Is my hair uncolorable?
April 30, 2011 9:49 AM Subscribe
Is my hair uncolorable?
I have medium brown hair, but I would really like it to be one shade darker. A few years ago I colored it using an at-home permanent hair dye. It looked nice, but completely faded within a few weeks. I was disappointed, but figured that maybe trying a salon would work out better.
So, a few years later, I went to a salon (and a particular stylist) that was recommended by my sister, who gets highlights at this place. I asked her to dye my hair one shade darker. When she was done, I was a bit surprised, as it seemed darker than expected. But after one wash, it faded a bit, and looked great. However, it continued to fade with each wash. I had just been using an ordinary Suave shampoo, but quickly switched to something specifically for color-treated hair (I think from Garnier Fructis) but it continued to fade. A few weeks later, my hair looked as if it hadn't been colored.
So a year later (last year) I went back to this same salon (and the same person) to try again. This time, I waited 48 hours to shampoo the first time, and I used a sulfate-free shampoo which was also specifically labeled for color-treated hair. But it still faded, and after about a month, there was no difference from before I colored.
I don't have hard water, I don't swim, and I don't get a lot of direct sun exposure, so I'm wondering if I somehow have hair that just won't take color?
Now, the crazy thing is, I've gone to 2 different beauty-related message boards to ask about this, and I got the same response in both places. They essentially told me that this is completely normal, that all hair dye (even permanent) fades over time, and that's why you're supposed to get a touch-up every 6-to-8 weeks. That sounds crazy to me. This wasn't slight fading after 6-to-8 weeks - this was complete fading within 4 weeks. And if everyone's haircolor fades completely, then how is it that you sometimes see people with visible roots? And why do hair salons (and drugstore kits) offer root touch-ups? Obviously some people must get their hair color to stay put, or the roots would never have a noticeable difference.
The problem is that now I'm going gray. I'm 32, and have noticed the occasional gray hair since my early 20s. But now they are becoming too numerous to pluck, and since I don't want to be showing gray at this age, I guess the only solution is to dye. But I can't afford to go to a salon once a month for a complete dye job. And even if I bought a drugstore brand, that would still mean I'd only have gray-free hair about half of the time, as I'd have to color at the beginning of each month, watch it fade completely, and then start the whole process over again next month.
So can anyone offer any secrets to getting hair color to actually stay once your hair is dyed? Or any possible reasons why my hair won't cooperate? Would it be worth trying a different salon, or requesting a particular brand/type of dye?