Myths and Facts About Hair Color

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Blond, brunette or redhead — there’s a lot to think about when it comes to coloring your hair, no matter what shade you chose. Coloring your hair the right way will help the color stay vibrant for longer, saving you trips to the salon or time at home applying it.

Myth: Washing My Hair the Day Before I Color it Helps Remove Product Residue, so the Dye Saturates My Hair Color Evenly

Fact: “Actually, dirty hair is better for lasting color. It helps the color to grip and gives the scalp a protective barrier,” says Natasha Sunshine of the Byu-Ti salons in Santa Monica and Brentwood, California. “And if you're worried about your colorist thinking that your hair is funky, the truth is you usually can't gross a stylist out. We've seen it all and many of us believe in washing less. I wash my hair every four days for example. There are a few ladies out there but not too many that can top that. So skip the wash and get better color results for it!”

Myth: There’s Nothing I Can Do to Help Make My Hair Color Last Longer

Fact: “One strategy for longer lasting color is to condition your hair well after color,” says Sunshine. “We have color boosts that are deep conditioners as well as color extenders. They are super affordable at $21 a pop and leave the hair shinier, in better condition and make the color last up to six times longer when it comes to maintaining brightness and preventing fading. Yes, your roots will grow in as they always do but your color can look great between visits.”

If you color your hair in a salon, request a deep conditioning treatment. If you color your hair at home, try a hair mask like Pureology Perfect 4 Platinum Reconstruct Hair Mask.

Myth: Coloring My Hair Is Damaging No Matter What Product I Choose

Fact: “During the hair color process, hydrogen peroxide in the formula reacts with metal ions found in your hair (which mostly come from tap water) causing damaging free radicals to form,” says Teca Gilespie, a Procter and Gamble beauty scientist. “These free radicals attack and damage the hair’s keratin (the hair’s protein) and f-layer (the outer water-proofing layer of the hair). This damage can cause the hair’s surface to lose its natural lubricating properties, resulting in a roughening of the hair’s surface (damaged cuticle) and cause the hair fibers to “stick” together. The result is hair feels dry, rough and stiff. There’s a loss of softness, smoothness, and flexibility.”

To combat this when coloring your hair at home, choose a product like Clairol Natural Instincts that has antioxidants to combat free radical damage.

Myth: All Salon Color Is the Same

Fact: When it comes to coloring your hair in the salon, it’s important to not only find a colorist you like but to find the brand of color that is best for your hair. The color that my colorist Nico of the Mizu Salon in New York City uses is Clairol Professional Soy4Plex. The “4” is for the four benefits it offers: deep conditioning, reflective shine, multi-dimensional shades, and long-lasting results. I also like that it’s permanent and has 100 percent gray coverage and in my experience, my scalp is less itchy after I color.

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