Every day our hair is exposed to the elements and products that may damage it. Hair spray, pollutants, even the type of shampoo you use could possibly be stripping your hair of vital nutrients. The biggest culprit, however, is hair color. At home hair dye kits are notoriously damaging to your hair and can destroy hair texture, break hair off and leave it with a paper-like texture. Why does this happen?
I remember visiting a salon and leaving with a fresh dye job with silky, luxurious hair that looked healthier than when I started. However, the $85 price tag scared me into the drug store to dye my hair. I assumed the box product would do just as good of a job. And it did, for awhile. Box hair dyes usually use a high volume developer, or the agent which makes your hair dye stick to your hair. Most box dyes contain a 40 volume developer so it will stick to even the hardest to dye hair types, but most hair does not need that much developer. My own hair was great for a few months, but month after month of coloring it caught up to me. I dyed my hair and brushed it out only to find a huge chunk on my brush with a plethora of split ends.
I panicked and wasn’t sure what to do next. I work in the fashion industry and wanted to look put together. I couldn’t get a hair cut the length of the broken piece as it was incredibly short and I have very long hair, which I like. I decided to begin researching how I could repair my hair to at least mask the split ends and let it recuperate for a few months before covering my graying roots. I came up with a regimen that has left my hair in nearly perfect condition and ready for coloring again soon.
Firstly, I chose a shampoo that is free of silicone, salt and other drying agents and chemicals. They also contain detergents which strip your hair of natural oils. Its important to choose a good shampoo as low quality shampoos contain salts that can tear your hair apart and damage the color. I chose L’Oreal Paris Everpure Volumizing shampoo . It smells like juniper and rosemary and even without a conditioner, it leaves your hair soft and manageable. It doesn’t contain harsh chemicals and doesn’t over lather. Other brands I recommend are OGX, Redken and BigSexy Hair.
The next step was to deposit moisture into my hair that was intense. You can continue to use a normal conditioner when you don’t feel the need to deeply moisturize, but if your is severely damaged a moisturizing mask or intensive treatment is critical to repairing it. I chose OGX Smooth Hydration Argan Oil and Shea Buter Moisture mask. You slather this on and wait between three to five minutes for it to repair your hair, then rinse. It smells amazing and leaves my hair feeling moisturized, but not weighed down. I would also recommend Paul Mitchell Super-Charged Moisture if you can spring for the more expensive product.
Every other wash, I go with a moisturizing treatment that is even more intense than my OGX treatment. Why? I like to not only use a variety of products on my hair, but find that varying what type of moisturizer I use makes the products more effective in the long run. I use Ion Effective Care Treatment to help further moisturize my hair. Apply it like a traditional conditioner by massaging it into your hair and leave on for up to five minutes. I recommend using the full five minutes or even longer to saturate your hair. Rinse it out and gently towel dry your hair. You could also try Aussie 3 Minute Miracle and alternate it with your other deep conditioner or mask.
When you towel dry your hair, gently pat the water out. I find that this creates less tangles which means less breakage from using your comb. You should also use a wide toothed comb once your hair begins drying to get out any tangles that did form during washing. Brushes can break hair that is wet and should always be used gently when hair is dry.
You may be asking, how often do you wash your hair because this sounds like a lot of work? I recommend only washing your hair, at maximum, every other day. Skipping a day allows your hair to rebuild its natural moisture and allows the moisturizers you put in your hair to work your magic. If you have especially greasy hair you can use a dry shampoo to help cover your roots. I recommend the brand Batiste, because they have a variety of colors and scents. I use the dark color dry shampoo to help cover gray roots and to match my hair color. I can go as long as three to four days without a wash by using dry shampoo. It may sound gross, but it really lets your hair get back in shape.
Another piece of advice is to wait a few months before re coloring your hair if possible. I know for me this has been a challenge because my hair grows in mostly gray. To help cover the color, I use a product called Roux Fanci-Ful temporary color mask. It is a liquid color mask that you brush into damp hair. It may not always be a perfect match, but it helps me cover my grays until my hair is ready to be colored again.
By following a regimen like mine, you will see dramatic differences in your hair. My hair went from papery and dry to healthy, soft and easy to manage after just three cycles oft treatment. Even if you don’t color your hair, a regular moisturizing routine helps your hair gain “memory,” and start to behave a bit better. If you treat your hair well, you will go from bad hair days to great hair days in no time at all.