Hair that’s in great condition can generally be colored any shade without experiencing a measurable increase in dryness – i.e. a negative impact in the condition of your hair – with the appropriate hair care regimen. It is for this reason that I strongly suggest going to a reputable professional to have a hair analysis prior to committing to color. They’ll be able to give you a thorough hair analysis as well as advise you on what changes are needed to keep your hair in the best conditions.
Permanent Hair Colour
Traditionally, there are two main parts to a permanent colour process that take place simultaneously. First, the outer layer of the hair shaft, the cuticle, must be opened before colour can be deposited into the hair. Peroxide, or developer, is the chemical that opens the cuticle so the dye can react with the inner portion of the hair, the cortex, to deposit the colour. The level of developer used is determined by the desired colour and how many “levels” of lifting it will take to achieve it.
Temporary Hair Colour
Semi-permanent dye deposits on the outside of the hair shaft. These products do not contain ammonia, meaning the cuticle isn’t opened during processing and the hair’s natural colour and texture is retained once the colour is washed out over time. These are often referred to as “rinses” or “tints.”
Demi-permanent dye lasts longer than semi-permanent, but eventually washes out over LOTS more time. These colours are ammonia-free and deposited using level 10 developer, which will not lift (lighten) or remove the natural hair colour, but will slightly open the cuticle allowing colour to deposit on top of your natural pigment.
A semi permanent colour is best for you as they are easier to remove from hair, resulting in less damage.
Considerations before choosing to dye your hair
How your hair absorbs and holds moisture will determine how colour, deposits in your hair. If you have low porosity, it can be more difficult to process dye because the hair shaft is not as receptive to foreign chemicals. If you have high porosity, you have to be careful not to over-process the hair as chemicals can process almost twice as fast. But, you can expect the colour to fade slower. Also note, permanent dye will increase your hair’s porosity since it has to penetrate the cortex, making it harder for the hair to retain moisture in the future (which is why dryness can become an issue).
Coarse strands generally take more time to absorb colour than fine width strands. This means the processing time may vary from the instructions given in box kits. How much, you ask? Well…as always, it depends!
Your Natural Hair Colour:
There are levels to this. If you have level one or two, black/very dark brown hair, you will not make it to those light blondes and bright reds without the use of permanent dye, high-level developer and in some cases, bleaching agents.
Depending on the type of dye used and how many levels you have climbed up the colour chart, you may experience differences in curl pattern, elasticity and overall manageability. This varies person to person. Some people have no problem at all with hair colour and for others it’s a disaster. A good barometer is to think about your hair’s history. If you are prone to excessive shedding, dryness and breakage without colour, expect those issues to get worse with it.
All chemical processes reduce the elasticity (stretchability) of your hairs and increase their chances of breakage. Therefore, any hair that has been dyed or coloured is vulnerable to damage. Be aware of how to take the proper steps to hydrate and care for your hair afterwards.”
With all these do’s and don’ts will you still dye?