Expert Advice for Your Dark Hues
Keeping your dark hair color looking rich, shiny, and salon-fresh is not always an easy task. To understand some of the unique needs and care solutions specifically for brunette hair, we reached out to three industry professionals to get their best color care advice.
According to Celeb Luxury Director of Global Education Jennifer Hittle, the very nature of color-treated hair makes it prone to fading. The environment, water, and even shampoo itself can be cause for fading.
CHI Haircare Creative Artistic Team Member Cynthia Diersen expands on that list citing frequent shampooing, the use of hot water, chlorinated water, hot tools, and UV rays as the culprits for fading. She feels that these can cause the pigments to burn out, making the hair appear dull and hollow. Diersen specifically points out how the use of non-professional shampoos and conditioners can cause your hair to have an uneven pH, which can result in premature color fading.
Lakmé USA Educator Amy Koepke sites the unique concerns of brunettes as being the loss of richness of the tone, and the history of the hair. “Many people go from light hair in the summer to dark hair in the fall and winter. This causes the hair to become damaged and more porous, which makes it difficult for those brunette tones to hang on. This is especially true if the hair is not pre-pigmented before (professionally) applying the darker target shade. Failing to do so will often leave the hair lighter and brassy, or muddy soon after the color service, depending on the desired tone,” Koepke said.
On the Highlight Side
“The other concern with natural brunette hair is that as soon as you lighten it, you expose warmth. Many brunettes do not want to see that warmth,” said Hittle. “By imparting a little bit of color every time Celeb Luxury products are used, (people) no longer have to worry about fade. We also offer some colors that specifically target eliminating the unwanted warmth that brunettes can experience. Celeb Luxury products are designed to work on hair that has been color treated, as it needs some porosity present to work on the hair.”
For highlighted brunette hair, this seasoned color professional recommends a different approach. She would prescribe a color in their range that matches the highlights, not the base or brown color. This process will keep all of the color looking rich but not darken the highlights and lessen the contrast between highs and lows.
“Once you step into the world of highlighting, your hair will need extra hydration,” added Diersen. “The BioSilk Hydrating Therapy Maracuja Oil is excellent for brunettes with dimensional highlights in their hair. It carries Maracuja Oil and Silk, which have healing and hydrating properties and quinoa protein to help add strength to the hair.”
Diersen continues, “Also, it’s not uncommon to recommend a hair care regimen for color treated hair to someone with virgin hair.” She suggests the brand’s Argan Oil Line to keep natural brunettes looking for a regimen rich in amino fatty acids and vitamins to make their hair strong, healthy and shiny.
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When it comes to natural brunettes, Koepke names environmental factors and at-home styling as being the top culprits in tonal changes. “Excessive sun exposure will cause the hair to naturally lighten, which is great if that’s the desired look. However, if you want your hair to be deep and luscious, consider using products that have UVA/UVB filter protection,” said Koepke, adding that she recommends Lakmé’s K.Style line, as their grape seed antioxidant complex is formulated into all of their styling products.
Another factor to be wary of is the use of heat tools. The heat and friction affect the health and color of the hair by causing the color to lose its natural pigment. Koepke suggests limiting your use of hot tools and to be sure to check the temperature of your irons, as the maximum heat most hair can withstand without causing permanent damage is 395º. She suggests starting low and adding temperature if you need it. This will cut down the friction on the hair that over time will break down the cuticle and cause damage and loss of pigmentation.