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I recently decided to go lighter and let my stylist add some blond streaks in my naturally dark brown hair. But after a few washes, my streaks didn’t look as vibrant as it had when it was fresh. Has this ever happened to your color? Here is why your hair color fades:

Colored-treated hair undergoes the chemistry of an oxidative hair coloring process which changes its structure. Hair becomes more porous and sponge-like, capable of absorbing water more quickly. So as water enters and exits the hair fiber, it can take with it the hair color dye molecules that give hair its color, leading to fading hair color. Red hair color tends to be the fastest fading hair color, as the intense red dyes are smallest and “escape” easily from a porous hair structure.

Color-treating hair can also roughen its surface, which effects how hair interacts with light. Its naturally light-reflective surface becomes uneven [From Color Starting Point POC]. Imagine one vibrant shade of paint—then imagine it in a semi-gloss finish and matte finish. The uneven surface of color treated hair can make even a vibrant shade look more like the matte eggshell finish than the semi-gloss finish, and can sometimes be the culprit of the appearance of fading hair color.

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