Better Safe than Sorry - why you should strand test
Friday, 12 April 2013 | Tricia
Why strand test?
The first time you use a particular hair dye, we strongly recommend that you do a strand test before putting the dye all over your hair.
You may think strand testing is too time consuming, and that you want to get on with colouring your hair right away. But natural hair dyes can be unpredictable and will react differently to different people’s hair .
Everyone’s hair is different, in terms of the initial hair colour, hair chemistry, and structure, and will take the colour slightly differently.
It’s worth taking the time to strand test, to avoid unexpected and unwanted results.
Which hair for a strand test? Some options...
1. Cut a strand out of your hair
2. Leave the hair on your head, and test in an area where it won’t show.
2. When you have your hair cut ask the hairdresser to give you a bit of your cut-off hair.
How to strand test
If you have different colours in your hair (say, areas of chemical dye or highlights, or partly grey hair) then you should strand test your dye over some of all the different areas of your hair. This is because the colour result will be different over the grey, highlighted, and brown hair.
For a strand test to be useful, you must dye the strand in exactly the same way as you will dye the rest of your hair. Follow the dye instructions exactly as you would if doing our whole head. Coat the strand with the dye and leave it on for the same length of time that you would leave the dye on your whole head of hair.
If the strand is still attached to your head, cover it with some plastic such as cling film.
If the strand is not attached to your head, it is good to keep the strand at body temperature. If you put the strand in a cold place it will not work as well. One way of keeping the strand warm is to wrap the strand in some plastic such as cling film or a plastic bag and keep it close to your body. You could put it in your pocket to do this. Make sure the plastic bag is sealed so no paste can escape onto and stain your clothes!
Strand testing also gives you an idea of how long to leave the colour on your hair for. It will usually be darker the longer you leave it on for. The degree of redness (even in brown dyes) can also change, depending on how long you leave the dye on for.
Rinsing out the strand
If the strand is not attached to your head, and there are only a few hairs, rinse it in a small bowl and then rinse it through a sieve so you don’t loose the hairs down the sink!
If you are using a dye that contains a lot of henna and indigo, we recommend waiting for at least 24 hours after you have dyed the strand and rinsed it out, to see how the colour develops. This is because the colour changes and darkens over time as the colour oxidises.