March 4, 2021

5 Best Semi Permanent Hair Colors for Gray and Dark Hair

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Going for semi-permanent hair colors is a great option for those who aren’t ready for the commitment of new hair color yet. It’s also a great way to try out different hair colors first before choosing the right one for you!

If you’re here to look for gentler hair-color dye formulas or the top semi-permanent hair dye for your situation, then you came to the right place. This list has the top semi-permanent products in the market that will give your mane the professional-looking dye treatment it deserves!

Best for All Hair Types
Manic Panic Hair Dyes
Our Pick
Clairol Natural Instincts Hair Color
Best Vegan Formula
Arctic Fox Hair Color
Table of Contents

5 Best Semi Permanent Hair Colors

Clairol Natural Instincts Hair Color

Our Pick

In this list, the Clairol Natural Instincts is our pick for the top semi-permanent hair dye. This dye comes with 36 different hair colors to choose from. If you’re looking to add some natural vibrancy to your tresses, then this product is perfect. This product will bring new life to your tresses and give it that natural and smooth texture for up to 28 washes!

This colorant hair dye has great hair color coverage that will also leave your strands without any grays. On top of that, the dyeing process will only take 10 minutes of your time, which is great for those who are looking for a quick and easy solution.

Infused with coconut oil, vitamin E, and aloe vera, this product makes sure that your locks stay moisturized while you’re coloring it. This dye also has an ammonia-free formula — no need to worry about damaging your strands!


  • 36 color options and great color coverage
  • Up to 28 washes
  • 10 minutes application time
  • Natural oils work great at moisturizing hair
  • Ammonia-free formula


  • Thin consistency can make it messy during application
  • Gives off a slight chemical smell after washing hair

Manic Panic Semi Permanent Hair Dyes

Best for All Hair Types

When it comes to having a wide range of “high voltage” hair colors, this is a great choice for those looking to mix things up! You can mix any of their semi permanent hair color products and see what blend works best for you!

What’s also great about this dye is that it has a vegan formula that’s paraben-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free, phthalate-free, PPD free, and ammonia-free. This is completely safe for your hair! It’s also a great conditioner that moisturizes your hair while applying!

Its cream formula makes it easy to apply for everyone and you don’t have to worry about making any big messes when applying! Depending on your hair type and hair care routine, this can last you for 4-6 weeks which is great for a semi-permanent dye.

With its mixable bright pigments, this works great for blondes, brunettes, and even for those with darker hair. If you’re thinking of doing a bleach-and-dye, then that won’t be a problem too!


  • Wide range of options that you can mix
  • Easy to use
  • Gentle dye for hair
  • Works for any hair type
  • Great at moisturizing hair


  • Fades quickly depending on hair type and hair care routine
  • Not good if you want temporary color dyes

Arctic Fox Semi Permanent Hair Color

Best Vegan Formula

If you’re particular about going for vegan options, then this semi-permanent color dye by Arctic Fox is what you’re looking for. This dye only uses vegan ingredients and there aren’t any harmful chemicals in its formula. It has no animal by-products, no ethyl alcohol, no peroxide, and it’s cruelty-free too! It also doesn’t have any PPD (paraphenylenediamine) but it still gives you a long-lasting effect for any of the hair colors you choose!

What makes this dye unique is that it also has a sweet scent, which is great for those who want to avoid dyes with uneasy chemical smells. It also does a great job to condition your hair while you color it, making sure that it’s well hydrated throughout the process. On top of all that, 15% of all profits of this product goes to charities that work to end animal abuse!


  • 100% vegan and no harmful chemicals
  • Can last for 4-8 weeks
  • Sweet scent
  • Has conditioning ingredients


  • Bright hues might not be what you’re looking for
  • Lacks a wide range of hair colors

Ion Color Brilliance Semi-Permanent Brights Hair Color

This dye is great for those looking for bold and neon hair colors! This product works great for both natural and bleached hair because of how intense the pigments are for these shades. In 20-40 minutes, you’ll be ready to rock the bright pink, red, or blue hair that you might be looking for.

This dye contains hyaluronic acid, argan oil, pequi oil, and other natural ingredients that help nourish and strengthen your hair during the process. On top of that, it promises that the color would penetrate deep in the cortex of your strands, making sure that the color lasts long and gives you an intense fade-resistant color!


  • Free from PPD, ammonia, and peroxide
  • Intensely pigmented colors
  • Natural ingredients are great at strengthening and moisturizing hair


  • Neon hair color might not be what you’re looking for

L’Oréal Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color

If you have a light to medium hair color and want to add some color and pop to your locks, then this product by L’Oreal is a great choice.

This dye offers different colors of pinks, blues, and even greens. Most of these work best for those with natural blonde or bleached hair, but this product also offers other colors that are great if you’re a brunette!

This dye has an ammonia-free and peroxide-free formula and it lasts only for 4-10 washes. This is perfect for those who just want to try out new hair colors and looking for a temporary hair dye.


  • No ammonia and peroxide
  • 100% vegan
  • Best temporary hair color option


  • Doesn’t work well for dark hair
  • It fades fast so it might not be what you’re looking for

Is Semi Permanent Hair Dye Less Damaging?

Less Damaging

Semi-permanent dye products are usually less damaging compared to permanent hair dyes, but since both can contain chemical and artificial ingredients to achieve hair color, then it will come down to how well you take care of your hair if you’ll experience any damages.

Ammonia is a typical ingredient that’s used for both kinds of hair dyes. This is an ingredient that helps stick colors better on your hair.

Unfortunately, this ingredient can also damage your hair if you don’t use a conditioner regularly after dyeing. If you’re going for a product that contains ammonia, we suggest to stock up on gentle shampoos and a deep conditioner that will keep your dyed hair nourished and moisturized.

What is the Best Semi Permanent Hair Color to Cover Gray?

The semi permanent hair color that covers gray strands would be the Clairol Natural Instincts Hair Color dye. This dye has great color coverage and wraps around every strand of your hair well, giving you the natural color that you’re looking for!

This is a great option for those who have gray hairs and want to achieve that natural and lively color again! If you’re a blonde, brunette, or someone with dark black hair, this is a great semi-permanent hair color solution to bring back new life and vibrancy to your tresses!

How Long Does a Semi Permanent Hair Color Last?

Typically, semi permanent hair colors are meant to last a shorter time compared to permanent hair colors. This is because of the nature of semi-permanent dyes. It’s not meant to penetrate deep into your strands and scalp to turn your natural hair into a different color. This also means that semi permanent hair color will fade away easier after every wash.

A lot of semi permanent dyes last only 8-14 washes, but some products can last up to 6 whole weeks! This will depend on the formula of the dye, but if you’re looking for short-but-sweet hair color solutions, then this list has a bunch of great options.

However, if you’re looking for the top semi permanent hair dye product that lasts a long time, then this list has you covered as well!

RELATED: Should You Dye Your Hair Twice in a Day?

What Semi Permanent Hair Color is Best for Dark Hair?

When it comes to dyeing hair, the usual routine would be to bleach your hair a couple of shades lighter first. This is to make sure that the hair dye blends better with your hair and achieves accurate color results. However, there are also hair dyes that are formulated to work well for those who have darker hair.

Just don’t go overboard with bleaching though since it can cause hair damage and breakage.

Out of all these brands, our suggestion for the top semi-permanent hair dye for dark hair would be Manic Panic’s Semi Permanent Hair Dye. This one is great for those with darker hair because you can mix any of these and get different hair colors that are right for you. Whether your hair is bleached or not, this hair dye does a great job of giving you well-blended semi permanent hair color!



To round things up, our best pick would be the semi permanent hair color dye by Clairol Natural Instincts. This is the best dye on the list because of the wide range of colors, quick and easy application, and key ingredients that nourishes your newly colored hair!

If you’re unsure about which product is best for your hair type, then the one by Manic Panic is the best for you. With its fun mixture of colors, expect to get the perfect hair dye color that will blend with your natural hair the way you want it to!

For those who prefer vegan options, we recommend Arctic Fox because of its 100% vegan and gentle formula. A huge bonus would be that 15% of profits will go to charities that work to end animal abuse!

And if you need more hair color options, you should also check out our articles on the Best Red Hair Dyes, Best Hair Highlights, and Best Blue Black Hair Dyes.

But if you’re not quite ready to dye your hair, then why not opt for a wig instead? Read through our Best Lace Wigs article for recommendations.

Paola Diaz
Paola Diaz

Hi, I'm Paola! A skin care enthusiast and nature lover. Creating content that promotes proper skin treatment and keeping a healthy glow is my way of sharing with the world how healthy skin can go a long way. I’m a firm believer of natural beauty that radiates inside all of us. All we need is the right kind of nourishment that inspires our wellness from inside out. So it’s really not about physical beauty alone – it’s the beautiful life we can create for ourselves when we connect with our own nature and see there is beauty that shines from every one of us.