General, Haircare / Styling

To Dye or not to Dye: Tips on Colouring your Hair

I have been asked so many questions about hair dye, colouring hair at home, considering highights at the hairdressers etc. I decided to pop what knowledge I have (picked up from my Mammy who’s a colourist) into a blog post for you to peruse if you’re toying with the idea of colour change.

Semi-Permanent: My mam calls these Semi’s (I didn’t realise that meant semi-permanent!) These are a good option because they are not a tint so are  less harsh on the hair. Semi’s can be used if you’re going darker than your present colour. As they don’t conatain the harsh stuff (very technical term) used in permanent colour Semi’s don’t cover grays very well. They say on the box (regardless of brand) that these last up to 24 washes. Don’t be fooled, it may last but it definitely will fade! Look for one with no amonia or peroxide.

Permanent: These contain amonia which is exrtremely harsh but allows the colour penetrate deep into the hair shaft. They are completely permanent but will fade. There are studies showing that long term, regular use of permanent dyes increase your risk of  bladder cancer (having no medical training I can’t comment on this!) The EU commission has changed legislation and demanded information on the ingredients from the manufacturers. Permanent dyes are also not recommended if you are pregnant.

Temporary: These are the ones you use for Halloween when you fancy pink hair. They are supposed to rinse out but I know a few ladies who cried their eyes out after Paddy’s Day last year who would beg to differ!

Hair Lighteners & Bleach: Takes colour out of the hair for those who want to go lighter. Bleach is very harsh on the hair and repeated highlights can make the hair very porous. Personally, if I were looking for highlights rather than all over colour I would leave it to the professionals!

A note on the packaging: Models Hair Colour: I think most people probably look at the model on the box as an indication of the colour their hair will be after they use the dye. My mam pointed out to me that we have no idea what that models base colour was to begin with. For example, if the model was a brunette and they coloured her hair mahogany red but you are a blonde and use that colour, the end result will be nothing like the model on the box because you have a different base (it would probable end up a strong red á la Amy or pink). The ahir chart on the back of the box is always limiting as they generally only show 3 before and afters, usually from the same colour palette which is not useful.

My tips:

1) Be realistic about the colour

2) Think about your roots

3. If in doubt see a professional

4) Consider the upkeep and

5) Condition like a mad woman!


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