Caring for coloured hair
By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor
As someone seeking personal perfection, I often get bored and change my appearance to reflect whatever might entertain me or make me happy. Thanks to this, I’ve spent the past two or three years of my life with a hair colour that doesn’t even attempt to fool anyone into thinking it’s natural. I’ve done purple, pink, blue, silver, and currently I’m rocking a nice teal.
The problem I find with these “fashion” colours, as the beauty industry calls them, is that they don’t last. Most formulas are listed as semi-permanent, or they are permanent, but they fade really fast. If you’re thinking of donning a colourful ’do but you worry about the hair maintenance required, here are a couple of my tricks to keeping your colour fresh.
The first is fairly simple and I think most people can figure this out on their own: Wash it as little as possible. Become very familiar with dry shampoo and start training your scalp to not require regular shampooing. This will prevent the shampoo and other products from stripping the colour from your hair. I usually only wash my hair once or twice a week, and my hair is fairly long. People with short hair can go even greater lengths of time.
My next tip is that when you do wash your hair, try and find a shampoo and conditioner that won’t pull the colour out. A lot of brands that seek to preserve the natural oils in the hair won’t remove the colour you put into it. Due to this, formulas meant for older hair, such as Pantene’s Age Defy, will actually allow more of the colour to remain. Don’t prioritize moisture, since anything moisturizing usually means that the oils present in the shampoo and conditioner will sit on top of the hair strands and then be washed away—with your dye—the next time you wash your hair. Instead look for something that claims it repairs damaged hair. This means that the formula penetrates the hair strands so the colour will be less affected by the next time you decide you need to “freshen up.”
This tip doesn’t only have to apply to shampoos and conditioners. Since dyeing your hair is damaging, especially if you’re doing strange colours that require you to bleach it first, you need a good hair routine that will keep your hair healthy. Damaged hair is porous, making it easier for dye to be washed out of it. Start using hair masks, oils, and creams that repair in order to maintain your hair’s health. This also means that you need to avoid damaging processes like heat styling without properly preparing your hair first. I flat iron my hair on a regular basis, but I also avoid blow drying it and I use a heat protector in order to minimize the damage I do.
In that same vein, you want to avoid hot water. I know how lovely and tempting it is to wash your hair in the luxury of a hot shower—but this is beauty, so sacrifices must be made! Wash your hair in cold water, either in the shower—if you can handle it—or do what I do and wash it under the tap. Cold water will prevent the pores in your hair from opening, so less dye will be washed down the drain.
Armed with these tips, you’ll keep those curtains wacky for months. This will make the arduous time spent actually dyeing your hair something that you won’t have to constantly subject yourself to in order to maintain your perfect shade.