When we’re due for a new hair hue, the only hesitation to take the plunge (other than our bank account balance) is the state of our strands. If they’re not already dry, brittle, and damaged, a hair color transformation will definitely seal the deal. Uh, no thanks. To prevent your next hair color transformation from hampering your mane’s pulse, we tapped three of Los Angeles’ top colorists for their tips on switching hair colors sans damage, including their favorite products for post and pre-color repairing and moisturizing. Keep scrolling now to dodge hair color damage like a pro.
Plan For a Pre-Haircut
Celebrity colorist Cassondra Kaeding (and Jen Atkin's go-to colorist) from Mare Salon in Los Angeles says, "I would suggest doing a masque once a week during the two weeks prior to the color transformation. Make sure you're using a hydrating shampoo and conditioner (like OUAI Repair Shampoo). I highly recommended the OUAI Treatment Masque for before and after color to repair and hydrate."
“Get a cut to shape the hair before the color service. There’s no use in undergoing a color change and then getting the light pieces cut off. After the color, get a dusting of the ends,” notes Sara Lim, a colorist at Ramirez Tran Salon. If it's not a major color transformation, Jean-Pierre Sosa, a colorist at Alen M Salon suggests a trim after. And if you're staying on the darker side with little to minimal highlights, Cassondra assures you can cut before or after the transformation.
Disclose Every Last Detail About Your Hair Color History
Tell your colorist everything—the more they know, the better color service they can give you without doing your 'do unintended damage. Like Sara says, make sure your colorist asks the right questions: “Have you box colored? Have you ever had henna? Do you have split/damaged ends from heat? Were you ever platinum blonde, or have you gone back and forth from light to dark?”
Hair color history convo, check. But before booking your big appointment, carefully consider the colorist who's making over your mane. Jean-Pierra adds, “Prior hair color history and doing your research on what colorist to see for your big hair transformation is important. Make sure the person you choose specializes in what you're looking for.”
Wait to Wash
"After a color transformation, I tell my clients to wait at least two days before washing their hair. You have to let the color settle in. Washing your hair is bad for your color because chemicals in our water systems can cause fading of color, as well as discoloration. Instead, Cassondra says to try co-washing, short for conditioner only. "This means skipping shampoo and using only conditioner. This is good for platinum hair, bright colors like rainbow colors, pastel, and a direct dye color."
Make Moisture a Priority
"If your hair feels like straw when it's dry, and gummy when it's wet, you should not get your hair colored," Jean-Pierre advises. "Damaged hair is over-processed (as a result of heat and chemicals), dry, and brittle, making the cuticle open, causing hair to form knots," mentions Sara. To prevent knots, Jean-Pierre suggests using a gentle brush like Tangle Teezer, while Sara likes applying Davines Minu Spray and brushing through with a Sheila Stotts Detangling Brush. Cassondra's tip is to start from the ends then working the brush to the mid and lastly to the roots.
Cassondra's top picks for hair color transformation care:
Sara's top picks for hair color transformation care:
- Olaplex #3 Hair Perfector
- Orlando Pita Satin Pillow Mask
- Davines Minu Hair Serum
- dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Scalp Scrub
Jean-Pierre's top pick for hair color transformation care:
Lay Low On Volumizing Products and Drying Ingredients
"Volumizing products will open up the cuticle and expose the color molecules, thus stripping your fresh color," Sara tells us. Uhm, who knew?! Take it easy on the volumizing products, and. Cassondra adds, "Stay away from products that are high in alcohol content. Alcohol will only make your already fragile hair more dry.