The blonde Betty Draper, January Jones, hasn’t always been blonde. In fact, over the course of this last year, she has dyed her hair four times. “I’ve been blonde, red with extensions for this film, then blonde, then black, and now blonde again,” she recently said in a press interview to promote her new film. She joked with the interviewer that if she had to dye her hair one more time that it would probably start “falling out in clumps.” But all laughs aside, you can over-process your hair and it can lead to hair loss.
While there are certain factors that can cause hair loss (hormones, genetics and medical conditions), hairstylists say that over-processing your hair can also cause balding. “When coloring your hair you are removing proteins, lipids and water that are naturally in the hair fiber,” says celebrity hairstylist Sherry Ratay. Coloring very often and in close succession causes the follicle and shaft of the hair to weaken, resulting in breakage and loss of hair.
Blonde hair color, in particular, is the harshest on your hair. “If you are not a natural blonde, you will need to use hair bleach, and in the wrong hands … it could be a disaster,” says Ratay. “Now if done correctly and there is proper homecare usage, it is perfectly fine.”
Hair type also plays a role in how likely you are to lose hair from too much dye. “We must ALL remember that hair is and should always be analyzed as a delicate piece of fabric. If you had two pieces of fabric; a linin dress and a jean dress, you can only do so much to the linen dress before it disintegrate away. A jean dress on the other hand, you can be rough and tough for quite some time. This is how we need to think of our hair fiber,” she says. If you have fine to medium hair like January, your hair needs to be treated more delicately. If you have naturally thick course hair, it can take more processing.