The 4 Biggest Hair Color Myths Set Straight

We’re not going to lie and say that the secret to perfect color doesn’t lie in the hands of an experienced, educated colorist that understands the ins and outs of hair, as well as the complex science that come along with color—it absolutely does. But, it’s just as important that you know what's the truth and what’s complete hearsay when it comes to color, so that you can get perfect color that lasts day after day. 

Myth: Hair Dye Allergies Don’t Really Exist
This one couldn’t be any further from the truth (our executive beauty editor can attest firsthand how bad a hair dye allergy can be). Hair color contains harsh chemicals, like PPD, ammonia and peroxide (among others) that can irritate the scalp so severely that it’s almost like a chemical burn. If you can avoid color, that’s definitely your best bet. But if you can’t, make sure your colorist uses ammonia-free products and ask your doctor for a steroid to take down any inflammation that may occur.

Myth: Dry Hair Takes to Color Pretty Well
Dry hair is thirsty and will take to color fast, drinking it up. But, that’s not actually good for your hair, nor will it leave you with pretty, natural looking color, either. Colorist Cassi Frielich of Frank Cassi Beauty in Palm Beach, FL, says that dry hair that absorbs color really fast won’t reflect light properly. If you know you have a color appointment coming up and your hair is on the drier side, make sure you use plenty of high quality conditioners and conditioning masks for at least two weeks beforehand. The better hydrated your hair is, the better it can grab the color molecules which equates to flawless color.

Myth: Once Your Hair Has Been Colored It’s Locked In For Good
Anything and everything from the water you wash with to the products you use can affect your color—what you walk out of the salon with isn’t guaranteed to stay that way unless you do your part of the maintenance. “Municipal water is loaded with chlorine, minerals and tannins that can do a number on brunettes and made the hair look muddy,” says Frielich. “When the minerals are rinsed away, the color gets rinsed away, too.” Add a filter to your showerhead so that the minerals in your water won’t even make their way to your hair. You’ll also want to use sulfate-free shampoos and color-safe products, which will help preserve your color since they’re not as harsh as other options.

Myth: All Color is Damaging
According to celebrity colorist Rita Hazan, this is one of the biggest color myths out there. “It’s not the color that damages your hair, but the person using it. It’s important for your colorist to know how to control the damage, which happens when the color is overprocessed—that should never happen with a skilled colorist,” says Hazan. “If you overcolor your hair and color the same hair over and over again every few weeks, you’ll definitely cause damage. You have to respect the process. Just because you touch up your roots, doesn’t mean you need to color all of your hair every time.”

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