How Long Does It Take For Hair Dye To Fade Out Completely

Sometimes when we want to do something else with our hair, we don’t consider all the consequences. Dyeing your hair another color is one of them.

Often I hear women talk about getting a new hair color because they’re bored with what they have now. Nothing wrong with that. I encourage it to mix up your hairstyle. 

But several weeks ago, a friends’ mom asked me the following question: “how long does it take for hair dye to fade out completely?”

She has colored her hair multiple times but wanted to go back to her natural hair color. A legitimate question, so I helped her by giving her some information. 

But then it hit me: There are lots of women with the same question! Women who’ve dyed their hair demi-permanent or permanent and are asking themselves if they ever can go back to their original color. This article is for all those people!

So, how long does it take for hair dye to fade out completely?

To answer this we have to look at a couple of things because it isn’t a straight answer like yes or no. It goes deeper than that. 

First of all, we have to look at the different kinds of hair dye. Some will fade as wash out after a couple of times washing your hair. But there are also some hair dyes where this is more difficult

Temporary hair dye
The first hair color type is temporary hair dye. Temporary hair dye is also known as wash out hair color which answers itself. This hair dye will fade out completely. Or better said, it washes out completely and goes right back to your natural hair color.

It works like that because the hair dye only coats the outside of the hair shaft so there is no permanent thing going on and the results won’t last. Great if you want to experiment with a new hair color for a couple of days.

Semi-permanent hair dye
The second hair coloring type is semi-permanent hair dye. This type of hair dye is great for when you want to kick your temporary hair dye up a notch. If you found that you’re ready for the next step but don’t want it to be a permanent thing.

Semi-permanent hair dye is also great for adding gloss and shine to dull-looking hair and to help with growing out permanent hair color. It can even be used for root touch-ups! 

The other great thing about semi-permanent hair dye is the fact that it doesn’t take too long for the hair dye to fade out completely out of your hair. Those dyes are normally not formulated with ammonia and using developer isn’t needed. 

Semi-permanent hair dye fades completely out of your hair in about eight washes. 

Demi-permanent hair dye
The big difference between semi-permanent hair dye and demi-permanent hair dye is the fact that demi-permanent dye is mixed with developer. This allows the hair dye to penetrate the hair shaft and so it stays in your hair for longer. Demi-permanent hair dye will fade out of your hair completely in about 24 washings.

This type of hair dye is fantastic if you want something between semi-permanent and permanent hair dye. The nice thing about this kind of hair dye is the fact that it is ammonia-free.

Permanent hair dye
Permanent hair dye differs from the rest of the hair dyes in the fact that this one is permanent and this hair dye doesn’t fade out completely of your hair. 

It is great if you want to stick to one hair color for a longer period of time. Because it penetrates your hair more deeply (due to the chemical process), it can go for weeks without ever seeing that if fades. 

But, as you can imagine, you have to reapply eventually because of hair growth. When you have to reapply depends on your base color and what you would like to achieve.

How long does it take for permanent hair dye to fade out completely? 

It doesn’t permanent hair dye does not fade. But that doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with it for the rest of your life.

If you want to get rid of the permanent hair color, you can let it grow out until all of the permanent hair dye is out of your hair. I know this can take a while but semi-permanent hair dye can help a big deal with this.

Every once in a while you can color your hair (not too soon after the last hair dye job cause you can damage your hair) with semi-permanent hair color to keep the color correct and let the permanent hair dye fade out without showing the world that you are fading it out completely.

What can I do if I want to get rid of my permanent hair coloring?

Sometimes we just get sick of our hair coloring and want something else, sometimes it went wrong and we need to fix it and I think there are a variety of other reasons why you want to change.

But what can you do?
There are a couple of things that you can do to let your hair dye go.

Cutting your hair
Okay, I must confess that this seems like a wild option. Just cutting off your hair because of a bad hair coloring job is intense. But sometimes it is just the right way to go. You can start over without having to remind yourself of the color for the foreseeable future.

Wait till the hair dye fades out completely
Now, this isn’t something you can do with permanent hair coloring, but for the other 3 I mentioned above this is something that can help you. Let it fade out for a while. 

You can even find hair products like shampoo that will help you fade the color. Just don’t do things in a rush. If you haven’t used permanent hair dye, you’re stuck with your color for about a month or so. So wait it out and use what you can find to your advantage to let the hair dye fade out completely.

Find a color compatible with the current coloring
You should know that you cannot dye your hair a couple of times shortly after each other, but you can wait a bit to let your hair become healthy again and then dye it over with a compatible color.

You should look for a color that compliments the hair coloring you have now (so that it doesn’t conflict with each other) but also something closer to your natural hair color. This way you’ll know that you probably end up with something that you like.

How long does it take for different hair dyes to fade out completely?

I want to give you a quick overview so that you know what to expect when you go off and color your hair. Here it is!

Temporary hair dye
Temporary hair dye only coats the outside of the hair shaft. It is also known under the name: wash out hair color. This is because it doesn’t latch on to your hair for quite some time. It all washes away the next time you shampoo your hair.

How long does it take to completely fade?
Very quickly. When you go to shampoo your hair, the new color will wash out and your hair will return to its natural color.

Semi-permanent hair dye
This particular form of hair dye is normally not formulated with ammonia and doesn’t require a developer. It can be a great option for grey hair coverage when you don’t want to go to the salon for that. It is also great to test out a new hair color without the risk of being stuck with it.

How long does it take for semi-permanent hair dye to fade out?
The great thing about semi-permanent hair dye is the fact that it washes out in around 8 washes.

Demi-permanent hair dye
With demi-permanent, you have something between semi-permanent and permanent hair dye. Demi-permanent hair dye lasts longer in the hair than semi-permanent hair dye because this hair dye is mixed with a developer. That allows the hair dye to penetrate the hair shaft and latch on to your hair for longer.

What is the fading period for semi-permanent hair dye?
A semi-permanent hair dye will fade out in about 24 washes. A great thing if you know you want this color, but also know that you want to go back easily to your natural hair color.

Permanent hair dye
This is the one that just requires another treatment as I described above. It isn’t as easy to get rid of it. But, there are also some benefits like the fact that you don’t have to dye very often and that you only have to do the roots again.

How long does it take for permanent hair dye to fade completely?
Permanent hair dye does not fade completely out of your hair. It only will grow out eventually and you can do all sorts of things to combat that (I described this above).

Final thoughts

By now you know a lot more about different hair coloring types and what it takes to let them fade out completely. For most hair dyes this is an easy thing. Just wash your hair once, or a couple of times, and your hair will be back to its natural color.

Permanent hair dye requires other steps as you read above. Don’t let it freak you out that it doesn’t fade out completely. I hope by now you know how to go about keeping your beautiful color or how to go back!

Joy-Lee Founder and writer of


Hi, my name is Joy-Lee and I'm the owner of As you might've noticed, I'm a true beauty lover, and made it my passion, my work and my hobby. I love sharing my thoughts and feelings on a variety of beauty aspects and want to thank you for reading!