Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Shampoo, Conditioner and Fading Hair

Q: I was just wondering if there's any type of shampoo and/or conditioner I could use that doesn't make the color of my hair fade so fast? I color my hair differently. Right now it’s currently black and hot pink, but my pink already faded to a light pink. And it’s kind of a golden blonde at the ends in the black and my bangs underneath are no longer pink at all. School is starting in like 5 days and I'm about to dye my hair purple, black, pink, and a pale blonde. I don't want to have to keep touching it up everyday though, any suggestions on why the color fades so fast? Thanks for any help at all.
A: My first guess on the reason your color fades so fast is simply a matter of the fact that you color your hair differently on a frequent basis. The average hair color process adds color to the hair (or lightens the color of the hair) by raising the cuticle layer of the hair to allow the color to penetrate and be deposited (or the bleaching agent to penetrate and the color to be dispersed).
This means that the hair is left more porous than before the color service was performed unless the color process includes a step to help restore the cuticle layer’s smoothness and seal in the color. If you repeatedly color (and recolor) the hair, you will damage the hair’s ability to hold color by making it too porous. This also means that the hair will be unable to hold moisture and will feel dry and brittle when it isn’t wet. In severe cases of damage, the hair will feel spongy and gummy when it is.
Assuming that your hair is NOT damaged, you can usually prolong the life of your haircolor by using a good conditioner after the color application (and every day) along with a very GENTLE shampoo when you do wash the hair. The conditioner helps to smooth and seal the cuticle layer and will help to make the color fade less quickly. You can also use silicone-based styling products and spray laminators that would help seal the hair and prevent color bleed and fading.
Furthermore, if you follow up the conditioner stage of your daily care routine by rinsing away the conditioner on your hair using cool water, you will help to close the cuticle and keep the color longer.
I am concerned that from what you describe your hair is quite a bit more damaged than you may realize. The patterns of color fade you describe would seem indicate that the hair is becoming significantly damaged (at least portions of the hair are). I would advise you to visit a salon or stylist that you trust and have your hair’s condition assessed to make sure you aren’t risking your hair unnecessarily.
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