Why Your Hair Colour Fades so Fast
You’ve got the perfect colour for your hair, after years of searching. Yet, barely weeks of stepping out of the hair salon, it’s already fading. Before you think of going all ‘gangsta’ about wanting to burn the hair salon, take a moment to read Tropika Club’s findings on why your hair colour fades so fast.
How much can your hair take
The colour pigments you choose for your hair binds on individual hair strands. But pigment particles can still escape the hair shaft’s cuticle. For example, when you shower, the water will dilute the colour pigments on your hair, fading the colour of your hair.
As to how fast it will fade, it depends on the colour you choose as well. If you choose lighter colours, you need to open more hair cuticles to get those colours. But once you open the hair cuticles, fewer pigments lock onto the hair, so they fall out easier.
Your natural hair colour matters too
Melanin, the compound that colours our skin, hair and eyes, have three types: eumelanin, pheomelanin, and neuromelanin. But let’s focus on eumelanin and pheomelanin, as neuromelanin isn’t really involved in the colouring of things we can see.
Eumelanin: Brown and black pigments. If you have dark-coloured hair, the difference between the brown and black pigments will give you the various shades of brown or black on your hair. You get blonde hair when you have small amounts of brown eumelanin and zero black eumelanin.
Pheomelanin: This pinkish pigment colour body parts such as your lips. Once you have equal levels of eumelanin and pheomelanin, you get red hair.
Hair dye works by oxidising the melanin pigments in your hair until you get the colour you want. If you want cooler colours, like blue and grey, you need to remove the eumelanin in your hair, leaving the pheomelanin in your hair. But as the colour fades on your hair, it gives an impression that it fades faster because we’re left with the pheomelanin pigments, leaving your hair with a faded yellow tint.
In contrast, if you’re going with darker colours, you’re left with the darker eumelanin compounds intact, so the colours seem to stay on your hair longer. So that’s why our darker Asia hair often doesn’t require bleaching.
Work with what you have
For lighter colours, the colour pigments actually have to get past the cuticle before binding to the hair shaft. You have to use a bleaching agent to lift the cuticle to allow the colour pigments to get in, as the peroxide in the hair dye removes your current hair colour. But as your cuticles open up, it becomes damaged and porous, causing the colour pigments to fall off easily.
How can you slow down your hair colour from fading? Try going with darker colours the next time you visit the hair salon. Or, stick to shampoos and conditioners that can retain the colour on your hair, restore your hair’s pH balance, and repair your hair cuticles.