I just recently colored my hair, for the 4th time! The 1st was when I was in 10th grade (chocolate highlights), then when I was at Virginia Tech for my 20th birthday I got my hair colored (burgundy all over my hair) followed by right after my wedding, just before going on our honeymoon (caramel highlights) and then again this year in March (burgundy highlights).
I had been wanting to get Burgundy highlights for a while and finally one Friday I decided to go ahead and get it done. I always go to the salon for coloring my hair and definitely do not recommend trying it on your own at home, in my opinion that is.
Many of us do not realize that hair coloring is fun but needs maintenance! It’s not all fun and play if you want your hair to not suffer in the process. Deep conditioning hair masks, hot oil treatments are all vital for your hair’s health once you have colored them. As with any chemical treatment, coloring your hair leaves it dry and brittle.
I am in no way a hair expert, this is just what I have learnt along the way. So without further ado, let me share with you some tips to follow before and after hair coloring.
Before you decide to go ahead and color your hair:
- Take a pic to show to the stylist: Take a pic for reference. Be it Sonam Kapoor’s, Deepika Padukone’s or Katrina Kaif’s – just take a picture with you to better explain to the hair stylist what you are looking for. But be prepared that it will not look like that a 100%. That’s just how it is. This is especially important also because the colors are not called simple Chocolate, Burgundy etc. so it will easier for you to explain what you want when you show a pic to the stylist.
- Be open-minded: You might have a particular thing in mind, but trust the stylist and her years of experience when she advises against getting a particular shade – they really do know the best. For example, when I went to get my hair colored, the hair stylist recommended I go 2 shades darker than what I wanted. She said since I was going for a red tone in my hair and coz red color bleeds the most, it works better to go darker and then the color will lighten eventually with multiple washes and just being exposed to sun etc. And trust me, I am happy I listened to her as my hair turned out perfectly and I am still loving my hair color even after 4 months of coloring them!
- Coloring hair that has already been treated with henna: I use henna to condition my hair twice a year. Coloring henna treated hair can be tricky, but doable. Due to henna, the actual color you choose may or may not come out as desired and the way out for that is to bleach some more and for longer before getting hair colored. Definitely get this done at a nice reputable salon and not at home.
- And lastly, know you want to do it 100%: For us black-haired beauties, it is quite a task to color our hair because it involves bleaching etc. so definitely make up your mind 100% before going to the salon and getting your hair done. Many people decide to color it back to the original color because they are shocked at the drastic difference they see in themselves (especially the first timers), but I do not recommend this. The hair has already undergone enough chemical damage, please spare it some more, atleast immediately. The color will grow on you I promise and if it doesn’t then consult the stylist at the salon for what your options are, definitely do not color it on your own at home.
After you have colored your hair:
- Follow the advice of the stylist and do not shampoo for 72 hours after coloring your hair. This ensures the color stays fresher and lasts longer.
- After the 1st wash, every time you shampoo, try to either oil it before hand or deep condition it after washing and trust me, your hair will thank you for this!
- Invest in shampoos, conditioners and heat protection spray especially made for color treated hair: No, you do not need to buy the 30$ shampoo and conditioner your stylist recommends, store brand works just as well. My personal favorite along the years has been L’Oreal Products. The products in their colored hair care line have different names in different countries, but the line and ingredients mostly remain the same. I am including a pic of the products available at your local grocery store, here in the US.
- For atleast the 1st month after coloring your hair, do not use harsh shampoos like Head and Shoulders. If you have dandruff or like to treat your hair once a week with anti-dandruff shampoos to curb dandruff before it starts, use home remedies instead. A hair mask of yogurt, egg and lemon juice works wonders and won’t harm your hair or fade the color.
- Since it’s summer and the sun can be particularly harsh during this time of the year, it is important to take care of your color treated hair when going swimming. Either oil your hair beforehand or wet it under the shower with regular water before jumping into the pool. Either of these techniques makes the hair absorb less of that Chlorine water which is super harmful to regular hair let alone colored hair! And on a regular basis, wear a hat/bandana headband to minimize sun exposure.
I hope these tips were helpful and you are all set to try something different… I would love to hear/see what color you chose! Enjoy 🙂