Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Dirty Hair Myth

"My hair is nice and dirty for you."

"I didn't wash my hair because I knew I was getting it colored."

"It's better if my hair is dirty, right?"

These are comments that I hear all the time from behind the chair, and I want to explain the "hair must be dirty to color it" myth.  It is not better for your hair color, and your hair color will not turn out better if your hair is dirty - if anything - it's the opposite. 

Significant oil (natural sebum) and product buildup - especially if you use waxy pomades - can inhibit hair colors ability to penetrate the hair shaft. All of that residue packs into the cuticle of the hair and acts as a barrier. This idea of "dirty hair" came from the idea of not washing your hair right before color - BUT - not washing is not the same as dirty. Stimulating the scalp by washing can bring more blood to the surface of the skin, and therefore you might experience some irritation if color is being directly applied to your scalp. 

However, it doesn't take long for that sensitivity to go away. So feel free to wash your hair the day before you are scheduled for color. You will get a faster, more even deposit, help ensure grey coverage, and lessen the probability of fading. And this does not just apply to on-the-scalp color. While progressive lighteners (bleach) can eat through oil and product fairly easily, more gentle highlighting methods like high-lift permanent color can struggle to work through that buildup and lighten you to your desired level. 

So whether your lightening or darkening your hair - give it a wash 24 to 48 hrs before hand and you will help to ensure better results!

Side Note: If you google "greasy hair," Robert Pattinson seems to come up a lot =)

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