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5 tips for coloring your hair

Kelly’s question…What is the best way to prepare hair for hair dye? Freshly washed, day old etc?

The Beauty Brains response

If you’re having your color done by a professional stylist, he or she should give you good direction on how to prepare your hair. But if you’re doing it yourself at home, or having a friend do it for you, here are some tips that should ensure a better coloring process.

Top 5 Do’s and Don’ts For Coloring Your HairWigs_and_hair_colour

1. Ban bleaching
Avoid chemical processes like bleaching and highlighting in the weeks prior to getting your hair colored. These treatments can damage your hair, making it more porous and potentially preventing it from retaining some of the dye molecules.

2. Skip the stylers
Try not to go up your hair with a lot of heavy styling agents in the day or two before styling. If you haven’t done a good job of cleaning them off your hair they may inhibit penetration of the hair dye. If you typically use heavy conditioners, like those containing dimethicone, you might want to forego that for a few days as well.

3. Do a deep cleansing
Just in case you do have residue on your hair it doesn’t hurt to do a good deep cleaning right before coloring. (Freshly washed hair helps ensure there’s nothing that will interfere with the hair dye deposition.)

4. Stay away from straighteners
Here’s a tip that even your stylist may not know: don’t use temporary straighteners before coloring because the chemistry involved in these products damages the protein bonds in hair. Just like bleaching and highlighting, these chemical straighteners can damage are hair to the point where the coloring treatment may not be as effective.

5. Watch the water
Lastly, you want to be careful what you do after you color your hair. Research has shown that washing is the main cause of hair dye loss. Therefore you want to be careful about how frequently you shampoo your hair after coloring. There are products on the market that contain technology that really helps protect wash out; for example, we have seen data showing Tresemme Color Revitalize shampoo and conditioner are effective, particularly on reddish-brown shades. (Tip: Don’t waste money on hair products that charge more because they contain expensive UV absorbers. Sunscreens do very little to preserve color.)

Image credit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4b/Wigs_and_hair_colour.jpg

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lisa March 10, 2015, 5:04 pm

    Amen, loved the article…. I teach this all the time now I am going to print this and give it to everyone…..

    • Randy Schueller March 10, 2015, 8:10 pm

      Thanks Lisa. Now just remember to tell everyone you give it to you follow the Beauty Brains!

  • Mia Boyd April 28, 2015, 10:58 am

    Thanks for the information. I’ll be getting my hair colored next week, so it’s good to know that having slightly dirty hair actually helps the color stick. I’ll also make sure I follow your tip about finding color-sensitive shampoo. Do you have any other tips?

    • Kendra May 24, 2015, 5:39 pm

      I am confused, where did you read having slightly dirty hair helps the color stick? I saw where it says freshly washed hair ensures there’s nothing that will interfere with the color depositing… so I’m just wondering, which it is. I know people often say it’s better to NOT wash hair, but I also have heard this is a myth. If you think about it, it makes more sense to have clean hair for exactly the reason mentioned here.

      • Katie January 7, 2016, 3:38 pm

        Clean, DRY hair with no product in it is ideal! From my understanding, washing your hair right before(day of) the color service, you are cleansing your scalp and removing sebum as well and leaving it open for possible deeper absorption and/or penetration of toxic chemicals from the haircolor(it also can cause sensitivity and irritation of the scalp) The sebum is what protects our skin/scalp. Clean hair/no build-up/even porosity allows for a fresh canvas for color to take properly and evenly ..”dirty” hair will allow for a more unpredictable outcome for an even tone. And I say DRY hair because I’m a Stylist, and it’s just polite and courteous to have that part taken care of before you come in for a timely service… Although you should have had it washed/dried the day before any how ;).

        And thank you for being awesomely informative to further expand my knowledge BB!

        • Randy Schueller January 8, 2016, 6:30 am

          You are very welcome Katie! I’m glad we can help.

  • Deanna R. Jones June 23, 2015, 3:01 pm

    The fourth tip is going to save my hair when I try to dye it this week. I use chemical straighteners my hair on a semi-monthly basis, so I probably would have made the mistake of styling it using a hair straightener after dying it. Now that I know how to protect my hair, I’ll be sure to definitely skip the straighteners. Thanks for the information!

  • Samantha Dantley July 22, 2015, 12:20 pm

    I’ve been thinking of coloring my hair for the first time. It seems like it’d be fun to change things up a little! It’s good to know that straighteners can actually make it harder for the dye to stay. I’ll be sure to stay away from mine for a little while. Thanks for the information.

  • Jocelyn Black July 30, 2015, 9:41 am

    I think another tip should be to not expect miracles. If you pick a good color for you hair you are a lot more likely to get what you want. I also recommend having a friend help. It makes it so much easier and fun.

  • Lily de Grey August 27, 2015, 2:17 pm

    Excellent article, Perry! I’ve been thinking about coloring my hair, so I’m glad that I stumbled upon your post. I didn’t know that you should stay away from straighteners right before you color! I’ll be sure to not do that next time. Thanks for sharing these great tips with us!

  • James Bergman March 17, 2016, 10:09 am

    Thanks for the tips. I am going to get my hair dyed for the first time this week. I lost a bet with my wife. Anyway, I don’t have to worry much about styling agents, because I don’t use them much, but I will be more careful with how I shampoo. I faded red hair probably doesn’t look that great.

  • rach June 4, 2016, 10:39 am

    Hi, I have always found it much better to dye at home when my hair is a bit ”dirty”. You are the only person/article I have seen that recommends to dye with freshly washed hair. I get the Nothing interferes with the colour but I’ve found with clean hair it irritates the scalp but with a few days natural oils on my head I get much better results. Why is this? Your advice would be greatly appreciated as I can’t afford salons, so always dye at home, I am getting old so my hair is not as healthy as it should me. Thank you for your article, worth reading and adhering to advice.

    • Randy Schueller June 4, 2016, 10:53 am

      It sounds like the natural oils are providing a buffer that keeps the high pH of the dye from irritating your skin. If you get good results that way – stick with it!

  • MadSciGrl November 20, 2017, 7:43 am

    Since washing hair is the main cause of fading, would treating coloured hair with coconut oil help preserve the colour as it prevents water from entering the cuticle?

    • admin November 21, 2017, 11:25 am

      Possibly. It might depend on the condition of your hair, the color you use, and the shampoo.

  • Jen September 4, 2019, 11:50 pm

    When you say temporary straighteners, do you mean chemical / brazilian blow out treatments? Or are simple hair straightening irons also included in this?

    • Perry Romanowski September 8, 2019, 2:42 pm

      Brazilian blowout is more of a temporary straightener. It’s not a relaxer.