Will I regret even considering jiggering my hair dye?
January 23, 2014 8:18 AM   Subscribe

Can I combine demi-permanent hair dye developer with semi-permanent hair dye color?

I have coarse, short, straight, black asian hair. It grows fast and is about 30% grey. Every month, I color my roots with this. In addition to being ammonia-free and not changing my hair texture very much, I like this particular brand because it's demi-permanent, meaning that even though the color is advertised as temporary, black never really washes out completely and as a result my grey hairs remain better camouflaged almost permanently (albeit by the time they're finally long enough to cut, they've faded to light brown).

Now I have found this brand and color and love it. It's the closest to my natural color as I've ever gotten; it's really the darkest charcoal-gray before actual black, and has no red or brown undertones. The only problem is that it really is semi-permanent and washes out completely in only 8-10 washes. Having experimented for years with all manner of Manic Panic, I'm familiar with everything I can do to extend the life of temporary hair color, from the moist heat wrap and extended application times, cool water rinses and no shampoo/conditioner, etc. What I want to know is, what would happen if I mixed the developer from the Natural Instincts box with the Creative Image? Might it hopefully result in my newly beloved off-black color hanging around longer? Or would I create a horrible concoction that would fry my hair off? Or would whatever is suspending the color in the Creative bottle kill whatever fixative powers the activating cream in the Natural Instincts box had? Has anyone here successfully mixed permanent, semi- and/or demi-permanent drugstore hair dye components with positive results?
posted by ohcanireally to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (3 answers total)
Developer comes in %s--20, 30, 40. 20 is the mildest and causes the least damage to your hair but has the shortest life span. You might want to ditch the boxed stuff and either buy online or in a real beauty supply store. KillerStrands gives good advice.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:31 AM on January 23, 2014

You can probably mix them, and end up with slightly longer lasting color.

I also recommend not using the box stuff, and buying color and developer separately from somewhere like Sally's. And FWIW, every time I've ever dyed my (blonde) hair black, using probably 30 developer, and whatever shade of black I liked, it has been completely and totally permanent-permanent. So, it is possible, and you can probably find that shade you like at Sally's too.
posted by catatethebird at 11:03 AM on January 23, 2014

In order for this to work, the Adore dye would need to have ingredients in it that react with the peroxide in the developer. If it does (it probably doesn't because it's not designed for that, it's deposit only) then you could use any developer. I don't think it will make the color last any longer but I don't think it will hurt your hair to try it. Do a strand test if you're really concerned, obviously.

If you bleach your hair, even a little, it will make semi-permanent color last longer because dye sticks best to damaged hair, but then when it does fade you run the risk of it getting -really- light at the roots.

If you really love the Adore colour and don't want to mess with finding a demi-perm in that color, this is what I would do: Use Clairol on the roots as you have been and then after that, dye all over with the Adore. A pain, but 1) this should make the Adore color last longer as it will be on somewhat processed hair and 2) you'll have the color you want and when it does fade you won't notice so much as the Clairol is underneathe there, so you can go just as long between dye jobs as before.
posted by Polychrome at 6:41 AM on January 24, 2014

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