Why am I seeing hair color come out after I JUST had my hair colored last night!?
You visited your favorite hair stylist last night and you received an amazing color! You’re eager to try out the new products you bought so you wash your hair! As you’re rinsing out your shampoo, you notice color is coming out of your hair! You panic! What happened? You just spent $200 on this color! Is your color actually washing out after you just got it done?! The answer is no! The color you received isn’t going anywhere that fast and here’s why.
Your hair has layers, just like your skin. It’s broken down into three parts, the medulla, the cortex and the cuticle. The inner most part is called the medulla. Which, oddly enough, not everyone has. The part that encases the medulla is called the cortex. The cortex forms the bulk of the hair, contains the protein and moisture your hair needs to be healthy, and it is the part of the hair where perming and neutralizing takes place. The cortex also holds the melanin, which is the natural pigment; the color of your natural hair! Lastly, the outermost part of your hair strand is called the cuticle. It is made up of over lapping cells and it’s main function is to protect. The cuticle is translucent, so the hair color shows through this layer.
Image Credit: The Natural Hair Take Over Blog
So you’re probably wondering why we talked about the “science” behind the hair and why the structure of the hair is SO important when talking color. Here’s why.
When you get your hair permanently, semi-permanently or demi-permanently colored, there is a chemical process going on while you sit and wait for your provider to shampoo. The cuticle of your hair (outermost layer) actually is lifted open to allow the hair color into the cortex to replace your natural melanin. Remember, we said the cuticle is made up of over lapping cells, so imagine it looking like shingles on a roof. When the color tries to go into the hair, some gets stuck on the outside and never makes it into the cortex. When your stylist rinses your hair, the cuticle closes and the color inside is trapped. But the color on the outside is free to go and in most cases gets shampooed out.
However, as we all know and have probably experienced, there is some hair color that will come off the outside of the hair strand when you shampoo at home. This can happen even with a color safe shampoo and conditioner. It’s completely normal and the color that was locked in isn’t going anywhere. We do recommend that you use a color safe, sulfate free shampoo and conditioner for all washing because this preserves the color. Our recommendation is Gemstone by R+Co which you can purchase by clicking HERE.
Check back next Friday when we answer another FAQ!