How to prevent damage from color-treating hair is something that those of us with frizzy hair struggle with. For those of us who have dry and damaged hair, the best thing to do is to prevent damage from color-treating and hair dyes. Let’s face it, most of us like to play around with our hair color. Some opting for the wild rainbow or unicorn look, while others of us just want to add some vibrancy to the lackluster color that nature gave us. Whatever the reasons for coloring the hair, there are things that you can do make sure your hair is in tip-top shape.
What coloring does to the hair
To understand what coloring does to the hair we must first look at what hair dye is made of. Hair dye that changes, or lifts, the color of the hair is composed of two main ingredients: peroxide and ammonia. Hydrogen peroxide is the ingredient in the developer. The higher the developer volume, the greater amount of lift that is accomplished to lighten the hair. This is done by removing sulfur from the hair.
- Peroxide, commonly referred to as bleach, can cause your hair to lose its structure and become damaged. Using a developer with a volume higher than 20 is not really recommended for at home coloring.
- Another chemical is ammonia. Ammonia is an alkaline that causes a reaction for lightening when in comes in contact with the peroxide. In order to do this, the ammonia must separate the cuticle from the hair shaft to allow the dye to deposit and penetrate the hair shaft.
As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, frizzy damaged hair is caused by the raised hair cuticle. You can see how coloring the hair will strip it of its essential oils and actually lift the cuticle for color deposit. This will cause further damage if not done properly. Tame Frizzy Hair recommends that if you see a professional before attempting to color your hair at home.
Prevent Damage from Color-Treating Hair
Here are some tips to prevent damage from color-treating your hair.
- Do not wash hair prior to coloring. It is important that you wait at least 24-36 hours after shampooing your hair if you want to color it. Squeaky clean hair means that the naturally occurring oils have been stripped. Add to that the natural stripping that goes on while coloring, and you have a recipe for breakage, brittleness, and all around damage.
- Condition before coloring. Use the best conditioning hair mask and leave on at least an hour. If your hair is very damaged, make sure you apply more at the ends. Rinse it out, but don’t shampoo, and let your hair air dry a bit. Reapply conditioner at the ends so that the color will not harm the tips so much.
- Stick to the roots. You should only be touching up your roots. If you need all-around color, it should be done by a professional.
- Know your hair texture. If you have coarse hair, the product will take longer to be effective. Thinner hair will react more quickly to the chemicals.
Prepping your hair for coloring may start days before your coloring appointment, whether at a salon or at home and is a sure-fire way to prevent damage from color-treating hair. As a matter of fact, many of the same recommendations given here apply to taking good care of your mane. If you want luxurious hair, you need to pamper it and take good care of it. It will thank you by giving you a lovely head of hair that is silky, shiny, and most importantly, healthy.