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Whether you’ve been covering up those pesky grays since your early twenties or you’ve dabbled with coloring over your natural hue, there are some myths floating around out there about hair coloring. Fear not, we’re here to set the record straight. Below, seven myths about coloring your strands that simply aren’t true.

woman drinking coffee in shop
Twenty20

Myth 1: Coloring Hair Strips Away Volume

Truth: Quite the contrary. The lightening agents used to color your hair make the cuticle swell, so individual strands appear thicker and fuller. And when it comes to coloring your hair, swelling is actually a good thing. The more swollen the hair shaft, the easier it is for the color to stick.

Sponsored woman with natural curly hair
Twenty20

Myth 2: Coloring Your Hair Can Be Damaging

Truth: When you apply dye to your hair, you’re opening up the cuticle so that color can be deposited, and yes, that causes damage. But using the right product can help prevent it. Take the new Clairol Nice ’n Easy formula, for instance. It has damage-blocking technology* and there are conditioners at every step—even a complimentary tube of CC+ Color Conditioner—to keep your strands hydrated and help block breakage.

blonde woman with dark eyebrows
Unsplash

Myth 3: You Should Color Your Eyebrows to Match Your Hair

Truth: Not necessarily. In fact, we’re huge fans of having a slight contrast between your hair color and your brows. Plus, darker brows frame your face better than lighter ones do.

woman washing hair in shower
esp2k/Getty Images

Myth 4: It’s OK to Wash Your Hair Right After a Color Treatment

Truth: You should wait at least a full 72 hours before washing your hair after coloring. Why? That’s how long it takes for the hair cuticles to fully close, which traps in the color. Once you start washing your hair again, use lukewarm or cool water to prevent your strands from drying out. Oh, and the pool is a no-go for at least two weeks—the chlorine will strip the cuticles, allowing minerals to get into the shaft and alter your hue. No thank you.

Sponsored clairol nice n easy hair color
Laura Wing-Kamoosi

Myth 5: At-Home Hair Color Kits Are Hard to Use

Truth: Your nerves are getting the best of you. At-home kits are very user-friendly these days, and there’s no need to feel intimidated. Look to the new Clairol Nice ’n Easy to get the job done without any mishaps. It has a new crème formula (that smells like lilies, for the record), doesn’t drip and offers precise application. Plus, it only takes about 25 minutes from start to finish.

girl on beach
Twenty20

Myth 6: You Can Apply Hair Color at Any Time

Truth: In order for the color to effectively bond to your hair, your locks need to be somewhat clean. Why? Since the dye needs to penetrate the cuticle, your hair needs to be free of any built-up product (especially wax). This can also prevent the color from distributing evenly. It’s best to color hair that has been washed 24 to 48 hours prior, because the natural oils will protect your scalp from any irritation.

woman drying hair in towel
CentralITAlliance/Getty Images

Myth 7: Fancy Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair Is Overrated

Truth: Investing in products that are specially designed for color-treated hair is worth it and can save you money in the long run. Here’s why: These products not only prevent color from fading fast (limiting the number of trips back to the salon) but also help restore shine and moisture (two qualities that can be stripped away after a color job).

*Reduces damage compared to our permanent hair color without EDDS

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