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Getting Your Monies Worth in Hair Color

From the maker of Tints of Nature, we now have these great tips that we feel will help our clients get their monies worth when coloring their hair, no matter what brand they use. Enjoy:

When maintaining freshly colored hair, there are a few things to consider to ensure your money and color don’t go down the drain, literally. First, we must take a holistic approach to lasting hair color – what goes on before and during your color application is just as important as what comes after.

Read on to find out how to prevent hair color from fading.

1) Porosity Level of Hair

We get complaints that sometimes the hair color goes to dark for them, or it fades more quickly. How is Porosity connected to these complaints? Simply, the porosity of the hair can determine end results of your coloring process. It is one way to ensure that your hair is properly prepared, as your canvas, before you color your hair.  Understanding and testing hair porosity helps you ensure consistently rich and long lasting hair results.  It's so easy, that anyone can do it. The results clearly demonstrate why you may have had trouble in the past when coloring your hair.  When hair is porous it means that it absorbs moisture quickly but will at the same time, loose moisture quickly.  When this happens it's a sign of damaged hair cuticles and low protein levels. This can cause the color to fade fast especially when you wash the hair you will see color rinse out days after application, fading more quickly.  When the hair is impermeable, it will not absorb moisture quickly and will hold what it does absorb quite well.  This is a sign of a tight cuticle that is difficult to open and usually indicates overuse of conditioners, silicone coating from styling products, or a buildup of minerals from well water.  This can cause the hair color to go on darker than you wish.  When hair has a healthy porosity, it will absorb moisture at a slow pace and should be capable of holding it for a long period of time. So how can you determine your porosity? Follow these steps below:

1) Prepare a tall glass of water

2) Extract a strand or two of hair from your head. It should be enough hair to see with your own eyes.

3) Drop the hair in the glass and watch it for one minute. Finally, analyze the results.

Now it's time to analyze your results. If the hair floats, this means the hair is impermeable. You should pretreat your hair BEFORE coloring with a moisture boosting shampoo. This will soften the hair cuticle. If the hair sinks to the middle of the glass, this means the hair is normal. Consider a light moisture shampoo BEFORE coloring to soften the cuticle. If the hair sinks to the bottom of the glass quickly, this means your hair is porous. Treat your hair with a moisture boosting + protein rich shampoo BEFORE coloring. Leave it on the hair for at least 5 minutes and add heat if possible.

Now that you've considered how Porosity can effect your hair color results, consider other factors below to improve your overall hair color results.

ORGANIC TIP: Refrain from using conditioner before applying hair color as the pH of the conditioner will only close the cuticle, effectively blocking color from penetrating the hair.

2) Insufficient Color Processing Time

A common reason behind fast-fading hair color is insufficient processing time, meaning the hair dye did not stay on long enough. This especially holds true if you have grey hair; grey hair cuticles are tightly packed down, and take longer to open and absorb artificial hair color molecules.

If you’re an organic color user, it’s vital that your hair process under the dryer for 15 minutes and cool down with dryer heat for an additional 15 minutes. If you’re looking to cover grey, increase the time to 20-25 mins under the dryer, allow for a 10 minute cool down. We suggest that for those using Tints of Nature or SanoTint Permanent Hair Color Dyes. These brands are ammonia free. Ammonia is typically used to open the cuticle in other professional brands. Without this, we have to use other healthier methods to do this.

ORGANIC TIP: Be sure your dryer is at a solid (106-107°F). This is the ideal temperature to gently open the cuticle, allowing the hair color molecules to penetrate, and to also allowing the cuticle to be closed during the conditioning process. If you do not have a sit under dryer, then put a shower cap on, heat up a towel and wrap the cap with it. You can keep this up for the entire heat cycle.

3) Hard Water Effects on Hair Color

It’s estimated that nearly 65% of Americans have hard water in their homes. The elements present in hard water (specifically, calcium and magnesium) are extremely problematic when trying to ensure lasting hair color results.  Most people can tell if their water is hard because they can see build up on their faucets, dry scalp and hair, and laundry discoloration. A great tool to eliminate hard water in your hair is to use Malibu Treatments for Hard Water. You may also consider the Logona Color Plus product which is a clay based product that can take residues off the hair. You can also use a mixture of baking soda and water. This method will need done weekly however as it is not as effective as the other product suggestions.

4) Inadequate Emulsification

Emulsifying the hair at the shampoo bowl or tub is one of the most essential components of a successful and long lasting color application. For a proper emulsification process, add a small amount of water to the hair and begin to massage the hair and color together, creating a nice lather.

By properly emulsifying the hair, you’re breaking up the oil-based color of Tints of Nature and SanoTint and ensuring the color has penetrated the hair as much as possible before closing the cuticle.

ORGANIC TIP: You should be emulsifying at the bowl / sink / tub for approximately 4-5 minutes.

5) Rinsing with Hot Water

When the time comes to rinse out the hair color, be sure that you’re rinsing with lukewarm water. Too hot of water can cause the cuticle to open further, allowing for some of the color to rinse out during your shampoo process.

6) Shampooing Hair Too Soon After Coloring

After coloring your hair it's important that you wait at least 24 hours to wash your hair again so it will help prolong your fresh, new color. However, what may be more important than waiting to shampoo, is what types of after care products you use.

7) Using Products That Strip Hair Color

The number one ingredient to avoid in your after care products is SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfates). However, using color care shampoos and conditioners that are also pH balanced and free of plastics will prove to enhance and extend the life of hair color.

Using products with too high of a pH can cause the cuticle to re-open. An open cuticle will ultimately cause your hair color to fade fast and off tone. In addition, styling products that are loaded with plastics and petrochemicals can build up on the hair, causing hair to appear dull and lifeless. Natural Solutions, online at www.bewellstaywell.com does not offer high plastic products, products with SLS. We have a huge selection of products that will not strip hair color!

8) Improver UV Protection

Using products without proper UV protection is an open invite for the harsh, damaging UV rays of the sun to fade hair color. If you do not have proper UV protection in the hair, please consider wearing a hat when outside to limit exposure.

ORGANIC TIP: Try sampling our various shampoo, conditioner, or leave-in treatments that has natural UV protectants, such as Sunflower or titanium dioxide.

9) Using Hot Styling Tools Without Heat Protection

Another hair color culprit are hot tools! If your an adamant user of flat irons, curling wands, and blow dryers, be sure they you are using thermal protection. This will protect the delicate hair against extreme heat, and allow color to stay in the hair longer. We suggest Giovanni's styling products such as their Blow Out Stylist Mist and Flat Iron protectant spray.

10) Color Hair Too Infrequently

Although there are semi-permanent and permanent hair color options, no color will look the same as the day it was done. By addressing the previously stated causes of hair color fading, we also suggest making sure you are coloring your hair regularly enough to achieve your desired hair color.

Do you know any other causes of hair color fading? Feel free to share with us by email or on our facebook page!


While the wet stretch test is simple, quick, and easy to perform; it is another way to determining the proper treatment plan for your hair. The results of the Wet Stretch Test are indisputable and very clearly demonstrates what products you need to achieve and maintain healthy hair, and why.

The Wet Stretch Test - Step by Step

Separate about 10 strands of hair and spray with water. For best results, make sure the hair is well saturated.

Hold hair firmly between both hands. Don't pull to hard now.

Gently but firmly pull hair away from the your head. Ensure you pull with enough tension to assess if the hair strands stretch.

Observe how the hair stretches and returns. Assess the results to the table below and treat with the indicated product accordingly.

Analyzing the West Stretch Test

Healthy hair should stretch around 30% of its length and then return, like an elastic band, showing no signs of damage.

Hair which stretches at least at 30% of its length and then returns is healthy. Use a light moisturizing shampoo and conditioner on this hair type to maintain it’s health and protect it from UV rays and environmental pollutants.. We suggest the Organic Excellence Mint Shampoo and Conditioner.

Hair which stretches but doesn’t return to its previous length is weak in protein. Use a protein based shampoo and conditioning treatment on this hair type to provide additional flexibility, volume, and to reduce the risk of breakage. We suggest looking at the Aubrey GPB Shampoo and Conditioner.

Hair which doesn’t stretch is low in moisture. Use heavier moisturizing shampoo and treatment on this hair type to deliver moisture into the hair’s inner protein and moisturize the cuticle.
Real Purity Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner.

Hair which stretches and breaks is low in protein and moisture. Use a protein + hydrating based shampoo and treatment on this hair type to deliver deep treatments of moisture and protein. One leave in product we'd suggest is the Giovanni Brazillian Keratin and Argan Oil Leave in Conditioning Styling Elixir.

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