What Is The Secret To Detangling Color-Treated Hair?

Getting your hair dyed is often a thrilling adventure, especially when it's borne out of impulse or a bad breakup. The adrenaline rush you get watching your hair take on a new personality is surreal. Your hair smells good and feels great leaving the salon and life couldn't be better. However, you may notice that you start losing hair when you detangle it on wash days. Your strands break a lot easier than they used to but you may not understand why.

When you dye your hair, you essentially apply chemicals that penetrate the hair shafts, open your cuticles, and strip your hair of its natural color to replace it with artificial color. Bleach includes hydrogen peroxide, which weakens the hair over time.

When you dye your hair, it's no longer business as usual, especially if you need to bleach it to achieve a lighter color. Color-treated hair comes with a different set of maintenance techniques you must abide by, so what's the secret to detangling color-treated hair without risking hair loss and breakage? 

Work in leave-in conditioner and detangle your hair

Dyeing your hair instantly puts it in a damaged, delicate state. Your man-handling days are over, and you'll have to learn how to be extra gentle with your locks if you want them to stay on your head.

When you comb or brush your hair, you are stretching it in the process. With color-treated hair, yanking at your hair snags and tangles it. In turn, it is likely to result in breakage, the hair is already in a fragile state. Hair stylist and hair salon owner Lakeisha Heard explained to Byrdie that color-treated hair is best detangled in a damp state because this is when it's most elastic. Brushing damp hair minimizes damage and allows for more tension.

Heard also advises detangling colored hair with a generous amount of leave-in conditioner. This can soften snags before you gently finger-detangle your hair from the ends up toward the roots. Once this is done, you can proceed using a wide-tooth comb before brushing it out to finish the job.

Detangle your dyed hair with the right products

The tools and products you use on your color-treated hair are just as important as the technique you use to detangle it. A lot of products you may think are safe for your hair might not be safe after a dye job. For instance, you should only use conditioner and shampoo that was formulated specifically for color-treated hair.

When you dye your hair, you must continually replenish the nutrients lost. Your hair must stay hydrated at all times to discourage breakage. If you don't know which products to use, contact your hair stylist for recommendations. Shampoo and conditioner marked as color-safe are typically safe.

With dyed hair, using only conditioner isn't going to cut it — you need a deep conditioning treatment to penetrate your hair cuticles and restore hydration to the shafts. If you want to go the extra mile, you can steam your hair to open up those cuticles and allow for better product penetration.

Detangling color-treated hair gets easier with practice, and there's no reason why you can't rock your gorgeous color and have healthy hair at the same time.