Is the fear of hair damage stopping you from colouring your hair? It’s true that the chemicals present in hair colours tend to take away the natural shine from your hair. But, you can prevent the damage with a proper hair care routine.
“The modern age has brought a slew of chemicals in our day to day life. The way ahead is to maximise the benefits while also making the body resilient to its side effects. Ayurveda specializes in preventive medicine and the Ayurvedic wisdom can help us keep up our immunity,” says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
In this article, we bring to you effective herbal remedies and Ayurveda-backed tips that can provide the best care for your colour treated hair.
How To Take Care Of Coloured Hair?
The 2 major purposes of hair care for coloured hair are to protect your hair from damage and to make your colour last longer. Hair colours often contain ingredients such as ammonia , hydrogen peroxide and phenylenediamine that strip off the natural moisture of your hair, making it dry and brittle.
Without proper care, a permanent or a semi/ demi colour treatment will make your hair prone to breakage. Whereas, a semi/ demi- permanent colour  partially enters the hair shaft and covers the surface of each strand, giving you a more natural look with less damage. Permanent colours open up your upper cuticle layer and seep into the hair cortex to change your hair’s natural colour.
In both methods, however, some damage to the hair shaft is expected. Therefore, you need to give a little extra care to keep your hair moisturized and prevent the colour from fading easily.
Here are some tips for better care of your coloured mane:
1. Use A Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Choosing the right shampoo will increase the longevity of your hair colour and save you those frequent trips to the salon. Shampoos that contain harsh detergents like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) strip the cuticle layer along with your hair colour. Go for a shampoo that is sulfate-free, mild and meant for cleansing coloured hair.
Opting for herbal shampoos is the best way to minimize hair damage and colour fading. Herbal or Ayurvedic shampoos contain natural hair cleansers derived from plants that are gentle on your hair shaft. They not only prevent your colour from washing off but also protect and hydrate your hair.
A. Reetha, Shikakai, Amla and Honey Herbal Shampoo
This Ayurvedic shampoo works like magic on your coloured hair. With the perfect combination of ‘Keshya’ herbs along with the goodness of honey, it keeps your colour intact and your hair silky, soft and moisturised. Soak Reetha , Shikakai and Amla overnight in water. Boil the three ingredients to form a soapy lather. Cool the mixture and add honey to it. Apply this on damp hair and massage gently, and wash off.
Reetha contains saponins that produce foam and work like mild cleansing agents. Enriched in iron and antioxidants, Reetha protects your hair from sun and thermal damage. It is also known to promote hair growth. Shikakai, similar to Reetha, also creates lather which cleanses the hair without removing its natural oils. Rich in vitamins, antioxidants and antifungal properties, it prevents dryness and hair fall. Amla, actively repairs the damaged cuticle layer of the hair shaft. It conditions and adds a natural shine to dull hair. Honey is a natural humectant used for deep conditioning dry hair. It seals moisture in the hair shaft and protects it from colour induced dryness.
2. Hair Masks
Hair masks are very effective when it comes to battling dryness and damage. Use a hair mask that deep conditions your hair at least an hour before you go in for a hair wash. Choose a herbal hair mask that hydrates, revitalizes and nourishes your hair from the roots to the tips.
A. Hibiscus, Methi And Amla Hair Mask
A Hibiscus, Methi and Amla hair mask is a perfect therapy for coloured hair. Soak methi and amla overnight in water. Grind methi and amla with hibiscus leaves and flowers. Apply this paste on your scalp and hair and wash off after 20 mins.
Hibiscus has a variety of hair benefits. High levels of mucilage in hibiscus make it an excellent conditioner for dry hair. Rich in amino acids and vitamins, hibiscus repairs damaged hair cells giving your hair a lustrous appearance. Methi contains high amounts of protein and iron that strengthens your hair shaft and prevents it from breakage. The mucilage in methi conditions your hair and its anti-inflammatory property prevents scalp irritations caused by hair colours.
3. Serum For Coloured Hair
Use a serum to keep the frizz away. Coloured hair often gets too dry. Specially formulated serums for coloured hair help to retain the moisture content of your hair strands. They also protect your hair from the harsh rays of the sun that tend to fade your colour away. Serums penetrate the hair shaft and serve as a protective layer over your cuticle protecting your hair against external damage.
The Ancient Egyptians too preferred to colour their hair just like us. They used henna to hide their greys while the ancient Romans and Greeks made hair colour by fermenting leeches.
We have already discussed the need for conditioning your coloured hair. A conditioner after a hair wash or a leave-in conditioner for the entire day should be essential parts of your hair care regime. Leave-in-conditioners can act as a replacement for serums. Find one that protects your hair from UV rays and keeps it hydrated all day.
However, be sure to read the ingredients before choosing your conditioner. Avoid one that contains silicon, parabens or mentions added fragrance. These are chemical ingredients that have a temporary conditioning effect on your hair but with constant use, strip your hair of its natural oils and shine. To avoid the hassle, opt for a natural conditioner like Aloe Vera.
A. Aloe Vera Conditioner For Coloured Hair
Aloe Vera goes deep into your hair shaft and moisturises it from within, giving you salon-like smooth hair naturally. It also protects your colour keeping your bright hue vibrant as ever. You can apply aloe vera gel directly from the plant or get one from any Ayurvedic store.
5. Regular Oil Massage
The benefits of regular oil massage are innumerable. According to Ayurveda, Shiro Abhyanga or hair massage improves blood circulation to your hair follicles, keeping your roots strong and nourished. With excess nutrition and oxygen reaching your hair, issues such as hair fall, dryness, split ends from excessive hair treatments are easily avoided.
As per the science of Ayurveda, colour treatments often cause an imbalance of your Vata and Pitta Doshas (life forces) on your scalp. This causes the excess dryness and loss of moisture from your hair strands. A good oil massage with Ayurvedic essential oils is likely to reverse the condition enabling your hair shafts to seal the colour for a longer period.
A. Bhringraj and Brahmi Hair Oil
Bhringraj effectively increases blood circulation on your scalp and strengthens your hair roots. It promotes hair growth and prevents hair from losing its shine. When combined with the goodness of Brahmi, this oil is an elixir for coloured hair. The high content of alkaloids in Brahmi protects the protein layer of your hair and prevents premature hair fall. Rich in vitamins, saponins, flavonoids, Brahmi invigorates hair growth and naturally conditions your hair for a silk-like feel.
B. Hibiscus, Methi, Curry leaves and Coconut Hair Oil
We have already discussed Hibiscus and methi’s deep conditioning hair growth boosting abilities. This with the addition of curry leaves and coconut oil becomes the perfect concoction to treat coloured hair. Enriched with protein and beta-carotene, curry leaves give your hair the right amount of nutrition that is taken away during a colour treatment. The antioxidants present in curry leaves cleans the scalp and removes sebum build-ups. Coconut oil is an excellent Pitta Dosha pacifier and prevents dryness and dandruff, conditions you usually face after colouring your hair.
C. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is often your one-stop solution to treating scalp dryness and dull hair. Its occlusive nature creates a natural barrier on your hair and scalp, trapping moisture to keep your hair hydrated. It prevents scalp irritations that can occur due to certain hair colours.
Vedix Tip: To add shine to your hair, warm sesame oil and mix it with any conditioner. Apply it to your hair and keep it overnight.
6. Get Touch-Ups Frequently
As your hair keeps growing, you'll probably need to visit the salon for touching up your roots. This method works great if you're trying to cover your greys or colouring a specific portion where the colour has faded.
An alternative to this would be opting for streaks or highlights. Thereby, a slight fade in colour is less likely to draw attention.
7. Don’t Over Wash
Avoid washing your hair frequently. Too many washes will quickly fade away the colour that you so lovingly applied. Shampoos have detergents or surfactants that remove dirt and sebum buildup from the surface of your hair. There's a chance that your hair colour will get stripped away along with it. Certain hair colours even mention the number of washes it can withstand. So wash your maximum 2 to 3 times in a week. On other days either condition or use a dry shampoo.
8. Watch The Water Temperature
Hot showers after a tiring day can be bliss but might not so blissful for your hair colour. Hot water opens up your hair's cuticle layer where the colour is seated. Damp hair is anyway porous and opening up the cuticle layer will easily wash away your beautiful colour. So it's wise to keep the water temperature to a minimum as you cleanse your hair. Finish up with a cold shower after you condition to lock in the colour and moisture.
“Ayurveda always recommends taking head baths with cool or lukewarm water, irrespective of whether the hair is coloured or not. Hot water has a damaging effect on hair and also weakens the sense organs,” says Dr. Zeel.
9. Avoid The Chlorine Cool-Off
Don't forget your shower cap before plunging into the pool. Chlorine  present in swimming pools is not just harmful for your hair but also quite destructive for your hair colour. Chlorine dries and damages the upper layer of the hair shaft giving way to frizzy hair. It strips moisture from your hair strands making hair lose it's natural vibrancy and volume.
Oiling your hair before entering the pool is a good way to protect your hair. Oil forms a protective barrier over your hair strands and prevents moisture leakage. Another option is to apply a leave-in-conditioner for the same kind of protection.
10. Home Remedies
After colouring, your hair is stripped of necessary protein and moisture which makes it appear dull and lifeless. Reinstilling these into the hair shaft returns the hair’s normal bounce and shine. The below listed home remedies are a perfect solution to your hair care worries.
A. Egg Yolk, Banana And Olive Oil Hair Mask
This protein and vitamin hair mask promotes health to your hair shafts and counters the damage done while colouring your hair. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium and vitamins that restore the lost moisture and shine of your tresses. The protein in eggs strengthens the hair strands and prevents breakage. Extra virgin olive oil is light and easily penetrates the hair shaft preventing loss of colour due to sun or other external damages. Mash a ripe banana and add a full egg to it. Mix the ingredients well and add 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to it. You can even replace olive oil with coconut oil. Apply this all over your hair and leave it for 20 mins before washing off.
B. Avocado, Yogurt and Honey Hair Mask
Avocado being a great source of biotin, potassium and magnesium helps in sealing the cuticle layer of hair that opens up during the colouring process. This prevents hair from appearing frizzy and damaged. Yogurt hydrates your hair shafts and prevents them from snapping due to dryness. Honey is a natural humectant that locks moisture in the hair shaft providing it additional moisture that colour treated hair often requires. Blend a whole avocado fruit with yogurt and add honey to the mixture. Apply and leave it till the yogurt begins to dry and then wash it off. The moisturizing properties of all three ingredients will leave your hair shiny, soft and smooth for a long time.
C. Papaya, Aloe Vera And Coconut Milk Hair Mask
This ultimate hydrating hair mask combines the goodness of papaya, aloe vera and coconut milk to infuse oodles of moisture into your hair shafts. Rich in Vitamin A and nutrients, Papaya nourishes and strengthens your hair roots. It is also known for promoting sebum production that prevents your hair from dryness and split ends. Aloe vera is a popular hair conditioner mentioned in Ayurvedic texts. It protects hair from different types of external damage. The deep conditioning property of coconut milk restores lost moisture and repairs the uppermost cuticle layer of your hair. Mash the papaya and add aloe vera gel and coconut milk to it. If time permits, leave it on for more than 30 mins and then wash off. This mask is known for bringing shine and lustre to dull, damaged chemically treated hair.
D. Apple Cider Vinegar Wash
Coloured hair often appears frizzy as the cuticle layer rises due to damage to the hair shaft. Acetic acid in apple cider vinegar restores the scalp's pH balance and closes the cuticle layer. It also unclogs the hair follicle and thereby promotes hair growth. Use apple cider vinegar to get tangle free, voluminous hair in just a few washes. Mix one part water with one part apple cider vinegar and apply to your hair. Leave it for 30 mins and wash off.
Can I Oil My Hair After Coloring It?
Oiling after a color treatment is recommended by hair experts. Oiling colored hair serves 2 primary purposes- it seals in moisture and prevents your hair from becoming too dry; it forms a protective layer over your colored strands and keeps the colour from fading.
Coconut oil, Sesame oil, Olive Oil and Almond Oil work best for coloured hair. Simply warm the oil by rubbing it in your palms and apply from root to tips. You can leave the oil for a few hours or even overnight and rinse off with some lukewarm water.
What You Should Not Use On Colored Hair?
Avoid shampooing your hair immediately after coloring as it may lead to bleeding or fading of the colour. Wait for at least 2 days and then wash off with a mild herbal shampoo.
Keep away from styling tools and blow dryers as it will further dry your hair strands. Hair colors inflict some damage to your tresses, using heat tools  over already dry hair may stretch and break the hair shaft. Try to air dry your hair after a wash. If you still must style your hair, keep the temperature low and use a good heat resistant serum/ spray.
How Long Does Colored Hair Last?
Semi or demi permanent hair colors usually last for about 4 weeks. Whereas, permanent hair colors last till new hairs begin to grow or you choose to re-color your hair. You can keep touching up your roots and follow the above mentioned tips to make your color last longer.
The Last Word
Your hair color defines you. Which is why you need to invest a little extra care and labour to keep them bouncy, shiny, and healthy. Maintaining the health and beauty of your colored hair is a simple task if you stick by the rule book. Nourish your hair with herbal hair masks and Ayurvedic oils that infuse moisture, protein and nutrients into your hair shafts preventing them from getting dry and brittle. Ayurvedic herbs and home remedies effectively combat the damage inflicted by harsh chemicals on your hair.
At Vedix, we carefully evaluate your hair type and needs and based on that customize a hair care regimen to maintain your hair health.Know Your Dosha Now