Time for the final installment of my brassy series -- let's talk demi-permanent color, why it fades, and how to prevent being the dreaded brass.
First off, what's the difference between permanent and demi-permanent color (also known as glosses, glazes, and toners)?
Permanent color penetrates deep inside the hair's cortex so it can opaquely cover grey, darken your color, or make you 1-2 shades lighter.
Demi-permanent color lives barely on the inside of the hair's cuticle (the outer "shell" of the hair shaft). We used these for a TON of different purposes; darkening hair color without creating future grow-out problems, color corrections, grey blending, and for toning hair that has been lightened (bleached).
Demi-permanent is called that because of the little-to-no manipulation of the structure of the hair shaft.
It also creates a sheer tone. Think of it this way -- if permanent hair color is opaque like wall paint, demi-permanent color has the translucency of stained glass.
I know I said all of these things in the previous post, but I promise it bears repeating:
First and foremost, please always make sure you're using a high-quality color-safe (and sulfate-free) shampoo. We want to keep those pigments inside your hair shaft for as long as possible, and color-safe shampoo is where that all starts.
Not shampooing within the first 48 hours of your color appointment is also KEY. There's more science there, and I'm happy to share it -- TL:DR just trust me on this one.
Turning the water temperature down to tepid while shampooing/conditioning/rinsing also helps keep those color molecules right where I put them. It's like turning your thermostat up and leaving a window open; opening it up wide lets more of the heat escape, barely cracking it lets very little of the warm air out. In a weird reverse way, the window is the water temperature and the thermostat/heat in the room is your hair color.
The cuticle is the "hard" outer layer of your hair that, when closed,resemble fish scales. Hot water swells your strands and raises the outer cells (cuticle) of your hair. If we open up the cuticle wide by using hot/warm water, we are letting tons of the gloss pigment escape your hair shaft. Using cool water keeps those cells lying flat, which in turns retains your color longer -- color I've used to neutralize any brassiness.
Finally, shampooing with your head flipped upside down (I know I sound crazy) is a super helpful tip I use myself all the time. The water from your shower head is very pressurized and can be really rough on artificial color -- the strength of that water can leach the color from your hair. If the color is prematurely faded from just above the nape it's not that big of deal....no one will ever see any possible warmth. But if that color is literally beaten out of the hair on the top of your head? I promise that's going to become problematic quickly.
Whew, I can't believe we've made it to the end of the Brassiness Series! Did you have any a-ha moments? Or learn a new trick that you've been using to keep your color true? If you did I would absolutely love to know! Send me an email and let me know what was something that was helpful to you (firstname.lastname@example.org).