Friday, October 29, 2010

Caring For Coloured Hair

I haven’t seen my natural hair colour for a long, LONG time. It’s a dark shade of blonde and just very ‘blah’ to be quite honest. I remember hearing the old saying “your natural hair colour will always suit you because it was ‘designed’ to suit your colouring”. What a load of old pants! I definitely suit and look a lot healthier with lighter blonde hair. Believe it or not, I actually experimented with many shades of brunette…cool browns, reddish browns and plummy browns as a teenager with mixed results (I’m sure there’s a bad hair photo archive somewhere!). Once I started getting my hair highlighted when I was about 15, I knew I was on the right track! I was born to be a blonde! My hairdresser even told me once that if I ever came in and asked her to dye my hair brunette, she would refuse to do it!

I just got my hair highlighted yesterday by my lovely hairdresser, Leigh...

So now that I’ve had 12 years of experience when it comes to looking after coloured tresses, one thing I do know is that blondes always have to spend that extra bit of time caring for their hair since the chemicals used to highlight/dye the hair are a lot harsher than our brunette/red head counterparts. However, this is a post dedicated to all hair colours and how to preserve and care for your coloured hair.


Ok, so we all know that it’s important to take good care of your hair after you have coloured it, that’s stating the obvious. But, if you want the best possible results, it’s really important to prepare your hair before you colour it, whether you’re going to DIY it with a home dye or take a trip to your hairdresser. Here’s what I do every 6-7 weeks before I get my hair highlighted:

• I always do a deep conditioning treatment the day before getting my hair highlighted to make sure my hair is hydrated and in the best condition to receive the colour. I have started using Phyto Pre-Shampoo Intense Hydrating Oil Treatment (it’s A-mazing!) but I also love Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment. You can just apply either of these to your hair before shampooing, leave for 30 mins, then wash hair and condition as normal. You won’t believe the difference in the condition of your hair afterwards…the shine is incredible!

• If you are on a budget or just don’t want to splash out on treatments, then you can also apply a completely natural, home-made, protein rich treatment made from one avocado with 1 tablespoon of jojoba, grapeseed and coconut oil. Leave it in for 15-20 minutes then shampoo and condition as normal. The advantage of making your own hair care products is that it allows you to have complete control over what goes on your hair. It’s actually really satisfying to know that you are using fresh and pure ingredients on your hair.

• Another home-made treatment that is brilliant is this hot oil treatment for damaged/dry hair:


1/2 cup organic soybean oil or organic sunflower oil

8 drops oil of sandalwood

8 drops oil of lavender

8 drops oil of geranium
Mix all the above ingredients together and then warm oil to a comfortable temperature. Apply the mixture to damp hair. I like to wrap my hair in a plastic cap and then apply a hot towel for 20-30 minutes. Then I just shampoo the mixture out and condition as normal.

• You can also just buy pure Coconut Oil and this alone can be used to treat hair in the same way.

• Lastly, always make sure you get a trim when you get your hair coloured, even if you’re trying to grow it. If you don’t, the ends of your hair will REALLY suffer. I mean, who wants long hair with scraggy ends? Not me! By trimming a smidgen off, your hair will be more manageable and the worst of your split ends will be dealt with. Your hair colour will look SO much fresher when your hair looks and feels healthy.


So you have coloured your hair or had it coloured for you. Taking special care of your coloured hair will help to preserve the colour for longer, add healthy shine and make sure your hair is soft and manageable. Here’s what I do to help my hair on it’s way:

• Static is always a big problem if you colour your hair and especially if your hair is fine. To reduce the static, you should always use a thermal protecting product when blow-drying to minimise damage to your hair. I really like Paul Mitchell Hot Off The Press Thermal Protection Spray.

• It’s important to use a moisturising shampoo that’s suited to your hair colour to avoid stripping further moisture from the hair. I switch between using Loreal Professionnel Shine Blonde Shampoo (which is a purple colour to brighten my blonde and counteract any brassiness) and Sebastian Penetraitt Shampoo to strengthen my hair. Brunettes could use something like the John Frieda Brilliant Brunette range. These specially developed shampoos do not strip away the natural moisture from your hair and also help to keep the colour soft and fresh.

• I deep condition or treat my hair with oils religiously at LEAST once a week to rebuild moisture levels in my hair. Coloured hair can become really dry if you don’t treat it in this way. I use the oil/natural treatments as mentioned above but I have found that my favourite shop bought treatment for coloured hair is Kerastase Chroma Riche Masque.

That stuff is just incredible! I finished my current tub of it last week so I have ordered more from straight away…I just cannot live without it. I leave it on my hair after shampooing for around 5 minutes and it just makes my hair feel heavenly…so soft and silky yet so volumised…the perfect combination and the shine it imparts is out of this world. It’s a must have for coloured hair and fantastic as a pre-party treatment if you want your hair to look amazing (and lets face it…when would you NOT want your hair to look amazing???).

• I try not to blow dry my hair every day and when I do, I never use the hot setting to avoid heat damage. It’s best to try and let your hair dry naturally as much as possible to keep it in the best condition.

• Coloured hair tends to be more brittle and slightly weaker so I’m always really careful when combing my wet hair after a shower. I always use a wide-toothed comb instead of a brush to avoid tearing my hair to pieces.

• I truly believe that what you put into your body makes a huge difference to your skin and hair so if you want your hair to look hydrated, you have to make sure you drinks loads of water. I know it’s clichéd and boring but thems are the rules to nice hair and skin. The condition of your hair is an sure fire indication of your general state of health. Hydrated hair means that the colour will last for longer!

• Limit the changes you make to your hair colour as much as possible. Each time you change your hair colour, more chemicals are needed to achieve the desired effect, and more chemicals means more damage to your hair. So, by gradually changing your hair you are giving it the time it needs to repair itself and deal with the chemicals at a manageable level.

• Always rinse your hair well after shampoo and conditioner. This will prevent a build up of product residue on your hair that will just make it look dull and lank. It’s a good idea to spend the last 10 to 15 seconds of your shower using a cooler setting to seal the hair and add shine…if you can stand it that is!

Have you got any great natural hair remedies or amazing products for coloured hair?

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