Enjoying your new, freshly coloured hair? In order to maintain its glossy shine and volume, colour treated hair requires specific haircare. Here we explain why, as well as seven top tips on how to take care of coloured hair to prevent fading and keep it healthy.
HOW IS COLOURED TREATED HAIR DIFFERENT TO UNCOLOURED HAIR?
Firstly, it's important to know how the three main different colour processes work in order to understand the differences for coloured hair and the best hair care for it.
Temporary hair colour coats the hair fibre but does not sink in, which is why it only takes one wash (sometimes a couple) to remove it. Your hair itself is not altered, although vigorous and/or repetitive washing may leave it dry and fragile.
Semi permanent hair colour lasts up to four weeks, and because it doesn't contain ammonia or peroxide, it is only used to darken hair colour or add gloss to an existing shade. Small pigments molecules in the formula enter the hairs cuticle and are deposited on the cortex. They gradually exit the hair fibre during washing.
Permanent hair colour has a more consequential effect on the hair fibre. For colour treated hair, in order to ensure the pigment particles pass through the cuticles and attach to the hair's cortex, the dye formula must lift the cuticles before depositing the new colour. Over-colouring your hair, not having it done correctly, or repeatedly changing hair colour can all weaken these cuticles over time. As a result, the colour fades quickly, and hair looks and feels limp and lacklustre, often with flyaways and dullness.
7 HAIR CARE TIPS FOR COLOURED HAIR
1. Strengthen hair while colouring
Start caring for your coloured hair right from the start, during the colouring process itself. The L'Oréal Professionnel Smartbond treatment has been formulated to protect the bonds of the hair while being coloured, preventing damage and ensuring long-lasting, vibrant colour.
2. Protect hair from environmental aggressors
The environment can affect the quality of your coloured hair. The sun, for example, can interfere with your new shade, causing unwanted discolouration and dryness. The wind and rain, on the other hand, are responsible for messy knots and frizz, while the cold in general has a drying effect on the scalp. Keep colour treated hair out of the sun during peak times, and be careful to protect your hair with a hat or updo when the weather misbehaves.
3. Dry & style with care
When it comes to drying and styling your coloured hair, the key word is care. Instead of using a rough towel that risks literally rubbing the cuticles up the wrong way, causing colour fade and breakage, gently squeeze out excess water using an old cotton t-shirt before applying heat protectant and blow-drying on a low temperature. Ideally, letting your hair naturally is the best way to prevent damage from heated styling tools, but this isn't always an option.
4. Prevent brassiness
Light blond, grey & white coloured hair can suffer from tones of orange/yellow, known as brassiness. You can help restore your original coloured shade by using a shampoo that neutralises these unwanted tones. The Silver Hair Shampoo from Serie Expert uses deep purple tones to restore your preferred colour and boosts shine, while also gently cleansing the hair.
5. Avoid dullness and fading
A common concern for colour treated hair is gradually losing the glossy shine and colour intensity. The solution is in using the right shampoo and conditioner, specifically formulated for coloured hair. The Vitamino Color A-OX haircare collection by Serie Expert protects coloured hair while boosting luminosity and gently removing build-up. Plus, the collection also includes a CC Cream colour-correcting cream for blondes to protect against brassy undertones.
6. Promote hydration and shine
Hydrated hair is healthy-looking hair with maximum shine. If your coloured hair is looking or feeling a little dry, with a rough texture and/or split ends, a hair oil or serum could be the answer. After washing, squeeze out any excess water and apply a few drops of hair oil or serum to your palms. Run your hands down the lengths, focusing on dry areas such as the tips, and blow dry. Your hair will instantly look and feel more silky and supple.
7. Don't over-wash colour treated hair
For coloured hair that gets greasy quickly, it's tempting to wash every day. But instead of making your hair look less oily, it has the opposite effect and actually aggravates the problem – causing your scalp to over-produce oils in order to compensate those you've washed away, not to mention stripping your precious colour.
Hold back from over-washing, and instead use a dry shampoo whenever the hair starts to look greasy at the roots. The bonus: it'll also give you natural-looking volume and a modern matte finish!