Temporary hair color
When I was in high school, I played on my school’s volleyball and basketball teams. During my sophomore year, one of my teammates got the brilliant idea to paint patterns into the underlayers of our hair – nothing so overt that we’d be caught (there were strict rules against using makeup and hairstyles to distract players), but something subtle enough that it would take a few seconds for our opponents to figure out what the heck was going on with our hair. A few unguarded seconds were all we needed – so we thought – to get a ball safely over a net or through a hoop. When we got tired of using our school’s colors (red, white, and black), we’d try our opponents’ colors (purple and gold, green and black, burgundy and silver) or adopt a holiday theme (orange and black for Halloween, green for Saint Patrick’s Day).
The color we used for these experiments was temporary – shades that stayed in our hair only until the next shampoo. We preferred the foam (also called mousse and spray-on formula), but temporary color is also available as a rinse. Of course, not everyone wants to wear the fanciful shades my teammates and I favored; fortunately, temporary hair color comes in many natural hues. One more thing to keep in mind is that temporary color contains no ingredient to alter hair’s structure and because of this, it cannot lighten hair. Instead, use temporary hair color to darken or slightly brighten strands.
If you have damaged, chemically straightened, or permed hair, temporary and semi-permanent colors are the safest choices.
Semi-permanent hair color
Semi-permanent color is terrific for hair-color newbies. It washes out in 6 to 12 shampoos, contains no potentially damaging peroxide or ammonia, and, once it’s gone, leaves your hair the same color as it was before being colored. This means you can experiment with shades until you find one you want to use consistently. Because of its gentle nature, however, semi?permanent color can’t change things very dramatically. It has a slightly translucent quality that makes it better suited to enhancing rather than altering your natural color. What semi?permanent hair color can do is take hair one or two levels darker, or maybe even a shade brighter. Gray hair, which is notoriously resistant to hair color, is rarely well camouflaged by semi?permanent shades. Furthermore, these shades’ lack of chemicals means they have no lightening power whatsoever.
If you’re a brunette who dreams of being blonde, semi-permanent color is not for you.