So you've found yourself in a pretty sticky predicament. You've managed to damage your precious tresses.
Whether the damage is heat, hair color, or even mechanical damage, the now fragile condition of your hair makes it difficult to not only style but also to color! Many will advise those with damaged hair to avoid color like the plague.
Little do they know that depending on the condition of your strands, you may be able to pull off a beautiful new color and improve the health of your hair in the process!
1. Assess The Damage
Before considering applying any chemical to your hair, you must be aware of what has compromised your hair. Check out these descriptors to determine what you may have:
This occurs when you apply heat to hair strands. The result can be dry, brittle hair with a loss of hair or curl pattern. The disulfide bonds in the hair strands can
rearrange or be damaged by the overuse of hot styling tools, including the blow dryer.
This occurs when you improperly use color chemicals or lighter on your hair. Lightener, peroxide, and ammonia are some of the components that can be damaging to the hair without proper pre and post-care.
This occurs when daily manipulation causes hair to become weak in some areas, resulting in loss of curl pattern or even breakage.
Once you have assessed your damage, follow these steps to decide how to continue.
2. Minimize The Damage
Regardless of the cause of your hair's damage, minimizing the damage before any coloring process is imperative.
Cut Off Split Ends
If you notice any dead or split ends you will need to cut them off. I recommend allowing a stylist to give you a thorough trim, merely because they can see the back of your head better and will be able to provide you with a precise haircut.
If you don't remove split ends before a hair color process, you run the risk of your hair breaking off or further splitting up the shaft, resulting in excessive breakage and irreversible damage.
I highly recommend pampering yourself with a penetrating protein treatment a few days before your hair color process.
You can complete a deep protein treatment at home or in a salon with your trim session if you prefer. Redken Extreme Conditioner works wonders for damaged and processed hair, especially paired with a hair steamer.
After thoroughly shampooing your hair with a protein-rich shampoo, like Redken Extreme Shampoo, apply a generous amount of Redken Extreme Conditioner through your hair, focusing on the ends. Allow this product to sit in your hair for 20 before rinsing.
Finish your wash day routine with your favorite moisturizing leave-in conditioner and style.
Hot Oil Treatment
Another excellent home DIY remedy is a hot oil treatment. Pick an oil that has high levels of protein.
I recommend mixing two parts of coconut oil with one part of olive oil in a small Pyrex glass bowl. Bring about 3 cups of water to boil in a small pot and set the Pyrex bowl in the boiling water. The heat from the water will melt the oil down.
Once you have fully melted the oil, you should carefully test the temperature to prevent burns. Apply the oil to your hair, focusing on the ends. Allow the oil to sit for 2 minutes, then shampoo and condition your hair with a protein-rich shampoo.
3. Pick A Semi-Permanent Color/ Rinse
They provide a protective, non-permanent coating to the hair, adding shine and sealing down the cuticle. The result is a fresh color that feels soft and silky. Check out this list of my favorite semi-permanent color lines:
Clairol Professional Beautiful Collection
Clairol Professional Beautiful Collection is a moisturizing color line that is gentle enough to use directly after a relaxer. Leaves hair feeling moisturized with Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil, and Vitamin E.
Adore Semi-Permanent Hair Color by Creative Image Systems
This color line is available in 56 shades with no ammonia, peroxide, or alcohol. Adore's formula offers a perfect blend of natural ingredients providing rich color, enhancing shine, and leaving hair soft and silky.
Joico K-PAK Intensity Semi-Permanent Hair Color
Joico Vero K-PAK Color Intensity Color System gives hair color pros the power to create vivid, on-trend, insanely intense shades.
With these color lines, you cannot go wrong. Keep in mind that these semi-permanent haircolors will create a natural gloss and enrich the natural color of your hair.
If you choose to use a fashion color like blue, red, etc., you will notice a slight hue of color when in the sun. If you want to see vivid, vibrant results when working with pastel colors, it is best to apply semi-permanent hair color on pre-lightened hair. These colors will not lighten your hair! Now, let's get to the fun part!
4. Coloring Your Hair
Using semi-permanent hair color is super easy because it is a one-step process.
No developer, no mixing, no foil, no fuss! Just grab a pair of disposable gloves, squeeze a generous amount of color into your hands or a color bowl, and apply thoroughly through your hair. If you have long and thick hair, separate your hair into four equal quadrants for easier application.
Once all the color has thoroughly saturated your hair, apply a processing cap, and sit under a hooded dryer for 15-20 minutes. If you do not have a hooded dryer, allow the color to process for 20-30. After the time has elapsed, rinse the color out thoroughly with lukewarm water. Lightly shampoo and condition with a moisturizing or color-protect formula.
Once you've reached this point, you can style your hair as usual! You should notice a fresh, healthy hair color and moisturized, shiny strands. Your hair should also feel much more robust due to protein treatments.
Feel free to repeat this color process as often as you like. As I stated earlier in this article, semi-permanent color is a non-damaging color that coats the cuticle, never penetrating into the cortex. The semi-permanent color will never lift the natural or previous color of your hair, and it may only last about two to four weeks, depending on how often you shampoo your hair. After many applications and over time, the color will start to last longer due to so many coats compared to one use.
Coloring Damaged Hair Extensions
This method also works on 100% human hair extensions!
If you've had your bundles for a while and have used a ton of heat on them, there is a chance they may have suffered some heat damage, especially on the ends. Giving your hair extensions some semi-permanent color love is perfect to remedy this issue.
5. Trim Split Ends
Similar to your natural hair, it is always best to trim dead and split ends off of your extensions. The best way to do this is to construct your extensions into a wig or install them in a sew-in
6. Skip The Deep Treatment
Unless your hair extensions are extremely damaged, I recommend omitting the deep treatment step to avoid oily hair. If you need to do a treatment, leave the conditioner in for ten minutes only to avoid heavy hair.
7. Apply Color to Your Hair Extensions
Similar to your natural hair, apply the hair color thoroughly to the hair extensions.
Once they are all saturated, proceed to sit them in a plastic shopping bag to allow them to process. I recommend leaving the color in for an hour. The longer the color sits, the longer the color will last.
After the allotted time has elapsed, merely shampoo the color out the bundles and condition. Let the hair air dry and then style as usual.
Do's and Don't's
Although this is a relatively easy and straightforward process, there are a few crucial do's and don'ts to prevent any hiccups.
Do Use an old t-shirt
This is a no-brainer but be sure to use an old t-shirt that you are okay with staining with color.
While at it, protect your carpet with painter's plastic to prevent staining it. Semi-permanent color tends to stain more compared to semi-permanent and permanent color, so be mindful.
Do not use brown or black on blonde hair
If your hair is a high-lift blonde, do not put a brown semi-permanent color on top of it.
Your hair color will turn a nasty green color if you do. You need to mix a red color filler into the brown/black dye to get a darker color that is not green. Even when using the red filler, there is a chance that your hair will fade to green color only because the color is not permanent.
Do color healthy or damaged hair
Semi-permanent color is safe to use on damaged hair. In this case, this includes heat damage and minor color damage.
Do not color over-processed hair
Do not color your over-processed hair!
Over-processed means if your hair is breaking non-stop, if your hair feels gummy, or if your hair has combined heat and color damage, your hair is not in the condition to color at all. Do be discouraged!
I will provide excellent tips to start a healthy hair journey to improve or reverse your damage if possible.
Preventing Further Damage and Reversing Previous Damage
Hair damage is inevitable, but ways to prevent excessive damage exist.
Keep Up With Your Trims
I know many women prefer not to cut their hair because they want to keep the length, but this is counterproductive because damaged hair does not grow!
Split ends are dry and brittle and eventually break off. Splits also tend to continue to split up the strands, so when you finally get a trim, you will have more hair cut off!
Maintain a stable treatment regimen
You must take care of your hair to prevent damage!
Something as simple as leaving your conditioner in for 15 minutes every week can improve the condition of your hair. Create a solid treatment routine that works for you. If your hair is damaged, one treatment a week is required.
If your hair is in a healthy state, a treatment every two weeks is efficient.
Upgrade Your Hair Products
Not to be pretentious, but not all drugstore products are worth the investment.
Many cheaper products are filled with water, silicones, and fillers to create an illusion of healthier hair, but the result is short-lived. It is imperative to invest in quality hair products that fill your hair with nutrient-rich ingredients formulated to repair and maintain the health of your hair.
Here are a few brands I recommend if you want to create long-lasting results with your hair:
Design Essentials provides premium quality hair care solutions engineered to infuse hair with a natural balance of organic ingredients, vitamins, and proteins that promote healthy and manageable hair. You can find Design Essentials at your local beauty supply store.
Redken supplies a thorough line of shampoos and conditioners to correct and balance the hair. Redken products are concentrated, fortified with proteins and modern technology,making them worth every penny.
Carol's Daughter provides lines geared to correct and balance the hair. Carol's Daughter has got you covered from hydration to protein to even fullness.
Use Less Heat
Prevent heat damage by simply turning down the flat iron and limiting use! Try Flexi-rod sets, wash-n-go's, twist-outs, and other heatless styles to maintain and style your hair without the heat!
Skip the Blow Dryer
Although we don't consider blow-drying direct heat, it can damage your hair over time with excessive use due to its "flash-drying" technology.
If you allow your hair to air dry or stretch your hair using Flexi-rods, Curlformers, twist, or braid-outs, you will find that your hair is much more moisturized, resulting in healthier ends.
Overcoming The Damage
With these tips and techniques, you are well on your way to safely coloring your damaged natural hair or weave while improving the health of your tresses.
Remember, improving the health of your hair is a journey! You may have made some mistakes along the way, but implementing new steps to your regimen can radically improve your tresses over time!
Comment below and let us know what color you will try!