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How to Color Damaged Hair

Parul Solanki
The harsh chemicals in hair colors are known to damage hair. However, what would you do if you already have damaged hair and want to color it? This HairGlamourista article lists some of the essential pointers that you need to keep in mind when coloring damaged hair.
If you have damaged hair, consider using natural hair colors like Henna, a plant-based hair dye. The ancient Egyptians started using this natural hair colorant in 3400 BCE to hide their gray hair.

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There are so many things that we do with our hair, from using chemical-loaded products to exposing the hair to high temperatures, that we end up damaging our hair. Although damaged hair with those ugly split ends is definitely distressing, there is no reason why you cannot enjoy a beautiful hair color.
Having said this, it is also important to note that damaged, frizzy hair needs proper hair care before you can opt for a coloring treatment. You would also have to choose the right hair color option that gives you the perfect color without damaging the hair in the process. Here are some simple tips for coloring damaged hair.

How to Dye Color-damaged Hair

Remove the Split Ends

Remove ugly, damaged ends by giving your hair a trim. The chemicals in hair color often worsen the split ends. It is, therefore, advisable to trim the hair before you color it. This also ensures even color distribution and less hair fall after the treatment.

Hydrate and Condition Hair

Dry and damaged hair is more prone to breakage, especially when you are planning to expose it to more chemicals. It is, therefore, important to condition and hydrate extra dry hair to get it in shape for color treatment. A deep-conditioning treatment or a nourishing hair mask before applying the hair color can help in preventing further damage.

Use the Right Hair Color

Choosing the right hair color is essential if you do not want to further damage your hair. Steer clear of hair colors with peroxides, ammonia, and bleaches. Most of the permanent hair dyes have substantial amounts of peroxides that can ruin already-damaged hair. The ammonia breaks down the protein bonds in the hair shaft to ease color penetration.
However, when your damaged tresses are exposed to it, they break down the fragile protein bonds in thin hair, leading to hair breakage. To avoid this, you need to choose semi- and demi-permanent hair colors that infuse the right amount of color without damaging your hair. These colors do not last for long and will probably rinse out in 10 washes.
Once the damaged hair grows out, you can switch to a permanent hair color on the healthy hair. You can also opt for restorative color glaze that adds color while nourishing and repairing damaged hair.

Do a Strand Test

Many of the semi- and demi-permanent dyes in hair colors contain chemicals that can cause allergic reactions. It is advisable to do a strand test before coloring. Done 24 hours before you dye your hair, the test will check whether you get the color results you are looking for, and also determine whether you are allergic to a particular hair color or not.
To do this, the hairdresser coats one strand of hair with the hair dye. If there are no allergies, you can proceed with the color treatment. Patch tests done behind the ear or on the inside of your elbow also help in checking for skin reaction to the hair color.

No Dramatic Hair Color Changes

A drastic hair color change, from a blonde to brunette, is not realistic, especially if you have damaged hair. For extremely pronounced hair color changes, you need stronger chemicals that your already-frayed hair can hardly handle. So, avoid lightening your hair by two or three shades, and instead opt for a subtle hair color change if you have damaged hair.

Opt for Highlights and Lowlights

You can try colored highlights and lowlights on damaged hair instead of coloring all over. The highlights add depth and translucence to the hair while minimizing the chemical exposure.
Unlike all-over coloring that requires frequent retouches, highlights last for a couple of months. If you already have colored hair, then you can opt for a roots-only application instead of all-over color.

Aftercare for Colored Hair

After coloring your hair, it is important to take care of it. This will allow the color to last longer and prevent further damage. Instead of using clarifying or dandruff-fighting hair care products, switch to color-preserving shampoos and conditioners, which are gentle on your hair.
Also, use a nourishing hair mask once a week to restore shine and add moisture to your hair.
If you are starting out on already-damaged hair, then instead of coloring it at home, get advice from a salon expert. The expert will not only advise you about the best hair color, but also give you some helpful aftercare pointers that can be invaluable when you dye damaged hair.