We know the warm weather can affect pretty much everything, from your mood and eating habits to your style (bronzed goddess vs. ice queen), but did you know the temperature can also affect your hair processing? That’s right, heat can literally change the way your color takes. We rounded up the experts to get a sense of how much we’re influenced by the elements, and what we can do to take control of Mother Nature.
If you’re coming from the park to the salon, make sure you have physically cooled down before the hair processing begins. As Nine Zero One‘s Riawna Capri breaks it down, “During the summer, I always like to feel my client’s scalp.” If she thinks there is too much heat radiating off of your smokin’ body, she takes cool air to the top of the head, making sure to bring down body temperature. “Especially in the summer,” she cautions—as this can happen any time of year, but now is when it’s most common, “it’s important to do that extra little step, because if you start applying color on a scalp that is too hot, there could be a chemical reaction,” she continues, “that color might take a little brighter than you wanted.” A little goes a long way. ‘It takes two seconds just to cool them down and make sure their temperature goes down,” she notes of this fast yet crucial step.
Consider Your Climate
Heat isn’t the only thing that will affect color; in fact, there are a host of elements that hair has to battle in order for great color to be maintained. Though often overlooked, your geography can change your hair in a major way. “Living in a dry climate like I do can drastically affect how color is not only applied, but also how your hair processes,” says Shelley who is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada aka the desert. “The color can dry out quickly as it is sitting in your hair, which makes it important for colorists working in a dry climate to keep the color incubated in some way, either with heat from an infrared processor or with plastic covering the color,” she explains.
Test Your Water
And don’t forget H2O. Water varies drastically from state-to-state (not to mention county-to-county) and that definitely changes hair processing, as well as color, on an everyday basis. “We have high levels of calcium and magnesium in our desert water, which can throw off the pH of your hair.” Shelley notes that this can cause really dry hair, “or make it hard for the color to fully function how we want it to.”
Fortunately, there is hope for your color (and your skin). “Using a chelating/clarifying shampoo is key before and in-between color services. Sometimes I will perform a clarifying shampoo before we start the service,” she says. What can you do to take matters into your own hands? “Do your homework on your local water and you may see an improvement in your hair and skin! There are some great showerheads with filters built right in, like the one from Nine Zero One Raindrops,” she encourages before sharing a personal story—as if we needed more reason to become devotees. “Before my wedding, I was breaking out really badly. My esthetician told me not to wash my face with anything other that distilled water.” After not letting any other water touch her face, she says, “my skin was so clear.” The Nine Zero One Raindrops shower extension acts in this way. “It purifies the minerals in the water, and is so good for your skin and your hair. In addition to the clarifying shampoo, Shelley assures us, “it will help maintain color.”
Regardless of where you live, your own hair health is perhaps the greatest variable to hair processing. “The health of the hair strongly affects how the color takes. If your hair isn’t healthy and well taken care of, you’re not going to get the full potential of the color you desire.” To help get hair on the right track, Shelley uses a prescriptive method. “I have new and existing clients on a home routine that gets their hair healthy and ready for future color services while also taking care of the color they already have. In-salon treatments (like the L’Oréal Professional Serie Powermix) gives you that extra concentrated moisture or strength you need to keep your hair healthy and prepped for color.” This has to do with your hair cuticle, which is the outmost layer of the hair—and can change everything. “If the cuticle of your hair is blown out and damaged, it can’t lay down and hold onto the color you put on it, which will have no shine and fade much faster. No color looks pretty on unhealthy hair,” warns Shelley.
Be honest + realistic
Ultimately, because there is more that may affect your color than you even considered, it’s best to be open with your stylist so you can make sure you’re on track to shine regardless of weather. “Know that colorists want to make all your hair fantasies come true, but you also have to be realistic for what is best for your hair and your lifestyle,” says Shelley. “Make sure when making a hair change that you have a great consultation with your colorist and be honest with them so they can be honest with you. If you flat iron every day, sweat until your hair is soaked at the gym every day, spend time in the sun every day, these are examples of huge details we need to know and that can majorly affect your color.”
Want hair that looks fantastic no matter where you are? Pack these on-the-go essentials and live your best life.