Colouring your greys

Hello hello,

This week, we’ll be chatting about grey hair.
Aging is just a fact of life and as you age, the color in your hair may start to fade to gray. You can sport the natural look and embrace your grayness or mask it with hair dye. You may prefer to keep the youthful appearance of your hair or you may simply want to retain the hair color you’ve had all your life.
Dyeing any type of hair involves a chemical process that should be taken seriously. It’s important to ensure that your new color comes out right and that the health of your hair isn’t compromised.

• Temporary: puts a layer of color on top of the hair strand. They are also called rinses, are the easiest to use but will fade after several washes.
• Demi or Semi Permanent: lasts longer than Temporary but not as long as Permanent.
• Permanent: requires the hair cuticle to be lifted and alters the proteins that give us our natural hair color.
For better coverage, choose a Permanent hair dye because it will settle better into the pores of each strand. Demi permanent hair dyes will not do the job so well, unless you are looking for a temporary solution.

Coloring hair has an effect on the moisture protein balance because with permanent dye, a chemical reaction is taking place inside the hair strand, weakening the cuticle layer and causing the hair to be more porous.
Porosity is the hair’s ability to hold and retain moisture. So not only do the layers of your hair strands have to lift to let color and moisture in, they have to close back down to keep it in. The more porous your hair is, the quicker your hair absorbs moisture. If it’s too porous however, the hair doesn’t retain any moisture. This is always a risk with coloring hair.

Do your research. It’s important to have a general knowledge of what to expect so as not to get disappointed. For example, most professional stylists will want to test the dye on a small area first. This is because dyes with ammonia or PPD can cause severe allergic reactions on some people. You should therefore expect a test to be done and be worried if this doesn’t happen.

Let a professional do the job. Gray hair can be extremely difficult to dye, and can take on an unnatural hue if done improperly. For most of the part, hair along the temples is said to be resistant to dye. You need a professional with good technique and lots of experience to deal with colour resistant gray hair.

Make sure the color sits for the correct amount of time. Since gray hair is difficult to cover, it’s important to keep hair dye on long enough to let the color take. There may be trouble spots on your head if you become impatient and try to rush the process.

If you are conservative or older, choose darker colors to create a natural look. As Africans, our hair is naturally dark and so dark colours work best but don’t go too dark or it’ll end up looking severe and fake. If you are younger or more adventurous, choose a colour that complements your complexion.

You should Deep Condition after any permanent chemical dye to make sure your cuticle layers close back down or you will have damaged, dry and over-porous hair.

To extend the life of your color, don’t use sulfate shampoos as they will strip the hair more easily. Try any moisture rich, sulfate free shampoo.

Always rinse your hair with cool or lukewarm water since hot water makes the hair lose its color faster. Extended exposure to the sun as well as to chlorine water can also damage the color.

Hair henna is a natural alternative to chemical dyes. It strengthens hair but tends to leave it very dry if not used properly. If you want the dye job done right, it’s better to go to a stylist rather than do it yourself.

That’s it for this week.
Have a fabulous day and remember YOUR HAIR IS YOUR BEST ACCESSORY!


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