Getty ImagesCatherine Q. O'Neill, Allure magazine
This week, news spread like wildfire that Mad Men star January Jones was going bald due to multiple dye jobs. "I have been every colour and now my hair is falling out in clumps," Jones told fashion magazine Grazia. Naturally, the news freaked out quite a few people (especially the ones reading their Twitter feeds mid-double process). So, we called trusted colorist Kyle White to set the record straight.
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Turns out, hair dye probably isn't the problem. "Hair color can dry hair, make it brittle, and even break the hair in extreme cases, but it doesn't make hair fall out," White says. "The only way to make hair fall out is to damage the root of the hair under the scalp." Because hair color doesn't go into the scalp, Jones is either referring to her hair breaking off mid-strand or there's something else at work. "Hair loss is a medical issue, not a hair-color issue," White says. "It can be caused be a variety of things-stress being the number one factor-but should be addressed by a dermatologist."
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But that's not to say Jones's extreme hair changes are safe. "When you are changing your hair color often, you can dry out and damage it," White says. You can repair hair to a certain degree-moisturizing coconut oil penetrates the furthest into strands-but the best remedy is usually scissors. If it's a dramatic change you want, always go darker, which is less damaging than lightening the hair. And if you do want to go blonde, don't overhaul your shade overnight. "I've found that you can get to any color in three applications," White says. Finally, if your hair continues to look damaged, consider switching colorists. "Hair color does not damage hair, hair colorists damage hair," White says. "Look for someone that stays up on the latest technology and uses it properly."
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