Hair Coloring Tips for Dry Ends

Take care of dry ends before dying your hair for vibrant and even results.

Photo: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

Switching up your hair color puts life back into tired tresses and a spring in your step. However, dry ends can thwart your hair makeover mission by gobbling up dye, leaving you with an uneven shade that is darker at the tips than at the roots. Unless you're deliberately going for a parched “reverse ombre” effect, take care of dry ends before, during and after coloring for long-lasting vibrant hues from roots to tips.

Porosity Problem

Your tresses are naturally dryer at the ends than at the roots because the growth is older and farther away from your scalp’s nourishing oils. Regular chemical or heat styling makes already thirsty tips even more parched. Dry hair is porous; it absorbs more hair dye than the rest of your locks, leading to unpredictable -- and sometimes unwanted -- results.

Before Coloring

For a gloriously glossy and even dye job, tackle dry ends before coloring your hair. Get regular trims to keep the ends of your hair in tiptop condition. If you’re a DIY kind of gal, twist segments of hair and snip off any sticking out split ends. As dye day approaches, rehab your hair with a deep-conditioning treatment or a protein-filler product designed to even out the porosity of your hair.

During Coloring

Dye your hair darker to avoid hair lighteners that strip away your mane’s protective oils along with its pigment, making hair even drier. If you've got your heart set on going lighter, highlights are kinder on your tresses than all-over flat color. Doing an at-home dye job? Leave your parched ends free of dye until the last five or ten minutes of the development time so they don't drink up too much color. Experiment with a few strand tests to get the timing exactly right.

After Coloring

Protect your hair and preserve your new hue with products designed especially for colored-treated tresses. These hair savers are packed with moisturizers to intensely nourish your dyed locks without causing color fade. Deep condition just the ends regularly to get the moisture where it’s needed most without overloading your roots. If you normally style up a storm with a flat iron, ease up on the thermal tools to keep dry ends in check and your color looking vibrant.

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