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Is colour gloss up permanent?

Welcome back to my beauty blog! In today’s post, we’re going to dive into an important question for anyone looking to change up their hair color – is colour gloss permanent? There’s a lot of confusing information out there about glossing, so I want to break it down for you into a comprehensive guide. Whether you’re looking to go darker, lighter, or just add some shine to your current color, read on for everything you need to know about how long colour gloss lasts and if it’s really permanent.

What is Color Glossing?

Color glossing is a service done at the salon that deposits semi-permanent color onto your hair. It can be used to enhance your existing shade, go slightly darker or lighter, add dimension, boost shine, or cover a small amount of grays. Gloss is deposited only on the outer cuticle layer of your hair, so it washes out over time and doesn’t penetrate the cortex like permanent hair dye does.

Gloss is typically made up of deposit-only color molecules as well as conditioning agents. This makes it less damaging than permanent color since it doesn’t require a developer or ammonia to open the cuticle and allow dye inside. The results are subtle but give your color a boost of richness and shine.

Is Gloss Permanent?

The short answer is no – gloss is not permanent! As a semi-permanent treatment, the results will fade out over several washes. How long it lasts depends on a few factors:

  • Your starting hair color – darker shades last longer
  • Your hair type and porosity – gloss washes out faster on porous hair
  • How often you wash your hair – frequent shampooing will speed up fading
  • Exposure to sun, chlorine, and other elements – this can cause increased fading

On average, you can expect the gloss to last anywhere from 4-6 weeks. Some people can stretch it to 8 weeks before the color starts to look faded. It’s definitely not permanent like an all-over color, but it does hang on for a bit!

How Long Does Gloss Last?

Let’s take a more in-depth look at how long you can expect gloss results to stick around:

Hair Color Lasts
Blonde 4-5 weeks
Light Brown 5-6 weeks
Dark Brown 6-8 weeks
Black 8+ weeks

As you can see, darker colors have more staying power. This is because there are more underlying pigment molecules for the gloss to grab onto and reinforce. Blonde hair has less pigment so the color molecules from the gloss have less to adhere to.

One way to make your gloss last longer is to use a color-protecting shampoo and limit washing to 2-3 times per week. Heat styling can also cause faster fading, so letting your hair air dry can help the color hang on longer.

Benefits of Color Glossing

Now that you know it isn’t permanent, why would you want to get a gloss treatment? Here are some of the benefits:

  • Enhances Color: Gloss deposits pigment and brightens up faded hair color, especially towards the end of the color cycle.
  • Boosts Shine: The conditioning properties give hair a luminous, healthy-looking finish.
  • Covers Grays: Gloss can cover up to 25% gray hairs by depositing color right on top of them.
  • Subtle Change: For those who want a change but are wary of permanent color, gloss offers a low-commitment option.
  • Damage-Free: With no developer or ammonia, glossing is safer for damaged or fragile hair.

The versatility of gloss allows you to tweak your color slightly or just give it a refreshed boost between salon appointments. Because it fades out gradually, you don’t have to worry about roots growing in.

Downsides of Gloss

Glossing does have some limitations to be aware of:

  • Not permanent – requires reapplication every 4-8 weeks
  • Subtle results – don’t expect a dramatic color change
  • Works best on color-treated hair – hard to see results on virgin hair
  • Won’t cover gray roots – only blends away grays already colored
  • More expensive than semi-permanent color – salon service cost

The temporary, subtle nature of glosses means they work best for minor color tweaks and upkeep. Don’t expect them to take dark hair to light blonde or provide 100% gray coverage. Discuss your goals thoroughly with your stylist.

At-Home vs Salon Gloss

Now let’s compare getting gloss done at the salon vs doing it yourself at home:

Salon Gloss At-Home Gloss
Cost $60+ per service $10-20 for DIY kit
Results Professional, customized service More subtle, less even
Application Applied by stylist Self-application can cause mistakes
Ingredients Salon-quality, optimized formula Mass-market formula

While at-home gloss kits are affordable, getting it done professionally gives the best results. A skilled colorist can customize the formula and technique to your hair type and goals. The salon formulas also tend to last a bit longer than box glosses.

DIY Gloss vs Semi-Permanent Color

What about touching up your color at home between glosses? You have two options:

  • Gloss: Deposits color without lifting. Better for minor touch-ups.
  • Semi-permanent Color: Deposits color while lifting slightly. Better for noticeable roots.

With its lifting action, semi-permanent color will get you more coverage if you have regrowth. Gloss mainly adds shine and richness without lightening. For just refreshing faded color, a gloss or color-depositing mask works well.

How to Make Gloss Last Longer

To extend the longevity of your salon gloss service, be sure to:

  • Use sulfate-free, color-safe shampoo and lukewarm water
  • Skip clarifying shampoos that can strip color
  • Limit washing to 2-3 times per week
  • Rinse with cool water and use minimal shampoo
  • Let hair air dry instead of heat styling
  • Use an at-home gloss or color-depositing mask between salon visits
  • Avoid chlorine, sun exposure, and other elements that cause fading

With the right maintenance routine, you should be able to make your salon gloss last up to 8 weeks! Just be patient with the fading out process and don’t try to radically re-color the hair too soon.


While not permanent, gloss can be a great way to extend the life of your salon color and keep hair looking shiny and vibrant. For the most dramatic results, pair it with all-over permanent color. Then use gloss in between full appointments to keep the color looking fresh and glowing.

Done properly, gloss can be a versatile service that adds dimension, boosts shine, and refreshes your color – all without damaging your strands. Just don’t expect permanent or dramatic color change from the service. Approach it as color upkeep rather than a full transformation.

Now that you know what to expect from glossing, you can determine if it’s the right option for you. Consult with your stylist to create a custom service plan. With the right technique and maintenance, you can make that glossy color last longer than ever!