I am careful to only use sulfate free shampoo and conditioner on my color treated hair (very red) and yet it fades within two weeks and really looks just drab again.
I was wondering if the styling products I use and hair spray (loaded with alcohol) are the culprits. Any suggestions? I realize alcohol is a huge no no, but nearly all sprays (even Wen) are heavy with it...
If your styling products contain alcohol, then yes, they are partly (if not completely) to blame for your color fading.
"Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option"
My fears realized that my bathroom could double as a saloon with all of the alcohol in there, can anyone suggest products they use for styling that do not contain alcohol....
I was going to say the same thing as Motley. Alcohol will fade color. One more thing though.
I was a hairstylist for years before becoming an aesthetician and red of all colors fades the fastest. It fades the fastest because the red color molecules are larger than any other color molecule there is. For example, when you color hair you mix your color with a developer. The purpose of the developer is that it opens up the cuticle of your hair. Once the cuticle is open they the color is deposited. You leave it on for the processing time and then rinse. The problem with red as opposed to brown is the the reds molecules are too big to actually fit it into the hair shaft. It is sort of half in and half out whereas brown tucks neatly into the cuticle and then once you rinse and for about 48-72 hours after hair color, it slowly starts to close back up. It takes a while for the cuticle to close back up and with damaged hair, it doesn't always close all the way. That is why you see frizzy hair. Frizzy hair is a result of the cuticle still being opened on the hair. Think of it as an umbrella when it is opened. When your cuticle is closed (an umbrella closed) it is smoother. When you wash it, the brown is trapped in the closed cuticle. With damaged hair (umbrella opened) color continues to leak out at each shampoo. When the cuticle closes after red, all of the color molecule is not tucked in there so washing it rinses away a little more color each time. DOes that make sense, I tried my best using analogies, so I hope you understood.
I used to work with a girl who colored her hair bright red and she would drive up to Canada to buy her color there. In Canada (at the time I knew her) they were allowed to test on animals and by testing on animals they figured out how to get the color molecule smaller, thus making it last longer because of the small size.
It sounds like you are doing the most you can with regards to using a non-sulfate shampoo. That definitely helps.
When I did hair, I specialized in color and corrective color. Besides cutting hair, coloring was all I did all day long. I have found Goldwell color to be the best for reds. Their color molecule is smaller than almost any of the professional colors that are on the market. I would suggest finding a salon that uses Goldwell color and your red will probably last longer.
How is the condition of your hair too? If your hair is damaged, dry and frizzy that could have something to do with it fading fast too. The cuticle of dry and damaged hair is blasted wide open and color fades much quicker because every time you shampoo more color comes out as opposed to a nice healthy cuticle that is smooth and closed.
Wow, thanks so much for all of the info! You really know your stuff! And thanks for the rec..I think I will check at a nearby Sally's and if I can't find it there, perhaps online...you are great.
Your hair could be coated with excess product or the alcohol is drying/fading your hair.
He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help. ~ Abraham Lincoln
If I use any styling products, I make sure that they have sunscreen/SPF/ultraviolet filters in them. I use a detangling/moistuturizing leave-in spray that has UV protection, and one of my faves is Biolage (by Matrix) Daily Leave-in Tonic. I also use a regular rinse-out conditioner with UV filters in the shower, and deep condition (NOT with hot oil, it can fade the color) once a week.
I'm a natural medium brunette - still color it due to the grays - but until 2009, I was medium auburn for many years, and anything in the red family is the hardest to keep vibrant. You have to be as gentle with your hair as possible, and not use too many products or heat appliances. Also, do not wash your whole head of hair too often - every 2-3 days is best - even when you use color-preserving shampoo, and when it's first colored, don't wash it until a full 24-36 hours afterwards so that the hair's cuticle can seal in the color. This is for at-home or salon coloring.
Another suggestion would be to go more auburn than red - and a darker, richer shade -but I'm not sure if you want to try that.
HTH, and sorry I was so long-winded!
Last edited on 9/18/2011
Last edited on 9/18/2011