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The hair-colouring market is enormous. It’s estimated that almost 70% of women and 12% of men will colour their hair at some point in their life. Colouring your hair can give you a psychological boost and a sense of being a new and younger person. It’s an easy way to change your personality or to discard part of an old life for a new one – changing hair colour after a break-up, for example. Hair colour preference is also influenced by fashion, usually following celebrities.
Hair was dyed red with Rita Hayworth and blonde with Marilyn Monroe. In Cleopatra’s day dark hair was all the rage and during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, ginger hair was popular. But whichever colour you decide on, you need to take precautions. All colouring processes are potentially harmful if the instructions on the packaging aren’t followed, or if you don’t take proper steps to hydrate and care for your hair afterwards.
Caring for Colour-Treated Hair
All chemical processes reduce the elasticity (stretchability) of your hairs and increase their chances of breakage. Therefore, any hair that has been dyed/coloured is vulnerable to damage. However, the degree of damage that occurs largely depends on the amount of colour change. For instance, going from a dark shade to a light shade is more damaging because the colouring (bleaching) agent is stronger and/or left on for longer.
How often you colour your hair is also a factor to consider. Having your hair coloured in a salon will most probably involve some sort of conditioning treatment, but if you colour your hair at home make sure you have a good conditioner handy. Choose a well-formulated conditioner designed specifically for your hair type to keep your hair both feeling and looking great after colouring. You should also use a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment at least once a week, depending on the condition of your hair.
For severely dry and damaged hair, use twice. Please note: always leave three days before and also after your colouring process to use an intensive conditioning treatment - they have the ability to fade your colour if done too soon. However, this does not apply to highlights or bleach without tint.