Coloring hair is a practice which dates back thousands of years. In ancient Rome, both men and women dyed their hair. Dyes were simple and made from products such as leeks and boiled walnuts. Colors were changed both for personal preference and, as in ancient Greece, where hair was lightened using bleaching agents, to appear more courageous and heroic in the eyes of others. Hair coloring has remained a popular practice throughout modern history, though conservative standards meant that it was often something that was undertaken in private and not discussed openly. According to data from How Stuff Works, for example, around 7% of women colored their hair in 1950, but the purpose was to discreetly hide gray coverage through the application of their natural color. These days, with some 75% of women coloring their hair according to Statistics Brain, the hair dyeing industry is big business. Not only are more women coloring their hair, but men are too, with 7% of men confirming they colored their hair in 2010 (source: Multi-sponsor Surveys). In the same way that women now openly color their hair and celebrate doing so, men are beginning to embrace the practice too.

Professional Advice on Hair Coloring Techniques.

Due to the rise in popularity of coloring hair, a wide range of products designed to care for colored hair have been created. Color specialist Rodney Gentry, based in Sachi Studio's in Scottsdale, AZ, finds that a key part of his service is advising customers on how to treat their hair in order to preserve their new color while maintaining healthy locks. Taking care of dyed hair begins with one extremely important step: using a high quality product to achieve the desired color. Whether lightening or darkening the original hair color, using a product that protects and nourishes the hair will ensure longer lasting color and healthier hair. As a color expert, Rodney Gentry’s professional recommendation is the Goldwell hair color range. Goldwell produce both the colors and products with which to care for them, creating the perfect overall system. Professional color protecting products such as those available from Goldwell via Rodney Gentry are, according to Statistics Brain, believed by 79% of women to keep their hair color from fading.

Water and Hair Color

As well as color care products though, there are a few steps that everyone with dyed hair should follow at home, whether they have just a few highlights or a full head color. Firstly, avoiding getting newly colored hair wet for as long as possible is essential. Dyeing traps pigment within the hair strands, but washing can dilute the pigment and cause it to fade. Leaving freshly colored hair unwashed for two or three days after your color treatment can help to preserve the color for much longer. After that, shampoo and condition the hair with color protecting products that will help to avoid fading.

UV light and Hair Color

In the same was as water can cause fading, so can the UV rays in sunlight, so be sure to wear a sun hat on particularly bright days in order to maintain your color for as long as possible. Sprays and creams that protect hair against harmful UV rays are also a good option.

Hair Color and Heat From Blow-Dry, Curling Iron and Straighteners.

Using heated appliances to style colored hair is also something to be avoided so far as possible if the color is to be preserved. As well as blow-dryers, straighteners and curling irons will dull your hair color, so if you must use them stick to the lowest heat setting possible in order to minimise damage.

Swimming and Hair Color.

Color specialist Rodney Gentry warns against washing hair with water that is too hot for the same reason. Heat distresses the hair cuticle and causes color to become dulled, so lukewarm water is preferable if color is to be maintained for the maximum amount of time. If the hair is to be exposed to chlorinated or salt water through swimming, then a leave-in conditioner should be applied as well, in order to protect the hair before the chemicals or salt have a chance to strip it of its color. Finally, as coloring can weaken hair, ensure that hair brushes and elastics cause minimal breakage. Covered elastics are essential for when hair is to be tied back and a brush with natural bristles rather than synthetic bristles will help to keep hair in top condition. As Statistics Brain shows that 69% of women feel more attractive right after having their hair colored, the implications of this are simple to glean – the longer that women preserve the look and feel of their new color, the longer they will feel more attractive. Understandably, this is what has prompted the rapid growth of the color-protecting hair product industry, particularly in relation to color protecting shampoos, conditioners and styling products. By combining such products with these simple steps, every individual can ensure that their color stays salon fresh for as long as possible. Full-service designer and hair color specialist Rodney Gentry is based at Sachi Studio's in Scottsdale AZ. For color consultations and other appointments, call 480.639.2000. Love your hair color!