We all want to look our best and try out new looks & styles. Part of this may mean coloring/dyeing or applying a perm or relaxer to your hair. These chemical treatments can, however, damage or weaken your hair. In fact, the American Hair Loss Association identifies "overprocessing" the hair as "the most common cause of hair damage by far"! How can you protect your hair and keep ti healthy & strong?
Choosing a color
When choosing a color, it is recommended to stay within 3 shades of your natural hair color for hair health. Going darker is between for hair than going lighter because the amount of peroxide required to lighten hair causes more damage. If you want to go light, we recommend a professional hair treatment to reduce the amount of hair damage as much as possible.
When using an at-home chemical hair treatment, always follow the package directions. I know this seems like a no-brainer, but it bears repeating. The process may vary from product to product, so it is always best to double check the timing & amounts prior to application.
Testing a dye color on a small test patch of skin is recommended to ensure that you are not allergic to the product before applying it all over your scalp & hair.
Don’t forget to set a timer in order to make sure that the product isn’t on your hair too long, as this may cause damage to the hair. This is especially true for perms & relaxers. If you experience significant stinging, burning or similar reactions, wash the product off immediately.
Maintenance & Care Tips
One of the best ways to keep chemically treated hair healthy is to protect the color or treatment. Preventative care then requires fewer touchups or redos, resulting in less hair damage. You can do this by:
*avoiding washing hair with hot water, more than necessary, or with additional harsh chemicals
*use hair products that are designed for colored, permed, or relaxed hair (whichever applies)
*deep conditioning your hair once per week with a mask or similar product
*avoid heat styling as much as possible. Repeated, frequent use of curling irons, blow dryers, etc. can dull color and cause breakage. When you do use heat, apply a heat protecting serum to hair first.
*Protect hair from UV damage. Skin isn’t the only thing affected by the sun’s rays! Hair products with SPF do exist, but you can also wear a hat or swimmer’s cap and/or stay in the shade to prevent color from fading in the sun.
For More Information:
American Academy of Dermatology: Coloring & Perming Tips