How frequently can you get your hair coloured without damaging it? An expert reveals

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Getting your hair coloured can change your look, but can also be very damaging to your hair. Here’s how often you can safely go for recolouring sessions.

We all love to keep ourselves groomed and one of the most obvious ways to do so is colouring your hair. It can completely turn around our whole look! At the same time, it also involves exposing our tresses to harsh chemicals that can cause damage. Once you’ve coloured your hair, you will need to recolour it at some point in time which will only perpetuate the cycle of chemical exposure.

Does that mean hair colouring should be avoided or recolouring should not be done? Not at all! All we have to do is understand how often recolouring should be scheduled to ensure our hair looks beautiful but stays healthy.

split ends
Colouring your hair can be fun but also damaging. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
How frequently should you get your hair coloured?

We spoke to Dr Swati Mohan, senior consultant, Dermatology, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad, to understand how to strike a balance between grooming and hair health when it comes to colouring our tresses.

According to the expert, how often you get your hair coloured depends on the type of method you opt for. There are 3 prime hair colouring methods available:

1. Permanent

As the term suggests, permanent hair colour changes the very structure of hair strands. So, the change will stick around till your hair regrows from the root. Dr Mohan says, “You have to be very cautious when it comes to permanent colour. The chemicals involved – ammonia and hydrogen peroxide – are very damaging to your hair. These two chemicals combine to open up the hair’s cuticle and reach the internal structure, making a colour change. It lasts upto 8 weeks but requires a root touch up when your natural hair regrows.”

hair problems
Don’t recolour your hair too frequently. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

A key characteristic of the permanent hair colour method is the use of bleach which can also severely damage your tresses. Speaking about it, Dr Mohan said, “At times, a very high amount of bleach is involved to considerably lighten your hair. This process can cause your hair to become more prone to moisture loss and hence, porous. Such hair is very fragile. In such a case, the less frequently your hair is recoloured, the safer it is. Redying the entire length of the hair should not be considered before 8 weeks.”

2. Semi-permanent

If you’re someone who doesn’t want a long-term change in your hair colour and also steer clear of the chemicals, you must consider semi-permanent hair colour. Talking about the correct frequency, Dr Mohan recommended, “If you simply want to make a tonal change to your hair colour – warm it or cool it – there are less permanent and non-damaging options such as glazes or toners in the semi-permanent colour category. Semi-permanent colour may be used as often as you want because it is usually a weekend fashion. It is simply a stain or toner that is deposited on the surface and can be removed with a single hair wash.”

3. Demi-permanent

This method is somewhere in between the two techniques mentioned previously. It lasts longer than a semi-permanent hair colour but the quantity of chemicals used isn’t too high, unlike permanent hair colour. According to Dr Mohan, “A demi-permanent hair colour is ammonia-free and requires only a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to slightly lift the hair cuticle so that the pigment can take hold. If demi-permanent colour is simply used to blend greys then approximately 4 weeks is a good interval before recolouring your hair.”

Dr Mohan recommends the following tips to ensure that your coloured hair stays healthy:

  • Pick colour-safe hair products for washing and conditioning
  • Add a heat protector on coloured hair before applying thermal force like blow-drying or curling
  • Try moisturising oils like olive oil, almond oil, amla oil, castor oil or coconut oil that can penetrate strands and help repair hair

So, ladies, get your tresses coloured but choose the frequency of recolouring keeping your hair health in mind!

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