Color has come a long way and we are and Indian women are more
willing to experiment now than we were willing to earlier. A head
of colored hair, even in the 1980s, drew a lot of attention and
appreciates glances. But today, take a quick look around you and
you will agree that 80-90 per cent of young college girls and
even career women have colored hair. And unless it is crazy color,
it is considered normal and acceptable. Should you or shouldnt
color your hair is a question you often ask yourself. Here are
a few answers to help you make up your mind about coloring your
Are hair colors safe?
Yes, they are totally safe, in fact most of the colors today have
special polymers and conditioners incorporated in them to make
them superior to hair colors which were available earlier. These
polymers and conditioners actually penetrate the hair shaft and
enter the cortex, mending any damage in the normal hair structure.
They smoothen the outermost layer of hair that is made up of cuticles,
which appear like tiles on a roof under the microscope. The ultimate
effect after the use of such a product on your hair would be shinier,
smoother and healthier hair. So far there appears to be no connection
between the application of hair color and the appearance of gray
hair. Hair turns grey due to the inability of hair to produce
melanin in the early stages of hair growth.
Melanin is the color pigment in your hair,
which can be black, brown, red or yellow. The individuality of
your hair color is determined by the percentage of each color
pigment, making each persons hair color characteristically
their own. Poor diet, illness, age, heredity, etc can cause the
acceleration of grey hair and the actual use of a hair dye has
nothing to do with the graying process.
Which color suits you the best is the question
you should ask your beautician. Let her know if you had colored
or hennaed your hair earlier, the products you used and whether
you had straightened or permed your hair. Also have your hair
checked out for porosity or elasticity, both of which play a major
role in how healthy you hair, will look after the color. Discuss
this with her in detail how long the process will take the cost
and after care you will require to keep up the effect. You must
also take a stand test so that both you and your hairdresser know
what to expect at the end of the process.
What are the side effects of coloring?
If a professional taking into account all the above points does
coloring, the side effects are almost nil, especially if the client
follows the after care recommended. However, it is very important
that your hairdresser recommends a patch test in addition to all
the points mentioned above, especially with a product you have
not used before. This is to check for allergic reaction before
carrying out the coloring process. This should be done at least
24-28 hours in advance.
What do you need to maintain the color
and the quality of your hair?
Certain fashion colors fade easily and you may need to go back
for a rinse once a month, for example, in the case of wine reds,
you would need a regular touch up or rinse to maintain their intensity.
In the case of grey hair, it would depend on the individual growth
rate of hair. On an average, hair grows ½"- ¾"
every month, so a touch up once in 20 days is a must for grey
For those with no grey hair and a mild color
not too different from their natural color, a touch up once in
six months is ideal. For those with a drastic or dramatically
different hair color, a root touch up is important.
The after care needed is usually a shampoo
for color treated hair, which increases the life of your color
and conditioners to protect your hair. Too much exposure to sun,
sea and chlorine should also be avoided.
Which brand of color should you use?
It is usually best to leave the choice of color to your hairdresser
once you have discussed with her what you expect after the color
job. The safest home use products now available in the market
are by LOreal. They have a wide range of products in different
shade from which you could choose. For those of you who are allergic
to ammonia they have now launched a new product called casting,
which is available in a few fashion and basic states. So do go
ahead and make a beauty statement with your hair color.