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How to Treat Your Hair for a Chemical Burn From a Permanent Color

Updated April 17, 2017

Applying permanent colour to your hair can be an exciting way to try a new look that does not wash out over time. However, permanent colour contains chemicals that lift the protective cuticle of hair strands, so the colour can reach the inside. Unfortunately, excessive or incorrect use causes damage that makes hair dry and brittle. If you do not want to cut off your locks and start over, you can treat your chemically burnt hair with a gentle styling regime that promotes healthy growth and moisturisers to temporarily smooth the roughened hair shaft while you are waiting for new growth.

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  1. Wash your hair every other day with a gentle, moisturising shampoo and apply a conditioner formulated to smooth dry, damaged hair. Clean your scalp by massaging with your fingertips, not your nails. Apply a conditioning hair mask or hot oil treatment to infuse intensive moisture, either weekly or monthly, depending on the extent of damage.

  2. Comb your wet hair instead of brushing to avoid breaking the weak strands. Apply styling products that are non-drying and use a leave-in protein conditioner to strengthen the hair shaft and deter breakage. Allow your hair to air dry as often as possible and limit your use of heat from appliances such as curling irons and blow dryers.

  3. Promote healthy growth of new hair with a regime of B complex vitamins. Food sources such as fish, lean meats and leafy green vegetables contain these nutrients and you can take supplements. Drink adequate amounts of water to keep your body hydrated.

  4. Tip

    Visit a licensed cosmetologist for regular trims and professional assessment of your hair health.


    Avoid chemical treatments of any type until your hair has had time to recover. If your scalp is burnt from colour application, seek prompt medical attention.

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Things You'll Need

  • Moisturising shampoo
  • Moisturising conditioner
  • Leave-in protein conditioner
  • Hot oil treatment
  • Conditioning hair mask
  • Comb

About the Author

Yvonne Ward began her professional writing career in 2004. She wrote a true-crime book published in 2010 and has two more underway. She also has a strong background in business, education and farm living. Ward is pursuing a Master of Arts in history and culture from Union Institute and University.

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