Teenage Hair Dramas

Perhaps you’re dealing with your teenager’s spiked hair or hormones right now. Red hair color today, blue-black tomorrow. They’re experimenting and probably giving you daily heart attacks. Don't fret. I want to share some advice on how you can survive this stage of your child’s life and revive their damaged hair due to store-bought out-of-the-box hair colors.

First (and unfortunately), some kids will do something with their hair no matter how many times you say “NO”. The best way I’ve found to minimize the damage caused to their mane is to educate them about hair color, and the damage a “midnight color job” can cause, but first we need to educate you about home-kit hair colors. If you’re having a hard time finding good information online, simply bring them in to see a professional. Hair consultations should always be free (especially pre-service consultations; before a hair stylist beings working on anyone’s hair).

Eventually your child (as a teen or young adult) will go to a hair expert anyway, why not do it now? She has begged you for months for highlights, and while you’re standing your ground and firmly saying no, she may end up doing them with a friend during a sleep-over.

Bleaching (yikes!)

This is one of the most popular home-color kits. The results usually come out uneven and the hair near the roots tend to be much lighter than the ends because of scalp’s natural heat.  If the hair is previously colored with another out-of-the-box permanent color it may come out super patchy.


It's the simplest and although it may cause the least amount of damage, it’s probably the hardest to fix. Because it only stains the hair, the color saturation is not proper, it usually results in an extremely faded version of the intended color -like pink- on blonde hair or mahogany red on dark hair. Part of that hue (especially on very light blondes) could be permanent and even bleaching it at a salon might not get rid of the red tones.

Going Dark

A darker color isn’t necessarily a healthier option for hair. It can still cause the same amount of damage to your teen’s hair especially if it is permanent color using ammonia. -Ammonia- you read it right: If it contains ammonia, it will open up the hair cuticle and cause hair to be knotty (if not properly tended to as a salon will). It is usually mixed with hydrogen peroxide (the salon version, not the stuff in a brown bottle from the drugstore).

If one day you come home from work and find your daughter's hair underwent a color-altering process mentioned above, have some clarifying shampoo handy to completely remove any residue of the coloring product (most especially bleach). If the residue sits on the hair for long, it can cause serious damage to the hair. Condition, condition, condition! If you keep a stash of deep conditioning treatment or protein treatment somewhere, it is essential to use it and keep hydrating and repairing the hair for at least two weeks.

Finally, if you’ve tried every reasonable solution and you’re getting desperate, bring them in to your hair pro. We’ll be waiting!