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How to Get Healthy Hair After Colour Damage

Start here, then let it grow.
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Welcome to our Hair Consultation column. To request an online hair consultation from celebrity hairstylist Bill Angst, follow the instructions here.

Q: I need major hair help. I am 22 years old and about 5'8" tall. I have always had fine, wavy hair (and not a lot of it... sigh). I usually keep it shoulder-length, though I have had it to about my chest for two years.

From The Styling Edit Archives

After going blonde, Bianca's hair became damaged.

Last summer, I decided to dye my hair from my natural medium brown to blonde... bad mistake. This took a toll on my hair and made it really prone to breakage, and I lost my natural wave. I do not know if it is because of the lack of body/wave, but it seems to have gotten thinner.

After the blonde trial, I attempted to get my lustre back by getting my hair professionally dyed back to brown. After the brown faded, I unknowingly committed hair suicide and dyed my hair auburn red (semi-permanent). I continued to dye it this colour for about two months.

Bianca's hair lost its lustre after going auburn.

And this leaves me to where I am now... miserable with my damaged hair. I do not mind going short, as I have had bobs before, but it can be difficult to get the right cut with this round face that my mom blessed me with (haha). I would love to get my hair health and waves back. What is your advice? Thanks! Your advice is the best! — Bianca

A: Thank you, Bianca, for your request and kind words. Also, you are exquisite…

There is only one way to remedy tortured hair and that is with scissors. 

I am sure you were hoping for a quick fix but no way, no how. Once hair has been altered enough to lose its lustre, you need to start from scratch.

Here is a short, versatile cut that will look great with your cheeks—not a round face but great cheeks! Bianca, you should thank your mother for such beautiful bone structure.

Kimberly Wyatt at a 2008 Pussycat Dolls performance in Sydney.

The cut profile...

Léa Seydoux in Numéro Tokyo.

For your hair colour, here is a picture of what I think you should consider for your next move, and then leave it alone!!!

Mariska Hargitay at the 2008 GLAAD Awards.

After you do this, you can grow your hair and be free of the textured hair you don't want. 

That said, this is also a good lesson in adding a different texture to your hair. 

When hairdressers want to accomplish a complete texture change to create a shape or style, they would most likely mess up the cuticle with bleach. Going for dramatic colour changes can cause problems, but it can also serve a purpose for alternative styling options.


Bill Angst is one of Canada’s top celebrity hairstylists and the owner of Angst Salon at 240 Queen Street East in Toronto. Call 416-360-5942 to book an appointment.