how to maintain color treated hair and keep it looking great

How to Maintain Color Treated Hair & Keep it Looking Great!

Keep Up With Your Color

So let’s say that you have a fantastic shade of pink, purple or red hair that you are ready to flaunt, but by your second wash, it begins to fade into a pastel color that you did not seek out. How do you maintain this? No matter if your hair is blonde, brown, red, pink or purple color treated hair will always need to care to a particular degree. With the proper care, products and time, managing your color treated hair will no longer be a dreaded task but a regular part of your hair routine. Now, The state of your hair will always determine how well color takes, is your hair dry or moisturized? Well conditioned or due for a good wash day? Lifted to the right shade or is it still very dark? These questions and more will ultimately determine how well your hair takes to color and how long that color will last. However, let’s focus on the lifting part. “Lifting” your hair is a term many stylists use when they are referring to bleaching your hair to get it to a lighter, blonde shade. Bleaching or “lifting” is done to ensure that when you place the color or toner on top of it, you get the shade that you are genuinely seeking after. Even when bleaching your hair there are many steps and post steps and tools that you need to salvage your strands after using the harsh chemicals. See them below: Tools:
  • Powder Bleach
  • Developer
  • Hair mixing bowl
  • Tinting brush
  • Conditioner
  • Shampoo with protein
  • Toner
  • Old towel
When purchasing these products, skimp out on the cheap things and go for where you will get your best money. Consider the fact that you are making a drastic change that is changing the dynamics of your hair for a little while, so shop smart! The proper products will help your hair in the end, going the cheaper route will add more damage if it is considered a quick way to a lighter color. So basically, stay far away from box dyes and immediate steps to lifted hair. In the hair coloring process, the volume of the developer will also determine how light your hair will be. Using a 10 volume will not do much for dark hair unless you are looking for a dark brown color and 20 volume will only lift your hair to 2 or 3 levels. If you are looking to raise your hair to at least four levels, 30 volume developer is your best bet, but in monthly sessions. Harshly using any volume developer will hurt your hair. I know you have seen bleaching fails on YouTube, so do not be that girl. Save your hair by creating time and understanding that the look you want will not come easy. For this process, make sure that you are blocking out adequate time to do this from start to finish. Are you doing this at home? Here are some useful steps to follow below, check them out:

Step #1 Put On Your Gear

Grab those gloves, that old t-shirt, some hair clips and some time because your hair transformation is about to begin. Make sure that wherever you are, you have at least one mirror, you are in a well-ventilated area and bring your Bluetooth speaker because this is going to take a while.

Step #2 Prepare Your Hair

Are you a 1B or more of a 4A? No matter what your hair type is, prepare for the bleaching process accordingly by making sure (or trying to) work on virgin hair. Over-processing your hair only leads to breakage, “frying” or more extensive damage that will eventually lead to you cutting it. If you are working on already processed hair wait a few weeks or months before you start this new lifting process, it is worth the wait.

Step #3 Create Your Bleach Mixture

Assuming that you are not the biggest hair pro, then you may not want to use anything higher than 20 or 30 volume developer. Take your mixing bowl and pour equal parts bleach and developer to accommodate the thickness of your hair. You will then use your tinting brush to stir your mixture thoroughly, and you do not want any lumps of powder in your mix.

Step #4 Part Your Hair and Distribute

Part your hair in equal sections making sure that you can evenly distribute the product down the shaft of each section. Begin to distribute your bleach mixture about a half inch away from the root of your hair. Starting at the root will cause what many stylists label “hot roots” which is when the heat from your scalp quickly processes the roots of your hair first which causes them to turn to a lighter color before you have had the chance to lift the rest of your hair.

Step #5 Work On The Roots

Now, you can begin to work on your roots! Take the leftover product from your mixing bowl and bring them toward your roots. Since you are doing this last, you can let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes to catch up with the rest of your hair. After you have bleached your hair, you will begin the restorative process. This is where the protein shampoo and conditioner comes into play. You want to make sure that whatever products you use are adding the health back to your hair. Once you have washed and conditioned a few times, follow up with a deep conditioner to ensure that moisture is there.

Adding A Color

Now that you have your hair lifted, you might want to add some color. To do this, you might need some of the same tools that you had while bleaching:
  • Mixing bowl
  • Tinting brush
  • T-shirt
  • Conditioner
  • Conditioning cap
To add your color, you will find first find a color that you love. Whether it is red, pink, blue or green, you have to love it. Now that you have your color picked out place it in a mixing bowl and stir together with your tinting brush. If you want a more pastel color merely add a few drops of conditioner until you have the shade of your liking. Now, here comes the fun, add your color to your hair and watch yourself transform. Depending on the dye that you used, you want to leave it on for about 20 minutes or longer.

Maintaining your Color

To properly maintain your color, you want to make sure that you are of course taking care of your hair. I know that sounds counterintuitive but trust me, it matters. Are you getting your ends clipped? Are you deep conditioning before restoring your color? This is super important not only for your color but for the luster and shine factor of your color.

For Bleached Hair

To maintain your color if you have bleached hair, try using shimmer lights shampoo. Shimmer lights or any purple shampoo helps to get the brassy color out of your hair. While it may not relieve any orange colors completely, it will help reduce the brassy color over time. In most cases, toning your hair will help to reduce any extra brassiness over time, but much like bleach and volume developer, you do not want to go overboard with this tool. Take your time!

For Color Hair

If you have decided to color your hair on top of the bleach, chances are you are having a somewhat difficult time maintaining whatever color you have chosen. Sometimes the color may bleed in the shower, or when working out or fade throughout a few weeks. If you see this happening check to see what type of color you are using. Often we use a cheaper color and get surprising results, but these results only last for a while. My recommendation for excellent color hair products is the ion brand. These colors vary from vibrant to pastel and can color any texture hair. More specifically, if you have red hair, many brands offer red shampoo and conditioning sets to salvage your red color. Do as it says and not as you want Following instructions are crucial to your color treated hair journey. Maintaining color treated hair goes beyond the name of the product but ultimately goes down to what the instructions say is best. There are so many instances where our color turns out awful, and that is because we did not follow instructions. Alleviate this by once again, taking your time! Excellent hair color does not come easy or quickly in that manner, but it does come when you are not in a rush to get there.

Cut it, Cut it

Like bad relationships, cut the dead ends off. Nothing hold our hair back from prospering more than broken, split and dead ends. Treat your hair the same way you treat other bad things in your life by cutting it. I know, I know, cutting your hair is scary but having end splitting up the shaft is scarier. Do yourself a favor by blocking out the appropriate time to sit and comb through your hair. Find your problem areas, section your hair off, grab your hair shears and let them go. Cutting your hair is also something to do pre-color. Before you pick up the bleach and dye, figure out how healthy or unhealthy your hair is. Take into account if it can actually handle color or if it needs to be trimmed, dusted or cut first. The last thing we want to see is shedding. So before you make this drastic change, make the right change by aiding the health of your hair.

Hydrate Your Hair

After you have colored your hair, maintaining it by hydration is a major key! Now, when I say hydration I mean a steam treatment and not so much a regular wash. Hydration or steam treatments are life okay. Steam treatments open up the cuticle of your hair and penetrate moisture where oils and a typical wash day cannot. The biggest mistake that many of us make when we notice our dry hair is that we think that slapping oil on it is the solution. Wrong! Oil cannot help your hair if it has no entry point, sis. By investing in a hair steamer or doing the old grocery bag on the head trick, we are opening up the shaft for more moisture and more life. You will notice that your hair is not only soft after but is less brittle touch when brushing and combing.

Ease Up On Wash Day

I know that a lot of us love our wash days as it serves as self-care and some beauty pampering but with maintaining color-treated hair the fewer washes you induce, the better. Space out your wash days from once a week to bi-weekly. When washing your color treated hair frequently, you are not only stripping your hair of its natural oils, but you are adding to the dryness and breakage that you experience. Also, you dull your color which makes you naturally want to recolor it, only adding more damage and product buildup. If you are dealing with super oily hair, invest in a dry shampoo, some favorites of mine are the variety in the bedhead collection. Dry shampoo helps to soak up that extra moisture that may be causing oily hair and an itchy scalp. The best part about dry shampoo is that a little goes a long way and they are inexpensive.

Maintain Your Color-Treated Hair by Showing it Some Love

Now that we have all of the tips and tricks, do you have an idea of how you will maintain your hair? Will you be easing up on wash days? Will you finally be getting that trim? Or simply staying away from the extra bleach altogether? No matter what you do, make sure that it is working best for your hair. The beauty world needs one less hair catastrophe, and it can happen by considering a few simple steps. Show your hair some love girl because maintaining your color does not always have to be hard!
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