Make your hair color last longer with these tips.
Who doesn’t love the look and feel of freshly colored hair? The vibrancy, the shine, the silky softness—I know I do. Finding the perfect professional colorist for the job is very important, but our work doesn’t stop there. For that perfect hair color we love so much, there are several things we can all do, both pre- and post-coloring, to help keep hair color looking fresh, vibrant and long lasting. If you want your fresh-from-the-salon hair color to last longer, it helps to have an understanding of the overall condition of your hair and how it affects the color. Here are several things you can take into consideration to make your hair color last longer and maintain its vibrant look.
The first thing you need to take a look at when considering a new hair color is the condition of your tresses. Is your hair dry, oily, dull, damaged? Is this important? You bet it is. The overall condition of your pre-coloring hair will determine the overall effectiveness of the coloring, as well as how long it will last. So, what should you look out for?
Overall Condition of Hair Prior to Coloring
If your hair is oily and greasy, it can affect the overall power of the color you will be applying. Think about what you’re putting on your hair as part of your daily hair care routine. Are you using a lot of styling aids? Are you slathering your hair with oils in the pursuit of silky hair? If you’re doing things like ironing oils into your hair, chances are your hair color won’t take the way you’d like it to.
The oils on the hair strands that get continually pressed or ironed into your hair can interfere with color application. They actually prevent the color from sticking. So, avoid applying oil-based products to your hair after your last wash before you color. You know it’s best to apply color to hair that’s not squeaky clean, so make special note of your appointment date and avoid using oily products on the days leading up to it.
If your hair is dry, postpone your color appointment and start deep conditioning your locks right away to get them in better shape. It’s important that your hair is hydrated, because dry hair doesn’t hold pigment very well. So, keep your hair hydrated with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. And if your hair is really dry, give it a hydrating treatment a few days before your appointment.
If you have fine hair, you probably won’t need as much time for the color to absorb, because hair dye works much faster on hair that’s thin. Is this a good thing? Not necessarily. Be careful. If you leave it on for too long, the color you choose may come out darker and a bit more extreme than you had imagined. The longer you leave it on, the greater chance you have of damaging your fine tresses.
Is your hair coarse? If so, then it may need a longer processing time for your new color to absorb. The coarser the hair, the larger the diameter of the individual strands. And these strands are definitely more resistant to receiving color. You may need to consider a darker color or a stronger dye to ensure that the pigment is absorbed fully.
The porosity of your hair is probably the most significant factor when it comes to determining just how effectively your new color will take to your hair. Your hair’s level of porosity will determine its ability to absorb not only color but moisture as well. The healthier and more conditioned your hair is, the longer your color should last. Keep in mind that if you have long hair, the ends are generally more porous than the rest of your hair. So, always apply color to the ends last.
Previous Hair Color Treatments
Inform your colorist of any previous hair treatments you may have had, especially within the last year. Also, tell them if you’ve undergone any kind of chemical treatments or special processing. A chemical straightening is a perfect example of what you should disclose. They tend to cause hair to pull color differently, which could drastically change the end result.
It may seem crazy, but it’s true. Your water can affect the outcome of your new hair color. Water that contains a lot of chlorine and minerals can turn beautiful brunette-colored hair into not so beautiful muddy brown hair. Why? Because hair dye tends to stick to the minerals on the hair instead of the hair itself. When the minerals detach and wash away, your color washes away with them. If this is a common problem, you can invest in a water filter to change the hardness of your water, or invest in a clarifying shampoo to help remove buildup before coloring.
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