Caring for coloured hair can be a nightmare. We’ve all been there; you’ve taken yourself off to the hairdressers, paid an inordinate amount of money and you have finally achieved perfect, glossy hue… only for it to be as dull as dishwater a couple of weeks down the line. Rubbish.
There are ways to fight the fade, however. Making a few small changes can really make a difference to the longevity and the appearance of your coloured hair. Before you crack on, it’s useful to get a feel for the make up of your hair, and why it fades so drastically…
A Bit of Theory
There are two types of colour pigments that determine the hair’s natural hue. The largest is eumelanin, a darker pigment that gives colour its depth. The more there is, the darker your hair will be. Eumelanin is very susceptible to hair colouring, and the pigments can be easily removed. Pheomelanin, on the other hand, is extremely resistant! Pheomelanin are smaller, lighter pigments that are deeply sealed inside the hair structure. They provide a tonal colour direction for the hair, which you may recognise as the warm orange-yellow tones that are revealed when hair is lightened. Blondes and redheads have lots more pheomelanin pigments, whilst those with darker hair have an abundance of eumelanin.
When hair is coloured, the hair shaft becomes far more porous. These open pores cause colour fade when you wash your hair, as the hair pigments are literally washed out of the shaft. Red pigments are the smallest and escape from the hair shaft the easiest. Short of colouring your hair every other week to maintain your hue, consider a haircare regime that will smooth the surface of the hair shaft to both reduce porosity and reflect light for vibrant colour. Using a shampoo without sulphates will make a huge difference, as it will more gently cleanse the hair without disturbing the colour pigments.
Infusing a rough and porous coloured hair shaft with hydration is one of the best things you can do to keep your colour looking at its best. When the hair surface is smoothed, it reflects light better. This gives your hair a gorgeous luminosity that shines with health. Conditioners with added oils and proteins will also help to build up the internal structure of the hair, sealing and nourishing the cuticle to lock in colour.
Colour treated hair needs serious support. It’s not enough to shampoo and condition your hair – you need a little bit of intensive care every week to sort out porosity for longer. The added protection will seal in colour pigments, boost vibrancy and ensure a healthy, radiant shine.