Coloring your hair is a fun experience. It allows you to add emphasis to your natural hair color or try on a totally new look entirely, whether temporary or not. However, color-treating your hair can also be a little dangerous.
Color-treated hair will require some special treatment, both to ensure that your color lasts as long as possible and to prevent any lasting damage to your strands.
A warning about dying your hair
Although hair dye is popular and can create some truly stunning looks, you should be aware of the dangers of color treatments so you can minimize them and take care of your hair appropriately afterwards.
In order to allow the dye to penetrate the hair and set in, a mixture of chemicals need to be applied to lift the hair cuticle, remove your natural pigment and set the dye. These chemicals can be very drying—especially peroxide—and dry hair is rarely a good sign. A lack of moisture can lead to dull, brittle hair that breaks easily. The process of coloring hair also weakens the cuticle, potentially making you more susceptible to frizz.
It’s very important that you use the correct dye products for your hair color and type—using the incorrect products could completely fry your hair. The best way to die your hair is to go to a professional salon, where a stylist who is trained in color can be sure to use the right dye type, developer and bleach to avoid damage.
Tips for taking care of colored hair
While all hair dye will eventually fade away, especially if you’re working with a bright color, it’s possible to extend the life of your beautiful, colored hair through some simple tips.
- Don’t wash right away: If you just returned from the salon, avoid giving your hair a deep scrub for a few days to let color sink in and set. In order to color the hair, your cuticle must be lifted on each strand, and the cuticle can remain lifted for a while after. If you wash before the cuticle has time to close, some of your color may get washed away.
- Don’t wash everyday: Washing your hair everyday can lead to your color fading much faster, since a little bit of color will get washed away each time. Try skipping shampoos so you’re only washing every two or three days. Plus, washing less frequently can also help preserve your hair’s natural oils, making it healthier! Use dry shampoo on non-wash days if your hair is looking a little oily.
- Don’t wash hot: When it’s time to wash your hair, avoid cranking up the heat. Water that’s too hot can strip your hair of its natural oils, which is needs to stay healthy and look beautiful and shiny. Hot water can also lift the cuticle, allowing color to wash out and dulling the appearance of your hair. Instead, wash with lukewarm water and give your hair a cold-water rinse at the end to seal the cuticles.
- Use special shampoo: Not all shampoos work in the same way, and the shampoo you normally use to get your hair squeaky clean may not be the best for preserving your hair color. Look for a shampoo that is specially formulated to care for color-treated hair. These types of products help lock in color and prevent fading.
- Hydrate your hair—a lot: Hair dyes might do some damage to your strands by dehydrating them. This is why it’s so important to use lots of products that penetrate deep into your strands to hydrate them and keep them strong. Use conditioners designed for color-treated hair, as well as deep conditioning leave-in products or hair masks after you wash for the ultimate hydration.
- Avoid heat styling: Coloring your hair can do enough damage, so you don’t want to continue to damage it after the fact. Heat styling tools can leave your hair dehydrated and brittle, leading to breakage. Try to air dry your hair as much as possible and style without flat irons or curling irons for healthier, stronger hair.
- Strengthen your hair: Taking hair care supplements may help strengthen your strands against the damage caused by hair dye. After coloring your hair, it’s more important than ever to be extra mindful of your hair’s hydration and strength.
The more you’re able to take care of and preserve your hair color, the longer your color will last. Not only is this good for your wallet, but it also means you’re taking fewer trips to the salon, which can save your hair from repeated damage over time!