Ahhhhh, the first time coloring your hair. Nothing is as nerve-wracking yet exciting than that first time you decide to change your natural hair color, hoping and praying that the final results will match what you had imagined while you sit and wait for everything to dry. For many of us, we’ve colored our hair so many times that we can hardly remember the first time we did it! Being a veteran at coloring my hair, there are countless pieces of advice that I’ve learned with each and every hair dye job I’ve ever had, as well as daily maintenance tips that I’ve needed to pick up in order to keep my hair color as is. While I’ve had to learn many of these lessons the hard way, I want to pass along my knowledge to those of you with “virgin-hair” (i.e., untreated hair) before you embark on your first hair coloring treatment.
Expect Texture Changes
When undergoing any sort of hair treatment, it’s important to understand the function of the cuticle layer of the hair and how it effects your hair texture. In simple terms, the cuticle is an outer layer of the hair strand that seals in moisture, allowing your hair to feel smooth, look shiny, and maintain moisture levels. However, when undergoing any sort of treatment to your hair that is inherently damaging such as coloring, this cuticle layer is very much at risk to becoming opened and damaged, as the hair dye is formulated specifically to penetrate the cuticle to keep the color long-lasting. Thus, it is extremely common for your hair to become much lighter in weight and feel drier and frizzier following a color treatment. In the case of curly hair, this can be even more dramatic, and extra care must be taken to ensure your hair doesn’t turn into a frizzy, unmanageable mess!
Sun and Colored Hair Are Enemies
After dying your hair, you must take specific precautions to ensure that the color doesn’t fade too quickly. This includes incorporating specific shampoo and conditioners that may contain trace amounts of dyes to maintain the new hair color. However, what many people overlook is that the biggest threat to keeping our same rich, vibrant color is the sun! While we all know the importance of protecting our skin from the sun, did you also know that the sun can cause significant damage to even untreated hair, as well? It’s true, as the rays of the sun naturally dry the hair, and overexposure to the sun can cause our natural hair color to fade over time. When it comes to colored hair, this issue becomes exacerbated, as the dye responsible for our new hair color is even more susceptible to sun-related fading. Thus, it is important to either limit overexposure to the sun after dying your hair or taking precautionary measures such as wearing a hat or applying a product designed to protect the hair from UV damage. On particular product is Sutra’s Hair Cocktail, which contains coconut oil, a natural SPF, to help shield your colored hair from the fading-powers of the sun’s rays.
Your Hair Will Need Serious TLC
The first week after a color treatment, especially if this is your very first time, your hair will be incredibly fragile and irritated. The hair coloring process is extremely strong and somewhat damaging to the hair strand, and this is even more true when it comes to blonde tones that require strong concentrations of hair bleach. Your hair may feel dry, brittle, and dehydrated, so you’ll need to take extra care in making sure that you baby your hair in this recovery stage. The best course of action will be to limit your washing routine significantly, only using shampoo and conditioner as instructed by your colorist. Additionally, make sure to incorporate frequent applications of leave-in products like a leave-in conditioner or moisturizing hair mask. One of my favorite products for the recovery stage is Sutra’s Hair Mask. This deeply moisturizing mask contains a rich blend of jojoba oil, vitamin E, and omega fatty acids to both condition and hydrate the recovering hair strands while providing a boost to your hair’s health and even leaving a layer of UV protection.