Damaged Hair + Colouring

Hair that is overly dry or damaged will not retain colour as effectively as healthy hair.

Hair that is damaged, brittle, porous and fragile can not absorb and retain colour pigments adequately.

Damage is typically a result of high repetition daily habits such as heat styling, hair care practices which inflict wear and tear, and repeated lightening processes.

How is this damage occurring?

Damage from Lightening Processes

Repeated or regular lightening processes will incur a lot of damage to your hair. We do not recommend any more than 1-2 lightening processes a year to remove colour build-up.

Damage from Regular Use of Ammonia Based Hair Colour

Ammonia in colour products is used to raise the hair cuticle so that colour pigments can ‘enter’ the hair. Ammonia also used as an industrial cleaner, and is listed as an extremely hazardous substance in the United States.

Hair cuticles which are damaged from repeated use of ammonia products will not be able to hold or lock in moisture and colour, leading to rcolour fade and dry, brittle hair.

Damage from Heated Styling Tools

Heat is drying by nature, and heat applied directly to the hair will dry your hair. Using styling processes and tools which are gentler on your hair can prevent significant damage to your hair. Air brushes are a much gentler yet very effective option than flat irons for straightening and styling. Flat irons tools apply heat along the length of the hair, and regular use will damage the hair’s structure, leaving you with brittle, damaged, dry hair. Switching to a gentler option such as an air brush with a cool setting will keep your hair straight, healthier and, by protecting the integrity of the hair, will help your hair retain colour longer.

Damage from Products

We have touched on damage from ammonia based colour products, now let’s talk sulfates. Sulfates are the chemical component in soaps and detergents which create the bubbles, froth and foam. Sulfates cut through the oil on your plates, and the oil on your head, causing dryness and damage to the hair cuticle. Any damage to the hair cuticle will result in loss of colour, because the hair cuticle protects the coloured cortex of the hair and helps retain the colour molecules within the hair. For best hair colour results and colour retention, switch to sulfate free shampoo and conditioner products. Avoid alcohol based hair care products such as hair spray and mousse as they can lead to colour fade too.

Caring for your Hair

You can prevent some damage to your hair by colouring with products which are ammonia free, and using hair care and styling products which are free from heat, sulfates and alcohol.

Colour applications will dry the hair just a little bit. When the cuticle of the hair is lifted to let the colour enter the hair, some moisture also leaves the hair. Lightening processes are more damaging and strip moisture as well as colour pigments from the hair.

We recommend pure plant thermal oil treatments to repair damaged hair.

Thermal oil treatments are the most effective as the application gentle heat lifts the hair cuticle, which allows the oil to be absorbed within the hair. Thermal treatments provide better and longer-lasting benefits than a heat-free oil application.

There are many different oils which can be used, and some suit different hair types more than others.

Our preferred oil hair treatment is Tsubaki oil, a lightweight, pure dry oil from the Camellia Japonica flower, grown on a volcanic island in Japan.

The high mineral content of the volcanic soil increases the nutrient content and the benefits of the oil. Tsubaki oil is extremely high in a range of nutrients including oleic acid, glycerides and proteins. It is readily absorbed and leads to stronger, shinier hair which is less prone to breakage. It will repair damage, and strengthen and hydrate your hair, leaving it stronger, softer and shinier.

Use Tsubaki oil with a heated thermal cap for a deeply penetrating and intensely nourishing treatment to boost shine, softness, strength.


Choose hair accessories which are gentle and protect your hair. Rips and tears from hair elastics can be avoided. Silk hair ties which glide on and off, preventing snagging and reducing hair breakage.

We like silky soft accessories such as silk tie, sleep caps and our silk noil hair towel. A silk noil hair towel will soften and condition your hair. Silk sleep caps keep your hair hydrated and tangle-free while you sleep.

Small changes in your daily hair routines will preserve and restore condition, strength, softness and shine to your hair.

Stronger, healthier hair will respond better to colour, be easier to manage and look much better than damaged, dry hair.

Fantastic hair dye. It lasts for ages, without fading like previous hair colours I’ve purchased from the shops or the hairdresser’s I love that The Shades hair dye uses natural ingredients so it doesn’t damage my hair. I would never go back to any other dye.

A. Keeley

I really loved my hair colour from The Shade. It made my hair much softer and more manageable than the regular colour I was buying from the supermarket. I love that it’s much better for me and my health, and the colour was perfect. I’m hooked.

A. Moonen

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