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Hair Hacks



Those of us who would trade our last roll of toilet paper for time with our colorist may be facing a choice for the first time ever. Hold out until you can get back into the salon OR give at-home color a try?

If you’re nervous about becoming your own colorist, you are not alone. Some fear the color will be uneven. More fear the damage they will do to their hair with at-home color. Even more are afraid the color will not last as long as when it is done by a professional. At-home hair coloring has come a long way, and the instructions are easy to follow (if you’re not normally a directions follower, this is a good time to make an exception!).

With the right care before and after your color treatment, these fears will be replaced with fresh and vibrant color that lasts.

Before Coloring — Detoxify your hair before your at-home hair color treatment.

To get a more even and longer-lasting color result, it is important to first wash away any dirt, oil, build up, or impurities on your hair. Certain minerals cause color to develop too fast on the outside of each hair strand before it’s had a chance to develop on the inside, where the pigments needs to be for long-lasting color. It’s like a cake baked in an oven that’s too hot - the outside looks done well before the inside has even begun to develop.

During Coloring — Minimize color damage during the color process with the “Roots-first, lengths-later” method.

A common mistake at-home colorers make is to apply color all over from the word go. This can lead to excess color damage and uneven color results when color sits on already-colored lengths of hair from the same amount of time as it sits on uncolored roots.

Instead, apply the color to the roots first and the processing time begin. When you have 5-10 minutes of processing time left, pull the color through to the tips of your hair. This will give you maximum root coverage while preventing tips from becoming too dark…unless you are going for the reverse balayage look. Immediately After Coloring — Rinse, rinse, rinse. And then shampoo and condition.

Ever notice your colorist rinses your hair for an especially long time once your processing time is over? It is important to do the same. Rinse thoroughly and then shampoo thoroughly. These steps stop the color process, remove the excess pigment (the color on the surface of the hair that did not make it into the core), and drop the pH of hair back to where it should be. Then, finish the process with a deep conditioning to keep your freshly colored hair looking smooth and shiny.

Don’t be surprised if you look at the rinse water and see it tinted with your hair color. This is completely normal. It happens in the salon, too – the difference is not seeing the rinse water when someone washes your hair for you.

Between Coloring — Minimize water, Maximize care.

Wondering how to keep color from fading for as long as possible between colors? There are 2 tips to keep in mind:

  1. Minimize the time your hair spends in water. Water is responsible for up to 80% of color fade. As the water flows in and out of your hair, it can take pigment with it. You can minimize water exposure by: - Using Dry Shampoo to refresh your hair without water and extend the time between your wash days. - When washing, rinse your hair for just as long as you need to but no longer. Once you feel your shampoo or conditioner is rinsed out, move your hair out of the water. Thirty seconds is generally long enough, but it does depend on how much hair you have and what product you use.

  2. Treat your hair with extra special care. Your hair leaves any color process feeling stressed and needing extra attention – regardless of the treatment being done at home or in a salon. - On wash days, be sure to use a shampoo & conditioner designed specifically for colored hair. The gentle cleansing, sulfate-free shampoo removes dulling build-up and the light-weight conditioner moisturizes parched hair while also letting your color shine. - Add a weekly deep treatment to your self-care routine. Pantene Pro-V Intense Rescue Shot is a great pick for color-treated hair. One dose helps repair extreme damage in minutes. The formula, with restoring nutrients, absorbs deep into the hair shaft and the rest washes away clean, leaving virtually nothing behind to weigh hair down. Hair looks healthy, shiny, and smooth, not like dull, rough straw.

Stephen Stills words of wisdom have never been truer - “if you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with”. With the right care, you may be loving your at-home colored hair for longer than you ever expected.