Keep your hair colour alive

Keep your hair colour alive

True, every hair needs good care and nourishment. However, coloured hair needs that and more, as the tresses tend to become dull and rough. Care for coloured mane begins with protecting the hair cuticles, suggests Shahnaz Husain.

Hair care after colouring is very important, to prevent dryness and protect the texture of the hair. Chemical colourants and dyes can deplete moisture, making the hair very dry and brittle. Repeated or incorrect colouring can weaken the hair, leading to split ends and hair breakage. The normal balances of the scalp can also get upset, triggering off dandruff and other related conditions. 

Permanent dyes and colours work by changing the structure of the hair. They actually strip off the outermost layer – the cuticle - in an uneven manner, in order to penetrate the inner layer. 

It is the cuticle which protects the hair and contributes to its shine. Damage to the cuticle not only makes the hair vulnerable to breakage and loss, but the hair also becomes dull and rough. 


methods, like hair rinses and creams, last for four or six shampoo sessions. They usually work by penetrating the cuticle or outermost layer of the hair. They do not cause as much damage as the permanent dyes. Semi-permanent methods are suitable for disguising grey hair or for lending a richer colour to dull hair. 

In cases of excessive dryness of dyed or coloured hair, hot oil therapy helps. Mix one part of castor oil with two parts coconut oil. Heat and apply on the scalp and massage. Remember to apply on the ends too. 

Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep it on for five to ten minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap three to four times. This helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better.

Avoid vigorous massage and rubbing when you apply oil. Massage the scalp gently, using only the finger tips. 

Actually move the scalp in small circular movements. This helps to stimulate blood circulation to the follicles. Keep the oil on overnight and wash the hair the next day. Use a mild herbal shampoo to wash the hair. After washing the hair, apply a creamy conditioner, massaging it lightly into the hair. Leave on for two  minutes and then rinse off with water. Regular conditioning is extremely important. Or, apply a leave-on type of conditioner or hair serum to soften and disentangle the hair. They improve the look and texture of the hair and also protect it. Shampoos and conditioners with sunscreen would help protect the hair from the harmful effects of sun exposure.  

To dry the hair, avoid rubbing with a towel. Instead, wrap the towel around the head and allow it to absorb excess water. Allow the hair to dry naturally. Dry it under mild sunlight, instead of blow-drying. 

Once your hair is completely dry, comb out the tangles with a wide-toothed comb, starting from the ends and working upwards. 

Here are some home remedies to help nourish hair that has been subjected to colours and dyes: 

n For a deep conditioning treatment, mix together one egg, two tablespoons castor oil, the juice of one lemon and one teaspoon of pure glycerin. Use an egg beater if you must. 

Massage this well into the scalp and apply on the hair too, from root to tip. Wash your hair after half an hour. Rinse well with water to remove all residues, so that they do not clog the pores.

n Both hot and cold infusions can be made from hibiscus flowers and leaves. For hot infusions, add the flowers and leaves to boiling water and allow it to rest for 10-12 hours. Strain the infusion (liquid) and then use it on the scalp and hair. Also, you can use it as a last rinse after washing the hair. 

For cold infusions, let the flowers and leaves rest overnight in cold water, in a ratio of one to six. Squeeze the flowers and strain the liquid before use. 

n If you are in a hurry, simply make a paste or juice of the flowers and apply it on the scalp and hair. Leave it on for an hour or two and wash it off.