Have coloured hair? Learn to protect it

Have coloured hair? Learn to protect it

Make sure the money you've spent on that expensive new 'do doesn't end up down the drain

By Jaime Morton-Hawley, digital content creator, professional photographer and makeup artist

Published: Thu 21 Mar 2019, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 22 Mar 2019, 1:00 AM

Once you've begun to colour your hair, there are many ways you can accidentally damage it. The act of colouring your hair itself can cause it to lose moisture and become brittle. One of the best ways to manage this damage is to get your hair trimmed regularly to keep it healthy and stop the ends from fraying. Here are some other points to keep in mind.
There are many types of dyes your stylist can use. An ammonia-free colour or one with natural oils can help keep the hair moisturised and shiny. If you're using a dye from a box, and colouring your hair yourself, keep in mind that the colour seldom looks like it does on the box. If you are fixing your roots or re-dying your hair, you don't need to add colour to the ends. And remember, if you make a mistake, there are products that can rectify it. If this happens, it is always recommended to seek a professional.
It may come as a surprise, but your hair has a cuticle that takes about 72 hours to close. Letting the dye remain unwashed will allow it to trap the colour better which will make it last longer. If you're having difficulty with excess oil on your scalp while you're waiting out those three days, try a dry shampoo to absorb some of the oil.
Some colourists recommend wetting the hair, applying conditioner and then washing with shampoo directly over the conditioner to provide an additional barrier. Then condition it once more and rinse.
It's also highly recommended to install a shower filter before you wash your coloured hair. It removes ingredients like chlorine, which can cause fading and discolouration. Professionals also recommend rinsing with lukewarm or cold water; the hotter the water, the quicker the colour will fade.
Shampoo: Try using a sulfate-free shampoo as it is less likely to strip your colour. Using shampoos specifically made for coloured hair can help maintain a bolder look for longer. Professionals recommend washing colour-treated hair less frequently to retain the natural oils. Two to three times a week is sufficient.
Conditioner: Using a conditioner that is specially-formulated to take care of coloured hair will help prevent the dye from washing out too quickly. It is also a good idea to try a leave-in conditioner for additional moisture. It's recommended by professionals to use conditioner every time you wash coloured hair. If you don't plan to wash your hair when you shower, pin it up or use a cap to avoid getting it wet, which could cause additional fading.
If you must use heat tools, be sure to use a heat protecting spray or similar products beforehand. When using heat tools, ensure the hair is as dry as possible. Last but not least, keep in mind that the less heat you apply to the hair, the longer the colour will last.
Here are some other quick tips to keep in mind:
When swimming: Apply coconut oil or a deep conditioner over your coloured hair to create a barrier.
Pampering: Try a weekly deep-conditioning treatment by combing the product through the hair, wrapping the hair in a warm towel and leaving it in the hair for 30 minutes before washing.
Drying: When drying coloured hair, make an effort to be gentle. Pat dry or let your hair air dry as frequently as possible.
Sunny days: If you plan to be out in the sun, avoid fading by wearing a hat or covering your head.

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