Contrary to common belief colour is a chemical process and it causes a little damage to your hair follicles. When you colour your hair the outermost part of the hair shaft which is the cuticle gets lifted, the hair colour keratin becomes colourless, so the dye can bond to the cortex. Constantly opening and closing of the hair shaft is what leads to damage. Additionally, hair colouring and bleaching breaks the disulfide bonds (what strengthens your hair) leading to weak hair. However, this doesn’t have to be the case.
The following are some of the ways you can take care of your colour treated hair or tips you should keep in mind when you’re starting your coloured hair journey.
- Use products tailored for coloured hair
There’s always that worry that when you dye your hair, the colour will wash off or go dull faster than you expected. However, when you use specialised products you are able to maintain the vibrance of your hair colour, the colour lasts longer and your hair stays moisturised. For this reason invest in Ammonia-free colour enhancing hair products to treat, protect, and make your hair appear brighter and shinier. These are the ingredients to watch out for in beauty products
- Use sulphate-free shampoo
It is also important to stay away from clarifying shampoos as they tend to strip away the moisture and colour in your hair. If you have oily hair you can shampoo more often than if you have dry hair. Nonetheless, don’t shampoo your hair too often as this could counter the results you desire. Here’s more on how to wash kinky hair the right way
- Condition your hair
Each time you wash your hair, which you should, using cool or lukewarm water, condition the hair to add moisture and prevent brittleness. Leave in the conditioner for a few minutes then rinse it off as required. You may sit under a dryer so the deep conditioner can penetrate into the hair shaft more effectively. However, once you’re done with your wash routine, do not let the hair come into contact with water. This only leads to the colour fading faster than anticipated. Do you really need the Shea Moisture Intensive Hair Masque?
- Air dry your hair
Air drying is beneficial because your hair doesn’t get subjected to high heat. If you must use heat, apply a heat-protective hair spray or serum to prevent the hair from heat damage. You could also use a T-shirt or a microfibre towel to dry your hair.
- Avoid high manipulation styles
Constant manipulation leads to tangles, breakage, split ends and dullness. To avoid this style your hair in low manipulation styles like braids, puffs, pineapple updos or conrows. What you want to avoid is constantly manipulating the hair, which often works against maintaining the hair dye. Again, if you want length retention, less manipulation is the best way to go about this. Check out these low manipulation hairstyles you can do at home
- Trim regularly to take care of the weak ends
It is often said that once you dye your hair you have to get comfortable with scissors. This is true for several reasons. Coloured hair is often prone to dryness, brittleness and breakage. For this reason, you need to trim your hair regularly to get rid of the weak ends, which tend to make your hair look dull, tangle excessively and break even more. These are the 5 things no one tells you after the big chop
- Seal in moisture
When you have coloured hair it can get overwhelming on what products to choose that will not affect your hair colour. Oils are good for sealing in the moisture and keeping the hair soft and supple. However, avoid using too much hair spray as it strips away the sheen from your hair. Instead, invest in some shine serum which will give you the hold you need and the vibrance.
- Consider your hair’s porosity
Porosity refers to your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. High porosity hair has the cuticle more lifted than low porosity which means its likely to absorb colour faster but also appear dull just as fast. Because the dye penetrates too easily on this type of hair, it can weaken the strands leading to more dryness and eventually breakage. To counter this, use moisturising deep conditioners and protein treatments to keep the hair shaft strong. Don’t forget to apply a lightweight oil like Avocado oil to seal in the moisture.
Check out the best oils to use on natural hair
- Find a professional colourist
Just like it’s not safe to jump right into colouring your hair fully, it is never advisable to use box dye to colour your hair yourself. This is because it is often difficult to find the right formulation that will give you desired results, without leading to excess shedding, dryness and damage. Therefore, whether you want to re-dye or colour your hair afresh, take time to seek a professional colourist who has the experience to give you the best results.
- Protect your hair from UV rays
Sunrays fade the hair colour and lead to dryness. Use products e.g shampoos and conditioners that contain SPF to protect the hair from sun damage. Products infused with vitamins A, C and E are also great for keeping the hair looking healthy and nourished. Additionally, these vitamins contribute to a cell turnover, which promotes healthy hair growth and shine.