Washing Coloured Hair

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Whether you’re regularly colouring your hair or you’ve only recently started to experiment with hair dyes and highlighters, your usual regime may need an overhaul. When you colour your hair, you expose it to ingredients like ammonia and hydrogen peroxide which lift your hair’s cuticle. Once this protective layer has been exposed, chemicals break down protein and natural pigment, leaving it brittle and dry and more susceptible to breakage and tangles.

However, it’s not all bad news. Though there’s no getting away from the fact that colouring your hair does inevitably lead to some damage, there are products, tricks and techniques you can add to your hair care repertoire today that will keep it at its healthiest. Discover them here…

Select The Right Shampoo

After colouring your hair, you need to switch your regular shampoo for one that offers ingredients and formulas that won’t gradually wash it away and will prevent colour fading and hair taking on a brassy hue. Hair stylists rave about sulphate-free variations for their gentler formulas – sulphates bind to colour molecules, stripping them away from your hair as you shampoo so they’re best avoided. Living Proof Colour Care Shampoo is free from sulphates and silicones and enhances hair’s protective layer with restorative ingredients. Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo is enriched with nourishing sunflower seed and apricot kernel oil and is sulphate and paraben-free too. Go easy; apparently 80% of colour fade is due to over-washing, so try and leave a day or two in between shampoos.

Blonde Hair Needs More Care

If you’ve got blonde hair, it’s worth stocking up on blonde-specific shampoos to help you maintain your highlights. Formulated with a cool, lilac tint that counteracts any yellowness or brassy tones, the shampoos deposit the purple pigment throughout the hair, brightening the silver tones. Nervous about using a purple tinted shampoo? You don’t need to be. Although the purple hue might look a little terrifying, it won’t actually dye your hair purple unless you leave it on too long. Hair stylists recommend you wash your hair with your usual shampoo first to get rid of any dirt and grime – and then use your purple shampoo afterwards, leaving it on for just a minute (at the most) to give it time to transform. Use Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo for Beautiful Colour and Philip B Icelandic Blonde Shampoo just once or twice a week to keep your blonde bright.

Protect From Heat Damage

As well as the usual suspects (think pollution and UV rays) at play when it comes to colour fade, there’s heat styling to take into consideration too. Using a hair dryer and styling tools daily are likely to dry out your hair, damaging the cuticle and in turn, accelerating colour fade. Using a product that contains heat protecting technologies and nourishing formulas before using your hair dryer or tongs will protect against excessive heat as well as softening and strengthening the hair too. Colour Wow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray covers each strand with a waterproof coat and a heat-activated polymer that gives hair a super glossy shine. Alternatively, IGK Hair Good Behaviour Smoothing Spray offers up to 450 degree heat protection and boosts hair health with natural spirulina protein.

Incorporate A Treatment

On top of conditioning every time you shampoo, it’s worth investing in a more intensive treatment to help seal in moisture, reduce tangles and boost shine. Living Proof Colour Care Whipped Glaze is brilliant for restoring your hair colour (the Light Glaze lifts brassy tones in blondes and the Dark Glaze rebalances red and brunette hues) and the light, leave-in conditioner has an emollient blend that adds softness and protects too. Or for something richer, Christophe Robin Colour Fixator Wheat Germ Mask contains a combination of honey extract, wheat germ and provitamin B5 that repair the hair without weighing it down. Use just once or twice a week and your usual conditioner every time you shampoo and rinse with lukewarm water – hot water lifts the outer cuticle, increasing the potential for colour fade.

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