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Colouring your hair? Take these precautions

Ameeta G | August 31, 2005

Part I: Tried marbling your hair?

Planning to colour, streak or add highlights to your hair?

While you find the idea exciting -- and even debate marbling and Balliage, the latest trends we suggested yesterday -- you might be wondering if your hair will be affected in the process.

Can hair colour cause damage?

Colouring your hairColouring your hair could lead to some amount of hair damage. This is because hair colouring products use some form of chemical agents. The chemicals are used on the open hair cuticle to deposit colour into the cortex (inner layer in single strand of hair). This makes the colour last. Without the chemicals, the colour would fade the next time you shampooed your hair.

"Frequent chemical altering of the hair is especially damaging. It affects the natural lustre and elasticity of the hair," says Natasha Sara, who works at Hakim's Aalim, a popular hair salon in Mumbai.

First timers may experience some dryness of the hair that can be remedied with a strong conditioner. "I use extra conditioning to deal with the dryness caused by the hair colour," says model-turned-actress Aditi Gowitrikar, who streaked her hair golden.

Hair can be extensively damaged with repeated chemical applications, leading to dryness and loss of lustre. Sometimes, it even affects hair texture and straight hair becomes wavy or curly.

Sonal Shah, a second year MBA student, has coloured her hair thrice. "My hair looks great now but the texture is really bad. It's rough and tangled," she says.

So, heed these pre and post hair treatment tips.

Before heading for the salon

 If you have damaged hair or split ends, a trim before colouring is recommended, as your hair ends are prone to soaking up excess colour.

~ Hair spa treatment is available in salons for hair damaged due to repeated colouring. This treatment includes massaging, steaming, etc. It is administered to improve and add shine to damaged hair.

~ Perming and straightening hair involves a strong dose of chemicals. If your hair is already damaged by this, try and avoid the pre-breaching process.

~ Do not apply henna if you are thinking of using artificial colouring products. Henna not only makes your hair dry; it also forms a barrier and affects the strength of the colour.

~ "A four to five months gap between the time you apply henna and the time you opt for colouring your hair is good," says Sara.

~ A patch test is a must, especially if you're colouring your hair at home. A patch test is conducted to check for any negative skin reaction to the colour. It is easy to administer. Simply apply some colour on the inside of your elbow, keep it on for 15-20 minutes and wash off.  If there is any skin reaction, avoid using the colour; try another company's product or consult a professional.

~ If you're scalp is sensitive, make sure you inform your stylist.

~ If you have scratches or abrasions on your scalp, wait until they have healed before colouring your hair.

Post colouring precautions

~ Use a good colour preventive shampoo; it makes sure your hair colour doesn't fade quickly. "People with coloured hair should avoid harsh shampoos like anti-dandruff shampoos," says Roshini Kanjee, who works at Enrich, L'Oréal. 

~ Using a good conditioner is a must after colouring. A conditioner helps restore the hair's texture and the nourishing vitamins dried out by the colouring process. 

~ Model Jessae Randhawa went in for multiple colour streaking. "Repeated colouring did effect my hair. The main damage was dryness. I use a good shampoo and conditioners like L'Oreal and Tigi's moisturising conditioners," she says.

~ People with very dry or damaged hair can use replenishing balms or hair serum after colouring.

~ Avoid colouring your hair on a regular basis.

"If you're colouring your hair to hide the grey, then it should only be done once a month. The younger age group can change hair colours after a gap of three to six months," says Marci Fernandez, hair stylist at Exquise, L'Oréal. 

To colour or not to colour…

Your hair colour can be an expression of your personality. Go ahead and give it a try. Just remember to take the recommended precautions.

Here's wishing you a great hair day.

Part I: Tried marbling your hair?

Share your comments

 What do you think about the story?

Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 5

Sub: Coloured hair? Take precautions

I perfectly agree with thinks shared by Ameeta G. I recently decided to colour my hair and this article really will help me to take ...

Posted by Vaibhav Khairnar

Sub: coment

"The chemicals are used on the open hair cuticle to deposit colour into the cortex "(the external layer of the brain). i differ in the ...

Posted by u c ojha

Sub: Colouring your hair

This is to point out a mistake in the otherwise informative article posted yesterday.The hair colour cannot penetrate the brain!It penetrates into the skin that ...

Posted by Dr Arathi Singh

Sub: Brain Dyed?! :)

This article says: "The chemicals are used on the open hair cuticle to deposit colour into the cortex (the external layer of the BRAIN). " ...

Posted by Maybetheone

Sub: whitning

My 7 year old daughter's hair is becoming white. What to do? Give your valuable suggestion. Thanks Shagi.

Posted by Shagi Verghese


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