Colour fading factors
A range of external and habitual factors affect the quality of colour and health of hair. Heat damaged hair can cause colour to fade or become dull, alongside the way you choose to change hair colour. Semi-permanent and temporary dye both fade quicker than permanent treatments, as well as:
- dye colour: colours like red have larger molecules, meaning they can’t penetrate the strand’s cortex fully. These tones will fade quicker than black or brown dyes.
- over-washing: constantly washing hair after dyeing it will gradually pull the dye molecules out, causing the colour to fade.
- already damaged hair: When hair is already damaged, the cuticles are weakened, which causes dye molecules to escape more easily.
Other colour fade causes are ahead.
Exposure to UV radiation is unavoidable, but it can erode the vibrancy of both natural and dyed colour. Sun exposure erodes the melanin pigments found in natural colour as well as dye molecules.
In New Zealand the UV levels are naturally high. To keep your hair colour strong around this daily stressor, use UV hair protection. Limit direct exposure when outside by wearing a hat and seek shade where possible. These measures reduce UV contact, which also protects keratin levels and supports the strength and feel of hair.
Apart from sun exposure, what we do when outside can place stress on hair. Chlorine found in swimming pools strips both natural and dyed colour by attaching itself to melanin and chemicals. It can also make hair feel brittle over time, by causing strand friction and damage to the cuticle.
When this kind of stress is placed on hair, using both preventative and after-care measures can help protect hair from colour fade. Rinsing hair before swimming in a pool reduces how much chlorinated water is absorbed into strands. Follow by rinsing hair directly after a swim to further help lessen the effects.
The outer layer of each strand holds in oil, which is hair’s natural source of moisture. When you change hair colour, the dyeing process strips away that moisture. The salt in seawater adds to the damage already in place by further pulling water from hair. This places friction on strands, increasing the occurrence of breakage and reducing the health of hair. To protect hair shine and stop colour fading, wear a cap when swimming, and rinse hair as soon as you’ve finished.
Heat damaged hair
The hair straightener temperature on conventional tools can get to extremely high levels. Regular styling with heated tools causes stress to the outer layer of hair and dye molecules within each strand.
Heat control products can help to minimise the damage incurred on hair. Using a heat protectant spray will coat the cuticle of the hair with silicone before styling, which locks in moisture and acts as a protective barrier.