Sunday, 21 September 2014

Dye Hard with a Vengeance

It's been about a month now since I dyed my hair so I thought it might be good to update you on how I look after it and keep the colour as long as possible. I'll cover two basic sections of what I do and use in the shower, and then what I use after (and in fact what I don't do).

Below are some of the things I use in the shower, but as you might notice there isn't actually a shampoo or conditioner. This probably isn't super useful to you all but basically I haven't actually found anything I really like yet. To protect coloured hair basically you need to be as gentle as possible, especially with semi-permanent dye, so the best shampoos in theory are no sulphate ones. I have kind of a problem with these though in that all the ones I have tried have given me dandruff. I'm probably not supposed to write that because it's kind of grim but for the sake of honesty, and everything... also maybe some of you have had the same problem? I loved L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise EverPure Colour Care and Volume because so many colour protect formulas weigh your hair down whereas this doesn't, but I have had to stop using it because of my scalp. I am really sad about this, because on my hair it was brilliant. Right now I'm trying to use up vast numbers of random bottles, but this probably isn't doing my scalp much good and my hair is, to be honest, not looking its best...

As to what I do actually like, the John Freida Full Repair Strength + Repair collection is just brilliant. This pot of hair mask is actually finished now, and I think I might go back to the conditioner instead because I think my hair benefits most from using it every time I wash my hair, but they are both great. It really does feel like it strengthens the hair and prevents more damage, but doesn't weigh it down at all and is gentle enough for dyed hair. I am also thinking about getting the shampoo from that range too, but I am quite tempted by the Luxurious Volume one as well and I can't decide between the two. At the moment though I just need to sort my scalp out, and so may be forced to invest in La Roche-Posay (eek). Apparently anti-dandruff stuff can make colour fade more quickly, but you do always have to remember there's no point having a lovely exciting colour in your hair if it looks rubbish, especially because colours draw attention to your hair.
This Redken Nature's Rescue Refining Sea Polish scrub I bought because I had just read about a Garnier version, but was never able to actually find that and then the Rush Shop had a huge sale so this happened. Anything that says it repairs split ends is lying  because nothing removes them apart from cutting them off, but this definitely smooths the ends and I feel that using it before conditioner occasionally can then really help that to soak in. It feels a bit dangerous to be scrubbing your hair but Redken is posh so I trust that it's okay.

So those are some of the things I use in the shower, but I haven't yet talked about the most important aspects of protecting the colour in your hair, which is basically avoiding water and heat as much as possible. Yes this makes washing your hair kind of interesting. You just have to use as cool water as possible, as cold as you can take it basically, and have your hair wet for as little time as possible. I have included the shower cap in the picture because when I shower, I wear a shower cap while I wash myself, shave my legs, do face scrubs and any other faffing about and only take it off and get my hair wet right at the end of the shower just to wash my hair. 
These two things are honestly the biggest factors in how long your colour stays. Colour-protect shampoos are quite important but they are useless if you get your hair wet too often or use hot water. Apart from the shower cap, the other way of avoiding water obviously is dry shampoo. Dry shampoo is your best friend.

Next we have the things I do when I come out of the shower. This is all relating to what I said earlier about how there is no point dyeing your hair a pretty colour if you then don't take care of it because you don't want to draw attention to hair in a horrible condition... My hair is pretty fine and flat, and I could sort of fix this by adding texture by letting it get rough and horrible, but I just don't think it's worth it. So, when I get out the shower the first thing I do is use my Moroccanoil Treatment. This stuff is expensive, definitely, but I absolutely swear by it, if I could have just one luxury product (hair, skincare, makeup, everything) it would be this. I have a lot of hair oils (see below...) and this is the only one that is actually absorbed, and after using it for a couple of months is the first time a hairdresser ever said my hair was in really good condition (I don't get my hair cut nearly as often as I should). It also lasts quite a long time, so I just ask for it for my birthday and/or Christmas and that keeps me going. I am currently using the light version because of having fine hair but I'm not entirely sure how different it is, I hadn't really noticed the Original version weighing my hair down that much but may as well use this one I guess?
Anyway I put that on the lengths and ends and then I use the VO5 Cherish My Colour mousse on the upper bit of my hair, not necessarily my roots right next to my scalp because my scalp is sensitive, but as high up as I can just to give a bit of a boost. I have used a few hair mousses and they are kind of much of a muchness I think really in terms of volume boosting, but the colour-preserving aspect of this is really useful because I would never put any other protective product that high up because of making my hair flat.
Next up is drying, and basically I don't... I hardly ever use any heat on my hair because I ruin it already enough with the dyeing I think. I usually just wash my hair in the evening and go to bed with it slightly damp, because this gives it a bit more volume. I did actually blow dry my hair last night though, by which I mean rough-dried it upside down, and it did look so much better than normal volume-wise so maybe I should more. I put extra heat-protection oil on it before I did this, because the Moroccanoil had already absorbed, and to be honest a hairdryer really doesn't do that much damage I think so long as it's a decent one, but I definitely stay away from hair straighteners or tongs apart from very very special occasions (also when I have several hours to spare - I am very bad at using styling tools).

Once my hair is dry, I use my Tangle Teezer brush (above). This isn't really to do with colour protection, it's just about looking after hair generally. I love this. It is not painless, for me anyway, it always hurts a bit brushing my hair, but it definitely hurts less and is super-effective at getting knots out. Usually then I am just good to go, but if my hair is static or the ends are feeling a bit dry, then I might use an oil or serum as a finishing product. 
The Kerastase things I got in the super sale at Rush Shop, along with the Redken scrub, and I do like them but I'm not sure if I will repurchase. People rave about Kerastase Elixir Ultime, and it is lovely but it will never replace Moroccanoil for me. The other one I just bought because I was hoping to go on a beach holiday this year and it protects against UV, but in the end that didn't happen so I haven't actually used it that much. This L'Oreal Extraordinary Oil is a bit too heavy for my hair (and I stupidly didn't get the colour protect version), but I do quite like it as a finisher so when this runs out I will just get the fine hair version, because I think the spray delivery system on that seems like a really good idea.

So there you have it. If you got to the end of this then you are amazing because that was a lot longer than it was supposed to be but I had lots to say! I have been dyeing my hair for over four years now, and using semi-permanent about a year and a half, so I have got somewhere to working out what works (apart from shampoo apparently) and what doesn't, so I really hope this has helped anyone interested in dyeing their hair. I would really love to know if it has been useful so please leave a comment if it has, or if you have any tips for me! :)