Today we’re going to talk about hair. It’s not something I spend a ton of time talking about on here, but maintaining colour is something I have figured out along the way so I thought I’d share. Of course these tips are just from my own experience, I’m not a hair professional so when in doubt ask an expert of course.
At this point I have been highlighting and/or colouring my hair for about 10 years. I started off getting blonde highlights in grade 6 (I feel like everyone does this), then I was completely blonde, dark brown, auburn and now my hair is red. From my spin around the colour wheel I’ve learned a lot about how to make colour last and look it’s best which is what I’m going to share today. Most of my tips are geared towards red hair since it’s one of the hardest to maintain, but I do have a few tips for blondes from learning the hard way.
I do get my hair professionally coloured because I’m terrified to do it myself so I can’t offer tips on at home hair colour since I’ve never done it. That being said, getting your hair professionally done can be expensive so these tips are a lifesaver.
My trip around the colour wheel 🙂
I’ll start with blonde since I had the most slip ups with this shade.
#1- Invest in a good quality toning shampoo. I can’t stress this enough. It is worth the money to invest in a great purple shampoo and use it sparingly. Ask your hairdresser or at a beauty supply store what they recommend. If you’re going to be full blonde it’s something you’ll need from the beginning because once it starts to look brassy it’s hard to fix.
#2- This is the sucky part about being blonde- you really can’t avoid the maintenance. I learned the hard way that your roots need to be done often. They might not look that bad, my natural hair isn’t that dark, but if you wait until you have significant regrowth the regrowth farther from the scalp won’t lift the same as the hair closer to your scalp. Then you end up with that awful orangey stripe.
Being blonde is pricey. Not saying I wouldn’t try being blonde again, but I’d wait until I had room in my budget for the frequent maintenance.
Right after I get my hair done my hairdresser always tells me to wait 48 hours before washing so that the colour has time to set. I honestly don’t know if this makes a difference, but I always wait as long as I can.
One of the biggest things that kills colour is washing. I have dry, thick hair naturally and it rarely gets oily so I can get away with washing my hair once a week. Some people may think that’s gross, but I do shower way more frequently than that obviously. In order to avoid excessive washing, I purchased a pack of shower caps from the drugstore. This way I can shower without rinsing my colour down the drain. This is super helpful especially for red hair because it runs when you wash it. I look like a granny but if it helps prolong my colour I’ll do it. It also makes my shower lightning fast. If you feel like you need to wash your hair often, it can often be related to washing often. my hairdresser once told me that if you wash too often you can over activate the oil glands in your scalp making your hair more greasy. When I do feel like my hair is looking a little flat, I will just use a little dry shampoo and I’m good to go.
Anytime you do go from light to dark, the first colour usually fades faster than the next ones will. When I went from blonde to reddish brown my hair did fade pretty quickly, but don’t panic the next colour will generally cling better when it has some pigment to work with.
When I do wash my hair, I use a colour safe shampoo that is sulfate free. I switched to sulfate free last year and I’ve noticed a huge difference is my hair. It’s much healthier and not as dry. Plus it’s grown a ton. The other tip that really makes a difference is to wash in cold. Cold water doesn’t cause the hair follicle to open up as much so your colour won’t be as affected. Washing in cold sucks, but paying for colour super often sucks more.
Of course you’ll want to make sure any products you use in your hair are colour safe. A lot of people recommend coconut oil as a hair mask and as much as I love coconut oil it can strip colour so use it cautiously. The heat protectant I’m currently using has UV protection in it which is perfect because red can be faded by the sun. I’ll just spray a little in my hand and disperse it throughout my hair to make sure it covers all over. In terms of conditioner my hairdresser said not to worry about using a colour safe conditioner. Since shampoo actually ‘strips’ the hair to wash it, colour safe is important there but conditioner doesn’t do that so it’s not a huge concern.
In all even though colouring your hair can be expensive I love having the freedom to experiment and try out different looks. These tips at least help me to not break the bank doing it. If you have any tried and true tips to add, feel free to leave them in the comments below.