Fashion & Beauty

NEVER EVER USE THIS: 1 Hair-Care Product NOT To Use On Freshly Dyed Gray Roots

If you’ve spent time (and money) dying your gray roots, chances are you want the color to last as long as possible—which means using products that are gentle on the hair and won’t cause the color to fade. Because of this, stylists are begging you to keep scalp scrubs far, far away from your fresh dye job.

“The job of a scalp scrub is to exfoliate the skin,” says Jay Small, celebrity stylist and co-founder of gray-hair-care brand Arey. “Because the protein structure of the skin and the hair are similar, if these ingredients can remove build-up on the scalp, they may also have the ability to remove the color from hair strands if used within the first week of coloring.”

Gray strands generally have a hard time holding onto color, so you have to take extra precautions to preserve any dye applied to them. “‘Gray’ hair is actually translucent and without pigment,” says Tom Smith, celebrity hairstylist and international color creative director for evo hair. “The ‘gray’ shade we notice comes from how the light filters through the residual darker hair, which is why those who are naturally darker tend to look more of a charcoal shade when the greys start coming in while those naturally blonde go a softer beige gray or white. Being without pigment, it can take a lot to fill the hair up and have it be fully colored.”

This lack of pigment can also cause colored dye to appear to fade more quickly on gray strands. Smith explains that though all of your hair will probably fade at the same rate, it will be more noticeable on your grays because they have no undertones. “The faded translucent look can occur more quickly on the greyer area than on the naturally dark areas,” he says, so skipping color-stripping scalp scrubs is key.

If you want to slough your scalp without screwing up your color, the pros suggest waiting until shortly before your next dye appointment. “I recommend using an exfoliant a week prior to your next color touch-up, when your roots are grown in, so that you can cleanse the scalp and prepare your hair for a better coloring experience,” says Small. Smith adds that “there is some evidence that using a scalp scrub the wash before gray hair coloring can actually contribute to effective gray hair coverage thanks to the deep cleansing nature of the product removing any potential product or mineral build-up that could inhibit dye delivery into resistant gray hair.”

Scalp scrubs are particularly beneficial if you use a ton of product on your hair (they help break down buildup on your scalp), but definitely aren’t something you need to use all the time. “Often a healthy scalp starts with proper washing of the hair,” says Smith. Lather-rinse-repeat with a gentle shampoo as often as you need for your hair type.

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