Of all the hair color types available – from semi-permanent to demi-permanent to temporary – permanent hair color gives you the longest-lasting, most lustrous results. But, in spite of its name, that hair transformation isn't going to last forever. Here, the word 'permanent' relates to how it changes the structure of the hair strands the color is applied to.
Put simply, permanent hair colors will permanently alter the structure of hair. This is because they open up the hair cuticle, so that pigment can be deposited deep within. It's this penetrating process that makes permanent hair colors so rich and radiant, and it's also why you get such a long-lasting finish from your favorite permanent shades.
Which brings us to exactly how long they last. Permanent hair colors technically last until the color grows out, or until you recolor your client's hair – but they can fade over time. It may take anywhere between 6-12 weeks for the fading to be visible. But, of course, this all depends on the hair type and color products you're working with.
It also comes down to these key factors during your client’s color appointment...
The Shade Intensity
Are you applying a light shade, a dark shade or a vibrant rainbow hue? The intensity of your client’s color will have a big impact on how long it lasts. As a general rule of thumb, darker colors tend to stay on the hair for longer. So, if you’re adding lowlights, a root shadow or all-over depth, the shade will offer more mileage than, for example, light blondes, light browns or light reds. The same goes for pastel colors versus rainbow colors. Pastels will fade faster than vivid brights, which is why we recommend painting pastel hair in a bolder-than-desired shade to start with, so the vibrancy lasts.
The Color Service
Traditional coloring with a permanent hair color will give you the longest-lasting results, so if you’re looking to add depth and tone to your client’s hair, keep the 6–12-week timeline in mind. However, if you’re using a permanent color to gloss the hair, you’re delivering a sheerer result which may last closer to 4-8 weeks.
Case in point: the Koleston Perfect Pure Glossing Service, which sees your client’s choice of permanent shade mixed at a 1:1:1 ratio with Welloxon Perfect 1.9% and INVIGO Color Service Post Hair Color Treatment. The gloss can be used to neutralize brassiness, refresh existing color or create a subtle shade change, but its sheer finish means it may fade sooner than a traditional Koleston Perfect coloring service. However, a Pure Glossing Service is great for touching up the tone in between regular appointments, when longevity is less of a goal and your client is craving a color boost.