Is your hair healthy or damaged? Let’s discuss. There are many factors that contribute to dry and damaged hair. Blow drying and using flat irons and curling irons are one of the main reason’s hair gets damaged. Hot water, sun, the pool and rubber bands also contribute to hair damage. Let’s up your hair game and explore these and other factors.
Hair damage is more than just split ends. Extremely damaged hair can develop cracks in the outermost layer of the hair called the cuticle. Once the cuticle layer is lifted or open, your hair is at risk for further damage and breakage. One way to tell if you hair is damaged is the way it looks and feels. It may look dull or frizzy and be difficult to manage, and feel rough when touched.
Human hair, healthy cuticle layer
Human hair, unhealthy cuticle layer
There are many things that people do that they might not realize is causing damage:
- Over shampooing can dry out your hair and scalp. On average, you should shampoo every other day (depending on your hair type). If you are shampooing more than once per day, you are overdoing it.
- Blow drying, using flat irons and curling irons can actually burn your hair. Fine hair can get away with using lower temperatures than coarse hair.
- Putting your hair in a tight ponytail with an elastic band or clip will create a weak spot on your hair strands. If you have to tie your hair back, change the position of your ponytail on a regular basis to keep the stress off of the same strands.
- Overlapping chemical services can cause damage and breakage. Highlights on top of your highlights? Probably not a good idea.
Hair that is damaged has varying levels of porosity. That means that the moisture level and strength is uneven from scalp to tips. Simply put, damaged hair equals uneven color results. Here is a list of professional tips from colorist Vauneeka Sutton for coloring damaged hair:
- If you can, choose a color that is ammonia free. It is gentle on the hair and typically only deposits color when a more aggressive action such as lightening may not necessary.
- Be very careful with your color application. Do your best to only apply the color to your new growth.
- Unless it’s necessary, do not pull the color through the ends of your hair if you can avoid it.
- Adjust the amount of time you leave the color on your ends. Parched hair will absorb color faster than healthy hair making damaged ends likely to ‘grab’ dark and ashy (for the same reason, they will also be the first to fade). Lessen the time the color sits on those ends.
- Do not make drastic color changes over and over like blonde to brown to blonde again. You may see celebrities do it in magazines, but what you are not seeing is the reality behind the scenes of what it takes (or how long it takes) to get there.
Finally got that perfect shade and love it? Here are a few things that you can do to maintain your color:
- Always use salon quality shampoo and conditioner like Color&Co Respect sulfate-free shampoo and Infuse Replenish conditioner. Sulfate-free shampoos are ideal for color-treated hair with a gentler cleansing action than traditional shampoos.
- Limit the number of times a week you shampoo your hair; 2-3 times per week should be sufficient for most people.
- Dry shampoo is your best friend. Consider adding one to your gym bag.
- If you use heat for styling always use a thermal protection product before applying heat.
- Limit exposure to outside elements like the sun, salt water and swimming pools which can cause premature fading of hair color.
To make sure you are using the best color for you and applying it properly based on your hair condition, start a complementary face to face hair color consultation with one of your color experts.