Dyeing your hair is a fun way to get a brand new look instantly, but if you just want to add a little more depth and shine without completely changing the colour (and without the damage), here are two easy ways to enhance what you've already got.
When I was at college, I went through a phase of dying my hair every colour under the sun without giving much thought about the damage I was doing to it. My hair was never naturally thick, but it was healthy and I had lots of it, even it's always been on the fine side. Fast forward a couple of years and my hair was a hot mess thanks to all the bleach and harsh chemicals I was dumping on it on a regular basis (dyeing your hair from black to platinum blonde to red to black to blonde again is never a good idea in such a short succession of time - no matter how easy Kim Kardashian makes it look!).
My hair was horribly dry, resembling straw and worse still, it was starting to break off really easily. I had an intervention with myself and vowed to not use bleach until my hair had fully recovered, and it took a good 2-3 years for it to start to feel 'normal' again. Nowadays, I mostly stick closely to my natural hair colour and avoid anything with bleach in it, but I do like to 'enhance' it with some easy to use, damage-free products, to give it some extra life, depth and shine when it starts to look a bit 'blah'.
(1) Switch to a more 'natural' based semi-permanent colour: Tints Of Nature Semi-Permanent Hair Colour* (£9.99, link)
When I started to experiment with semi-permanent hair colours, there wasn't a great deal of choice available if you wanted to find a product that didn't use harsh chemicals. I remember playing around with some huge blocks of henna from LUSH, but that was about it. With the trend towards more 'greener' alternatives and the joys of accessible online shopping, you can now pick up some great natural based, semi-permanent hair colours.
One such brand that is very popular in this area are Tints Of Nature, who have won multiple awards over the years for their innovative formulas that are free from the usual harsh chemicals such as peroxide, ammonia, PPDs, PTDs, resorcinol and parabens. Instead, their unique colourant is composed of natural ingredients, 65% of which are certified organic. This is such a different semi-hairdye to anything I've tried before as it feels wonderfully nourishing and doesn't dry out or strip my hair thanks to ingredients such as Aloe, Comfrey and Chamomile.
Applying it was easy and just the same as normal hair-dye, except that it smells a lot better (sort of fruity and a bit herbal!). I used the shade 3DBR Dark Brown which is the closest shade to my natural hair colour and it was a perfect match to give it that extra depth and shine that I was after. Lasted around 8-10 washes for me (box says anywhere between 6-12) which I was impressed with! For those who have greys, it promises to cover up to 80% of those, and Tints Of Nature have a permanent hairdye range as well if you're after something more long term. Well worth checking out!
(2) Try A Colour Enhancing Shampoo: Superdrug Colour Effects Colour Enhancing Shampoo* (100ml, £1.99 each, link)
Colour enhancing shampoos are a great way to add subtle tones to dull looking natural hair, or to give a boost to coloured hair when it starts to fade. Typically, these aren't natural based, but because they're wash in, wash out formulas, they won't damage your hair like permanent hairdye can. I've tried a couple of different brands of these and would recommend Maria Nila's Colour Refresh range (reviewed in the past here), and for those on a budget, the Superdrug Colour Effects line is fantastic.
I've been loving the latter for a quick fix recently, and have been using their 6.7 Warm Chocolate Brown when I want more rich, chocolately tones, and 6.45 Burgundy Red to satisfy any subtle red tone cravings that I've been having. Both of these work really well on my medium/dark brown hair and leave it soft and shiny afterwards. They have lots of different shades that you can experiment with for a temporary subtle colour change, all without the damage.
Do you use any colour enhancing products?