Hydration is the key to taking proper care of your coloured hair
Whether hair dye is used to banish greys, enhance a natural shade or achieve a new hue, colouring hair comes with consequences.
“You’re expanding the cuticle,” says Roger Medina, a hair expert for Garnier, of the chemical process. “If your hair isn’t hydrated, it’s going to frizz up and look like a mess.”
The more extreme the colour goal, the higher the risk. For anything beyond a root touchup or subtle colour shift, it’s best to seek professional help.
“Blonde [dye], in general, damages hair most,” says Marie-Eve Faucher, brand embassador for Redken Canada. “Make sure that you don’t push the hair too much, too fast. Without proper steps, products and treatments, it could take a long time – or even be impossible – to return hair back to a healthier state.”
Why you should hydrate your coloured hair
With dedication and a proactive approach, you can have your desired colour and keep your hair healthy, too.
“You want to target two goals: Anti-fading and moisture retention,” says Lessard. “You want to keep your colour vibrant as long as possible between appointments while giving your hair an extra dose of hydration because it tends to get drier with the use of hair colour.”
Using products designed for colour-treated hair is a non-negotiable – as is adopting a minimal-shampooing policy.
“I wash twice a week,” says Faucher, who changes her own hair colour often. “If you have an oily scalp, you can shampoo up to three times [a week]. But try to avoid washing your hair every day.” (Unsure of which shampoo is best? Here’s our guide to finding the best shampoo for your hair type.)
For those who feel that daily washing is a necessity, Lessard suggests using alternatives to traditional shampoos, such as cleansing conditioners. “Even if it sounds like complete torture, using colder water to wash coloured hair is really important,” she says.
The best strategy to hydrate coloured hair
To deliver the strongest return (gorgeous hair) on investment (your hard-earned money), step up to a routine of regular conditioning.
Faucher swears by a weekly hair mask to strengthen strands and an arsenal of leave-in treatments prior to styling to prevent breakage and restore hair health. There’s another vital payoff to handling colour-treated tresses with kid gloves: The results have more staying power.
“Healthy hair will preserve colour longer than damaged hair,” says Medina.
Copy his go-to strategy with a nourishing treatment to hydrate coloured hair, such as a hair mask.
Alterna Caviar Infinite Color Hold Shampoo and Conditioner, $40 each at salons.