So I think I can be a little bit of an authority when it comes to dying my hair. I have been dying my hair black for over 20 years - let's not go into working out exactly how long since I may get a bit of a fright! How can you keep your hair happy and healthy when you dye it so often? Are natural hair dyes any good? And what do I do between colouring? Read on to find out..
Going black or blonde is a real commitment. When you bleach your hair from a dark colour, the growth is really obvious. Dying it black from light means the regrowth can be obvious too, however if you change your mind from black, it is quite difficult to go back. I remember when my husband went from long black hair to a short blonde crop for work purposes. It was too funny - I told him it would take ages, and it would most likely hurt - I think he didn't truly understand the process until he lived through it himself. My hair is brown with a blonde fringe naturally and I am pretty particular about not seeing my regrowth. I used to just keep on dying my hair - however after my hairdresser had a little go at how much I was dying my hair and drying it out I had to rethink my strategy.
I visit my hairdresser every 8 weeks. I wish I could go more often to get it cut; however I just can't afford it with everything else I commit to. Between those 8 weeks I used to dye my hair maybe every two weeks and that was far too much. My hair was pretty dry, I think I tried to ignore this fact by using the sealing and conditioning tubes I would get with my hair colour. My hairdresser uses natural hair dye on my hair and O&M products. I love them - they are really hydrating and they smell lovely. After having a discussion about what I could do to lengthen my colour and dye my hair less between seeing her I came up with the following strategy.
1. Wash Your Hair Less
So I used to wash my hair every day. Now I try to go two or three days without washing my hair. On the off days I wet it in the shower so I can style it after. On weekend I just let it air dry naturally - I can't really blow dry it because my skin really doesn't like the heat. The less shampoo you use, the less the dye will get stripped from your hair. This means that your colour will stay more fresh looking.
2. If you can, Use a Colour Seal Shampoo
You can buy colour seal shampoos that supposedly lock in colour, however I choose to use a tinted treatment every so often. I use John Frieda Colour Refreshing Gloss in Black - it comes in other colours too by the way. It takes just three minutes in the shower. The Refreshing Gloss helps to keep dyed hair a richer shade between colourings. At the first sign of fading I use it once or twice a week - however it does not re-colour those stubborn white/gray hairs but it does a good job of prolonging quality of black shade between colourings.
3. Avoid Harsh Blow Drying without a Thermal Protector
I mentioned that I don't hair dry my hair unless I really have to. If it is really cold I will, or if I take a trip to the snow; otherwise I let my hair dry naturally. This is fine because I am in Australia and our weather isn't that harsh. If you must blow dry your hair use a thermal protector like Goldwell Kerasilk Blow-Dry Spray, Evo Mister Fantastic Blow Out Spray, Davines Melu Heat Protecting Hair Shield or Argan Oil.
4. Use a Root Touch-Up Kit
You can buy Root Touch-up Dye Kits and this is totally better than dyeing your whole head. The hair shaft closest to your scalp has more natural oils than the ends of your hair so it can handle colouring more than the ends. Clairol Nice N Easy Root Touch Up Kit is a great way to hide your regrowth and is about half the price of the regular permanent hair dye kit.
5. Other Regrowth Cover Alternatives
I recently started using L'oreal Magic Retouch spray in Black and this got me thinking about other alternatives. Magic Retouch is great - it covers my regrowth really well however you can't really go more than two days without washing your hair because it kind of feels a bit chalky. I spray it on wet hair during the week near my scalp, which is a big no no. On the weekend I can afford to wait for my hair to dry before I leave the house so it gets sprayed on dry hair. It definitely works better on dry hair. There aren't many colours in the Magic Retouch range. It is fine if you have blonde, light brown, black or red red hair, however if your shade is a bit more interesting you will need to use something else. Other alternatives that mean you could possibly mix your own custom colour that is closer to your natural shade are 1000 Hour Hair Colour Stick, Temptu Airpod Airbrush 24-hour Root Touch Up and Alterna 2 Minute Root Touch.
Another tip I could suggest would be using a Natural Hair Dye or a Henna based hair dye - however I have chosen not to list it because I have never tried natural hair dye at home. I was looking on Nourished Life for a natural hair dye and the only one they have stocked is a brand called Desert Shadow. I checked out another blogger review for this brand and she mentioned you would need 24 hours to dye your hair. The initial colour mix needs 6-12 hours and then when you have the product on your hair, you need to leave it on for four hours. I don't have that sort of time to be walking around with dye on my hair - especially since I could get it on things around the house!! Sorry Natural Hair Dye; you're out...