How Heat and Elements Affect Your Hair Color

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Just as warm weather has an effect on our moods, eating patterns, as well as our activities, temperature can also affect the results of how our hair color processes. The temperature of our bodies, particularly our heads can play a determining role as to how well our hair color takes. Ever wonder why previous color sessions may have had better results than others and your stylist swears they didn’t do anything to change your hair color formula? Below we’ll discuss how much our hair is affected by external factors and solutions to attain the best results.

Hot Head

If you’re heading to the salon straight from the gym, give yourself some time to physically cool down prior to having color applied. Having worked in varying clients from Denver, Las Vegas and Dallas, hair stylist Scott Risk always fine tunes how he performs his color services according to the climate. “In summer months, I always place my hand on my client’s scalp and if there’s too much heat emitting, I’ll defer from placing a cape around my client and circulate cool air around the top of their head with my blow dryer in order to lower their body temperature.” Taking the time to perform this little step, prior to applying hair color to ensure the scalp isn’t too hot helps prevent a negative chemical reaction, which otherwise may produce “hot roots”, causing brighter than expected results.

In addition to how heat can affect color results, another element often overlooked that significantly influences hair is one’s geography. Climates that are humid versus dry climates can drastically influence how hair color processes. In dry climates, stylists need to ensure that color doesn’t dry out while processing by utilizing an infrared dryer or plastic cap. It’s also important during summer months that salons maintain comfortable temperatures, while not blasting the air conditioning and chill out the salon by dropping the temperature so low that hair color doesn’t process to its full potential. Conversely, during winter months, the heat that keeps us warm indoors can be very drying to our hair and create static flyaways, which it’s why is extremely important to perform weekly deep conditioning treatments.



We all know how water dramatically differs from every county and state. The varying pH levels, minerals and chemicals in tap water significantly affects hair color processing and color retention on a daily basis. In order to combat the negative impact harsh water can have on your hair is to utilize clarifying shampoo several times a month and prior to receiving a color service. Another great move is to switch out you shower head with filtered shower heads and remember to properly maintain them by adding new filters.


How healthy?

Above all the overall health of your hair is the most significant factor that affects how well your hair color takes. Unhealthy hair that’s not well cared for, does not produce the full potential of the color you wish to achieve, which is also why it’s important to get regular trims or “dusting”. Many women attached to the length of their hair tend to rarely let shears touch their locks, due to the misconception their gaining more length. However, this tends to only result in overly dry, brittle and stringy ends that are anything but attractive. Additionally, this fear of the shears often makes it increasingly difficult to achieve longer, fuller hair due to “brush cuts”, which are the mini broken ends of brittle hair, which snap off daily when brushing hair due to neglecting maintenance trims.

In order to keep your hair in its best condition, it’s important to practice a home maintenance routine that gets hair healthy and prepped for upcoming color services, while also caring for your current color. In-salon treatments (Milbon Signature Professional 3-step deep conditioning treatment) provides that additional concentrated moisture or strength to improve hairs texture, which also preps it for color by improving the hair cuticle. If this outer layer of the hair is compromised and blown out, it’s unable to properly close and lock the color in. This often results in lackluster shine and faster fading.

Since so many factors can affect how color processes, it’s crucial to be open with your stylist, so they have a good understanding of your hair’s history. The more your stylist is informed about your hair, the better they can optimize your color results.

Filtered Perspective

In the photo edited realm of Instagram and Pinterest, it’s important to be realistic when considering the image you wish to achieve. With so many mobile editing apps with filters you need to know the difference between fantasy and what’s realistically achievable with your hair. Remember there’s a reason the model in the hair pic you love was selected to be the model for a reason. You don’t know her hair’s history, it’s condition, whether extensions are in her hair and how much the photo has been manipulated with filters. Also, make sure you have a great consultation with your stylist, particularly when making a change and be honest with them. If you use a heat styling tool most days, are frequently in the sun or workout regularly and sweat a lot, leaving your hair soaked, let your colorist know, because particulars such as these can have a significant impact on how your hair color processes.