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What Happens To Your Hair after Dying it?

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

Most women have dyed their hair at least once in their lives, either to change up their look, express themselves or get over a man. I'm sure you looked great in your newly coloured hair, but what affect does that have on your hair shaft?

Emma shares her story about how repeatedly using hair dye has affected her hair.

Using permanent hair dye:

Emma has been using permanent hair dye since October 2016.

Permanent hair dye involves bleaching the hair to remove any natural melanin in the hair and left over synthetic dye.

The bleaching process requires the cuticle to be open by a highly alkaline solution. Once the primary intermediates and the coupler have bonded and formed the colour, the hair is then conditioned to close the cuticle.

The effect of permanent hair dye:

Because the cuticle had to be forced open, it doesn't close in the same neat tile-like pattern. Instead, the cuticle will be slightly distorted, leaving it a little more corse and less healthy looking.

The hair will be damaged because the cuticle no longer holds it's tile-like structure. This allows for the cortex of the hair to be further damaged.

Using semi-permeant hair dye:

After a couple of years of using permanent hair dye, Emma realised that her hair was really feeling the effects of being dyed. She decided to resolved to a more gentle option of hair colouring from February 2019, up until now.

There is no bleaching involved in this process, the colourant simply slides under the 'tiles' of the cuticle and attaches to the cortex.

The colourant will eventually be washed out, as the bonds are not strong enough to keep the colourant in place, however it is much less damaging.

The effects of semi-permanent hair dye:

The semi-permanent hair dye has given Emma a break from bleaching, which has improved the health of her hair.

There is no way of going back to the original healthy hair unless it's cut off and new hair grows in... so semi-permanent hair dye allowed her to regain the health and shine of her hair - without being a boring Karen in the process.

Permanent or semi-permanent?

We may be making it sound like permanent hair dye is all bad and no good - however if you're committed to a colour and want to stick with it for a long time, it is absolutely the right option for you.

However, if you like changing up your style like Emma, a semi-permanent hair dye may be a better and gentler option for you.

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