At the same time, the chemicals in hair dye do some serious damage -- like ammonia and peroxide -- no matter how gentle the coloring process. On top of that, most of us add the problem on a nightly basis with a seemingly innocuous bedtime routine: sleeping on cotton pillowcases. As it turns out, sleeping on a cotton pillowcase is one of the worst things you can do to color-damaged hair (right up there with excessive heat styling).
But we are here with a solution -- switch to a pure mulberry silk pillowcase and pamper your color-treated tresses all night long.
What Does Hair Dye Do to Your Hair?
First let's talk about how hair dye works and what the process does to your hair. You may love how you look when leaving the salon, but the process itself isn't pretty for your hair. In fact, coloring your hair involves significant damage to the hair cuticle to allow the color to take. It's a harsh chemical treatment:
- Ammonia in dye elevates the pH of your hair which lifts the cuticle. Your hair cuticle is a protective layer with overlapping “scales” somewhat like shingles on a roof. In healthy straight hair, these shingles lay flat (note: the scales on curly hair are already slightly elevated, which is why curly hair is even more susceptible to damage from color).
- The peroxide strips the current color.
- New color is deposited in the hair shaft.
The process of lifting, stripping and coloring damages your hair and the effects are cumulative. Even so called “natural dyes” and simple bleach highlights are a risk for dried out hair and breakage. The more color you use, and the longer you color your hair, the greater the damage.
Why Your Pillowcase Matters When You Have Color-Treated Hair
So why does your pillowcase matter so much when you have color-treated hair? The answer begins with understanding the shortcomings of your cotton pillowcase. Cotton is a plant-based fiber that has two innate properties that make it a hugely popular fabric: absorbency and texture. A cotton pillowcase acts as a reverse conditioner by pulling moisture out while you sleep, leaving you with dry hair. Additionally, the cotton fibers cause friction, which can tug and pull on your hair. This results in frizz, hair breakage, split ends, tangles, and bed head. Indeed, sleeping on cotton is a bad choice for any hair type, but especially so for anyone with coarse, curly, or color treated hair, which has already sustained significant damage. But a silk pillowcase on the other hand is completely different.
Why A Silk Pillowcase Is Better for Color Treated Hair
Unlike cotton, a silk pillowcase is perfect for all types of hair, particularly hair that has been dried out or damaged from color. Like hair, silk is a protein-based fiber; mulberry silk fiber contains a specific protein known as sericin is a natural conditioner that helps keep your hair soft, smooth, and healthy. In fact, sericin can be found in many salon-quality hair products because it helps hair retain moisture by coating the cuticle. Unlike cotton, which absorbs moisture from hair, silk's unique molecular structure helps your hair and skin retain moisture. Lastly, our mulberry silk charmeuse is incredibly soft and smooth which protects the fragile cuticle of your hair. As you sleep, your hair will gently glide across the surface of the silk pillowcase, with no tugging, tearing, or friction. This is why natural silk pillowcases are so great at minimizing frizz, tangles and bed head (Note: silk pillowcase benefits also include slowing down sleep wrinkles and protecting sensitive skin).
Pro tip: As we all know, freshly dyed hair can discolor your favorite pillowcases and towels. Silk is certainly no exception to this rule. If you're like us, make sure to have a separate dedicated silk pillowcase and towel to use for the few days just after coloring your hair.
Where to Find the Best Silk Pillowcase
Look no further than Mulberry Park Silks for a wonderful selection of pure silk pillowcases. As you shop, keep in mind that silk comes in varying momme weight (similar to thread count), quality, and type, all of which influence the cost. We recommend learning more about how to shop for silk, and choosing only a high-quality, 100 percent mulberry silk pillowcase. Don't be fooled by satin or blends; insist on pure mulberry silk to treat your hair and scalp to a true night of beauty sleep. Before purchasing a silk pillowcase we highly recommend reading our silk pillowcase buyers guide.