Nowadays hair dyes are less harmful than used to be and they contain some nourishing ingredients to counteract the damaging effect of ammonia and other chemicals. On the other hand, beauty companies continue to create innovative protective products to reduce the harmful effects of the dye chemicals and minimize the negative effects of regular coloring.
However, there are still some protective steps you can do yourself to go throw the coloring process with minimal damage and get the best possible results. Before any new color adventure, give your hair enough time to recover from previous color processing or any other chemical treatment. You can’t get the hair color of your dreams on overprocessed, lifeless hair.
1. Don’t Wash Your Hair Two Days Before Coloring
Natural oils in your scalp and hair act as a barrier against harsh hair products and external factors. If you apply color to freshly washed hair, chemicals in hair dye can irritate your scalp and dry out your hair. That is why you shouldn’t dye your hair when it is squeaky clean. Excessively oily and dirty hair isn’t a good option too. Such hair won’t support the distribution of the dye. It is advisable to wash your hair two days before coloring to allow natural oils to form a protective coating on your scalp.
2. Clarify Your Hair Before Coloring
If you use many styling products, they can create build-up on your hair which may interfere with the dyeing process. Another kind of buildup can be caused by using hard water for washing your hair. To make your hair more acceptive to color make sure to remove any kind of buildup before applying the dye. The easiest way to remove buildup is to use a clarifying shampoo. If you have hard water in your shower a chelating shampoo is a better choice. Chelating shampoos are formulated to remove any kind of buildup, while most clarifying shampoos are made to remove only product build-up. Your last wash can be with clarifying shampoo 2 days before coloring, or you can clarify several days before coloring. Just make sure not to overuse styling products before your coloring session.
3. Use Coconut Oil Before a Color Job
Coconut oil is a great hair moisturizer that can penetrate the hair shaft and protect your hair from chemical damage. Apply coconut oil the night before or at least several hours before coloring to allow your hair to fully absorb the oil. Rub the oil into the midshaft and ends of your hair. Your ends are the driest part of your hair and need the most protection. You don’t have to apply oil close to your roots. Your roots are protected by scalp natural oils and haven’t suffered from chemical damage by the previous coloring. After several hours of applying coconut oil, you can apply the dye with the coconut oil still in the hair. Your hair will be healthier and softer than usual.
4. Look for a Salon that Uses Olaplex
In recent years it has become a practice to protect the hair during the coloring process to minimize chemical damage. Your stylist will ask you to “upgrade” offering you a higher level of protection. If you make the color appointment, make sure that your colorist uses Olaplex or another bond builder to preserve the integrity of your hair. If you are going to do the coloring job on your own, use at-home bond repairing products to minimize the damage and repair broken and damaged bonds in your hair.
5. Do Patch/Strand Test
If you are planning to dye your hair at home, make sure to do a skin allergy test.
Patch Test: Always perform this test before coloring to see how your skin will react to dye chemicals. Apply a small amount of the color mixture with a cotton swab to the skin area inside of your elbow and leave it on for 48 hours. If you haven’t noticed anything strange in the tested area, you’re not allergic to your hair dye. If you notice any itching, swelling, or redness, this can be a sign of allergic reactions and you shouldn’t apply the product.
Strand test: At the same time, you can also do a strand test by dyeing a small section of hair to see what the color will look like. Use tin foil to wrap around the section to keep it from the rest of your hair. Leave the dye as long as directed on the box. Rinse and blow-dry it to see the effects. If you love what you see, you can dye your hair using your chosen hair dye. The strand test is a key if you are going to try a new shade because everyone’s hair takes to dye differently. This way you can be sure that you get the exact shade you want and adjust the timing if needed.
6. Consider Your Hair Porosity Level
How to Prepare High Porosity Hair for Color Treatment
If your hair is overly porous it may grab the color unevenly. Pigments will easily enter the cortex throw lifted cuticles while some parts of your hair may process color slower. Discuss the problem with your stylist. Hair colorists use porosity equalizers to even hair porosity before coloring. If you are going to dye your hair at home, make sure to use a neutral protein filler or a similar product to even your hair porosity and ensure the best outcome.
How to Prep Low Porosity Hair for Coloring
Low porosity hair has a tightly closed cuticle that may prevent hair products from entering the hair shaft. Such hair takes longer to process the color and you need more time than is indicated on the box to get the desired color. Clarifying step is important for low-porosity hair to remove the product buildup that sits on the surface. It would be helpful if you apply the pre-color treatment (such as Ion Pre-Color Treatment) to prime your hair for color and ensure better and more even absorption.
Disclaimer: All content on this blog is created for informational purposes only. It would be best if you didn’t use it as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.