I'm sure you noticed in pictures, that I dyed my hair blue (again) back in mid-October. I'm in love with it. If I could choose, my natural hair color would be blue. I went whole hog this time and got it done in the salon, not cheap, so I want this stuff to last.
I figured it might help someone else if I threw all my favorite tips in one spot.
(Thanks to my bff Babs, and my friend John, for indulging my questions; and I would be remiss if I didn't send you to The Dainty Squid, basically the queen of amazing hair!)
Tips and Tricks to Care for your Color:
1. Channel Your Inner Eminem
Honestly, if you want the true, bright, lasting color... you need to bleach first. I avoided this at first, but my blue was gone quickly. Its a commitment, and you have to treat your hair very kindly afterwards, but its worth it for amazing color.
2. Freshen Things Up Regularly
Find out what dye your hairdresser used and pick some up (or get extra of whatever you're using to DIY). Regularly (I do it once a week - every other week) mix dye and conditioner 50/50, cover your hair in the mixture, throw an old shower cap over that and go watch a movie. This mix will serve the dual purpose of depositing new dye, while also conditioning your hair thoroughly.
3. Keep It Quick and Cold
After you do your dye mixture, you'll obviously have to wash it out... which brings me to showers. The shorter and colder you can make them, the better. If you just shook your head and frowned while reading that, well know you aren't alone. Long, hot showers are one of my favorite things in the world. But they are murder on color. Hot water opens the hair, releasing dyes faster. Cold water closes and smooths the shaft, keeping color in and making hair look shinier.
There are ways to cheat it a little. When I do the dying, I leave the shower cap on and my head out of the water while I wash my body in nice warm water. Then I turn it down when I pull of the cap and wash it out. I turn it down even more when I do my final rinse on my hair. Brrrr... but worth it. When I'm not dying, I just keep my shower short and lukewarm.
4. Get A Little Dirty
Better then short showers is less showers. Make friends with dry shampoo, head scarves, and ponytails. The less you wash, the better your color will do. Water is bright color's enemy... shower, swimming, etc. So the less you can get your hair wet, the longer you'll get to enjoy beautiful color.
5. Speaking of Heat...
Heat in all forms is bad for bright color. That means long periods of sun, and all forms of heat styling. Hair dryers, curling irons, flat irons. You can use them, of course, but skip them if you don't need "done" hair; and when you do use them, make sure you have a good protecting product.
6. Watch the Alcohol
Not the stuff you ingest... the stuff in your hair products! Read your labels, check the ingredients, and skip anything with alcohol in it. Alcohol strips hair, and it strips dye. Don't trust that just because its says "color safe" on the label that it is. I found a lovely, thick and creamy, "color safe" conditioner... full of alcohol. I bought it and tried it first, before I checked the label, and it completely stripped my color. Bah.
A few products I love: Trader Joe's Nurture Shampoo (smells great, cleans without over drying), Big Sexy Hair Power Play (volume for dayyyys!), and plain old baby powder! (sprinkle it on roots before bed, it absorbs oils to make you less greasy in the morning).
No matter what you do, you will lose color. But by following these suggestions, you can get much longer life out of your color, and make way less trips to the ($$$) salon. Its been almost 2 months and my color still looks great.
Did I miss anything? What are your favorite tips, tricks, and products?