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At Sally we know that your hair colour isn’t just about how you look, it’s about how you feel. A fresh colour can be the difference between a good day and a bad day. That’s why we want to make sure if you’ve taken the decision to colour hair, you’re using the right tools.

Which formula of hair colour should I be using?

The first step to colouring your hair is always choosing the type of hair colour to use! Each one offers different results whether it’s their lifespan or the effects on the hair. Check out our guide below with details on what to expect from each one!

Semi Permanent Colour

Want to experiment with a wild colour or afraid of commitment? Semi-permanent colours are available in a variety of colours (even pastels!)

Great for:

Blending grey, enhancing & refreshing colour, or going darker. Lasts 4-12 shampoo washes.


Less damaging than permanent colour. It deepens tones without damaging or totally changing the natural colour of your hair.


These will generally last 4-12 shampoos, some may require a low volume developer. Dependant on formula may require pre-lightened hair to apply. Always wear gloves, read the instructions and perform a patch and strand test.

Demi-Permanent Colour

Demi-permanent colours are the best in-between for semi-permanent and permanent colours as they will gradually fade over time.

Great for:

If you’re covering up grey, lightening, darkening, or changing your tone. Lasts up to 24 washes.


Demi-permanent hair colours molecules get under the outer cuticle of the hair shaft but, unlike permanent, don’t penetrate the strand. If you’re not looking for something completely permanent this is for you.


Requires a low-volume developer but does not lighten natural hair colour. It will blend grey, enhance colour and gradually fade over 24 shampoos. This is deposit only, will not lift or lighten hair and gets darker the longer on the hair. Always wear gloves, read the instructions and perform a patch and strand test.

Permanent Hair Colour

If you want to stick with a hair colour for the long run, permanent hair colours are the best choice.

Great for:

Lightening or lifting hair colour with 100% grey coverage. This is for anyone who’s dramatically changing their hair colour permanently.


Requires a developer and is the longest lasting. Depending on your hair growth rate, you will need to retouch roots every 4–6 weeks. This provides longer lasting colour than demi- permanent colour,


Permanent hair-colour opens up the cuticle and needs to sit on the hair longer, so hair texture might change slightly. We’d advise using some at-home treatments after using permanent hair colour. Always wear gloves, read the instructions and perform a patch and strand test.

What is a Hair Developer?

Hair Developer is a product that’s mixed with hair colour to activate it and enable it to penetrate a hair cuticle. Using hair developer is important as it allows colour to produce the results you’re looking for by opening the cuticle for the colour to penetrate. Containing Hydrogen Peroxide, developer can either lift or deposit colour. Therefore you need to choose the correct developer to get the correct colour.

Developers come in both liquid and crème varieties. The main difference between liquid and crème mixtures are in their consistency. Liquid is thinner and better for full coverage while crème is thicker and provides a spill–free experience. Whichever way you choose, you’ll always get the professional quality results you desire!

Dependant on brand, ‘developer’ can be called different names, some of these include; ‘processing solution, oxycream, peroxide, hydrogen peroxide and oxidant.

Knowing what to expect from each developer is critical for achieving the results you want and preventing any damage to your hair or skin. You should be extremely cautious when using any professional colour and developer.

Which developer should I be using?

Colour Remover

Colour removers are an easy way to correct or remove colour in your hair. Whether you fancy a change or made a mistake, there is always a solution. Colour removers work by removing the artificial colour pigment in your hair, leaving your natural colour pigment intact. Unfortunately, colour removers won't work on temporary or henna dyes, it's also worth noting that colour removers won't remove lightened or bleached hair.

Your colour remover result depends on your hair situation. A single colour remover application should be enough for any recent colour mistakes. If you’re a long term user of dark colours like black or brunette, expect a decent amount of colour build-up, which you’ll need to shift to rejuvenate your Hair.

When using a colour remover we always recommend doing a patch test 48hrs before using.

Colour Undo
For an easy solution we recommend Colour Undo.

Colour Undo’s goal is to make colour removal a safe, simple and gentle process. Relying on the latest innovations in science, Colour Undo’s 100% vegan and ammonia-free formula infused with Argan oil strips all semi-permanent and permanent colours out of your hair while offering no compromise on its natural shine & softness. Perfect when used with every colour brand, Colour Undo will help you solve all your colour woes whether you want to correct a DIY disaster and create a blank canvas to try out on-trend colour without worrying over build-up or embrace your natural grey locks. Do not use on bleached or Henna colour, including plant and herbal based.

How to Use Colour Undo

Colour Undo offers such a simple process that you can do it yourself at home. Follow our step-by-step guide below so you can successfully perform this process every time you want to remove your colour. For longer hair, it may require two applications.

Step One

Mix equal amounts of the Activator and Remover (approx. 50ml of each) using the measuring bottles provided in your pack.

Step Two

Saturate the mixture onto your dry hair using a tint bowl and brush. Make sure your hair doesn’t dry out during this stage and cover it with a plastic head cap. To protect your face from the liquid, put cotton wool around the cap. Leave the mixture to develop for up to 60 minutes or to your desired result (for some, it can be done within 10 minutes) and rinse out with warm water for 5 minutes.

Step Three

Rinse out the formula from step 2 with warm water for 5 minutes. Lather approximately 25ml of the Buffer in your hair. Leave in for 1 minute and rinse out with warm water for 5 minutes.

Step Four

Repeat step 3. Your Colour Undo process is now finished!

What is a patch and strand test?

You should always perform a patch test prior to every colour to test for any allergic reactions. Put some colour behind your ear 48 hours before you’re planning on colouring your hair. If any redness, swelling or irritation occurs, then do not use the colour.

A strand test is used to check the end results of the colour on a small piece of hair before committing to dying your full head. If you’ve never coloured you hair before or using a new colour, it is recommended to avoid risk of over-processing, damaging your hair or getting unexpected colour results.

Step 1:

Take a small piece of hair that is normally covered, about the width of a pencil, and separate from the rest of your hair.

Step 2:

Put on your gloves and mix approximately 1 tsp. of developer with 1 tsp. colour (check the mixing ratio of the specific colour for any variation to this ratio).

Step 3:

Apply the colour mix to the strand of hair and leave to process for the recommended amount of time for that colour.

Step 4:

After the required time, rinse the strand until the water runs clear and dry. If you’re happy with the result, apply to your full head within 48 hours.

What tools do I need to colour my hair?

Bowl & Brush or Applicator Bottle

Hair colour reacts badly to metal, so you’ll need a non-metallic tint bowl for mixing your colour and developer. You can then apply the colour mixture with a brush or a bottle.

Combs & Clips

When colouring your hair it’s important to section your hair using combs and using clips to keep it in place. This will help you achieve maximum coverage.

Gloves & Barrier Cream

Applying barrier cream around your hairline helps to prevent staining on your head. Always make sure you use gloves to protect your hands while using colour.

Towel or Cape

Keep your wardrobe clean by using one of our towels or capes.

Ready to shop hair colour?

I’ve dyed my hair, now what about toner?

Toner is a product added onto bleached hair to neutralise and alter unwanted undertones, whether warm or cool. It works best on natural and bleached blonde hair as it alters the undertone and doesn’t lift the shade, which is why it you should be careful when handling red or brown tones. Think of it as a top coat as it also adds a glossy and healthy shine. Take a look at our toners, or read our hair toner guide.

I’m choosing a hair colour brand, where do I start?

It all depends what you’re looking for in hair colour, but we’ve gathered some of our favourites here for you to browse.

Excited to browse our range of hair colour? You can find more hair advice over on our Beauty by You section, or get some inspiration from our instagram!