Did you realise that hair that's been coloured has different needs from untreated hair? More and more of us are opting to add a little light (or dark) to our lives, whether it's with highlights, lowlights, streaks or full-on dye, so let's take a look at how to keep coloured hair healthy, with the help of the experts.
- Take care of the ends. The healthier your hair, the longer the colour will last, so make sure you take a trip to the salon every six weeks for a regular trim.
- Use sun cream. It's not just your skin that needs protection from the sun; if you want your new colour to last longer and keep its shine, you should keep your hair covered up in the sunshine or use a protective cream. Water-based products are better for dyed hair than oil-based.
- Use a conditioning treatment. Coloured hair tends to be drier than usual, so you need to use a deep conditioning treatment as part of your hair care routine at least once a week. Apply to hair that has been dampened with warm water, and wrap in a towel for half an hour to give it time to be absorbed. Then shampoo out the excess and you should find your hair shine restored.
- More water on the inside... The state of your hair is an indication of your general state of health. Make sure you drink plenty of water and fruit juices, and keep hydrated; your whole body will appreciate it, and you'll find the effect reflected in your hair and skin. And if your hair is better hydrated, the colour will last longer
...and on the outside. You can rehydrate your hair, itself, too, using moisturising products that help the colour penetrate the whole length, from root to tip, and keep that salon-fresh shine.
- Limit the changes. Each time you change your hair colour, more chemicals are needed to achieve the desired effect, and more chemicals means more damage to your hair. So, if you want to ring the changes, try to do it gradually: your hair will thank you.
- Rinse well. Salt and chlorine can dry and damage hair, so don't forget to rinse off – or shampoo – after swimming, whether you're at the seaside or the pool.
- Hands off. You may be proud of your new 'do, but try not to keep touching it. As well as making it dirty with your hands, you could be damaging the cuticle - the outermost part of the shaft - or unconsciously harming your scalp.
- Go easy with the dryer. Don't automatically reach for the dryer every time you wash your hair. Using dryers, curling tongs, straighteners, etc. makes hair more porous – and porous hair doesn't hold the colour so well - so let it dry naturally when you can.
- Get the right shampoo. Finally, choose a shampoo designed for coloured hair and for your scalp type. A gentle shampoo will allow you to wash your hair every day and show off the shine of clean and healthy hair, whatever colour it is.