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How to Prevent Hair Color Fading

Hair Color Fade Can be Minimized by Removing Hard Water Chemical Residue

Karla Asks:

What can I do to my get hair color to last longer? I have my hair colored in a hairdressing salon and it always looks good for about one week but then it begins to fade out. I only wash it every few days or so, and I use a shampoo for color treated hair. I also keep it well conditioned and try not to use too much heat with my blow dryer and curling iron. Any suggestions on how I can get hair color that doesn’t fade so fast?


According to experts at Texas A&M University one of the biggest culprits of hair color fading too quickly is oxidation. Oxidation happens quicker when hair color is applied to strands that have a buildup of minerals from your water. Chlorine and mineral build up from hard water will interfere with hair color by attaching and coating the hair shaft with chemical residue.

Hard water leaves hair feeling dry, dull, unmanageable and with a coated texture to the hair. Hard water can also leave an orangey, coppery discoloration to the hair. You can remove this buildup by treating your hair with a Hard Water Demineralizer at home. I recommend using a treatment before going in for your next hair color appointment for your best coverage, best shine and a longest lasting hair color.

Malibu Demineralization Treatment is easy to apply at home. Shampoo and rinse hair, pour crystals into wet palm, then rub together to form a rich gel. When applied into hair it turns to a lathering treatment. This treatment can be used as often as needed to rid hair of mineral buildup or discoloration. For best results, cover with a shower cap and wrap in a towel or go under a dryer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Some salons offer this treatment for clients. Consider this step in the salon or at home for all around better looking locks as well as prepping your hair for your best hair color yet!


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Hair Oil Boom

Hair Oils Have Been Around For Eons

Not too very long ago, the very mention of oils in hair care products was unthinkable. “Traditionally, oils weren’t considered desirable because they added weight and tackiness,” says John Davis, co-founder and CEO of AG Hair Cosmetics. “Had you asked me two years ago, I would have told you that all of our products were oil-free. But, people see oils very differently now.”

That’s because there’s an oil boom in the making, as clients everywhere are asking for more ways to calm their frizz, while ensuring health and shine. Hair care product companies are answering the call with a plethora of oil options.

While the boom is new, oils themselves aren’t. For centuries, women around the world used different botanical oils to lend their hair healthy sheen and appealing fragrance.

In September, AG Hair Cosmetics is launching The Oil, an argan-infused product designed to smooth and hydrate the hair without weighing it down. The Oil is the latest in an impressive lineup of professional, botanical and oil-based hair products that have hit the market in this buzzed-about category.

While argan oils are definitely the most popular in this vast market, many companies have been blending it with other popular, health-boosting ingredients such as pequi and amla oils. For example, Macadamia Natural Oil combines argan with macadamia seed oils. Michael Cain, education manager for Macadamia Natural says, “with the matching of those two oils, the performance of the product is unparalleled as far as the absorbency and as far as the great benefits. The combination of the two oils gives hair elasticity which prevents breakage and split ends.”

Although some people expect hair oils to leave a greasy residue, Cain says these oils can actually have the opposite effect, even with daily use. “A lot of people who have finer hair will typically have a oilier scalp,” he explains. “This helps even out the porosity in your hair.” The oils also speed up blow drying time, similar to the way oil and water separate.
When combined with an oil, certain extracts like aloe vera, which is said to heal minor skin injuries, can help repair a scalp that’s been damaged by chemical processing.

“If the scalp is on the dry side, most of the time, you need to have a combination of natural and synthetic materials,” says Dr. Ali Syed, president of Avion Industries and master chemist for Syntonics formulations. “Botanicals have been around for a long time and as hair styles changed, things become sort of cyclical,” says Syed. He adds that botanical oils are gaining popularity among health-conscious consumers who have been “pushing the envelope toward natural ingredients in food, personal care, and health.”

One of the pioneers in the oil boom is Moroccanoil, which introduced its signature Moroccanoil three years ago. Driven by the success of the initial products, the company has been introducing new products ever since, says Moroccanoil artistic director Antonio Corral Calero.

The popularity of the products was especially evident among curly hair clients and the hairdressers who use them. As a result, the company answered the demand with several curl-specific products containing its argan oil. The line now boasts a curl-defining mousse, curl control cream and intense curl cream. Moroccanoil infuses their argan oil with vitamin A, E and F to protect against free-radicals.

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How Hair Straightening Treatments Differ

Long Curly Hair Side by Side Before and After Keratin Hair Treatment

Temporary or Permanent Hair Straightening Treatments?

So, what’s the real difference between a traditional “relaxing” treatment (that leaves a line of demarcation) and a smoothing treatment?

According to Cornell Scientist Jason Dorvee, each follicle of hair is made up of very small molecules of protein called cytokeratin. There are two main kinds of bonds between molecules in each follicle that will decide how straight or curly that particular strand is. The molecules are all linked to each other by forms of bonding. Some molecules are bonded to their brethren in a very loose knit web like  fashion while others are bonded to each other in a much tighter permanent fashion much like concrete binds together grains of sand and are termed hydrogen bonds.

Smoothing Treatments

The loose knit web like bonding of the molecules are porous and the molecules can be restructured quite easily. The loose knit structure of these molecules will change in shape as they absorb moisture. This is why your hair is curly and kinky when you climb out of the shower, or why we have the frizzies on very humid days.

Smoothing treatments work with the cuticle, not the cortex of the hair. No hair bonds are broken or restructured. For a better understanding of the structure of a hair strand you might want to check out my article Understanding Your Hair. Most smoothing treatments work on the principle of coating the cuticle to prevent the molecules from absorbing moisture. Or in the case of your blow dryer, just simply removing the moisture captured in the bonding agent of the molecules.

Struggling with challenges ranging from frizz to unruly hair, clients have searched far and wide for ways to manage their hair styles. But in the not-so-distant past, when they came into a hairdressing salon asking to get their hair straightened, they really only had two chemical service options: a traditional relaxer or a Japanese straightening treatment. Then, almost overnight, “keratin” became the buzzword of the hair styling industry, shifting the k-word context from protein and conditioning to smoothing and straightening.

This new anti-wave of popular treatments, known for giving clients with textured hair a straight, sleek look that lasted for months, became the new trend in texture management. This generated a boom of curly, wavy and even straight-haired clients running into hair salons to reap the “life-changing” frizz-fighting benefits, even as questions and concerns about the process were raised.

With the downward-turning economy and traditional appointment stretching affecting salons, timing was good for companies to introduce a new revenue-generating service built upon consumer demand and dramatic results. Dozens of new brands popped up.

This first generation of keratin straightening treatments—many labeled or described as “Brazilian” after the country where the service originated—were formulated to last 3-4 months with an average ticket of $400. Manufacturers of these new straightening treatment products and their R&D scientists proclaimed that replacing keratin in the hair could restructure and recondition hair fibers, refilling the holes and gaps in the hair shaft caused by chemical services and environmental factors, and that the process could even straighten hair when the formula was “sealed in” with a flatiron heated to 450 degrees.

Perms, Relaxers, Japanese straightening and Brazilian treatments

These work on the more permanent bonding between molecules in the hair. It is the permanent type of bonding of the molecule that defines the inherent characteristics of the texture of your hair. These permanent bonding characteristics are what we inherit from our parents in our DNA.

This kind of bonding is very strong and enduring. When you get a “permanent” to alter the curvature your hair, the chemical that you smell is sulfur or some other quite hardy chemical that breaks the bonds and then permits the molecules inside the cortex to reformulate in a different shape. When the chemical is removed the new hair shape becomes permanent and will stay in that shape until it is cut off. Of course these chemicals are very powerful and if left on too long can do long-term damage to the hair. When you hear a professional hair stylist use the term “Fried Perm” you’ll know that someone has left a perming chemical on too long.

The rule of thumb to use on any hair straightening technique is the longer term the effect the less room for error and the stronger the likelihood of hair damage.


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