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A quick guide to hair color formulas

What’s the difference between semi-permanent, demi-permanent, and permanent hair color? Here’s a breakdown of Ion Color Brilliance’s luxurious formulas—and what they can do for your hair.


Semi-permanent hair color lasts up to eight shampoos, depending on your hair’s porosity. It is deposit-only, non-oxidative, and non-damaging. It offers minimal to moderate gray coverage (up to 30 percent) and is perfect for adding subtle color. It won’t lighten the color of your hair.


Demi-permanent hair color is the most versatile kind of hair color, because it lasts much longer than semi-permanent color (up to six weeks). It is sometimes referred to as deposit-only hair color or non-lift deposit-only color, because it’s formulated to deposit (add), but not to lift (lighten) color. Demi-permanent color is ideal for blending or covering gray (up to 100 percent!) and enhancing, deepening, or changing the tone of your natural color. It also adds intense shine.


Permanent hair color chemically alters the natural pigment of the hair—permanently—by lifting (lightening) the natural pigment in your hair and depositing the permanent hair color you selected in its place. Using permanent formulas means your color will remain until your hair grows out (aka your “roots” start showing), you cut it off, or you remove it with a hair color remover.


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