August 7, 2015

Tips to Preserve Colored Hair

Having joined the pastel-colored-hair community this summer, I've gathered some tips and tricks as to how to preserve your color for as long as possible.

First of all....have your hair done by a professional. Doing a full dye job of this magnitude is definitely not for those who have never done it before and don't know what they're doing (aka me). Find a hairdresser you trust and someone who knows what they're doing with dye! If you do decide to dye it yourself, make sure you test out a piece of hair before doing strips or your entire head. Try to put the test piece in the back of your hair, sort of facing your ear & neck so if it goes wrong you can easily hide it. Please never ever ever bleach your own hair and take extra care when dyeing it at all yourself. I used to do my own dye when I had blue strips of hair, but that was after I had it done at the salon a few times and knew how my hair would react to the dye and how it would look etc.
my pink at the beginning of the summer

Even if you plan to dye your hair by yourself, it's worth it to talk to a hair dresser or even a color manufacturer before you do it. Understand what the dye will do to your hair, how to care for it, what color it will actually look like etc. It's better to discuss and plan this than to do it rashly and hate the effects. You're not a middle schooler dyeing your hair with Kool-Aid at your bff's birthday sleepover okay, dyeing your hair like this requires some thought. 

The reason "unnatural" hair colors (like my pink or the popular pastels, any color that doesn't grow on people by itself) don't stick as well or as long as traditional hair colors is that the color molecules are so much bigger so they fade a lot faster. To help combat this...

  • Wash your hair sparingly. I like to use this system: wash hair then braid it & sleep on it, take braids out the next day and have curly hair, less-curly the next day--probably needs a little spritz of product to comb through and look presentable (try It's a 10 spray), next day put up in a ponytail or bun, the next day wash again. Of course, this system doesn't always work (like if I have to look presentable on the fourth day) but it does really help to preserve the color. Also not washing your hair doesn't mean you have to skip showering--just pull your hair into a bun when you shower and don't wash it and you'll be fine.
  • Before going swimming wet your hair and rub some conditioner in it. This will help to preserve the color despite the chlorine and the water. Make sure you rinse your hair afterwards.
  • Always use color-sustaining shampoo and conditioner, it really adds life to your color and doesn't strip the molecules the way a normal shampoo & conditioner would. At the very least find the shampoo/conditioner you normally use and make sure it's "color safe" so it doesn't strip your hair.
  • Dry shampoo is your new best friend. For days 2-4 you'll want to spritz some dry shampoo in your hair and brush it through whenever it gets to looking a little greasy and gross. (I use this stuff and loove it--this looks fun too)

  • Plan to re-apply. My first color, the darker one, lasted from the beginning of June to the mid/end of July when it was truly faded and didn't look pink at all anymore. These colors do fade fast and take a lot of maintenance to keep up so unless you're Eugenie with her ever-changing wild hair that never looks out of place, prepare for it to fade and having to reapply when it does.
  • Try to avoid using white towels the first few times you wash your hair as the color will come out a bit (and don't panic if you see pink/blue/green washing down the drain, the color won't be stripping completely if you're using color safe shampoo) and don't sleep on white sheets/pillowcases the first week or so either.
  • When you do wash your hair, use cool water. Hot water will strip the color faster while colder water helps to preserve it (after you finish rinsing your hair you can turn it on hot to wash your body)
Colored hair is a lot of fun to have, and surprisingly in trend right now, but it can be a lot of work to upkeep so make sure you think the decision through before dyeing your hair. And if it turns out you don't like it when the dye is done, follow none of these tips and it'll wash out in no time!

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