Fashion Color (Vivids) Advice

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I absolutely LOVE doing VIVID FASHION COLOR hair! It's probably my favorite thing to do! It's such an artistic process and there is no "pressure" to get a natural look! (laughing)

Vivid direct dye hair colors have taken the world by storm, offering a bold and expressive way to express oneself through hair. Whether you've gone for a fiery red, a vibrant blue, or a shocking pink, keeping those hues vivid and preventing them from fading is crucial to maintaining your desired look. Here I'll delve into the best practices and techniques to ensure your vivid direct dye hair color remains vibrant and long-lasting.

Many clients do not realize that getting vivids done, especially when prep work is involved, can be a very expensive trip to the salon, and then the longevity of the color can be a disappointment.

I like to remind my clients that colored extensions may be a more practical way to have a fun look without any change to your natural hair or long prep appointments!

Understanding Direct Dye Hair Color:

Direct dye hair color refers to a type of hair dye that does not require oxidation or the mixing of developer, unlike traditional permanent or semi-permanent dyes. Instead, direct dyes penetrate the hair shaft and coat the outer layer, resulting in intense, vivid color that can last for several weeks. However, due to their unique formulation, direct dyes are more prone to fading than other types of hair color.  I usually warn my guest that it can start fading with the FIRST WASH, but will most likely last 8-10 washes.

Preparation is Key:

Before diving into the maintenance routine, it's crucial to start with a solid foundation. Proper preparation can significantly impact the longevity of your direct dye hair color. The prep time is usually what takes the time and increased the cost over regular hair color.

Here are some essential steps to take:

1. Pre-lightening:

If your hair is dark or has been previously colored, pre-lightening is often necessary to achieve vibrant results with direct dyes. This process involves lightening the hair to a pale blonde shade, providing a clean canvas for the dye to adhere to.  I even suggest pre-lightening even virgin LIGHT hair so as to give the direct dye something to grab too. Think of sanding the gloss off a surface before painting.

2. Quality Products:

Invest in high-quality direct dye hair color and complementary hair care products specifically formulated for colored hair. Cheap or harsh products can strip away color and cause premature fading. In my studio I use PULP RIOT, PRAVANA and JOICO vivids. They each offer their own unique quality.

Maintenance Tips to Prevent Fading:

Once you've achieved your desired direct dye hair color, the real work begins to maintain its vibrancy. Here are some expert-approved tips to prevent fading and keep your hair looking fresh:

1. Shampoo Less Frequently:

Washing your hair too often can strip away color and natural oils, causing your direct dye hair color to fade more quickly. Instead, opt for sulfate-free shampoos and wash your hair less frequently, and develop a tight relationship with dry shampoo!!!  For scalp maintenance I must insist you give your hair a thorough washing and scalp scrub a minimum of once-twice per week though.

2. Use Cold Water:

Hot water opens the hair cuticle, allowing color molecules to escape more easily. To prevent this, rinse your hair with cold water after shampooing and conditioning. Cold water helps seal the cuticle, locking in moisture and color.

3. Choose Color-Safe Products:

When selecting hair care products, opt for those specifically designed for color-treated hair. These products are formulated to be gentle on hair while preserving color intensity and shine.

4. Limit Heat Styling:

Excessive heat styling, such as blow drying, straightening, or curling, can accelerate color fading and damage the hair cuticle. Whenever possible, air dry your hair or use heat styling tools on the lowest temperature setting to minimize damage.

5. Protect Your Hair from the Sun:

UV rays from the sun can cause direct dye hair color to fade and oxidize, leading to a dull appearance. To protect your hair, wear a hat or use products containing UV filters when spending time outdoors.

6. Deep Condition Regularly:

Keeping your hair well-nourished and moisturized is essential for maintaining vibrant color. Incorporate deep conditioning treatments into your hair care routine about every 3rd to 4th wash to  replenish moisture and strengthen the hair shaft.

7. Avoid Chlorine and Saltwater:

Chlorine from swimming pools and saltwater from the ocean can both strip away color and cause dryness. Before swimming, apply a leave-in conditioner or hair oil to create a protective barrier, and rinse your hair immediately afterward.

8. Touch Up as Needed:

Direct dye hair color fades gradually over time, so periodic touch-ups may be necessary to maintain vibrancy. If you are working with a single color, then I can recommend color depositing washes and rinses to keep the color bright between touch ups.

Achieving and maintaining vivid direct dye hair color requires dedication, patience, and proper care. By following these tips, you can extend the life of your color and keep your hair looking vibrant and beautiful for weeks to come. Remember to tailor your maintenance routine to your specific hair type and lifestyle for the best results. With a little effort and the right products, you can rock your bold, colorful hair with confidence.

Stay Beautiful!