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Re-Virginizing Your Colored Hair

AG BB Cream and Deflect Fast-Dry Heat Protection
Harry Josh Pro Tools 2000
Bristle Brush

Virginity has its merits, depending on who you’re speaking to, or about. For example, when the subject is our hair, many of us are less about saving ourselves for Luke Perry and more about trying ombré at some point. And ain't it strange how you never really hear a grown woman pining for her corporeal purity the way she reminisces about her virgin hair? Because what you gain in adventure, you lose in luster, texture, and general health (i.e. treating hair ties with the fearful respect you’d usually reserve for your Craigslist roommate’s collection of samurai swords, and getting “breakage” hair cuts, which, if you’re not familiar, is a form of damage control that attempts to make color-induced breakage look almost intentional—but that's for another article). So, if you’re going to throw caution to the wind in terms of color, play it safe when it comes to hair care. Which is to say, do everything in your power to keep your dyed hair feeling virginal. Here’s how:

After your shower, towel dry. If you ever want to see shiny, long lengths again, do not, I repeat, do not wrap a towel around your head. It’s going to cause breakage. You want to treat your hair with the same sense of fragility you would dried flowers or your relationship with your boyfriend’s mom. I’ve even been told to delicately dab dry with paper towels, but, in the spirit of the environmentalism, a high-density (read: soaks like a sponge) organic cotton version like Gaiam’s Thick and Thirsty Towel will suffice.

Then, with damp hair, apply a double blast of AG Hair Cosmetic’s Colour Care range. First, AG’s BB Cream—consider this your coconut- scented, one-way ticket to “expensive” hair. A dime size of the silky lotion, combed from ends to roots, makes hair look fuller by restoring strand density, erases frizzies, and seals in moisture to protect against heat-styling tools, space heaters, and UV damage. This is a product that you can go the distance with, because you share a common goal: maintaining your hair color. God bless. And, because it dries to feel like absolutely nothing, it won't hurt your relationships with whatever other beloved styling products you’ve got in rotation.

If you’re planning on blow drying (if it’s cold outside, I'd recommend it—frozen hair can lead to breakage), or expect to spend the day in a dry, non-hair-friendly environment, mist your damp hair with an even coating of AG’s Deflect Fast-Dry Heat Protection. It’s pretty clutch even if you’ve never used so much as a vegetable dye on your hair, because it shields from your blow dryers’ full-blast setting, and, through some kind of beauty voodoo, commands the water droplets remaining on your hair shafts to dry faster—no joke. (That voodoo is actually Abyssinian oil.) Your dry time is reduced by, let’s say…30 percent. To paraphrase There’s Something About Mary, would you rather do eight-minute abs or seven-minute abs? Exactly. And just like the BB Cream, it doesn’t feel like you’ve put a thing in your hair.

Now, blow-dry with a hot, but not steaming dryer. Your hair should be damp, because you’ve already towel-dabbed, so a low heat setting is all that’s really necessary to complete the task. A ceramic dryer is ideal for its heat-distributing abilities, or dryers with ionic options, because that will diffuse negative ions to lock in moisture and eliminate static electricity! (SCIENCE.) Next-generation dryers, like Harry Josh’s minty fresh Pro Tools 2000, have an app for that. Before, during, or after, ever so gently brush your hair starting from the bottom and work your way up. Pulling a brush immediately from root-to-ends is the hair equivalent of cutting through a cornfield with a machete. A boar-bristle brush like the much-lauded Mason Pearson will give your hair an extra boost of shine without tearing and pulling.

Now that your born-again virgin hair is set, try to stay celibate for as long as possible. Any colorist will tell you, the less you wash your hair, the longer your color will last.

—Mackenzie Wagoner

Photos by Elizabeth Brockway; in collaboration with AG Hair Cosmetics.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • jezbanana

    Could we maybe have an explanation of why not to towel-wrap? I don't towel-rub, but I tend to gently put it all up in a towel to sit for 15 minutes or so (and then leave it alone) while I get dressed and sort out my skin or whatever, just so that some of the water absorbs into the towel and there's less to blow dry. I feel like if I didn't do this, I'd definitely be blow-drying from more saturated hair. I've always heard not to rub at it with a towel, so I don't, but what could go wrong from just... movement-less, loose, gentle wrapping?

    • Lana

      I do the same. Wrap it on up! Is this wrong? :/

      • ITGLacey

        It's supposed to increase breakage because towels are rough & twisting can make hair snap. So it's not the drying itself as much as it is technique & towel texture.

    • megan

      Try wrapping in an old t-shirt! That's what I do and it reduces the frizz. Or I don't towel dry at all, and let it air dry completely and it's 1000% softer.

    • Lana

      The towel is tugging at your hair. I've heard you can also dry with an old t-shirt and it makes it less frizzy. And when drying your hair you should do it very delicately and squeeze the water out of your hair :) Trust me the water will absorb real quickly.

    • ITGLacey

      So what I actually do is gently wrap cotton muslins around my hair. Still highly absorbent, but because the texture is so smooth, doesn't grab or pull at your hair. Plus, it's cheap! You can get it for like $1.75/yard on Amazon.

      Note: I have a ton of fine hair that takes forever to dry naturally & breaks easily

  • http://www.svegablog.blogspot.ca/ Dejana S

    I am going to stop wrapping my hair in the towel imediately I feel I was following all the rules yet I was still twisting away.

  • GJ

    ITGLacey - We have the same type of hair! Fine, a ton, breaks easily, etc. What are your favorite products for our type of hair? I'm a haircare junkie :)

  • http://www.wernerbeauty.com/ Teckie

    I thought this was going to be about how to not look a hot mess while you grow your natural hair out (after coloring it). I could sooo use a post about that!

    • laurita


    • http://intothegloss.com/ ITG Annie

      I'm growing out my dyed almost black, then bleached blond hair at the moment. I grew about two inches of my natural roots in before getting an allover cinnamon-colored gloss with some highlights to blend, so I'm right between blonde and brunette right now. It's the color of iced tea. My roots are darker, but the grow-out blends pretty nicely into the lengths. I do the John Frieda color refreshing gloss when I can remember/have time (so about every other week), which has been helping to blend the two tones as well. It looks really natural—lighter lengths and darker roots—but not at all ombre. I'll keep doing glosses while my natural hair grows back in, gradually trimming off the stuff that's been through the ringer bit by bit. It'll probably take me two years to get my long, almost virgin hair back. Yes, the gloss is technically a colored dye, but it's very close to my natural color and not at all damaging.

      • http://www.wernerbeauty.com/ Teckie

        I'll have to check out that gloss. Thanks!

    • Kate

      Same here! I was super excited as I'm platinum now and so over it!

  • Isabella

    My hair is in the process of being reborn. After circa ten years of coloring it in most shades from black to white accompanied by aggressive blow-drying and even more consistent straightening since the age of thirteen, I am now on year two of growing out my natural colour and I've thrown away my straighteners (in an attempt to go full cold turkey). It's a trying but fabulous experience and I'm noticing a sea of beautiful blond/brown/purpleish nuances in my happy, all-natural mousy scandinavian hair. Needless to say, there's a lot of damage to undo and this post was a welcome addition to my day. Thanks Mackenzie!

  • Miss ShaSha

    OK but wait. What's the deal w the Harry J dryer? Is it really better than the Sedu (which I have and love, but could be convinced to upgrade if it really meant a difference). The Harry Josh dryer is really, really expensive. What's going on with it to justify the fact it cost twice as much as other top of the line dryers?

    • ITGMackenzie

      Hi Miss ShaSha,

      That's a great question. In all honesty, I'm in it for the seafoam green and how quickly it dries my hair (it boasts one of the industry's most powerful motors). It also helps that the Harry Josh dyer is energy efficient and ionic. That being said, as long as you're not using full blast heat and you have ionic options, I think you're in the clear :)


  • Liza

    How would you apply this to curly hair?

  • Ally

    what happens if you use colored hair products on uncolored hair?


Gaiam Thick and Thirsty Organic Cotton Towel
AG Hair Cosmetics
AG BB Cream Total Benefit Hair Primer
AG Hair Cosmetics
AG Deflect Fast-Dry Heat Protection
Harry Josh
Harry Josh Pro Dryer 2000
Mason Pearson
Mason Pearson ‘Pocket’ Boar Bristle Brush for Fine to Normal Hair