Why is a semi-permanent colour no longer covering my greys?

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I currently get my hair professionally coloured using L’Oréal semi-permanent colour. However it is no longer covering my greys, they come through again after one wash! I also tried L’Oréal INOA but it had the same effect.

My hair colour is a mid-brown and I dye it a similar colour. Is the only option for me now to use a permanent colour, or should I try another brand or hairdresser?


Anon, UK

I find it intriguing that your greys come through after one shampoo, especially with the products that you said you have been using.

L'Oreal INOA is a professional permanent colour that covers 100% of white hair and when applied correctly it is a fantastic product. 

There are other colours that you can use to cover resistant white hair, L'Oreal Majirel is a permanent colour that gives great results and there are many shades to choose from.

If you are unhappy with your hair then go have a consultation with a hairdresser you know to be good (don't be afraid to ask someone with nice hair who does theirs! They will be flattered).

Every colourist does things slightly different so it will be interesting to see what they say.

John Clark at Brooks+Brooks, London 


Semi-permanent colours can cover a certain amount of white hair depending on the thickness of the individuals hair! Some white hair is stronger than others and therefore takes longer for colour to penetrate. Grey Hair is actually never grey, the terminology came from the dark and white hair mixed giving a grey effect, depending on the natural colour the mix produces different greys. White hair has lost it's Pigmentation and therefore when you use semi-permanent colours on white hair it will not hold it as well as permanent colours. 

I recommend you try a second INOA colour at your regular salon and ask your stylist if the colour could be applied longer on the white hair parts and later on the rest, this should work. If this does not work I would listen to your stylists professional advice and maybe try permanent colours.

At this stage I would not visit another Hairdresser, stay with the one who knows your hair and listen to what he/she has to say. I do hope my advice will help you decide what to do and wish you many good hair-days ahead


Pierre Alexandre of Pierre Alexandre, Manchester

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