For Color Treated HairHair coloring is not just for camouflaging graying hair. More and more women like to color their hair in a shade that enhances their look and matches their personality. But it is very important to care for color treated hair so that the color lasts for a longer duration. Since hair colors contain harsh chemicals that strips hair of moisture, it is important to choose after-care products that nourishes hair. By using the right products that have been specially formulated for color treated hair, hair color will last longer. Color treated hair is prone to roughness, dryness and breakage due to the harsh chemicals that are present in the hair color.
There are lots of color-treated hair facts out there. One of the most well-known is that women often notice that their hair feels thicker after hair coloring, especially those with fine hair. In reality, the hair coloring process does not make hair fibers physically thicker but it can make hair fibers rougher, which can create the appearance and feel of thicker hair. This is because the rougher texture causes neighboring hair fibers to “grip” each other rather than slide past each other the way smooth fibers do, which can prevent hair from falling flat and make it seem fuller. This perception of thicker hair is one of the great color treated hair facts that is (somewhat) true.
Before your hair is colored, make sure it’s in the best possible condition. If your hair is dry, or if you have a lot of split ends, you’re not going to get an even, natural looking result after coloring. Futhermore, you’re putting the health of your hair at risk by adding chemicals. Do a deep conditioning treatment once a week for several weeks leading up to your hair color, and make sure to get those split ends snipped beforehand. This will ensure that your hair is healthy enough to take on the color.
Wait at least 24 hours after coloring! Give your strands enough time to fully absorb your new hair color before washing and conditioning. Once you do step into the shower, make sure your shampoo and conditioner are specially formulated for colored hair. There are plenty of ultra-gentle formulas to choose from at the salon or in your local discount store. Avoid shampoos that are meant to clarify hair or treat dandruff both are much too harsh and will strip your color quickly. Remember that any shampoo, no matter how gentle, will strip your hair of some of its color, so go as long as possible between washing.
Color Treated Hair Shampoo
Color shampoo is a hair care product meant to enhance or preserve color-treated hair. Some of these products are specially formulated to limit color stripping, while others actually deposit a small amount of dye in the hair. Another popular type of color shampoo is the variety that uses toning colors to prevent dyed hair from turning shades of yellow or orange. Specialized shampoo for highlighted hair is also available, and all of these products are typically very gentle, moisturizing, and include vitamins and minerals to help protect hair from damage.
When hair is dyed, the natural hair color is lifted slightly or totally and a new color is deposited in its place. Most types of color shampoo are formulated to be gentle enough not to remove the color deposits, keeping hair color fresher for longer. Shampoos meant for other hair types are typically too harsh for color-treated hair and can cause hair dye to fade prematurely.
For shades that are especially hard to keep vibrant, there are different types of color shampoo that deposit a small amount of color every time the product is used. Deep shades of red or brunette are often prone to changing color, and this type of product can add a small amount of color in place of the original color that is washed out during the cleansing process. These color shampoos come in a range of shades and often include shine-enhancing ingredients as well.
Certain hair colors and hair types tend to change after the hair has been dyed. Shades of blonde and gray are especially prone to this, with the former tending to turn orange over time and the latter turning yellow. Most types of color shampoo with toning properties have small deposits of violet or blue that help to counteract this change in color. Purple shampoo typically helps to keep blonde hair from turning orange, a common occurrence in those with naturally darker hair that has been lightened. Blue-based shampoos aid in keeping gray from yellowing.
There are also separate color shampoos for those with highlights. These tend to having toning properties to prevent highlights from turning brassy, although they are typically not as strong as those meant for all-over color. This helps to protect un-highlighted hair that is a warmer color from losing its depth and turning cooler. As hair is typically highlighted with bleach, this type of color shampoo is often very hydrating and includes proteins to help strengthen hair.
Nearly all types of color shampoo include heavy moisturizers to help replenish processed strands. Both drugstore and higher-end brands often include proteins such as keratin that help to rebuild hair that has been colored, as the dying process tends to strip hair of its natural proteins. Unlike other types of shampoo, which are meant to clean unprocessed hair, color shampoo is typically much gentler and contains weaker cleansing agents to prevent causing further damage to hair and to protect the color.
Tips and Precautions for Color Treated Hair
1. Trim your hair every four to six weeks to remove split ends and make your hair more manageable. A good haircut is the best foundation for the rest of the steps. It allows you to spend less time fussing with your hair and applying heat and more chemicals in an effort to coax it into doing what it doesn’t want to do.
2. Use a shampoo specially formulated for color-treated hair, and if you must wash everyday, shampoo only once. When you shampoo, avoid tugging your hair, and wash gently. Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of the shampoo. Don’t wash your hair if it isn’t dirty.
3. Use a conditioner for color-treated hair each time you shampoo, and apply a little extra to the ends. Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of the conditioner. Removing all traces of shampoo and conditioner minimizes any film that attracts dirt, hides hair’s natural shine, and makes hair less manageable. It also means that you may not have to wash as frequently.
4. Apply a deep conditioner once a month.
5. Use a special micro-fiber hair-drying towel. They absorb more moisture than regular bath towels, allowing you to apply less heat to dry your hair.
6. Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair with minimal breakage.
7. Blow-dry your hair when it’s almost dry. The more heat you apply, the more damage you inflict to the cuticle. Dry with your fingers instead of a brush until the very end of the drying process. Ionic blow dryers reportedly dry hair up to 60 per cent faster than other blow dryers.
8. Avoid curling irons and hot rollers. Style your hair with a brush and blow dryer.
9. If you must apply mousse, styling gel, and/or hair spray, apply them sparingly. All of these styling aids contain drying chemicals and dull the shine.
10. Brush your hair gently.
11. If you have long hair, use hair accessories instead of rubber bands for ponytails.
12. Avoid chlorine, and when you do swim, wash the chlorine out of your hair as soon as possible after swimming.
13. Avoid excessive exposure to the sun.
14. When you color your hair, there’s no need to apply color to your entire head. It may be easier to color your entire head, but repeatedly coloring the ends inflicts more damage and encourages breakage. Instead, apply color to the roots and pull the color through with a wide-tooth comb at the end. Color your entire head no more than twice a year.
15. Use a temporary rinse in between colorings to extend the life of each permanent or semi-permanent color application.
Avoid Hidden Color Strippers
You may be exposing your freshly colored hair to secret strippers and not even realize it. Check the ingredients on products like hairspray and gel. Alcohol is a common ingredient in both, but it can strip your hair color. Look for alternative formulas that are alcohol-free.
Everyone knows blonde hair can turn green when exposed to chlorine. But blondes aren’t the only ones who should beware of chlorinated pools. Brunettes and redheads can also see their color fade and wash out with continued exposure to chlorine. Go retro and wear a bathing cap to block the color-stripping chemical. Or saturate your hair with non-chlorinated water before taking the plunge – this will ensure that your hair soaks up less chlorine.
And finally - the biggest color stripping culprit? UV rays. Just as your skin can suffer from sun damage, so too can your hair. Cover up with a hat or coat your strands with an SPF spray when spending time outside in the sun.
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