All About Hair Color
Your hair gets its color from two types of pigment found in hair follicles – eumelanin and pheomelanin. Eumelanin gives your hair brown or black color. Low levels of eumelanin will give hair a lighter color. This is what causes blond hair. Pheomelanin is the pigment that gives hair pink, red, or yellow hue. Strawberry blonde hair or red hair is abundant in pheomelanin.
Most of your hair’s pigment is found in cortex. It is the thickest part of a hair strand. The pigment is visible through transparent cuticles. Your hair becomes grey as you age. This happens because the pigment cells in your hair follicles die. The new strands that grow have transparent color, which shows as grey, silver, or white.
What is Color Treatment
Color treatment is the process of changing your hair color. There are various ways it can be done. Various types of color treatments work differently. There are color treatments that only make pigments stick to the strand’s surface. Some treatments cause a chemical reaction, which removes or lightens the pigmentation.
There are natural hair colorants and chemical ones. Chemical color treatments can damage hair and leave it brittle. There are hair products that you need to use as part of post-treatment care. It is important that you use suitable products to restore your hair’s strength and prevent color from fading. Check out the various types of hair products for your hair and their benefits.
Different Types of Color Treatments
There are various types of hair color treatments you can try. If you want less damaging treatments, try natural hair colorants. You can opt for permanent hair colors that can last for months too. Below, you’ll find the different types of color treatments and how they work on hair.
Natural colorants help lighten or change hair color using botanical ingredients. Some extracts are rich in pigments that cling to the outermost layer of your hair. Henna is an example of this. There are bleaching ingredients derived from natural sources as well.
Hair color from natural colorants may last for a few months. Just because natural colorants come from plant extracts does not mean that they are safer than chemicals. These extracts can damage hair as well without proper care. Some natural colorants use nuts and seeds, which can cause allergic reactions.
Semi-Permanent Hair Color
Semi-permanent or temporary hair color treatment does not change your hair’s natural color. It only adds a bit of color into your hair. The treatment adds color to the surface of the strands, creating a wash or stained appearance. It only changes the tone of your hair and not its color. Temporary hair color only lasts for a few weeks or up to 12 washes.
Demi-Permanent Hair Color
Demi-permanent hair color lasts longer than semi-permanent hair color. The formula may contain a small amount of peroxide, which helps open up cuticles. This allows pigment to slip through and reach the cortex. Demi-permanent hair color can make your hair darker. However, it is not used to lighten hair. Demi-permanent hair color treatment causes more damage than temporary hair color.
Your hair has a natural color due to the pigment cells present in the follicles. Eumelanin gives your hair dark colors like black and brown. Low levels of eumelanin make your hair blonde. Bleaching is a color treatment for dark-colored hair. It doesn’t remove melanin from hair at all. What it does is cause a chemical reaction that oxidizes the melanin. This removes the color from melanin, making them have a white or yellow color.
Bleaching treatments use peroxide, which penetrates the hair shaft. Hydrogen peroxide is mixed with alkaline solutions. Treatment formulas wear down the protein structure of your hair, making it porous and brittle. This leaves your hair prone to breakage.
Permanent Hair Color
Permanent hair color deposits pigments inside the hair shaft. To deposit pigments, treatment formulas remove your hair’s natural barrier and lifts up cuticles. This allows the dye to remove the color from hair and deliver pigment.
Permanent hair color formulas contain a mix of alkali solution, peroxide, and colorant. Alkali solution opens up the cuticles to make pigments reach the cortex of strands. Peroxide is the agent that causes oxidation, or the removal of color from melanin. The colorant then deposits pigment molecules to hair. Once they reach the cortex, they bond and expand to prevent hair color from fading when washing hair.
The new hair that grows has your natural hair color. You may need to go for touch-ups once a week to maintain the color.
What Happens to Color-Treated Hair
Chemical treatments open hair cuticles, which causes damage to hair’s protein structure. They increase hair’s porosity and make it more brittle. Protein breaks down due to alkali solutions. Ammonia is one of the most harmful alkali ingredient used in hair dyes.
Most color treatment formulas nowadays don’t use ammonia due to its harmful effects on hair and health. Ammonia can irritate your skin, eyes, throat, and may even cause problems for the respiratory system.
Ammonia is an alkali that makes it easier for the colorant to deposit pigment on hair’s cortex. This weakens the protein structure of hair. Hair loses its natural barrier, which increases its porosity. High porosity makes hair unable to retain moisture. It leaves your hair dry and brittle, which increases breakage.
High porosity hair absorbs more water. However, they evaporate fast too. This causes hair to become extremely dry, rough and brittle. Your hair breaks easily even with little force. You need to use suitable products for post-treatment care. These products will help improve your hair’s strength and retain its color.
Types of Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair
After color treatment, make sure that you are using a suitable shampoo to prevent hair damage. These shampoos will help retain your hair color or improve it. They are gentler on hair as well. Most of these shampoos are made to prevent formulas from stripping hair color. Check out the different types of shampoo for color-treated hair and their benefits:
Sulfate is considered a detergent that can make hair dry and rough. Using hair products that contain sulfate leaves hair dry and dull. They can also strip the color of hair to make it fade. Sulfate-free shampoos are gentler on hair. They often do not create rich lather, which helps prevent hair color from fading.
Color treatments can wear down the protein structure of your hair. This leaves the strands weak and brittle. Protein shampoos help strengthen the hair strands to reduce their brittleness. They support the protein structure of the strands so your hair breaks less. Protein shampoos restore your hair’s natural barrier as well, to make it more resilient against damage. This prevents breakage and repairs damage done to hair strands.
Color Lock Shampoo
Hair color can still fade when you shampoo using regular formulas. Color lock or color last shampoo has a formula that prevents color fading. It reinforces the natural barrier of your hair and helps strengthen the cuticles to prevent damage. Color lock shampoo may impart some color on hair too to make it more vibrant.
Color treatments increase the alkalinity of your hair and scalp. This makes hair prone to breakage. Neutralizing shampoos help restore pH balance to your hair and scalp. It also removes residue that can cling to the strands, making them heavy and limp. Neutralizing shampoo improves your hair’s ability to absorb moisture while making it stronger.
Purple shampoo is used for blonde hair to remove brassy tones. Bleached hair can get warmer tones, giving it a brassy hue. Purple shampoos are perfect for restoring the light and platinum tone of blonde hair. You can use it at least once a week to prevent blonde hair from looking brassy.
Color treatments can wear down the protein structure of your hair. This leaves the strands weak and brittle. Protein shampoos help strengthen the hair strands to reduce their brittleness. They support the protein structure of the strands so your hair breaks less. Protein shampoos restore your hair’s natural barrier as well, to make it more resilient against damage. This prevents breakage and repairs damage done to hair strands. Discover how protein shampoo improves your hair at the page below.
Tips to Maintain Color-Treated Hair
Other than using the right shampoo for color-treated hair, there are other ways you can take care of your tresses. We listed some easy tips that will help restore your hair to make it lustrous again. Make sure that you follow these tips to ensure your hair stays healthy and shiny:
- Do not shampoo for 72 hours after color treatment. This allows the pigment to set in and bond to hair. Hair cuticles are still open for at least two days. Shampooing within this period can wash off the pigment, which removes color from hair.
- Do not shampoo your hair every day. You don’t have to shampoo your hair every day even when you have straight hair. It can aggravate the raised cuticles and damage hair more. You can clean your hair using lukewarm or cold water. It will get rid of flakes, excess oil, and dirt on hair and scalp.
- Try using dry shampoo on other days. If you don’t like the feeling of having oily hair, you can use dry shampoos. They stick to excess oil and dirt, which leaves your hair shiny and smooth.
- Avoid using hot water when washing hair. Hot water strips moisture from hair, which can increase color-treated hair’s dryness. Use lukewarm or cold water when you wash your hair.
- Use hair protectant formulas. Hair protectant formulas do not only protect hair from heating or styling tools. It also provides a layer of protection that can shield the strands from damage caused by UV radiation and pollution.
- Use sulfate-free conditioner. Sulfate is one of the most drying ingredients found in shampoos and conditioners. It strips moisture and hair dye from hair, which leaves your tresses dull and rough.
- Always use conditioner on your hair every day. Pair up your favorite shampoo with a suitable conditioner for color-treated hair. This will restore moisture to hair so it becomes softer, smoother, and full of life again. Check out these conditioners and their benefits for your hair.
You can have all the colors of the rainbow in your hair without making it dull or dry. All you need is a suitable shampoo that can strengthen the strands and restore their shine. Find a suitable shampoo for your color-treated hair to ensure that it stays strong and beautiful.