how to bounce back from color damaged hair

How to Bounce Back from Color Damaged Hair!

Hair Color CPR!

There are so many gorgeous colors you can dye your hair. Coloring your hair is a great way to add personality and make it unique. However, you want to make sure you're coloring your hair the right way. In this article, you will find all the information you need on coloring hair, and how to prevent and restore your hair from the damage the color may cause.

Hair Color Nightmare

When I first decided to color my hair, I was so excited. My mother had finally decided to allow me to get color in my hair. I had never had color before, and I wanted to do something bold. I wanted to stand out. I decided to choose a red color and thought it was the best idea ever. However, it ended up being a complete and total nightmare. It wasn’t my stylists fault. In fact, she did an amazing job with my hair! It was the aftercare and necessary maintenance to keep my red hair looking moisturized and fresh.

At my appointment, my hair stylist tried to explain aftercare to me, but I wasn’t listening. Honestly, I should’ve listened. I had no idea that colored hair required so much maintenance! After about three weeks, my hair started changing colors. Luckily for me, I had only gotten red highlights but nonetheless, my hair was changing colors.

First, it changed to an odd green color. This was the worst phase and it lasted forever. For weeks, I had to conceal my hair with protective styles. My hair looked ridiculous but I finally got through it after my hair grew out. When my hair grew out, it was back to it’s regular black color.

Stylist or No Stylist?

Before getting your hair colored, you’ll want to think about whether you’ll utilize a professional or do it on your own. If you’re going to do it on your own, there are a number of resources you’ll need. You’ll want to make sure that you know what kind of hair color you’ll use, and how much of it you’ll use.

You’ll also want to ensure that you know what you’re doing. Do all the research necessary because hair color is no joke. You don’t want to risk damaging your hair because you didn’t do the proper research.

If you decide to make use of a stylist, you’ll need to make sure that you choose someone that can cater to your needs. Choosing a stylist isn’t the easiest task, but it’s essential to the health of your colored hair. Make sure you choose someone that knows how to properly color hair.

Luckily, my stylist was able to take care of me. She knew exactly what color I wanted, and ensured that I was comfortable with it before applying it. Having a hairstylist for my first color experience was the best decision for me. Think about your options before making a choice!

DIY Tips

Coloring your hair yourself isn’t the best option, but it is also not the worst option. It can actually be quite fun if you get the right directions, products and tools. After having my hair colored for the first time, I felt that I had the hang of it. Honestly, I just didn’t feel like paying for another coloring session.

After deciding to do my hair myself, I found out there was a myriad of ways to color hair. There are different kinds of dyes available. Not every single on is permanent dye either.

It’s important that you choose one that won’t change the nature of your hair, or damage it. There are also some natural remedies available to you that will help you change the color of your hair. When doing it yourself, make sure you do your research.

Knowing the process of coloring will help you get the perfect color, the first time. Make it fun by choosing colors that you’ve never worn before. This one time, my friend decided to dye her hair a unicorn color by using semi-permanent dye.

Her hair didn’t get damaged and it looked amazing! To avoid damage to your hair, make sure you read every label. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re not sure what something means. The goal is to bounce back from color damaged hair (Check out this article: best hair color for damaged hair) while still maintaining your color!

Tips to Know Before Coloring Your Hair

  • Know your natural shade - Knowing your natural hair color (check out this article on growing out your natural hair color) will help you determine your starting point in getting your desired look. It is essential to do research based on your hair color and maybe consult a stylist to help you get the shade you want. It's also important to remember that getting your hair the right tone may be a long process, but patience is vital.
  • Try on a wig - If you are not sure about how a hair color will look, a good idea would be to get a wig that is similar to the color so you can get an idea of how the color will look on you. You don't want to dye your hair and not like the color! With wigs, you can be super experimental without actually doing any harm to your hair!
  • Purchase more color than you think you will need - If it is your first time coloring your hair, you don't want to accidentally not get enough dye. It is better to have too much than not enough. Depending on how long and thick your hair is, different types of hair will need different amounts of dye.
  • Take precautionary measures to prevent hair damage - It is very likely you will get some damage by dyeing your hair. However, you can help lessen the amount of damage or prevent copious amounts by caring for your hair the right way.
  • Get the right hair care products - You should make sure to invest in the right products such as shampoo and conditioner to accommodate your hair dye and not worsen your damage.

Types of Hair Color

Here is a quick guide to the two common types of hair dye and how they work on your hair.

Temporary Hair Color

Temporary or semi-permanent hair coloring kits place acidic dyes onto the outside of the hair shaft or may be composed of small pigment molecules that can slip into the hair shaft, using either a small amount of peroxide or none at all. As temporary colors don't contain bleach, they can't lighten your natural shade. Shampooing your hair or exposure to air will eventually fade the hair color. These products don't contain ammonia, meaning the hair shaft isn't opened up during processing and retains the hair's natural color once the product washes out. However, because it is temporary if you decide to keep the hair color, you need to apply the dye which can cause damage regularly.

Permanent Hair Color

The outer layer of the hair shaft, known as the cuticle, has to be opened before permanent color can deposit itself into the hair. Once the cuticle is open, the dye reacts with the inner portion of the hair to add or remove the color. Many permanent hair colors use a two-step process which first removes the original color of the hair and then deposits a new color. Various types of alcohols and conditioners may also be present in hair color. The conditioners close the cuticle after coloring to seal in and protect the new color. Permanent hair dye does not need to be applied nearly as much as temporary hair dyes, but is harsher on the hair and can still cause a lot of damage.

Ways to Naturally Color Your Hair

Some people enjoy having different colors in their hair but do not want to damage it ultimately. The great thing is that there are several ways to naturally dye your hair that can save it from the chemicals and unwanted damage caused by the store bought hair dyes! If you do not want to make your own, there are several brands out there that you can choose. However, if you are looking to make your own, here are some ways to dye your hair naturally:


Coffee is a great way to get your hair color darker or cover up some gray roots. What you want to do is brew a strong batch, let it cool down and mix it with leave-in conditioner and two tablespoons of ground coffee. Apply this mixture to your hair, and let it sit for about an hour or longer. You may have to repeat this process a few times to get significantly darker results and using apple cider vinegar to wash out your hair is a great way to get the color to last longer.


Henna is a powdered form of the leaves that come from the henna plant. These leaves have a natural and effective coloring pigment used for many years to dye hair, nails, and skin. Natural Henna produces a reddish-orange color so if there is henna that is a different color, it is mixed with other ingredients to achieve that color. If you are looking for a reddish color, this works perfectly for you. You will need to combine about one cup of henna powder with 2 cups lemon juice. You can also add a tablespoon of vinegar to help release the color. The mixture then has to sit for about 4-6 hours until it thickens. After this time, you then want to apply to your hair and comb through. Then wrap your hair in and allow it to sit for about 2-3 hours before rinsing it out.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice will help brighten up your hair a bit and add a few highlights. You want to get lemons and squeeze the juice out. Once that is done, you want to take the freshly squeezed lemon juice and place it in a spray bottle. Then spray and brush it through your hair. You then want to leave it in for several hours. A great way to increase your results is to sit in the sun; it helps to lighten. Keep in mind that lemon juice works slowly to color your hair so you may need to apply it a few times before you achieve the results that you want.

Chamomile Tea

Another great way to lighten your hair is to use chamomile tea. You want to make the tea highly concentrated on getting stronger results. Use 3-5 tea bags for two cups of water. You can apply the cooled tea to your hair alone, or mix with conditioner (the same as the coffee recipe). You then want to leave the tea on your hair for an hour or more. To get more color and to increase your results, you can consider leaving the mixture in for a more extended amount of time. You can even put on a cap and wear the tea overnight, then rinse it the following morning. The longer you leave the tea on the hair, the more noticeable the color will be. To get lighter results, you can also try repeated applications of the dye. There are several more ways to color your hair naturally. The key is to be patient with your hair and know that you may need repeatedly complete the process to get the results you want since they are natural products and not chemicals. You may need to experiment around and try different things to see what works for you and that is okay! Natural dye is a safe way to change your hair color efficiently.

Causes of Color Damage

Many people are excited to change their hair color but do not know what damage it can cause to their kinks and curls. Now that you know how hair dye works, it is essential to understand precisely how it can affect your hair. Here are the ways dye can harm your hair.

The Usage of Ammonia in the Dye

Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen and is known as a harsh chemical. This chemical is colorless, highly soluble in water and contains a strong scent. It's used in fertilizers, household cleaning supplies, and hair dye. Ammonia is the chemical that opens the cuticle and allows the hair color to penetrate the cortex of the hair. It also acts as a catalyst when the permanent hair color comes together with the peroxide. Human hair cuticles embody the scales of a fish. Ammonia causes the hair shaft to expand, which forces the scales of the cuticle to separate slightly. The amount of ammonia in hair dyes is usually less than 1 percent in concentration but can still cause severe damage to your hair and scalp if used frequently. Not only does ammonia cause breakage but it also damages the core of the strand.

The Effects of Peroxide

If you re looking to dye your hair lighter, Peroxide is one of the primary chemicals used in the brighter hair dyes. Hydrogen peroxide is one of the most common lightening agents. Peroxide, used as the developer or oxidizing agent, opens the hair shaft to allow the peroxide to react with the melanin. The developer strips away pre-existing color and breaks chemical bonds in hair releasing sulfur. As the melanin starts to decolorize, a new permanent color bonds to the hair cortex. In simpler terms, Hydrogen peroxide acts as a bleach and removes the natural pigment of the hair. The bleach reacts with the melanin in hair, removing the color in an irreversible chemical reaction and then oxidizes the melanin molecule. After the process completes, melanin is still present, but the oxidized molecule is colorless. Damage from bleach can include dry, brittle, inelastic hair, and hair that is more prone to breakage and split ends. Bleached hair is also more porous and swollen and therefore more vulnerable to other chemical and non-chemical processes. These two critical chemicals used in hair dye if not used in moderation can cause severe damage to your hair.

How to Prevent Hair Damage

Before we get into ways to get your hair back to its healthy state, let's talk about preventing damage from happening altogether!
  • Avoid frequent dyeing - A way to help prevent severe damage is to increase the length of time between colorings as much as possible. Coloring your hair every 2 to 3 weeks may be too much for your hair and cause it to weaken.
  • Use hair color friendly products - Another great way is to use shampoo and conditioner that are specifically for color-treated hair. The good idea is to apply a deep conditioning treatment once a week to help keep your hair moisturized. Make sure to avoid sulfates!
  • Avoid heat -You do not want to expose your hair to severe damage by using too much heat, keep it light. And if you do use heat often, it is best to use heat protectant products to save your hair from damage.
  • Use UV protection products - It is essential to shield your hair from the sun to keep it from drying out.
  • Deep condition your hair frequently - Deep conditioning your hair so that it is fresh and moisturized which is vital to keeping your hair healthy.
  • Research - This may be the most crucial step. You need to do your research on what hair products work well with hair dye to keep it protected.

How to Transition Back From Color Damage

Getting your natural hair color back is possible with the right care and some patience. This step is not necessary to get your hair back to being healthy, but if you are looking to get your natural color again, you should do this before you attempt to restore your hairs health. You want to do this first so that once you start transitioning, you do not cause more damage by dyeing your hair again. You want to grow out your hair for about two to three months so that your roots show your natural hair color. That way, it is easy for you to find the right dye to get your hair back to that color. After that, you will need to do a "tint back" which is getting your hair as close as possible to the original color. With proper hair care, your hair will eventually fade into its original color.

Restoring the Health of Your Hair

If you want to restore your hairs health, there are a few tips and steps you want to make sure you use to help it bounce back.
  • The big chop - this is a straightforward way to get your hair to become healthy is to cut off what is damaged. That way you have a fresh head of hair and just need to care for it the right way to make it flourish.
  • Buy proper hair care products - You want to avoid shampoos and conditioners that have a lot of chemicals such as sulfate.
  • Add daily moisture - Moisturizing your hair daily with a little water and products such as leave-in conditioner helps your restoration process. Not only does it help restore your hair, moisturizing often encourages hair growth.
  • Take care of your ends - You want to treat your hair as you would a baby. They need extra attention. Because your ends are the oldest part of your hair, you want to take special care of them to help your hair grow. You should trim your hair enough to prevent split ends, and they should also get the most moisture and product to keep them from being brittle and splitting.
  • Homemade hair masques - Doing these are a great way to natural add the needed nutrients and moisture to your hair. There are several different types of hair masques you can make, and the best part is they are very simple. You just need the ingredients!
There are also several other ways you can help restore your health by buying store products or making natural ones. It is all about knowing what works best for your hair and being patient with the restoration process!

What is the First Step You Will Take in Restoring Your Hair?

There is nothing wrong with using chemicals to get your hair to be the look you desire. If you choose to permanently or temporarily dye your hair, the damage is most likely going to happen. However, there are steps you can take before, during, and after you dye your hair that can help prevent you from getting too much damage and help you restore your hair after the damage. I listed a few ways to help get your curls back, but there are also several more alternative methods that can get your hair to bounce back! It is important to just work with your hair so that you can get it back to the way it was before. And always remember to be patient! There is no race to get your hair healthy again. Everyone's hair will transition back differently, and some may take longer than others. You just have to trust the process.
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