Permanent hair dye is formulated to penetrate the hair strand’s natural outer barrier and deposit colour molecules deep inside the hair shaft.
But the process of getting the colour molecules there can be damaging.
The outer barrier of the hair is called the cuticle. Its transparent protein cells are tightly bound together and coated with a lipid layer that can help repel water, giving hair its natural shine and integrity.
Hair dye breaks down the lipid layer and swells the hair strand. This swelling lifts the cuticle and allows small colour molecules to pass through to the centre of the strand. A chemical reaction then occurs inside the hair strand, creating larger colour molecules that are trapped within the hair, resulting in a new hair colour.
Removal of the lipid layer and a damaged cuticle can reduce your hair’s natural shine, make it feel rough and result in increased porosity. So other molecules, such as water, can move in and out of the hair strand more easily and make hair susceptible to further damage.
So when it comes to keeping coloured hair healthy and making hair colour last longer, protecting the hair structure and keeping the new colour locked inside is key.