How to maintain bright colored hair?
Hey there, Internet!
So I started dyeing my hair different colors at the age of 9 (streaks, with my parents to go to the hair salon with me, telling them to just do it, thanks for that!). By myself / with my mom at the age of 11, most of those colors were unnaturally bright – unnaturally unless we are talking about Anime characters, faeries or other mystical creatures who can obviously be born with strange haircolors. Even though you probably can find various tricks for this online, here are what I do to keep my hair bright colors and healthy for a longer period of time!
For my last hair-post take a look at Suddenly: Misty! – Done when I dyed my hair orange in April 2015, looking back at some other haircolors I’ve had…
Left picture stolen from one of my recent posts. The left picture shows how my hair looks like freshly dyed, right one is ~3 weeks after dyeing. Orange looks a bit more yellow and green is not as vibrant as it was in the beginning. Difference in height of ombre effect in the pictures probably were caused because I twist my hair while braiding and the ombre parts are different on each streak.
Usually Dyes that will give you those bright results (Like Stargazer, Manic Panic, Directions, Special Effects and the like) are semi permanent, dyes like Wella Coleston might not be as bright but will last much longer, those are mixed with cream oxid (like any other regular professional hair dye at a salon) and will damage your hair every time you have to redye instead of the one time bleaching done for the semi-permanent ones. Today’s post is about those semi-permanent dyes though. All colors fade due to washing your hair or being exposed to the sun, still the way you take care of your hair will influence how long the color will stay: healthy hair will keep the color longest and have a more beautiful shine than hair that has been bleached and nobody took care of.
On a sidenote: I am not a professional, this is only what I’ve experienced on my hair while dyeing for years! I know that two of the three shampoos I currently use contain sulfates, and these days people recommend to buy sulfate free shampoos because those are not as agressive to your hair and skin and might reduce itchyness and dandruff. I am looking for sulfate-free products to replace these (as just done with the third one) but I also want equally good results and cruelty free products so this might take a while.
Bleaching: Sadly necessary to achieve bright colors. Bleaching roots on my head usually happens every 6 weeks, my hair grows pretty fast and that is the amount of rootwear that I can accept. Right before bleaching I wash my hair, using Balea deep cleansing shampoo (contains sulfates) to free my hair of hairspray, which I use a lot. No conditioning at this point though. For bleaching dry your hair completely. Depending on your preferences there are different strengths of cream oxide (H2O2), on my dark hair 9% works fine, mixed 1:2 with whitening powder. Leave in for ~30 minutes but check in between to make sure your hair gets not damaged too much, rinse with cleansing shampoo and towel dry this time. If you don’t think you have enough skill, ask a friend or go to a professional, don’t just go and bleach your entire hair instead of only bleaching your roots because dividing your hair into sections would be too difficult (to not miss streaks of your hair roots) for your opinion!
Dyeing: It might require to try a few brands before you find one that will stay on your hair really well, remember hair is a bit different on every person. I know a lot of people who swear by Directions, my hair refuses their colors though – leaving me nearly blonde again after washing my hair only once. Preparing by washing with the Balea deep cleansing shampoo (contains sulfates) to get rid of hairspray and other styling products, then I towel dry my hair. I currently use Stargazer semi permanent hair dye (UV-Red & Yellow, mixed 1:1 or 2:1 depending on my mood really, African green for ombre tips) I dye every 3 weeks, could definitely get away with every 4 or 5 weeks but this way it is easy to schedule with my bleaching habits. I dye before I head to bed – most product’s instructions will tell you to leave the color in for 15-20 minutes but since those bright dyes usually don’t contain damaging ingredients the longer it stays in, the better. So the color will stay on my hair, wrapped in a towel, while I sleep. When I get up I rinse with cold water and color protection shampoo. For orange-y hair try Dusy color reflex shampoo in copper, (contains sulfates) or, for any color Alverde color shampoo.
Taking care of your hair:
Daily a tiny bit of pure argan oil is getting rubbed into my tips, helps them to stay soft and at least for me, keeps spliss and broken hair ends away.
I wash my hair every 3 days. The night before washing, it will be soaked in oil (sometimes walnut, sometimes coconut, sometimes olive, sometimes mixed), wrapped in a towel and off to bed. The first time was the strangest feeling ever and difficult to fall asleep but after a few times it felt normal. Try to use cold water, it will not wash away as much color and in case of different colors will decrease bleeding.
For shampoos I go with Dusy color reflex shampoo in copper since I’ve had my hair orange (via mail they said they are not testing on animals, cruelty free? Contains sulfates though.) or the Alverde color shampoo. there are brands that sell shampoo that state they will make your haircolor last longer, some have pigments in, some not. For those with pigments it would be best to leave them in for a few minutes. If there is no shampoo like that available I go with one that would help my hair stay healthy and only apply to the roots, you want to get rid of the oil and not of the color. Because I am a hairspray heavy user 2-3 rinsings might be needed, simply until the hair feels clean again.
Next is my condidioner – mixed 1:1 with my hair color, like you would do to get pastel hair colors, that will refresh your color and your hair will feel soft and healthy afterwards, leave on as long as you like, meanwhile I epilate my legs, saving some more time! My favourite conditioner currently the Almond and Argan conditioner from Alverde or their color conditioner.
If you have to use a hair dryer, curling or crimping iron use a heat protection spay, the one I currently use is from a company that states to not test but says they can’t make sure their suppliers are cruelty free, and that also is run by a company that actually does test on animals, so when it is empty I definitely will not repurchase. Even though the patchouli & tangerine scent is amazing and the product itself worked perfect on my hair, for anyone interested: TIGI catwalk haute iron spray.
A lot of people suggest dry shampoo for days in between washings, I have not found one that will work for me yet though so if there is one you can recommend, share with us?
What do you do to keep those colors bright? Have a nice evening!