High-lift color -- color that involves the use of ultra-strength developers, bleach powder, or lift and tone colors -- causes the most damage to hair. Although darker colors do not cause as much damage, they can severely damage hair over time if care is not taken during the application process to ensure that a new color application does not overlap an old one.
You may wish to return to your natural color to avoid damaging your hair. However, it can be difficult to live with a two-toned look, and the urge to recolor can become unbearable. The trick is to minimize the color difference and avoid placing color on regrowth areas.
Get a haircut to remove as much of the damaged hair as possible. Layer the hair to remove a greater amount of hair while maintaining length.
Ask your stylist to perform a service called a tint back on the colored sections of hair that were not removed during the haircut to even out your color. A tint back essentially restores colored portions of your hair to your hair's natural color.
Shampoo your hair with shampoo specifically formulated for color-treated hair. Condition with a complementary conditioner. Allow the conditioner to remain on the hair for three minutes.
Turn down the heat on your styling habits. Allow your hair to air dry, and avoid using thermal styling tools if possible. Use the lowest possible temperature settings if you must thermally style your hair.
Perform a weekly intensive conditioning treatment.
Trim your hair every six to eight weeks.
- "Milady's Standard Textbook of Cosmetology"; Milady, Diane Carol Bailey and Margrit Attenburg; 2008
- LongLocks: How to Grow Long Hair and Keep It Healthy