentle.
It’s a little longer-lasting than the typical semi-permanent formula, as it holds up through 28 washes. It does come with a peroxide-based activator, so we’d say it’s more of a demi-permanent formula, but this means that it does a better job blending gray hairs. Pick it up from Amazon!
There’s something special about the silvery tubes of Good Dye Young’s semi-permanent hair dye. These dyes come in some very exciting shades, including lobster red and vivid purple. Because they’re in tubes, it’s very easy to squeeze out just a bit at a time if you like to only dye a few streaks here and here. The formulas smell citrusy and delicious, and they condition the hair beautifully. They’re sold at Sephora.
Manic Panic is one of the original brands when it comes to fashion hair colors! They still have some of the best semi-permanent hair colors on the market, and anyone can find something to like in the huge color range. Just be aware that the different shades behave differently – the more vivid ones are slightly more likely to bleed, while the lighter ones won’t, but they’re less likely to show up on unbleached hair. Get them from Ulta or Amazon!
Wella is a professional-grade hair product brand, so these semi-permanent hair dyes are the real deal! They come in some really beautiful shades, and they can also be mixed together for totally original colors. They’re a little thick, which prevents drips and mess but does mean you have to work a little harder to get the color to saturate your hair. Order them through Amazon!
This three-in-one formula makes dyeing the hair a breeze. It’s effectively a hair conditioner loaded with natural hair color pigments, so when you massage it in and let it sit in your hair, the colors slowly seep in and gently alter the shade of your hair. As a bonus, they also make your tresses absurdly shiny and healthy-looking. This formula is not as intense as the other semi-permanent dyes on this list, so be aware that you won’t be able to make radical changes to your look. Shop for them at Sephora!
Lime Crime hair dye is a lot of fun. The formula smells like candy, and it comes in adorable packaging! The colors are a lot of vibrant shades, and they work pretty well on a slightly wider range of base hair colors (though they’re still most intense on light hair). The only drawback is that they can be a little messy. Grab a jar from Ulta or Amazon!
Adore is a great option for both fashion and natural hair colors. They have the richest browns and most vivid neons, with everything in between – just scroll down the drop-down menu to see all the color options (we missed it at first glance). The formula is a little thin, so it saturates the hair easily but can be a little messy to apply. It’s awesome mixed with conditioner as a color refresher! Find it on Amazon!
If you love your grays and pastels, Ion is the semi-permanent hair color to check out! They have 30 colors to choose from, and the range leans towards the current trendy fashion colors, so you won’t have to make any of your own concoctions. The formula is very hydrating to the hair, though some shades are a little less pigmented, so they act more like a hair gloss. Purchase yours from Amazon!
Punky is the brand that got us through our high school emo phase, and they’re still rocking it with their amazing, grape-soda-scented dyes. This is an easy-to-use semi-permanent hair dye with a gel-cream texture. It goes on the hair like a dream and takes serious hold. The range of shades leans towards the pinks, blues, and purples. You can get one at Ulta or Amazon.
We’ve already mentioned Clairol’s demi-permanent dye, but this is their true semi-permanent formula in a ton of brown and gold shades. If you are looking for a natural color that’s easy to use and requires no fussing or developers, this is the choice. The formula nourishes the hair while also adding a serious sheen. Buy one from Amazon!
It’s not always easy to get your hands on Pravana hair dye, but if you can find it, it’s totally worth it. Pravana is usually a professional-only brand, so their semi-permanent hair dyes are intense, long-lasting, and totally stunning. If you want maximum drama, see if you can find your favorite color amongst their selection. You can order them online through Amazon.
Photos via @chloemkerley, Ulta, Amazon