Color-treated hair needs some extra TLC. The process of coloring your hair, even if your stylist uses top-of-the-line conditioning colors, can leave your hair more vulnerable to breakage, damage, or drying out. To help stop these problems before they start, here are eight tips to keep your hair gorgeous and healthy, even after it has been color-treated.
Avoid products containing silicone dimethicone
Silicone dimethicone is a substance found in many hair products meant to give you a softening or smoothing effect. They have a non-water-soluble form of silicone in them, meaning that in order to wash them out of your hair, you will need to use some pretty harsh shampoo.
Harsh shampoo is one of the leading causes of color-treated hair damage. So, while silicone dimethicone may temporarily give you soft smooth hair, in the long run, using these products can be really harmful.
Weekly hair masks
Once a week, treat your hair with a hydrating moisture mask. These are deep conditioning treatments applied to wet hair and left on (usually under a shower cap) for about 30 minutes before being rinsed out.
There are plenty of hair masks available commercially, or you could make your own at home. Popular ingredients for hair masks include avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, eggs, honey, yogurt, etc. It is up to you which type of hair mask you choose. Making them at home is cheaper, but buying at the store may be more convenient.
Use the right brush
If your brush has plastic bristles with little round tips on them, set it down and leave it there. Color-treated hair should ideally be brushed with either a wide-toothed comb or a boar-bristle brush.
When your hair is color-treated, it becomes more brittle and susceptible to breakage. A plastic-bristled brush works through blunt force, tearing through knots and tangles, but also taking some of your hair with it. The wide-toothed comb will help you get through the tangles gently and the boar bristles will help you get a smooth and healthy look.
Use a thermal protectant (or skip heat styling altogether!)
If you absolutely must use heat styling on your color-treated hair, there are two rules to follow: One, do not use heat on your hair for two days after coloring, and two, use a thermal protectant on your hair every time you apply heat.
Letting your hair air dry is ideal, but certain styles and textures simply don’t get along with natural drying. So, be smart. Find a good hair protectant that will absorb the heat damage and spare your hair.
Don’t shampoo every day
Shampoo is very drying, as it strips away the natural oils produced by your scalp. These oils are there to help condition and feed your hair to keep it healthy, so washing them out too frequently can lead to dry and damaged hair. A shampoo schedule of every other day or every third day is much easier on your color-treated hair.
If you work out or have a very oily scalp, look into dry shampoo. This is a spray product which helps to remove excess oil or odors without stripping your hair dry.
When you do shampoo, use a cooler temperature
We know, the thought of an icy cold shower is miserable, but your color-treated hair will do much better at lower temperatures. We propose this compromise: Go ahead and take your hot shower, but protect your hair in a shower cap when you do. When it comes time to wash your hair in cooler water, do it in the sink. Cool water helps preserve hair color and prevents fading.
Strong, healthy hair is much easier to get when your whole system is healthy too. In order for your body to grow new hair, you need to take in plenty of iron, protein, and vitamins. The best way to do this is by eating whole, healthy foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, meats, and fish.
There are some supplements specifically geared toward boosting your body’s ability to grow strong, healthy hair. For example, a product such as Har Vokse from Bauer Nutrition is formulated not only to encourage the growth of strong hair, but to prevent hair loss and breakage as well.
Remember, the more work you put into caring for your hair, the longer that beautiful new color will last.