For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with hair color. As a little girl I used to wish that my Barbie dolls could have different hair colors. One day I grabbed some markers from my toy box and applied my very first pink highlights onto Barbie's blonde hair, and that was it!! I was hooked.
Fast forward 25 plus years later I’m still an obsessed master colorist dedicated to helping stylists and clients achieve and maintain the best results from their color service. I truly believe that the more professional colorists can share about how hair color functions with our clients, they will understand why proper maintenance is the key to keeping color gorgeous.
Oxygen is the source!! It is the element every colorist uses to create the hair color of your dreams. Very long story short, hydrogen peroxide (an acid PH) is mixed together with an alkaline agent in a color bowl, to create an “oxidized dye” or also known as “hair color”.
Like magic, in the color rooms of hair salons everywhere, hair colorists measure and mix how much oxygen they want in their formulas to achieve their desired result. Sometimes we need a lot to achieve lift. Sometimes we need less, or none at all. It’s amazing really. In the correct circumstances under the care of a knowledgeable colorist, you can literally achieve any color of the rainbow because of oxygen.
This being said, oxygen will also very quickly become the unrelenting enemy of hair color if it is not controlled. The reality is, your hair color will be exposed to oxygen after you leave the salon. That’s not the worst thing. We as humans need this stuff to breath, but it will also sadly make our blondes brassy and our reds dull. It can also start to make our hair feel dry and appear unhealthy. This, of course, can lead to a worse crime than color fading...hair breakage. Yikes!!
So how can we fight back? The answer is use incredible products designed to slow oxygen down. I’m sure we have all heard the term antioxidants before. When caring for cosmetic hair color, we can harness the super powers of antioxidant to help slow oxygen fading to our hair color.
Using gentle cleansers and conditioners with optimal PH levels and that contain high quality antioxidants is the key to a long, happy relationship with your hair color until your next retouch.
Truthfully, it’s all about accommodating the cuticle of your hair. Think of the cuticle like a security guard at a venue. If it’s not doing it’s job, anything can come in without being checked. You want the cuticle of your hair to be a great security guard to your hair color. The more compact your cuticle is, the less oxygen can get into your hair. Heat styling, very hot water, over-washing, pollution, UV exposure and dehydration will all effect and lift your cuticle, leaving the “gates” to your hair color wide open.
Using products like FLOW, that were designed to protect the cuticle, will keep your hair color lasting longer.
I also recommend not washing your hair everyday and investing in a great dry shampoo such as ROOT REBOOT Texture & Root Refresher Spray. Just be sure to keep your ends hydrated during your no-wash days by applying a serum like H5 CONCENTRATE Shine Serum.
Lastly, let’s give that color a drink - regularly!! I love hair treatments for extra thirsty hair. A great deep conditioning treatment like FLOW 30 Second Treatment added into your hair regimen will keep your hair hydrated and protected.
Think of your hair as a high end, natural fiber like silk, wool or cashmere. I would never use dish soap on an expensive silk robe.
Should we wash a hand-painted, one of a kind fiber like your hair with anything but the best? Treat your hair like you would treat your finest textiles. Your hair color will thank you.