The Science of Colour Treated Hair Structures

The Science of Colour Treated Hair Structures

Ah, the wonder of hair colour. Women love it. Whether used to conceal grey or experiment with one’s identity, hair colour is a modern innovation that truly changed the beauty landscape. The colour treated hair structure has a unique set of needs and characteristics. Dry hair that feels like straw and a dull, drab appearance are common complaints among those with colour treated hair. Why is this? What happens to a strand of hair when it is coloured? The answers are here, but more importantly, you can learn just how to keep your colour treated hair looking vibrant and healthy with Pantene Coloured-Hair Solutions

The Nature of Colour Treated Hair

As far back as 1916, scientists were aware that undamaged hair possessed a chemically resistant surface layer. It wasn’t until the 1980s, however, that this layer was identified and coined as the F-layer. The F-layer is a water-repellent protective layer present on the surface of the hair cuticle that acts as hair’s natural raincoat, helping to protect it from damage and maintain its natural moisture balance. It also provides hair’s natural lubricity and soft feel. Unfortunately, the oxidative colouring process can quickly and irreversibly attack the F-layer, which alters hair’s chemical and physical properties. Some of the hallmarks of colour treated hair are addressed below.

A Dull Appearance

The use of colour degrades hair’s pigment and transparent surface, causing colour treated hair to become uneven and ruffled. When the cuticle isn’t smooth, it can’t reflect light and shine. This change to the surface of colour treated hair also produces an increase in hair fibre friction, resulting in coarser texture.


With the removal of the F-layer, colour treated hair is no longer protected, which allows the layers under the cuticle to become chipped and more irregular. Consequently, friction increases and can leave colour treated hair more prone to damage and with a rougher feel than non-colour-treated hair. Blondes face more potential for damaged hair than brunettes or reds because the blonde colouring process requires more damage-inducing oxidant.

Hair Colour that Doesn’t Shine Through

Hair Colour is revealed when light hits hair’s surface, enters the fibre, then exits, carrying with it the colour information held inside the fibres. Colouring hair can lead to micro-scarring on the outer layer. This changes the vibrancy and hue of the colour, as a smooth surface is key to illuminating hair colour in its full glory. Caring for the surface of colour treated hair is essential to preserving colour.

Increased Porosity/Hair Colour Fade

The chemicals that change the surface of the hair can also penetrate deep into colour treated hair and change the internal structure. Not only are the strengthening proteins attacked, but the porosity also increases, affecting hair’s ability to hold the colour molecules within the fibre. This leads to weaker hair that is more susceptible to hair colour colour) fade. Red hair is especially susceptible to colour fade, as the intense red pigments are the smallest and easily escape from a porous hair structure.

The challenges of colour treated hair structures may seem numerous, but in addition to today’s colour New Pantene Coloured Hair Solutions makes it easy to maintain beautiful, vibrant colour:

The shampoos among Coloured-Hair Solutions are formulated to clean gently yet effectively in order to remove mineral deposits and dulling residues. This benefit is the necessary foundation for lasting voluminous and shiny hairstyles.

Because the protective F-layer is removed through the colouring process, colour treated hair needs ingredients that can act like the F-layer to protect its weaker structure. Poly (DADMAC) is a highly effective ingredient that helps return the water-absorbent surface of colour treated hair to a more water-repellent surface similar to that of hair that has never been colour treated. It is not a permanent fix, but its strong attraction to colour treated hair keeps it in place until the next wash

Hair Colour preservation is key, and the Colour Pantene Hair Solutions contain positively-charged silicones to help preserve colour treated hair. They work by helping hair hold the colour molecules within the fibre. In addition to helping to seal in colour, these ingredients help improve the way light interacts with hair, leaving colour treated hair with multi-dimensional shine and the appearance of vibrant colour.

Special conditioning agents reduce friction on both wet and dry hair. This helps detangle and smoothes the cuticle, leaving the hair sleek and lustrous.

How to Care for Colour Treated Hair

Celebrity stylist Danilo describes colour treated hair as dry and broken, citing that it can feel like a “brillo pad.” This trait is common to most colour treated hair, but each shade family has special needs. Red shades especially need products that help hold the colour while blonde shades need extra moisture. Brunette shades need consistent colour enhancement. But no matter which shade you are, most stylists agree that those who regularly colour their hair should make colour their first priority when choosing hair care products. Here is a comprehensive list of the things to keep in mind if you have colour treated hair:

  • Oils from the scalp and everyday dirt can build up, diminishing the natural shine and colour , so if your hair is looking especially dull, it may be time to wash it.
  • Water, however, can cause two types of problems for colour treated hair. The more porous structure of colour treated hair allows for water to wash the colour molecules out of the hair’s cortex and lead to colour fade. In addition, mineral deposits from tap water can collect on the altered surface of colour treated hair, scattering light and sacrificing hair’s shine and vibrancy. Pantene Colour (CAN: Colour) Hair Solutions help address both of these water-related issues.
  • UV light is the enemy of colour treated hair, as it can break down hair’s proteins and pigments, altering its shine, strength and colour. Wear a hat to protect hair from sunlight if you’re going to be exposed to strong sunlight for an extended time.
  • Whether you colour at home or at a salon, be sure to help seal your colour with a rich conditioner.