Having it All: Keeping Hair Healthy and Dyed

Dye Candy

Cleopatra, whose beauty lives immortal, is said to have colored her hair with henna and juniper. But is it worth being a legendary beauty only to end up with an itchy scalp or damaged hair? Whether one uses a product closer to nature or a modern hair dye, maintaining a healthier scalp means healthier hair. Proper application of hair dyes results in healthier hair. Our scalp care is a vital element of our personal care so let’s take some measures to keep it healthy so we can dye another day and have it all.

How Can I Protect My Scalp from Hair Dye?

Dye CandyThe best offense is a great defense. Our first line of defense is preparing the scalp for color, balancing that with keeping the skin barrier intact. We maintain a healthier scalp by minimizing stressing it either manually or with products. Excessive sweat and oils will negatively affect your hair color outcome, yet we don’t want to strip every ounce of oil from the scalp prior to applying hair dye. Seek out shampoos for sensitive scalps, free of added fragrances and SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) such as Neutrogena’s. What we want is a scalp cleanser, but even more vital is to avoid excessive scalp scrubbing. Wet the hair and emulsify a tablespoon or so of shampoo into wet hands ahead of massaging it gently into your roots. Beginning at the top of the head, work towards your neck while gently sudsing in a circular motion. We don’t want to use the nails or break the skin in any way.

Pro tip: Baby shampoos may sound gentle, but they actually have a much higher PH than your hair and skin. They won’t cause tears but will strip the hair and scalp. In addition, we’ve also seen “scalp massagers” recently that resemble dog curry combs that promise themselves as a scalp treatment for dandruff or to increase circulation to the scalp. Please, no. Not only is a tool like this not necessary for cleansing, this can cause damage to the hair, which is highly fragile when wet and can cause micro-abrasions to the scalp, a surefire route to increasing the likelihood of irritation not only to dye but to any hair product. The same goes for brushing the hair; it can feel really good to dig into the scalp as we are brushing, but avoid this particular pleasure in the days leading up to getting our dye on. There will be less need for itchy scalp treatments and scalp moisturizer when we protect our scalps from harm to begin with.

How Can I Keep My Hair Healthy and Dyed?

Dye CandyLet’s ponder this; what is the healthiest way to dye your hair? Dye Candy’s entire purpose is precision hair coloring, inspired by the best salon applications. Messy squirt applicators often miss where we need to apply color, leaving uncolored spots, but worst of all they accidentally color over and over again onto previously colored hair. In the salon, we call this “overlapping” which causes overly dyed hair, areas that look “banded”, weak hair, and breakage. Not a look we are going for. The Hummingbird has an ingenious double-valve for flow control and unlike old-fashioned bottles, it is used upright, giving ultimate control over how much color is used and where it is being applied. With this innovative technology, both home colorists and salon professionals can finally control messy liquid formulations for both root touch-ups and all-over color applications. Even virgin hair applications should not be done by simply dumping the color on all over because, if we think about it, the condition of the hair is never the same all over. Let’s strategize here! Mix your chosen formulation in The Hummingbird, shaking thoroughly with the leak-resistant mixing cap on. Then, switch out to the Hummingbird beak and apply the dye to the roots first where it is often most resistant to the color, before applying it to the “mids” or the middle portion of the hair.

If the ends of the hair are already thin, weak, or damaged, wait until the last five or ten minutes before pulling the color through the ends where it is often more porous and tends to “grab”. When it’s time for a touch-up, it’s roots-only with permanent color! Process for the amount of time recommended by the brand and then either use a gloss or semi-permanent on the mids and ends going forward. These gentler formulations will give the deposit and vibrancy we are looking for to revitalize faded hair, without the need to use the strength of a permanent formulation.  With the ultimate control of The Hummingbird, the hair will maintain its integrity, health, and shine- so we can have it all! 

How Frequently Can You Safely Color Your Hair?

Dye CanyThis is a great personal care question. Anytime we apply a product to the scalp with the potential to irritate, let’s be kind and give the skin time a little TLC to recover ahead of the next treatment. Usually, the most often one would need to re-apply hair dye is when regrowth appears. This can be as soon as two to three weeks when one is covering grays. This should be ample time for the scalp to be in a healthy condition for hair color. In any case, set yourself up for success with the following hints. 

  • Just because a product is perceived or labeled as “natural” does not mean you can’t have an allergic reaction to it. In fact, the product may have been less tested for safety than a major color brand
    Use a barrier cream or oil around the face and neck prior to coloring
  • Do not exceed the recommended processing time or use heat unless the directions indicate
  • Do a patch test as recommended by the manufacturer
  • Apply the color as quickly as possible so you can begin the timer (The Hummingbird is your BF here)
    Never apply color onto the skin that is already irritated
  • Gently shampoo scalp post coloring with a color-safe shampoo
  • Always use warm, not hot water anytime when shampooing and conditioning colored hair. Good for maintaining scalp health and color vibrancy!
  • If you blow dry, avoid super hot settings both for the sake of hair and scalp

Does Coloring Your Hair Frequently Cause Hair Loss?

Dye CandyIt can if we are not paying attention. Those baby hairs along our hairline front and back are very fragile, but here are some steps we can take to color these sweet little hairs safely and considerately. You may discover you can grow back some hair in the areas of our natural recessions, and along the nape that was accidentally overstressed with a too-long processing time; remember these hairs have less of a cuticle to penetrate and less diameter, so we don’t need to process them as long to get the same results. 

  • Apply on the hairline either at the very last part of the application or wait until halfway through the processing time to apply on the perimeter
  • Most box hair color and typical salon applications use 20 volume developer. Put aside a small portion of your hair color just for the hairline, and mix replacing with 10 volume in these areas instead

As we age, the diameter of the hair reduces and the growing cycle slows. By no means does this mean we have to stop having fun with our hair color, but it does mean we need to treat our hair and scalp like Aretha says with R.E.S.P.E.C.T. When we incorporate these gentler strategies and use precision tools like The Hummingbird, we can continue to make a statement with our hair color and still have all the fun with our personal style. Cleopatra would approve.


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There are many chapters from concept to the creation of a new product, solving the problems of applying hair color. In the final stages of design, home testers were given The Hummingbird to see if I had nailed it, or needed to go back to the drawing board.