Most blue hair colourants on the market are semi-permanent and designed to leave the hair within 10 washes. However, sometimes the blue colour molecule may seem to be wanting to stick around longer than you would like.

Why is this?

There are several reasons why a blue hair colour may be fading slowly or appearing not to budge at all. And sometimes it’s for reasons you simply wouldn’t expect.

The blue Is trapped inside the hair

At Knight & Wilson, the most common reason we find a semi-permanent hair colour is remaining within the hair, is due to encasing. In this situation, the hair has been washed on multiple occasions or in direct succession, with the belief shampoo will pull and flush the semi-permanent colourant out. However, many shampoos, feature silicones and conditioning polymers, designed to condition the hair and make it easier to comb. When trying to fade a semi-permanent hair colour, these ingredients can have the opposite effect. With every wash, conditioning polymers and silicones coat and then build up on the hair causing the blue colour molecule to become trapped inside the hair. A cycle begins, whereby the individuals then tries to wash the hair even more (with these shampoos), causing the encasing to become worse. The individual notices the hair colour simply won’t fade off with washing.

So how do you rectify this?

When trying to fade off any semi-permanent colourant, you should always use a clear or clarifying shampoo. The Style Freedom Detox Kit is a great solution for removing shampoo, conditioning barriers and ultimately getting directly to the trapped semi-permanent colour. Enabling it to flush from the hair and fade out as designed to.

Fade semi-permanent colour out over ‘washes’ not ‘shampoos’

A semi-permanent colour will fade off in up to 10 washes. However, this does not mean 10 applications of shampoo in direct succession. When dry hair is wetted and washed, the hair cuticle opens and the detergent within the shampoo gains access to both the cuticle and upper cortex (the hair’s internal structure). During that first stage from wetting the hair and the shampoo entering, any semi-permanent colour molecules within the hair start to dislodge and flush out. HOWEVER! The hair also absorbs and fills with water. Therefore, any semi-permanent colour molecules which did not dislodge in the first shampoo, are now surrounded by high moisture. This moisture makes the colour pigments far more resistant to dislodging and flushing from the hair in an immediate subsequent wash. Again, if a rich silicone or polymer-based shampoo is being used on the hair, continued washing will only encase the hair and prevent any fading at all. So, standing in the shower, and washing again and again is going to have less effect in removing a semi-permanent colour. Therefore, to correctly fade off an unwanted semi-permanent colour you need to…

Wash out daily rather than in succession

When hair can dry and normalise and 24 hours is left between each shampoo, you will find semi-permanent colour fades far more effectively. Especially if you are using a clarifying or clear shampoo with each wash. With blue colour fading you should notice the following: –

• 20% of the blue fades in the first wash – taking a bright blue to a softer but clear blue
• You should get to 50% removal between washes 3 and 6
• The blue should be gone between washes 6 and 10. However, do not expect a pure blonde colour to return.

Green is Good!
To display, a blue hair colour needs to be applied to bleached or pale blonde hair. When bleaching hair, you will always see yellow. The reason being, is our hair’s internal structure is made from keratin protein which is yellow. Consequently, when all pigment is lightened out, we see the true yellow colour of the hair. For this reason, blondes need to tone to prevent hair appearing brassy.
But when we have applied a blue semi-permanent colour the initial depth of that blue covers yellow. However, as the blue fades off the underlying yellow tone within the bleached hair begins to show through. As you might remember from painting class at school, blue+yellow=green. Therefore, when your blue hair colour begins turning green, it’s a good sign. Because it means the blue has now significantly faded off and could be neutralised out!

Light pastel pink creates pearl blonde?

It’s very true. Quite often people find a blue semi-permanent colour lingers at a mint green shade. This is due to the fact the bleached hair is untoned and a great deal of the underlying yellow is now showing through. To neutralise a mint green to a silver blonde, all you need to do is apply a very light pastel pink to the hair. The tiny amount of red pigment (within the pastel pink) will counteract the green tone of the hair, creating a pearl blonde.

Or go Metallic Blonde

The other option to toning unwanted mint green, is to simply use an anti-yellow toner or shampoo. Products designed to neutralise unwanted yellow or brassy tone, will counteract that yellow within the hair and cause only the small amount of remaining blue pigment to display in the hair. Because there is so little of the blue left to display, it will appear as a Metallic Blonde.

Was your hair damaged before you coloured?

Applying any semi-permanent colour to very damaged hair will have unpredictable consequences. Whilst all Knight & Wilson semi-permanent colours are highly conditioning and will not damage hair, you must still be mindful that previously damaged hair may not respond well to even a semi-permanent colouring process. When hair is healthy and strong, semi-permanent colour will penetrate and lodge within the hair cuticle. This is a protective layer of fishlike scales that overlap around the hair shaft. With each wash, the cuticle layer opens and closes, and those artificial colour molecules dislodge and flush out. Leaving the hair. However, when hair is very damaged, the cuticle layer may have been destroyed. Therefore, semi-permanent colour molecules can embed deep inside the hair and even stain the hair fibres just how white cashmere or wool fibre might react if you poured ink onto it. Red and yellow based colours tend to stain damaged hair the least, because the red and yellow colour molecule is very small. Therefore, it can escape the hair fibre far easier. By contrast, the blue colour molecule is larger. Subsequently, when it embeds deep inside hair and impacts, it is much harder for the molecule to dislodge, as very damaged hair will fill with water immediately upon wetting and protect semi-permanent colourant molecules imbedded deep inside the hair, preventing them escaping.

Prevention is better than cure

If you fear the condition of your hair may be compromised but you want to use a non-peroxide or ammonia semi-permanent colourant or toner, it is a good idea to give your hair a deep conditioning treatment before applying your desired shade. This is particularly noteworthy if you are applying any blue based colour (including purple or green). When vulnerable hair is deep conditioned prior to application of a semi-permanent colour, the weakened areas within the hair are ‘filled’ and it becomes much harder for semi-permanent colour molecules to travel too deep inside that hair. This means, the molecules remain closer to the surface of the hair and can be flushed out with regular washing. However, be mindful that if you are fully aware your hair is damaged (so you are noting snapping, poor texture quality and prolonged periods to air dry), it is not advisable you attempt to use any colourant product with a view to them being semi-permanent. Even hair chalks and coloured hairsprays can irreversibly stain highly damaged hair!

And for colour hoppers

Colour-Freedom was created to enable you to change your semi-permanent shade without risk of damage to your hair. However, it’s still worth remembering to follow colour principles. We see many people who might perhaps be Truly Blue, then suddenly decide to go to (say) Coral Blush. However, in the principles of colouring, you are going from a blue based colour to a yellow/red based colour. In nature, we don’t go from the bright green of spring, to the burnished reds of autumn.

Work with Colour Transitioning /span>

Rather than waiting for a semi-permanent shade to fade out completely and starting again, work with Colour Transitioning. Here you apply a different colour over your existing (fading) colour to create a totally new shade that will lead into your next or ultimate colour result. Learn more about Colour Transitioning here :-


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