When it comes to coloring hair, even professional stylists sometimes have a hard time knowing when to say when. Hair dyes have become much safer and more gentle over the decades, but even with advances in chemistry and science, there comes a point when it may be best to stop exposing the hair to haircolor. These are some of the signs that your hair may be trying to tell you “Enough is enough!”
1. The hair stretches like bubble gum when wet. Hair that is extremely damaged will pull apart easily when it is wet, and will often have a “mushy” or “gummy” feel. This often occurs when the hair has been damaged with bleach. Unfortunately, all the cinditioner in the world cannot repair this type of damage, and the damaged hair must be cut off.
2. The color no longer looks the same. When the hair is damaged, the same color you used for the past ten years won’t look the same as it once did. It may look off-tone; perhaps it looks greenish, blueish, grayish or brassy. When your tried-and-true shade of color no longer comes out looking the same as it once did, it may be time to give your hair a rest.
3. There is excessive breakage. A small amount of breakage is normal. It occurs from frequent brushing, heat styling, and pulling the hair up in a clip or ponytail. However, if you find that the hair is breaking off more than usual, then you have chemically damaged your hair and should consider deep conditioning treatments.
4. The hair heats up while the dye is processing. Certain types of hair dyes will create a chemical reaction if applied over hair that has been colored using a different chemical. This sometimes happens when applying a professional-quality aniline-derivative tint over a store-bought tint which uses metallic dyes. If your hair heats up, makes a “sizzling” sound, or gives off a foul odor, then there is a potentially harmful chemical reaction taking place and the dye should be rinsed off immediately.
5. The hair pulls ashy tones. Hair that is damaged becomes excessively porous; in other words, it becomes more absorbent. Porous hair easily “grabs” onto cool tones in a haircolor, such as blue, gray, or green. Porous hair also “rejects” warm tones, such as gold, yellow, red, and orange. If your haircolor keeps turning out “ashy”, then your hair may be damaged. This type of damage can often be treated with a quality conditioner.
These five warning signs often indicate moderate to severe damage to the hair, and if they occur it is a smart idea to give you hair a rest from all types of chemical processing, such as perms, highlights, and color services.