Color with care

Published On: January 12, 2017 11:39 PM NPT By: The Week Bureau

Coloring your hair is a major decision. Although it is reversible the chemicals in the dye will have taken a toll on your hair leaving it coarse and dry. But, with proper care, you can keep your colored hair looking vibrant and shiny. Suman Shrestha of K&S hair studio talked to The Week about how you can take good care of your colored locks. 

Before coloring
Shrestha advises that before you commit to a color for your hair, determine the type of hair you have. “Whether you have healthy glossy locks or a dry rough mane, it is always necessary to consider if you really need that intense color, for it is directly proportional to healthier hair,” he says. Stepping down from 12 percent hydrogen peroxide to nine percent will help your hair stay healthier but the intensity of the color will suffer. 

Shrestha doesn’t recommend hair coloring and says he asks his client one essential question every time they talk about hair color: ‘Is it for you or for the rest of the world?’ This question is inspired by a movie he watched 20 years ago where the girl dyes her hair green to stand out. If the answer is ‘for me’ you will often find him trying to dissuade the client from going through with it. Highlights, he mentions, are the easiest color treatments that don’t damage your hair much. He also advises you to consider the cost of coloring before you opt for it. If coloring your hair costs you five thousand rupees, its upkeep, in the long run, will cost around four times the initial amount. 

While coloring
When you are sure that you want to change your look and dye your hair, you need to take precautionary steps in order to help your hair remain as healthy as possible. Applying a thin layer of conditioner on your hair helps protect your hair but it isn’t always certain that the color will stay. However, Shrestha argues that if the hair is healthy you can still try to color again if it doesn’t stay. It is hard to recolor already damaged hair for it will just keep drying out. A way to stick to this technique and still get your desired hair color is by choosing colors that are a few shades lighter than the one want. 
Suman Shrestha 
Bleach is used in order to change the base quality of your hair and opens up the cuticles, making your hair dry and frizzy. Try to avoid double process hair dye which first bleaches your hair to remove the natural hair color and then only pigments are added to build the hair back to the desired color. This will make your hair drier than the single process method which doesn’t require your hair to be bleached.   

Some people think that certain hair colors don’t suit a certain type of skin tone. Although that isn’t true, people with a darker skin tone generally look better with blond colors as it helps highlight their facial features. Hair color makes a big impact on how you look and it may take a few days to adjust to the new reflection on the mirror.

For those who color their hair to cover up the gray patches, oil your scalp dyeing your hair. The chemicals in the product will cause more strands to turn grey if it touches the scalp.

Post coloring
Hair color can make your hair porous which leads to easy loss of the color molecule every time you wash your hair. The best way to make sure your hair retains its color for a longer period is by keeping it healthy and in the best possible condition.

Always stick to color protecting shampoos and conditioners after coloring your hair. These products have a higher acidity level that helps lock in the color for a longer time. A keratin treatment within a few days of coloring your hair also helps retain the color for a longer period. Wait at least 48 hours or longer before shampooing your hair when you dye it. This gives time for the color to set and helps the color stay on longer. 

Reduce the number of times you shampoo your hair every week. While just shampooing twice or thrice every week is advised, if that is too hard for you make sure you only wash it on alternate days. Skip shampooing every once in a while and only use the conditioner. It will clean and condition your hair and not strip your hair of the color molecules. 

Look for a leave in conditioner specially made for colored hair to protect it from harsh environmental elements like sun rays and dust. The sun too can play a part in bleaching your hair and many leave in conditioners have SPF in them.

Shrestha advises on applying a deep conditioning hair treatment to damp hair one a week. Comb it through the roots to the tip and wrap a soft towel in your hair after pulling it on a lose bun. Rinse it out after 30 minutes to reveal softer, shinier hair. 

Chlorine in the water makes your hair rough and dry and expels colors easily as well. If you plan on swimming (and this isn’t only for colored hair), add a layer of protection by applying leave in conditioners or wear swimming caps.

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