How to colour it right

Hair colour has caught on in a big way. Not only those who have greying hair but also those who like to sport a different look, are opting for hair colours. The trend is affecting people across age groups and profiles — from teenagers to the elderly, office goers to home-makers and also models and actors. It has led to a large number of large number of established brands to jump on the hair colour bandwaghowon by launching a variety of products in various tints, hues and shades, hair-care conditioners and other colour-maintenance products.
The growing trend of hair colours has also spurred some serious concerns about the quality of hair. Colours tend to damage the hair and leave it dry, scraggly and often under-nourished. It can lead to hair loss and cause irreversible damage to hair. The damage occurs as permanent chemical dyes break through the cuticle shield and invade the cortex of the hair. Repeated use of hair colours may cause an auto-immune reaction leading to alopecia or dermatitis.
When the hair has been dyed many times, it becomes “over-processed”, which leads to brittle, dry hair that lack shine. Since hair only grows slowly, longer hair can end up receiving multiple dye treatments.
Hair dyes use chemicals to set colour into the hair which damages hair and its follicles. The chemical used, including ammonia and peroxide, are abrasive and damaging. The combination of these two factors can cause unexpected damage to over-processed hair.
However, these health scares won’t really prevent people from colouring their hair. But if you must, please ensure you have followed the steps listed below. It will help minimise the damage.
Check for skin sensitivity: It is advised that a patch test be done every single time before any colour application. This will determine whether or not you are allergic to the product.
nChoose semi-permanent hair dyes: Use rinse or temporary dye as against permanent hair dyes. When compared to permanent hair dyes, semi-permanent hair dyes won’t last quite as long as they tend to have less chemicals and thus are a better option. Look for semi-permanent over-the-counter dyes or ask your salon if they offer any semi-permanent or less harsh treatments. Also ensure a reasonable interval between two colouring episodes.
nGet professional help: Visit a salon of repute which uses quality products and provides better hair-care services. In this way, hair disasters can be avoided.
nAlways follow directions: If you do use any store-bought hair dye products, make sure you read through the warning or caution section very carefully. Attention should be paid to things like how long the dye should be left on your hair, the proportions to be mixed, the intervals between to colouring sessions etc.
nDon’t mix hair dye products: When you combine different hair dye products, the chemical balance could change and in turn damage your hair.
The author is a trichologist and the founder of Richfeel