Beauty & Cosmetic
How to Protect Color Treated Hair
Color treated hair is definitely entirely different from what your normal hair used to be. It will feel drier and will even be weaker as you will notice a lot of hair sticking out in varying lengths due to breakage.
But, the problem is that most salons encourage their clients to get a color treatment without teaching them how to care for their now weaker hair. If it is your first time to get a hair color, you might be surprised that it can actually damage your hair.
What Happens when You Color Your Hair?
A lot of people do not understand the process of color treatment and often rather decide haphazardly to get the treatment without fully understanding its consequences.
The hair shaft or the strand of your hair that comes out from the follicles is made of the cuticle which is the outer layer and the cortex and the medulla which comprise the inner layer of the hair. The cuticle is made of overlapping shingle-like layers of keratin whereas the cortex carries the pigment of the hair.
Hair color treatment begins with introducing ammonia to the hair in order to raise the layers of the cuticles. Ammonia is very acidic and the acidity helps to open up these layers or shingles of the hair.
Next, hydrogen peroxide is applied in order to dissolve the natural pigments of the hair. The oxygen in hydrogen peroxide dissolves the melanin which gives color to the hair. Together with this, some of the moisture and protein are also destroyed resulting to weaker hair.
The desired pigments are then introduced to the raised hair cuticles, now open, which leads to the new hair color.
How do You Protect Your Hair?
So now that you understand the condition of your hair after color treatment, it may now be easier to remember how you should care for it.
- Avoid washing or shampooing your hair frequently. The cuticles in color treated hair usually remains raised and open due to the acidic nature of the treatment. Hence, washing it often or even applying shampoo will remove a lot of the pigments that are newly placed inside the hair. It would be better to allow some of the natural oils in your scalp to help nourish it back and seal the pigments for a few weeks before doing any shampoos.
- Co-wash and deep condition when you can. Deep Conditioners have a positive charge and this helps to seal the open cuticles of your hair. It will help to maintain moisture and also provide protein to the hair strands and give it some structure to protect it from breaking too easily. Co-washing is advisable because it helps prevent the loss of pigments from the hair color treatment while also providing gentle cleansing effects on the hair.
- Protect your hair against excessive heat. When you have color treated your hair, you may have to get used to taking cold showers. Hot water is definitely not recommended for washing color treated hair as it speeds up color fading. It opens up the hair cuticle allowing the pigments to wash off. Also, using heated hairstyling products may also cause more damage to your already weak hair even if you use protective leave-on conditioners. So the best choice would be to stay away from heat for about two weeks before using them.
- Treat your hair to natural hair masks. Natural hair masks that help nourish the hair are preferable than store-bought masks. Ingredients such as avocados, coconut or olive oils, egg whites or egg yolks are easy to prepare and they also do not contain other chemicals that you may not want in your hair. They will provide moisture and much-needed protein without the risks to maintain your hair’s health.
Color treated hair is much weaker and more prone to breakage than untreated hair. Thus, you will have to spend a lot of time pampering and caring for your hair than you used to. This means you will have to use the best shampoo for color treated hair, apply deep conditioners, leave-on conditioners, moisturizing masks and other protective treatments that will help nourish it back to health.
All that you have to remember is that your hair lost a lot of its structure when you colored it and now you have to bring back all of those nutrients that will help build it back.