For that perfect hair color there are several things you can do, both pre- and post-coloring, to help keep it looking fresh, vibrant and long lasting.
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 our hair color looking fresh, vibrant and long lasting.
The first thing you need to take a look at when considering a new hair color is the condition of our 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?
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, shiny hair? Well, if you’re flat ironing oils into your hair, for example Argan oil, chances are your hair color won’t take the way you would like it to.
The oils on the hair strands that get continually pressed or ironed into your hair can definitely interfere with color application. They actually prevent the color from sticking. So, what should you do? 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, you may want to postpone your color appointment and start deep conditioning your locks right away to get them in tip top shape. It’s important that your hair is hydrated. The drier your hair, the quicker it will absorb the color. But dry hair doesn’t hold pigment very well. Unfortunately, the color won’t last and it will begin to fade quickly. So, keep your hair hydrated with a good quality moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. And if your hair is really dry, give yourself a hydrating mask 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.
Level of Porosity
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 directly relates to the length of time 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
In the same way you tell our doctor about any prescription medication or daily vitamins we may be taking, you need to inform your colorist of any previous hair treatments you may have had, especially within the last year. If you have undergone any kind of chemical treatments or special processing, tell your stylist. A chemical straightening is a perfect example of what you should disclose. These straighteners tend to cause the hair to pull color a bit differently, which could change the end result to the point where you don’t like your new color. So, disclose everything to your stylist!
Type of Water You Use
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-looking 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.
These are just a few things to consider before you color your hair. With just a little bit of preparation and awareness, you won’t experience any big surprises due to false expectations. Remember, the healthiest hair is the most beautiful hair.