Hair that has been colored permanently requires special treatment, because the chemicals used to alter your hair color are quite harsh to the strands. You are exposing your hair to ingredients like:
- Ammonia/ammonium hydroxide - which opens the cuticle layer so color can be deposited, increasing their hair’s porosity
- Ethanol alcohol - which is used in the dye absorption process, which can dry out your hair
- PPD (para-phenylenediamine) - which is a pigment used to create darker shades, and it may cause skin reactions
The effects of coloring or lightening hair
While not all hair dyes contain these ingredients, many do and there is some cause for concern regarding potential damage to your hair and scalp. Permanent hair color, especially bleach, changes the hair structure to make the color changes. It makes your hair drier, more porous, brittle, and harder to moisturize, but there are products and techniques that can increase the hair’s moisture retention and lessen the damage of permanent color.
We suggest using color-treated products to keep color from fading and keeping strands moisturized. If you are for more natural or prefer DIY methods, we have a few DIY natural remedies to moisturize your color-treated strands. You will be surprised that half of them are simply things you need to steer clear of to keep your strands at optimal moisture.
Don’t shampoo too often
Shampoos are designed to remove dirt and pollutants, but they also strip the hair of dye pigments. This happens because once hair is colored, it becomes more porous, and higher porosity hair has trouble with maintaining moisture. Shampoo only when necessary and steer clear of clarifying products if you can.
Don’t let the sun dry you out
Protecting hair from the sun should be a concern whether you have color or not, and the UV rays have no mercy on color-treated strands. They fade color and dehydrate the strands, and while many products offer UV protection, hats, turbans, and scarfs are even more effective - and they're stylish. Most of us have them anyway so pull one out of the closet and protect your hair.
Don’t overdo the heat
Heat styling tools should not be used often (or at all) with color-treated hair. Direct heat can also strip hair of vital moisture, increasing the risk of heat damage. If you must use direct heat, make sure to use it on a heat setting that is appropriate for the width of your strands (fine, medium, or coarse) and apply a heat protectant first.
Do an avocado treatment
Avocados are rich in proteins, fatty acids, and vitamins and are an excellent emollient. They have exceptional benefits for dry, color-treated strands. Just puree one ripe banana (or banana baby food) and one avocado into a smooth paste. Apply the mixture to your hair, allow it to sit for 25-30 minutes, and rinse completely.
Do eat a healthy diet
Eating a balanced meal will always help in keeping hair healthy and looking great. Foods like fish, lean meats, low-fat cheeses, egg whites, soy and spinach provide nutrients, vitamins, and fatty acids that keep your hair in its healthiest condition. Do not rely solely on hair products to give you healthy hair.
Do hot oil treatments
Hot oil treatments are useful for adding shine and moisture, which color-treated hair can be lacking. Incorporate a hot oil treatment with one of these popular oils about three weeks after your color application to increase hair’s shine, moisture retention, and prevent dryness.