Is My Hair Too Damaged To Dye?

We’ve all been there: wanting a change in the way we feel and what better way to do that than with a completely different hair colour? Before you start mixing your dyes at home or heading to a hair salon, it’s important to determine if your hair is too damaged to dye. Why? 

Because hair that’s too damaged to dye can become coarse, brittle, dry and the dye may not hold onto it as effectively as with healthy hair. As such, it’s important to look at the reasons why hair gets damaged in the first place and then do some quick and easy tests to see if you should go ahead and get that permanent new hair colour or not. Let’s take a closer look. 

What are the causes of damaged hair?

Damaged hair can be a result of several different factors. However, the main culprits are chemical treatments, heated tools and permanent hair styling. Here’s a brief breakdown of each one. 

  • Hair that is chemically damaged

This situation usually occurs when hair lightening takes place. As a result of this, the proteins in the hair can go through a rough time. For instance, the chemicals in the hair formula usually lift the cuticles of the fibre to deposit the colour. However, with time and repeated chemical treatments, the outer structure of your hair can become weaker while the inner protein will be left vulnerable. Consequently, hair that’s overly bleached also suffers from breaks and split ends. 

  • Hair that is damaged by heat

Hair straighteners and curling tongs are just some of the tools that we use to style our hair. But if you don’t use a heat protectant, your hair will become damaged. Not only can these tools actually burn hair but if you continuously “force” your hair into a style that goes against its natural form, the hair fibre’s structure will weaken over time. This can result in your hair not looking as shiny and healthy as it once did. 

  • Permanent hair styling

You may love to have your new perm to show off your new curly locks or on the opposite side, you may want to straighten your hair. Whichever option you choose, and without opting for professional advice, you’re likely to get hair damage because the repeated use of chemicals and heat will result in hair damage.

  • Other causes

Apart from the three main culprits mentioned above, there are others to consider. One of these is the exposure of your hair to direct sunlight. Other issues include the environment (pollution and weather) and yet others include specific hair styling techniques that tug at the hair, damaging it. One such example of this is tight braiding. 

How can you tell if your hair is damaged?

Now that you know what causes hair damage, it’s also important to answer the question: what does damaged hair look like. There are several tests you can perform quite quickly and easily in the comfort of your own home before you start mixing dyes or heading over to the salon. Here’s our easy-to-follow list:

  • The 10-second test

This involves pulling a section of your hair smooth and taught between your fingers. Next, add a droplet of water to that same section and start counting. You want to see how long it takes for the water to disappear. The 10-second test is that if your hair absorbs the water in less than this period of time, your “cuticle is compromised” and you should therefore avoid dying your hair. To resolve this problem, consider deep conditioning and using nourishing products on your hair. 

  • Look at the texture and stretchiness of your hair

Experts have another quick and easy way to determine if your hair is too damaged to dye. In essence, it is not safe to dye if your wet hair stretches more than usual or if the texture feels “gummy”. Check whether the hair surface is uneven, if it has kinks or if some sections of it snap quite easily. These are important signs that your hair is too damaged for a new shade of colour. 

  • Speak to an expert

Our final bit of advice is to speak to a professional. Any good hair colourist will be able to immediately tell if you should go ahead and dye or not dye your hair. This, together with the “strand test” where only a strand is dyed at one time will help determine whether the colour will hold and if your hair is too damaged for its next dying session. 

Concluding thoughts

If you need to consult with a professional hair colourist in Holborn, you’ve come to the right place. Our experienced and trained hair stylists in Holborn will be able to determine whether you should go ahead and dye or not dye your hair. With expert advice, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about your next colouring adventure and keep your hair protected and looking luscious at the same time.