Dying Your Hair: Before and After Care
Proper Care for Dyed Hair
Maybe you’ve been thinking about it for a while now. Maybe you’ve been struck by a heady whim and can’t wait another second. However you got here, you just know: you’re ready to dye your hair. You’re armed with photos of Evan Rachel Wood’s chic grey-blonde or a gorgeous pastel pink color melt or one of NaturallyTash’s latest stunning color combinations. You’ve made an appointment with a colorist, and you’re counting down the days.
So all that’s left is waiting for the appointment, right? Well, yes and no. We’ve got a few tips to prep your hair for the big day. Grab a chair, and take notes, everyone: welcome to Dying 101.
Keep Your Hair Healthy
One of the biggest keys to a great color application is to have healthy hair. (Also a good rule in general, let’s be honest. Treat your hair like the crown it is, folks!) Use quality cleansing and styling products that are gentle with your hair. Make sure to use your heat styling tools correctly, and protect your hair before using them. You should also indulge in a moisturizing hair treatment about once a month.
We’ve got many great pieces on how to keep your hair healthy here on our blog, so you don’t have to look far for more great advice. Just scroll back and keep reading! To get you started, here’s how to get healthy hair with 3 oils.
Don't Wash Before You Go
Do not wash your hair right before you go to the salon - preferably, wash it at least two days before your appointment. Doing this helps ensure your hair’s natural oils haven’t been washed away, and the even distribution of oil in your hair should give you the best chance for evenly-colored hair.
This break also gives your scalp a chance to heal from any scratches it might have picked up during a vigorous hairwashing. Crying in salons is very serious business, and you don’t want to suffer because the chemical treatment is burning on broken skin.
When you do wash your hair for the last time before seeing your colorist, use a clarifying shampoo to remove any product build-up in your hair. If your hair is healthy enough, or has low porosity, you may want to skip the conditioner at this point. For natural hair with high porosity, you should deep clean and deep condition; check out NaturallyCurly’s guide, “How to Prime Your Hair for Color (No Matter Your Porosity).”
Try not to use any styling products in the last 48 hours before you’re parked in your colorist’s chair.
After Care for Dyed Hair
The day has arrived! The dye has been applied! You look fabulous! Now - how do you keep it that way?
We’ve got tips for that! And they’re mostly common sense, and a snap to follow.
First things first: wait as long as you can to wash your hair after having it dyed. While waiting 24 hours is generally enough to ensure the color’s been absorbed, some colorists are firm on suggesting 48 hours - or as long as you can go.
While you’re not washing your hair, it’s time for a shopping trip: stock up on shampoo and conditioner formulated to protect color-treated hair. You should be able to find these easily within your favorite brand; some product lines even get really specific and protect certain colors.
You may also want to wash your hair less often, to keep your hair’s natural oils going strong. Coloring your hair can damage the hair cuticle, making your hair more porous and prone to moisture loss - which means prone to color loss as well. You’ll also want to avoid super hot water, which can strip your hair’s moisture. Be sure to condition with every wash, and regularly deep condition as well.
Make sure to protect your hair from the elements as well: the sun can fade your fab coloring job, and chlorine from pools can do nasty things to it. Try to use hair products that include UV protection, and wear a hat or head covering while outside with no shade. You can protect your hair from pool water by covering it with conditioner before jumping in.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully completed Dying 101 - instead of a degree, you get an awesome new hair color! Best class ever, am I right? And if you don’t like the color, you can simply change it again. Now hit the comments and share your advanced tips with the class!