Hair Color Rehab
By Maureen Choi
Photo Credit: Jason Lloyd-Evans
CAUSES: Dry summer heat and intense air-conditioning zap moisture and shine.
SELF-HELP: To brighten locks and purify the scalp, add five drops of apple cider vinegar to a bowl of cold water and dunk your hair. Comb through (do not rinse) and let it air-dry, advises Paris-based colorist Christophe Robin.
PRO RX: Dyed red hair can appear dull if there's no dimension for light to bounce off of, Robin explains. "At the salon, I use a mixture of equal parts red henna, warm water, and hair mask for 10 minutes on strands, from the mid-shaft to the ends, before applying permanent hair color. This pre-dye process makes the overall color look more intense and less flat."
PREVENTION: Steer clear of dry shampoos that contain white talc, which can make red hair appear matte and dull. The real trick to maintaining shiny red hair is to start with a healthy base. Once a week, massage an infusion of lavender, wheat germ, and olive oils on scalp and strands to get rid of buildup and add moisture.
DIAGNOSIS: Major fading.
CAUSES: Water damage and UV exposure.
SELF-HELP: Hot water is a redhead's nemesis it opens up cuticles (think tiny shingles on each strand's surface) and allows color to seep out, explains celebrity colorist Rita Hazan. On the bright side, hydrating treatments work wonders to prevent fading. Try a vitamin-E-rich avocado mask weekly to revive dry tips: Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in the microwave for 10 seconds and massage into scalp and hair; coat freshly mashed avocado on the ends only (tips tend to be drier than oil-producing roots); leave on for 15 minutes; rinse with cool water and shampoo.
PRO RX: "Damaged hair doesn't have the ability to absorb and hold on to pigment as well as healthy hair," says Aloxxi colorist Marco Pelusi, who recommends getting protein-injecting keratin treatments before coloring. "Since color molecules bind to protein in the hair, you'll want to replenish it before you dye." In addition, trim dry ends to instantly refresh the look of red hair and make color appear more vibrant.
PREVENTION: "Red dyes fade the quickest, so choose a natural-looking shade think strawberry if you're blonde and auburn if you're brunette. That way it'll still look great as it fades," advises Hazan. Ideally, shampoo one to two times per week with products specifically designed to keep color looking bright.
Shades of gray
Colorist Rick Wellman of Manhattan's Patrick Melville Salon takes your lackluster grays to silver fox status
· Think you're ready to ditch dyeing altogether? Wait until your hair is at least 30 percent gray naturally (a salt-and-pepper look). Otherwise, the silvery streaks will come off looking unpolished.
· When transitioning from dyed hair to your natural tone, do it gradually. Each time you color, choose a semipermanent dye that's one shade lighter than your previous hue and just touch up the roots.
· Gray hair tends to be coarser and drier, so using a smoothing shampoo and conditioner like Wella Age Restore with shea butter and antioxidant-rich rooibos will help soften strands.