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Hair Color

How to Use Hair Color for Vibrant Tresses

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Color your hair in any tone or shade! You can play with various hair colors all you want without damaging your hair. If it is your first time to color your hair, it’s best to visit a professional salon. However, there are hair products that you can use at home too. Use these products to make your hair vibrant and colorful.

Woman with blue-colored hair

Hair damage can happen when you color your hair. Since most of these products break down the pigmentation of hair, this means that they are able to penetrate the hair shaft. Most hair colors contain harmful chemicals as well. To reduce the damage caused by color treatments, make sure to choose a high-quality product. Learn about the best practices for hair care to prevent fading hair color.

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    Hair Color Application Techniques

    Hair color application has evolved over the years. Stylists have developed different techniques to add depth and dimension to your hair. Here are different and creative ways to color your strands.

    All-Over Hair Color

    All-over color is when you dye all of your hair into one solid shade. This application method offers a more solid level of coverage. This method can be done in one step to coat your tresses in a single shade.

    Root Touch-ups

    Touch-ups are common for people who dye their roots once their real hair color grows out. This process is repeated every 4 to 5 weeks to match your roots with the rest of your hair color. This application method is common for elderly people whenever they grow out gray or white strands.

    Highlights

    Highlighting is an off-scalp method where certain parts of your hair are colored. This method is done through bleaching or a single-step process of dyeing sections of your strands. Highlights help promote depth and shade. Some variations of modern highlights include ombre, balayage, and low lights. Want to know which conditioner makes your highlight pop? Check this page to find out more.

    redhead girl

    Different Hair Color Methods

    Dyeing your hair does not just involve one step. The following are different methods on how to color your hair.

    Single-Process

    A color or toner applied all over your head creates a base shade. Single-step dyeing is the basic process of changing the color of your strands. They work by coating the outer cuticles of your hair. Colors are lifted and deposited into your hair shaft once applied.

    Double-Process

    The double-process method involves making your hair lighter than two shades. Your hair is bleached first before removing natural color. Bleaching products lighten your strands and turn them into a pale yellow tint with red or orange residue. Applying vibrant shades on bleached hair, such as light or pastel colors, making them appear more noticeable.

    Hair Color Levels and Types

    Temporary or Semi-Permanent Hair Dyes

    Temporary or semi-permanent hair colors are easy to use. They don’t change your natural hair color intensely. You don’t have to pre-mix the dye with any other product.

    You can directly use the hair dye from the applicator. Temporary dyes fade from your strands when you shampoo on a regular basis. These dyes last around six weeks while they fade gradually once exposed to air.

    Temporary hair color deposits acidic dyes or molecules inside and outside your hair shaft. Sometimes they contain zero to small amounts of peroxide. These products don’t contain ammonia, which makes them less damaging.

    Demi-Permanent Hair Dyes

    Demi-permanent hair dyes last longer than temporary ones. Pre-colored molecules penetrate your cuticles and enter your hair fibers once applied. These small molecules become bigger, which takes them longer to fade or wash out.

    These dyes don’t contain ammonia. They do have small amounts of peroxide for subtle color enhancement. They also cover gray and white hair effectively.

    Permanent Hair Dyes

    Permanent hair colors use ammonia, an oxidizer, and color agents before application. These hair dyes have the longest effect on your tresses.

    Ammonia is needed for opening your cuticles to allow the color to penetrate. Oxidizing agents, such as hydrogen peroxide, are used as developers. They are responsible for removing your pre-existing hair color. As your natural pigments are removed, a new color clings to the fiber of your strands.

    The formulas of these dyes are complex. Keep in mind that chemicals in permanent dyes can damage your hair.

    Other Hair Color Products

    Other hair color products don’t coat your hair. Some of these products alter your cuticles in order for the color to seep through. Other products contain agents that protect your hair from breakage.

    Bleach

    Bleaching is a process that includes removing pigments from your strands through the process of oxidation. It raises the outer cuticle, allowing the bleaching agent to penetrate. Bleaching products can make your hair dry and brittle if done on a regular basis.

    Many hair stylists use hydrogen peroxide as a common bleaching agent. It lightens the pigment of your tresses while stripping away the melanin. Bleach can lighten your hair up to eight shades at most. Treat your hair with this product if you want to dye your dark hair blonde.

    Toner

    Hair color oxidizes over time causing brassy tones on blondes while orange tones on light brunette hair. Toner helps neutralize unwanted tones and restore your strands to its true color. They can make your hair dye have a warm or cool color.

    Applying toner to your hair usually comes after the bleaching process. This product is useful for adding shine to your tresses too.

    Natural Alternatives

    Natural hair dyes are considered semi-permanent. They contain agents that don’t damage your strands. Natural hair dyes don’t contain ammonia, which is a chemical compound that disrupts hair’s elasticity.

    People have used plant and mineral ingredients that contain pigments. Some of these natural agents include henna, black walnut shells, and vinegar. They contain properties that lighten your hair without causing any damages. Want to know which natural ingredients condition your hair? Visit this page to find out more.

    girl with blue and red hair

    Precautions, Side Effects, and Ingredients of Hair Colors

    It’s important to know what’s inside your hair care products. Coloring your hair often can cause unwanted side effects. It’s best to be aware of the precautions before dying your tresses.

    Precautions and Side Effects

    Dyeing your hair should only be done once every three weeks. Exposing yourself to chemical treatments cause your strands to lose moisture and shine. Your hair eventually breaks, resulting in shedding or brittle strands.

    Some dyes contain chemicals that your skin may react to. Avoid hair dyes if you have dry skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema. Color treatments can make symptoms of irritation, redness, or swelling worse than they already are.

    Do a patch test on your hand before applying the dye on your scalp. Stop using the product once your skin reacts. Consult a dermatologist if symptoms of irritation persist.

    Ingredients in Hair Dyes

    Dyeing your hair is safe, although there are ingredients that are harmful if you dye your strands often. Here are some of the common ingredients found coloring treatments.

    1. Pigments

    Pigments are compounds that provide color to your hair. The amount of these pigments dictate how light or dark your hair should be. Both natural and synthetic pigments are found in most dyes.

    1. Ammonia

    Ammonia is responsible for allowing pigments to deposit to your hair fibers. It lifts and swells parts of your cuticles, giving space for color molecules to pass through. This ingredient is commonly found in permanent hair dyes.

    Your hair has a naturally acidic pH level. Ammonia’s basic properties create permanent change to your hair color. It can disrupt your cuticles in the process if you don’t add any protection to prevent post-dye damage.

    1. Hydrogen Peroxide

    The main ingredient in most bleaching products is hydrogen peroxide. It’s responsible for removing pigments off your hair. Once it penetrates your cuticles, it lightens the color. Most bleaching products contain low amounts of hydrogen peroxide since large amounts are dangerous.

    Hydrogen peroxide is important for hair dyes because it allows the color to be more visible. The downside of this compound is that it strips your hair’s moisture levels.

    1. Alcohol

    Alcohols dry out your hair, especially short-chained ones. Cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol are not that bad as they derive from natural resources. These alcohols act as emollients that soften and smooth your hair shaft.

    1. Ethanolamine

    Ammonia-free hair dyes contain ethanolamine. This organic compound is a natural alternative to ammonia. Most hair dyes contain low levels of ethanolamine combined with oils. Even if they are safer to use than ammonia, it can cause irritation on your scalp if used too much.

    ombre hair

    Maintaining Your Hair’s Color and Health

    Dyeing your hair shouldn’t always be about aesthetics. Keeping your tresses healthy is a priority. The following are tips to help maintain your hair’s health and color vibrancy.

    1. Protect Hair from the Stressors

    Coloring your strands make your hair porous where your cuticles become larger. Your hair to absorbs pollutants, UV rays, and other stressors because of this. Hair becomes brassy and dull while exposed to these irritants. Wear hats, scarves, or apply heat protectant on your hair. Doing this prevents your hair color from fading.

    Wear a swimming cap before jumping the pool. Chlorine can cause hair color to fade at a faster rate. This harsh chemical can turn your blonde hair into a greenish tint, or make brunette colors brassy.

    1. Switch Your Shampoo and Conditioner

    After dyeing your hair, switch your regular shampoo and conditioner to products made for color-treated hair. Throw out any clarifying shampoos as they would strip away the new color.

    Use hydrating shampoos and conditioners instead to keep hair healthy. Look for sulfate-free shampoos as they help maintain hair color. Want to know more about shampoos for color treated hair? Visit this page to find out more.

    1. Apply a Hair Mask

    Apply a strengthening hair mask the day before coloring your hair. Doing this hydrates and preps your tresses from the coloring process. Hair masks also protect your hair from dryness. Leave the mask on for more than an hour for the conditioning ingredients to absorb to your hair shaft.

    1. Do a Deep Conditioning Treatment Once a Week

    Chemicals from hair dyes reduce the elasticity of your strands, increasing their chances to break. The best way to fight damage is to do a deep conditioning treatment once a week. Bleaching raises your cuticles, which results to tangles and knots. Deep conditioners flatten your cuticles while locking in moisture on your strands.

    Knowing what to do before coloring your hair helps prevent any issues that may occur. Do your research and consult a professional before dyeing your strands. Your hair’s health should be a priority.

    Lily Montgomery

    It’s Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa, It's Levi-OOO-sa, not Levio-SA! (I'm still waiting for my Hogwarts Letter)

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