Ten Tips to Reduce Colour Fade or Darker Colour Results

We would all like to maintain that hair highpoint when your fresh colour looks great.

However, some of us are more likely than others to experience darker colour results or colour fade after colouring. This is typically due to porosity.

Porosity means the hair can both over-absorb colour (leading to darker colour results) and also leak colour (leading to faster colour fade).

Porosity can occur due to the natural texture of the hair. Hair which is very fine is more likely to over-absorb colour. Porosity due to natural texture can not be rectified, but it can be managed.

Your hairs porosity refers to how much moisture it can retain.

2 Second Porosity Test:

Grab one strand of hair, hold it from the end and run two fingers up it towards your scalp.

If you feel any ridges or bumps, then this can indicate porosity. The ridges are the cuticles on the outer layer of the hair which should lie flat. If they are raised you can feel them as little bumps in this strand test.

The raised cuticle will allow colour to readily enter the hair (hence over-absorption and darker results), and to leak colour, as it can’t hold the colour within the hair.

Your hair can also become porous after being damaged by lightening processes, heated styling tools, chlorine or sun exposure.

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 makes achieving a nice, balanced colour a bit trickier.

I have finally established a routine which involves weekly thermal oil treatments, no heated tools, and a ‘less colour, more often’ approach which delivers ongoing great colour outcomes.

Reducing porosity involves removing environmental factors which can degrade the hair such as hot styling tools and lightening processes. It is not hard, can save you money by using less products, and you will see benefits over time. There isn’t a quick fix, but start today, and your hair will perform better in the coming weeks.

Here’s our top ten tips to avoid and manage colour fade:

  1. Reduce or avoid lightening processes. Repeated lightening will damage your hair and increase porosity. Adjust your colour goals to avoid separate lightening processes, and enjoy improved hair health.
  2. Avoid heat on your hair. Any direct contact with heat sources such as styling tools and even hot water will erode your hair health. If you must use hot styling tools, use a heat protection product, and keep the styling process as short as you can. Another trick is to use a hair dryer on the “cool” setting.
  3. Hot water can also dry and stress your hair. Move your hair out of direct contact with hot water in the shower, and lower the temperature to lukewarm when you are washing your hair. Heat will open up the cuticle, which can lead to colour ‘leakage’.
  4. Slip, slop, slap. It will save your skin and your hair. Wear a broad brimmed hat on sunny days. 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.
  5. Select products with a cleaner ingredient profile. Products with SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) and alcohol will build-up and degrade the hair cuticle, leading to increased porosity and increased colour fade.
  6. 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. It can be difficult to change or water sources, but just bear in mind that this can contribute to poorer colour results.
  7. Colour processing time – 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Colour more frequently. If your colour fades quickly, as well as the above approaches, you could achieve better colour results by applying ‘less colour, more often’. This approach involves applying less colour, and keeping any new colour applications only on your new regrowth, without adding colour to your lengths. This helps you avoid overlapping and layering colour, which is critical if you are aiming to avoid darker, duller colour results.

If you consistently see darker colour results, you may need to adjust your colour. Talk to our colourists and we can assist in finding a colour which works for you, and provide personalised advice to help improve the health and condition of your hair.

I recommend this to everyone I know! The best hair dye, non smelly and comes with everything you need, from shampoo and conditioner and barrier oil. I totally love this company and their product!!!

C. Connors

Love this product! Colour is lovely, I always get comments about my hair colour. Easy to use and leaves my hair looking and feeling soft, glossy and healthy.

F. Sartor

I have tried every boxed colour because I really haven’t got the time to go to the salon any more as I have two little ones. This is my favourite – high quality, easy to use, love the accessories, the colour, covers my greys. My hair doesn’t feel as dry after colouring as it did with other brands, and the service and advice is very thoughtful.

S. Kozlowski

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