Can I Mix Semi Permanent Hair Color With Developer

As a beauty enthusiast, you may have wondered if it is possible to mix semi-permanent hair color with developer. After all, both of these products are commonly used in hair coloring processes. However, the answer to this question can I mix semi permanent hair color with developer is not as simple as a yes or no. In this article, we will dive into the details and explore the intricacies of mixing semi-permanent hair color with the developer.

Can I Mix Semi Permanent Hair Color With Developer?

Mixing semi-permanent hair color with a developer is not recommended, as semi-permanent color is designed to be used without a developer. The developer may alter the intended results and could damage your hair.

Before we delve into the compatibility, risks, and benefits of Can I mix semi permanent hair color with developer, let us first understand what these two products are.

Semi-Permanent Hair Color

Semi-permanent hair color is a gentler alternative to permanent hair color. It does not contain harsh chemicals like ammonia and peroxide, making it less damaging to the hair. This type of hair color is typically used for temporary changes in hair color, such as adding highlights or covering grey hair.


Developer, also known as activator or oxidizing agent, is a product that helps activate the color molecules in hair dye. It is usually a liquid or cream that contains hydrogen peroxide, which allows the color to penetrate the hair shaft and create a permanent change in hair color.


Now that we have a basic understanding can I mix semi permanent hair color with developer, let us discuss their compatibility. The short answer is: that it depends on the type of hair color and developer you are using.

Some semi-permanent hair colors are designed to be mixed with a low-volume developer, usually 10 or 20 volume, to create a longer-lasting result. These types of hair colors often come in a kit that includes both the color and the developer. Therefore, it is safe to mix these two products together as they are formulated to work together.

On the other hand, if you are using a semi-permanent hair color that does not require a developer, such as a direct dye or henna, mixing it with a developer can have unpredictable results. The same goes for using a high-volume developer, which is typically used for permanent hair color, with semi-permanent hair color. It may cause damage to your hair and alter the color outcome.

Personal Experiences

Personal Experiment #1: Adding Developer to Semi-Permanent Color

Curiosity got the better of me during my first attempt to mix semi-permanent hair color with a developer. I thought the developer might intensify the color and make it last longer. The result? A vibrant hue that did last longer than without the developer, but it came at a cost—my hair felt drier and more brittle. Lesson Learned: While the color was stunning, the potential damage to my hair made me reconsider this approach.

Personal Experiment #2: Balancing Act

Undeterred by my first attempt, I decided to tweak the formula. I used a lower-volume developer and a hydrating conditioner to counteract potential damage. The result was a compromise—I achieved a beautiful color that lasted longer, and my hair felt better than in the first experiment.


If you have determined that your semi-permanent hair color and developer are compatible, it is crucial to mix them correctly. Follow the instructions on the product packaging to ensure the right amount of each product is used.

  1. In general, it is recommended to mix equal parts of hair color and developer.
  2. Use a mixing bowl and brush for even and thorough mixing.
  3. It is also essential to mix only the amount of product you need for one application.
  4. Unlike permanent hair color, semi-permanent hair color does not contain preservatives.
  5. So any leftover mixture cannot be stored and used for future touch-ups.

Related Guides:

Does Semi Permanent Hair Need Developer?

Does Semi Permanent Hair Need Developer

As mentioned earlier, some semi-permanent hair colors require a low-volume developer to create longer-lasting results. In this case, using a developer is necessary for the desired outcome. However, if your semi-permanent hair color does not require a developer and you choose to mix it with one, there is a risk of damaging your hair.

How Long Does Semi-Permanent Last?

One of the benefits of using semi-permanent hair color is its temporary nature. It typically lasts for 4-6 weeks before gradually fading away. Mixing it with a developer may prolong the longevity of the color, but it can also make it more difficult to fade out when you want to change your hair color.

Does the Developer Damage Hair?

Developers, especially high-volume ones, can be damaging to the hair. It opens up the hair cuticle to allow the color molecules to penetrate, which can cause dryness and breakage. Therefore, it is essential to use a developer that is appropriate for your hair type and follow proper hair care routines after coloring.

Does Semi-Permanent Color Damage Hair?

In general, semi-permanent hair color is typically regarded as less harmful to your hair compared to permanent hair color. However, it still contains some chemicals that can affect the health of your hair. When mixed with a developer, it may cause more damage due to the increased intensity and penetration of the color.

Final Thoughts:

Whether can I mix semi permanent hair color with developer depends on the specific products you are using. If your semi-permanent hair color requires a low-volume developer, it is safe to mix them together. However, if your semi-permanent hair color does not require a developer, it is best to avoid mixing the two products as it may cause damage to your hair. Remember to always read and follow the instructions on the product packaging and perform a patch test before using any hair color products.  So, be mindful and make informed decisions to achieve your desired hair color without compromising the health of your hair. 



Meet Alex Mercer, the seasoned chemist with years of experience in formulating and testing various chemical combinations. Beyond his professional expertise, he has acquired substantial knowledge in home remedies and natural treatments through years of personal experiments and extensive research. His mission is to inform and educate readers about the best methods of combining different products, leveraging his unique blend of professional knowledge and home-grown wisdom.

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