Over the last few posts I’ve been carrying on about color. Let me clarify. I’ve been externalizing my desire to color my own hair and foisting it on the rest of you. Sorry! I’m determined to get a trim and dye my hair deepest darkest black which you may not think will make too big of a difference but for those of you who don’t know, jet black hair is HD for your face...this could be a good or a bad thing. We'll discuss later.
Permanent hair color is toxic sorcery! Ingredients to look out for - are (listen up!) - Resorcinol, Ammonia, Persulfates, and the most common and most dangerous in the witches brew is probably PPDs . PPDs have been linked to bladder cancer, lung, kidney and nervous system disorders and severe allergic reactions. Scary facts and chemicals aside, you know and I know we're still going to use hair color...sigh.
Let's focus on the immediate concerns. Once that fabulous color is applied, how does one keep the hair healthy and lustrous? Highlights and semi-permanent dyes aren't as damaging as bleach, but they aren't without consequences. They can change the inner structure of the hair, causing a lackluster look and dryness. The dryness! Oh the humanity!
So, for the love of Sarah - one of my dearest and best friends who has circumnavigated the spectrum of hair color, in the most tasteful way of course – Olivia's breaks the color code!
• Begin by asking your hair colorist to use a professional hair color with conditioning properties that will continue to condition the hair. Hair color with natural oils helps retain the hair's moisture and will leave it looking shiny and healthy. Look for products that have as few of the chemical ingredients above as possible! Olivia’s recommends Logona Herbal Hair Color Cream, a company that offers semi-permanent hair dyes in both powder and cream formulas; Madison Reed, a company that offers permanent hair color with a GREAT website that guides the client through the color selection process; and Saach Organics Natural Hair Colors, this company offers semi permanent hair color derived from natural plants and minerals. *FREE WORLD WIDE SHIPPING on orders over 10 pounds from Love Lula where you can find Logona and Saach!*
• To prevent water from washing away your vibrant color, the answer is simple: Wash your hair less often. To retain the natural oils that help condition your color-treated hair, shampoo just two or three times per week, and never more than every other day. This will help your color last longer and help maintain health in your colored hair.
• When you shampoo, stick to lukewarm or cooler water temperatures. Super hot water leeches dye out of hair faster and strips the color because it opens the surface of the hair strand, which causes the dye molecules to escape.
• Sulfates can strip color from hair, so look for a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates contain salt, which strip away moisture, and moisture loss is one of the main causes of color fading. After coloring your hair with permanent or temporary hair color, Olivia’s recommends: Aveda Color Conserve Shampoo, Redkin Color Extend Shampoo, Herbal Essences Color Me Happy Color Safe Shampoo, and Matrix Biolage Colorcaretherapie Color Care Shampoo.
Remedies: The remedies I recommend are things you can find in your kitchen and are great deep conditioners even if your hair isn’t color treated.
Mayonnaise Mask: Color treated hair tends to lose its natural shine and heath due to that dastardly chemical processing. You can restore that missing shine by using the best conditioning product available in your kitchen. Mayonnaise! Just apply it straight to your hair making sure to cover each and every strand. Now raid an understanding man’s drawer for an old white tee-shirt (we don’t need any non-color fast tee-shirts interfering with your color) soak the shirt in water, wring it dry and pop it into the microwave for 30 - 45 seconds. Immediately wrap the shirt around your hair and carry on with life for 30-40 minutes which is exactly how long it will take you to apply a face mask, check stocks, plot world domination and/or cackle with friends on the phone until you remember that the stuff is in your hair... 1.5 hours later.(I swear that laundry list of things to do is not based on me...) After a preliminary rinse, shampoo and condition (use a sulfate free product please) making sure there is no residue left. Don’t forget to make your last rinse a cold water rinse. Sarah, buy a BIG ‘ole tub of mayo from the Costco! You can repeat this before every wash.
Honey Mask: A science moment - Honey has a hygroscopic nature, which means that when it’s exposed to air, it naturally draws in moisture. The enzymes and nutrients in raw honey give dull hair shine without weighing it down. Science moment over, let’s get down to business. Get one over ripe banana and raw honey. Mash the banana up in a bowl and add a heaping teaspoon of honey. Blend the mixture into a smooth paste and put it all over your hair. If you hair is longer or thicker and requires more mask, add additional banana and raw honey in a one-to-one ratio. Put on a processing cap and have a hand towel at the ready to avoid the drips. Leave the hair mask on for 20 minutes. Rinse and then shampoo (sulfate free) as usual, your hair will be beautifully moisturized and smooth!
Beer: I don’t know exactly why Beer is so grand but I’m here to provide you with the best research possible. Everywhere I looked the Beer rinse it seems is heralded as the be all and end all for restoring color treated hair. Maybe it’s the hops??? Anyways, beer is great for colored-treated hair as it prolongs the life of the hair color and also adds shine! Who knew? In a sauce pan warm up beer (not too hot) and use it to rinse hair completely. Put the moisture on lock by using cold water for the last rinse. Alternatively, you can also use beer after your sulfate free shampooing but before you use conditioner.
An aside: Please don’t be like me who is not well versed in the laws of alcohol in the southern portion of the U.S., and once went to the store in the brightness of the morning looking for wine for a recipe and was promptly and embarrassingly made to look like a desperate wino by the cashier.
When purchasing beer for your rinse you best be within the law, of age and purchasing at the right time of the day!