blonde model with wavy beautiful hair

Let’s GLOSS Over Some Colour Terms

Have you ever heard someone refer to permanent, toner, demi, or semi and not really known what they meant?

Let’s learn about different colour terms and what they mean!



This refers to “temporary” colours, which can also include hair chalk, coloured shampoo/treatments and coloured hairsprays! These are NOT mixed with a developer or oxidant; the colour straight from the tube/pot is what you get! This can include brands like Manic Panic, Fudge Paintbox, LimeCrime, Brite, Live etc. You might see on the labels “Lasts 8 Washes” or something similar. These colours will shampoo out eventually but certain pigments (especially blue) can stain blonde or pre-lightened hair.


This may be referred to as demi-permanent but don’t be fooled! This will NOT shampoo out. Non-lift colour is mixed with a gentle developer or oxidant and is used to colour on the same level or darker. This type of colour is used for toning blondes, and adds a lovely shine to your hair!


This is mixed with a stronger developer or oxidant. Permanent colour is designed to cover grey hairs or lift your natural colour 1-2 shades. Now this doesn’t mean your colour will “last” any longer, it just has a different name as it works deeper into your hair where melanin is produced.

Let’s talk about store-bought “Colour Remover” or “Colour Stripper”. Now, this stuff sounds like a miracle but it WILL NOT take you back to your natural colour! Besides smelling like rotten eggs and broken dreams, it can cause even more mishaps when you next apply your colour. Colour removers work by going into your hair and “shrinking” down the artificial colour molecules so they can be washed out. They can be deceiving because to your eye the colour may look completely washed out, but as soon as developer or oxidant comes back into contact with that hair, it re-activates those colour molecules, causing them to swell and become visible! They will also expose your natural underlying pigment which more often than not is orange or yellow. Colour remover doesn’t sound too great now, does it?!

It’s important to know that once you have coloured your hair, the residual artificial pigments will always still be there! It doesn’t matter what you have used, it will NOT wash out to a 100% natural virgin state. EVER. The ‘reflect’ or tone might have faded and lightened up over time, but those pigments are still hiding in the inner layers of your hair. It’s important to be honest with your hairdresser about your colour history so we know what to expect.

If you’re looking to change up your colour book in with us for a free consultation! We can go over your hair history and assess what steps we need to take to achieve the colour of your dreams!

written by @dani_profilehair

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