Prolong the life of your hair colour
Men and women have been colouring their hair for centuries, experimenting with different materials and chemical combinations to achieve their desired looks. In the mid-1800s, chemists began to work with non-natural dyes for the textile industry. At least one of the chemicals used in a dye derived from coal tar formed a colour when exposed to air. This molecule, called para-phenylenediamine, or PPD, eventually would go on to form the foundation for many permanent hair dyes.
Both men and women colour their hair, but women tend to be more avid colourists. Many women stick to a strict schedule of colour maintenance, returning to the salon every four to six weeks for touch-ups. At an average cost of between $50 and $80 for a single-process permanent colour, according to polling by Angie’s List members (foil treatments and balayage highlights can cost more), the price of keeping colour looking fresh and vibrant can add up. It’s understandable that women would be interested in prolonging the life of their colour to help stretch out their budgets. Explore the different ways to extend the life of hair colour and enjoy healthier-looking locks.
Understand the difference between products
Hair colour can come in different formulations. Semi- and demi-permanent colours deposit colour without lightening and will wash out gradually after a certain number of shampoos. Permanent hair colours use a combination of components to open up the hair cuticle so that natural hair colour can be lightened and colour deposited as well. Someone unsure of a colour may want to try a semi-permanent formulation and then look to the permanent equivalent when satisfied so that the colour will last longer.
Wash with cooler water
Keep colour longer by turning down the thermostat in the shower. Hot water can cause the hair shaft to expand and lead to more dissolution of hair colour molecules. Washing and rinsing with cool water can lock in the colour longer.
Skip the sulfates.
Sulfates are detergents used in shampoos that produce those lush suds many people equate with cleanliness. Sulfates can strip dyes from the hair and lead to premature fading.
Use a colour-extending product
Colour-extending products come in two varieties: those that deposit small amounts of colour to help keep the overall shade fresh, and others that don’t add colour but help seal the cuticle so that existing colour will not fade away. The Good Housekeeping Research Institute tested nine brands, including 24 products, and found most of the products, such as colour shampoos, helped dyes last longer than regular shampoos.
Protect against the sun
Your skin is not the only part of the body that needs to be shielded from the sun. Ultraviolet light can cause premature fading of hair colour. Look for a product that defends against UV damage, and wear hats when out in strong sun.
Head back to the salon
Some salons offer free or inexpensive glossing treatments. This 10-minute service can extend the life of your hair colour.
By following some easy hair care tips, anyone can keep their colour lasting longer. Clients should speak with their stylists if they need more direction and advice about hair colour.