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Do Color Rinses Harm Your Hair?

Stylists have several options for coloring clients’ hair. Unfortunately, choices like permanent hair dye and bleach can be damaging. Stylists are turning to hair color rinses as they do not damage hair like other coloring products.

Instead, rinses offer customers a safe bridge between permanent dye treatments without harmful chemicals. They give natural hair color a refreshing boost, making them popular choices for people who want a speedy alternative to traditional hair color methods.


Get To Know Hair Color Rinses

hair color rinse

Stylists use hair color rinses to refresh natural or dyed hair color. Rinses are demi-permanent coloring choices that cover the outer cuticle of the hair shaft. Stylists refer to rinses as glosses, glazes, or toners, but these treatments function differently. Rinses refresh hair color with a wash of color with a short lifespan.

The hair rinse technique involves applying the product to wet hair and leaving it on for a few minutes. Rinses are available for at-home applications for people who prefer to do their color treatments.


Will a Color Rinse Harm Your Hair?

Because color rinses are free of ammonia, they do not harm hair like permanent dye. Color rinse products have developers, so if you use them frequently, you could have hair damage. Many people like to use rinses repeatedly because they wear out, but they work quickly.


Choose a Salon Rinse

professional hair color rinse

If you are looking for a vibrant color change at the salon, a rinse is not the best choice. After a rinse, you’ll notice your hair will add a subtle tint of color. Rinses are good choices for people who need a touch of color between their permanent dye appointments. The treatment can tone down brassy hair, but it won’t lighten the hair.

Since hair rinses fade, they don’t leave roots behind like a permanent color. One of the most popular options for rinses is the clear rinse that adds a natural shine. The clear rinses have an acid-base making your hair look shiny and reflective. Many people appreciate the way clear, glossy rinses brighten up their faces.

The best color rinses are those with an acid-base with a low pH. The acid-base strengthens the hair shaft by closing the cuticles, much like the way cold water closes skin pores.


Hair Color Rinse Lifespan

Overall, salon rinses last longer than home kits. Most rinses fade each time you shampoo your hair, but you can use products that extend the product’s life. Rinses last for four to six shampoos.

Your rinse will last longer if you use cool water rather than warm water. You can also extend the rinse color effects if you use a color-safe shampoo and conditioner. Keeping your hair conditioned can also extend the lifespan of your color rinse.

The quality of your water can also affect the lifespan of your hair rinse. Hard water can reduce the lifespan of your rinse, while gentle water can keep it from fading.


How Does Hair Color Damage Hair

How Does Hair Color Damage Hair

Hair has an outer layer that protects the inner cortex made of keratin proteins and lipids. Hair dye uses chemicals to penetrate the outer layer to affect the inner layer, weakening the shaft. Permanent hair dyes often have chemicals like ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and p-phenylenediamine.

Each chemical has a specific role. Ammonia opens the cuticle, so the color covers the shaft. Hydrogen peroxide removes the natural hair color while the p-phenylenediamine sticks the color to the hair shaft.

Color rinses do not have any of these chemicals. Using hair rinses between permanent color appointments can help protect the hair from additional damage.

Hair color usually contains a developer, and so do some color rinses. The developer lifts the cuticle to allow the dye to enter the hair shaft. It also removes the current color and reacts with ammonia to speed up oxidation. Stylists use different amounts of a developer to lift, blend, and color hair.

Developers damage hair when stylists use one that is too strong for your hair texture. Since it lifts the cuticle, the developer can make hair look frizzy and damaged when the cuticle won’t smooth.


How To Fix Hair Damaged by A Color Rinse

While a color rinse won’t cause the same kind of damage to your hair that a typical, ammonia-based dye will, if you use the rinse frequently, it can cause damage over time.

The best way to fix the damage is to take a break from using the color rinse in your hair. Since semi-permanent hair rinses don’t damage the follicle of your hair or the strand itself, it won’t take too long for your hair to recover.

However, if you notice that the rinse has dried your hair out, there are a few ways you can restore your luscious strands.

Try a Hair Mask

use hair mask to fix color rinse damage

A hair mask can work well to restore glossiness and shine to dull or damaged hair. Best of all, you can make it yourself. Just mix apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, honey, and avocado together. Massage the mix into your hair and scalp, wait ten to fifteen minutes, then wash it out.


Take a Vitamin Formulated for Hair

Even if your hair isn’t damaged, one of the best things you can do for it is to take a vitamin formulated for healthy hair. Often, these supplements will include omega-3s, biotin, or folic acid.


Use a Shampoo and Conditioner Designed for Dry Hair

Shampoos and conditioners that are designed to increase the moisture of your hair are a great way to restore some vitality in hair that’s been damaged by a color rinse.


Everyone can benefit from an acid-base color rinse, as the gentle treatment strengthens hair and brightens it with a glossy sheen. After a beneficial rinse, you can extend its life with proper hair care and washing with cold water.