So you’ve decided to dye your hair, but which kind should you choose? To make the best decision at the hair salon, you need to understand the different types of hair colour available, and the pros and cons of each. Keep reading to learn more about each kind, and what you can do to reduce damage to coloured hair.
1. Highlights and Bleach
Highlights and bleach remove the colour from your hair using oxidation. This breaks down the colour in your hair shaft, which is why it turns almost white if you leave it for too long. Over-bleached hair will often have a yellow tint because the protein your hair is made of, keratin, is a pale yellow colour. For that platinum blonde look, your hair will need to be tinted after it’s bleached.
2. Semi-Permanent Colour
Temporary or semi-permanent hair colour will give you a more natural-looking colour and is easy to use. You can use this kind of dye straight from the applicator since you won’t need to pre-mix it. They last for up to six weeks and fade in a progressive manner. Be aware, though, that since they don’t have bleach in them, semi-permanent dyes won’t lighten your natural shade. They also need to be frequently applied, especially if you wash your hair a lot. Frequent colouring can be damaging.
3. Permanent Colour
Also known as “oxidation,” permanent hair dyes are an oxidizer like hydrogen peroxide and ammonia are mixed with the colouring agent before being applied to your hair. These types of dyes don’t wash out, and don’t have to be applied as often as semi-permanent colours. Current hair colour manufacturers have done a lot of research and testing to make sure they offer long-lasting colour with minimal damage to the elasticity and strength of your hair. Permanent hair dyes usually come in a wider range of colours compared to semi-permanent, and the colour shades can look more natural.
The biggest downside to permanent colour is that it’s more damaging than semi-permanent colour, since the chemicals are stronger and it has to be left on your hair for a longer period. The biggest benefit is that since there’s a lightning agent in the dye, it will lighten your natural hair to some extent. Permanent hair dye does not wash out; it will grow out and you will have to have the roots touched up in between full colours.
4. Ammonia-Free Colour
Ammonia-free hair colours are made up of MEA or monoethanolamine, an organic chemical that is primary alcohol and primary amine. It’s used as a replacement pH adjuster and used at a lower percentage and combined with moisturizing oils. This makes it less damaging and less volatile than ammonia. This doesn’t mean it makes it safer or better for your hair; the more you use this kind of dye, the more damage it causes.
5. Care For Your Coloured Hair
No matter which type of dye you choose to colour your hair, any chemical process reduces the elasticity of your hair and increases the chance of it breaking and becoming damaged. You need to take the proper steps to moisturize and care for your hair after you colour it in order to reduce the damage.
Use a pre-shampoo deep conditioner three days before and after you bleach or highlight your hair, and every three weeks after that. This will reduce the chances your hair will break since it makes it more elastic. It also will add bounce, shine, and manageability to your hair.
It’s also important to condition after every shampoo in order to flatten your hair cuticles, reduce knots, and seal in moisture. A sealing product will also help flatten and smooth the hair cuticle, which will make your hair look glossier and reduce moisture evaporation.