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How Long Does Permanent Hair Dye Last Before It Fades

Cute African American female with dark brown permanent hair colour on 4A human hair type.

Most people know a thing or two about permanent hair dye, like the fact that it comes in a ton of shades and can be used at home. But what many don’t know is how long this dye type lasts, and it doesn’t help that internet sources share conflicting information on this topic.

In this article, we’ll clear up any confusion and tell you exactly how long permanent hair dye lasts. That way, you’ll be prepared should you try it out.

How Long Does Permanent Hair Dye Last?

Permanent hair dye, according to its name, should be permanent, but that’s not exactly the case. Though permanent hair dye may last longer than other hair dye types, it is not permanent by any means.

Permanent hair dye is known to last anywhere from 1.5 to 2 months before starting to fade. This general notion stems from the fact that your natural hair takes about six to eight weeks to grow noticeably length after getting your hair permanently dyed.

In addition, permanent hair dye loses its vibrancy after about a month or two. Permanent hair dyes have much more staying power than semi-permanent hair dye or temporary hair dyes, but they still fade a bit with every wash.

The good thing about permanent hair dye, though, is that it will stay vibrant up until that 8-week mark in most cases.

Black lady with dark brown curly dyed hair with a big smile wearing a blue jean jacket and pink shirt.

Why Does Permanent Hair Dye Fade?

Permanent hair dyes are often formulated to be soluble in water, which means that they dissolve in water. So, no matter what you do, the dye molecules that give off your new hair color will dissolve every time you wash your hair.

The fading may not be noticeable for several weeks, but it will eventually become apparent.

Note: Permanent hair dye never fades completely – that is, unless you use chemicals or harsh stripping techniques to remove it. But it will fade so much that you’ll need to redye or touch up your hair eventually.

A woman with bleached hair covering her heart with her hands wearing a cut-off blue jean jacket.

5 Factors Affecting How Fast Permanent Hair Dye Fades

Though it’s generally accepted that permanent hair dye fades after about eight weeks, this won’t be the case for everyone.

The truth is that several factors affect how long your permanent hair dye will remain vibrant. Let’s look at some of the most prominent ones below: 

  1. Whether you have high porosity hair. Hair porosity is defined as how readily your hair accepts and releases water and other substances. High porosity hair does not hold color well because its cuticles are constantly raised, which allows the dye to be easily rinsed away with every wash.
  2. How well hydrated your hair is. Hydrated strands tend to retain color better than dried-out strands. If your hair is chronically dry, you will notice that your hair color fades relatively quickly.
  3. Your hair washing habits. If you recall, earlier, we mentioned that permanent hair dye fades with every wash. Since that’s the case, the more frequently you wash your hair, the quicker your hair color will fade. Most people who wash their hair every day or every other day will notice that their color begins to fade and get dull after a month or less.
  4. The color you choose. Red hair dye molecules fade the quickest, while brown and black ones fade the slowest. So, if you choose red hair dye, you should expect it to start fading after just a couple of weeks. If you went for a more natural, dark color, it should fade more gradually and over a more extended period. 
  5. The dyeing process. A number of things can go wrong during the dyeing process. But the issue that’s most likely to cause premature color fading is not leaving the color on for enough time. 
African American female with curly hair strands with brown semi-permanent hair dye to add highlights.

How to Increase Permanent Hair Dye Longevity

Having gone through all the main factors that affect how quickly your permanent dye will fade, let’s get into some tips and tricks you can use to make it last longer.

Don’t Over-Shampoo

Frequent shampooing is one of the most substantial drivers of fading for permanent hair dye. Since your hair dye fades every time you wash it, it only makes sense to space out your wash sessions.

If you usually wash your hair every two to three days, try spacing it out to once a week. Not only will your hair dye last longer, but you will retain more of your hair’s natural oils and enjoy better-hydrated hair.

Very attractive black girl with healthy hair wearing natural make-up and permanent dye in her natural curls.

Try Cold Water Washes

Hot water fades permanent hair color just like it fades semi-permanent and temporary hair color. It raises your hair cuticles, allowing your permanent hair color pigment to be easily rinsed away.

So, turn down the temperature of your water whenever you’re rinsing your hair. It may be uncomfortable for a minute or two, but it’ll be worth it when your hair dye lasts and lasts.

Switch Out Your Hair Care Products

A woman with curly hair wearing subtle make-up highlighting her beautiful natural shade.

You may be used to using products that contain sulfates and other harsh ingredients that strip color. But to maximize your dye’s staying power, you’ll need to switch those out. We get that this may be expensive, but it’s necessary if you want your hair color to stick around for a while.

Here are some tips for which products to get rid of:

  • Sulfate shampoos. Harsh surfactants like sulfates increase the amount of color fade that you’ll experience with each wash.
  • Non-color-safe products. Haircare products that are not labeled color-safe may include ingredients like alcohol and salt, which can strip your hair dye. Switch those out for color-safe products to avoid this.

In addition, try a color depositing conditioner to deposit hair dye pigments after every wash. You’ll be surprised by how long you can stretch your color with just one additional product.

Protect Your Hair From the Heat and the Sun

Two of the most common hair color faders are extreme heat and the sun’s UV rays. So, do yourself a favor and lay off the heat styling tools.

And whenever you do use them, ensure that the temperature is as low as is effective for the style you’re trying to achieve.

Also, whenever you’re going to step out into the sun, use a leave-in with SPF protection. It will shield your hair from the sun’s UV rays and prevent color fade.

Black girl with a light skin tone wearing a pink shirt, yellow pants, and a torn blue jean jacket.

How to Fade Permanent Hair Color Fast

Permanent hair dye penetrates your hair strands and remains in your hair forever, albeit in a faded state. So, if you want to get rid of your permanent dye, you’ll have to use chemicals or targeted remedies.

Use the below remedies to fade permanent hair color fast without damaging your hair beyond recognition:

  • Wash your hair more often. If you normally wash your hair once per week, try doing it 2 or 3 times per week. Use a clarifying shampoo or a dandruff shampoo to lift away as much color as possible. And to take things up another notch, use hot water to rinse. Following each wash, deep condition your hair to replenish your moisture levels. You’ll notice your hair dye fading after a few washes. It may not fade completely, though. 
  • Use baking soda. Baking soda is a gentle yet effective hair dye stripping agent. You can add a tbsp of it to a palm-full of shampoo and then wash your hair as you would normally. You can also make a baking soda paste (two tbsp of baking soda and 4 ounces of water) leave it on your wet hair for 10 minutes, and then rinse it away. 
  • Use a permanent hair dye remover. A permanent hair dye remover is specially formulated to lift hair dye pigments in as little as one session. It requires you to mix a couple of components, apply the mixture to your hair, leave it to process, and rinse it out. These treatments are thought to be gentle to the hair, but they can leave your hair dry. So, follow the treatment up with a deep conditioning session. 

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We hope that this article was helpful to you, giving you all you need to color your hair with confidence and knowledge. We wish you the best with your hair!