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About a year ago I finally took the plunge and did something to my hair that I’d been wanting to do for years. I dyed it purple! I had seen photos of women who had this amazingly beautiful and vibrant purple hair and instantly fell in love. I just had to do it!
For career purposes, I had never been able to do fun and vibrant things with my hair so the dream was put on the back burner. But after becoming a stay at home mom a few years ago, it quickly moved to the top of my to-do list. To be frank, it was going to be a BIG change and I worried how the bleach and dye would affect my hair. Besides, I had absolutely no idea how to care for color treated hair.
How long would the color last?
Would I be spending hundreds of dollars every month just trying to maintain its vibrancy?
Would a color like this bleed all over my clothes and everything else it touched?
Do I need to use special hair care products?
There were so many unknowns, but I gathered up enough courage to go through with it. You can read all about my day at the salon going from a natural red head to a sensational purple, here. But today I want to offer some tips I’ve learned over the past year, as to how to care for color treated hair.
1. Wait as long as possible to wash after dying.
The longer you wait to wash your hair after the initial dye, the better. This allows time for the color to really sink in, if you will. I was able to go five days after the initial dye before washing and found that, along with following these other tips, helped the color last longer.
2. Wash no more than twice a week.
The more often you wash your hair, the sooner the color treatment will disappear. I try not to wash mine more often than every four days.
3. Dry shampoo is your best friend.
Wondering how you’ll go so long between washes? If it isn’t already, dry shampoo will become your best friend. Dry shampoo assists in removing natural oils from your hair, eliminating that greasy, dirty look in between washes. At the same time it protects the color treatment because you’re not actually washing your hair. My favorite dry shampoo is Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo.
4. Don’t wet your hair until you’re ready to wash it.
When it’s time to wash your hair, do everything else in your shower routine before wetting/washing your hair. If your hair is wet, it’s going to be more prone to bleeding and will result in more color coming out. This is especially the case the first couple of weeks after the initial dye.
5. Wash your hair in cold water.
It’s really important to wash your hair in cold water – as cold as you can stand it. Warm water opens the hair follicles/pores and releases the color, so washing in cold water helps maintain the color longer.
6. Use shampoo and conditioner meant for dyed hair.
For color treated hair, it’s better to use a shampoo and conditioner that will protect the color. It doesn’t have to be an expensive brand and you can usually find a variety available at any store that sells hair care products. I like to use Biotera Color Care shampoo and conditioner.
7. Don’t rough dry with a towel.
In general it’s not good to be rough with your hair, so rather than roughly drying it with a towel, try wrapping it in an old t-shirt or loosely twist into a hair towel. This will also help prevent the inevitable color transfer to your favorite towels.
8. Avoid blow drying your hair.
Hair dye drastically dries out your hair, so adding heat just causes more damage. Blow dryer heat also has the same effect as washing with warm water, so to keep long-lasting color let your hair air dry.
9. Wrap your hair in a scarf to prevent dye transfer to your bedding.
It’s inevitable that at least the first couple of weeks (and maybe more) you’re going to experience color transfer. It’s going to get on your shirts, your bedding and any type of cloth/material your hair touches. I even had purple color along the top of my cream colored recliner.
Sometimes it will wash out and sometimes it may take a few washes or cleanings to get the color out of everything. To help prevent color transfer to your bedding, wrap it in a light scarf while you sleep. After a few weeks the color will stop transferring and you won’t need to wrap it anymore. I think I probably wrapped my hair for 3 weeks or so.
10. Pale colors fade quicker.
Because pale colors fade quicker, they’ll take much more maintenance in terms of keeping the color, so be prepared to hit the salon much more often. My bright colors fade really well into pale colors and I can go about 2 months between salon visits.
11. Stay away from the pool!
Chlorine will disturb the freshly dyed color and can actually alter it. This was probably the hardest part for me when we lived in FL. My kids love the pool, as do I, so this was a struggle for a few weeks after a salon appointment. If you must go swimming, wearing a swim cap will help. I just wasn’t willing to take the risk.