We would all like to maintain peak colour – that hair highpoint when your fresh colour looks great.
However…for a variety of reasons, some of us are more likely than others to experience colour fade. My own hair wilfully obstructs my efforts to do pretty much anything to it, including retaining consistent colour. I rolled the ‘super fine, flat, porous hair’ with a dash of ‘stubborn greys’ dice, which has taken Agatha Christie levels of sleuthing and experimentation that would make my science teacher proud to conquer.
I have finally established a routine which involves less shampoo, no heat (water or tools), salt spray, a hat collection and ‘less colour, more often’ and which delivers beautiful, ongoing great colour outcomes, and healthy, shiny hair which is not hideously flat.
I am not alone in these challenges, and sharing is caring, so …here’s my top ten tips to avoid and manage colour fade:
- If you have porous hair then you are more likely to get colour fade, because the porosity will not only let colour enter the hair faster (which can also lead to over-processing and darker colour outcomes), but it can also allow colour to ‘leak’ out. You can check your hairs porosity through a…. Reducing porosity requires a longer game plan – it involves removing environmental factors which can degrade the hair such as hot styling tools, reducing UV exposure, ‘hard water’ can be a problem, as can styling products which contain alcohol.
- Water hardness refers to the mineral content of water. Hard water has higher than normal amounts of dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Most water in Australia is considered ‘soft’, although South Australian and Western Australia have harder water. Hard water can prevent colour molecules from entering the hair, leading to weaker colour results and longevity.
- Avoid heat on your hair. Any direct contact with heat sources such as styling tools and even hot water in the shower will erode your hair health. If you must use hot styling tools, please use a thermal heat protection product, and make it a good one.
- Hot water can also be as damaging as direct heat. Flick your hair out of direct contact with hot water in the shower, and lower the temperature to lukewarm when you are washing and rinsing your hair. Heat will open up the cuticle, which can lead to colour ‘leakage’.
- Slip, slop, slap. It will save your skin and your hair. Wear a broad brimmed hat on sunny days, and take this as an official reason to pick up a new hat or two. Cheap or expensive, if you are happy with your hat options then you will be more likely to wear a hat. You may want to use hair UV protection products too.
- Products with SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) and alcohol will build-up and degrade the hair cuticle, leading to increased porosity and increased colour fade.
- Colour processing time – please follow the instructions and let the colour process for the full time according to your colour application instructions in the Colour Kit. If you shorten the colour processing time, there will be insufficient colour absorption and coverage.
- Take a mini-shampoo break, just for 24-48 hours after using the Colour Protection Shampoo and Conditioner in our Colour Kits. Our shampoo and conditioner will balance the pH of the hair and help seal your colour.
- Inadequate emulsification. Before you rinse your colour, step into the shower, keeping your hair out of the way of direct water. Add just a little water to your hair, the equivalent of a couple of cups of water, and massage the water through your colour, creating a soft lather in the hair. Continue this process for 30-45 seconds, letting the colour emulsify. The emulsification process lets the colour break-up properly, ensuring that the hair has absorbed as much possible, before you finish the rinse, shampoo and conditioner process which will close and seal the hair cuticle.
- Colour more frequently. If your colour is fading, we suggest you implement the advice above, but also, sometimes the most obvious is also a very effective solution. We advocate the ‘less colour, more often’ approach to maintaining great colour consistently, particularly when colouring grey regrowth.