There’s nothing worse than paying top dollar for a beautiful dye job, just to have it fade away sooner than expected. Even if you color your hair at home, you still want your hard work to last as long as possible.
So, what can you do to preserve your hair color and ensure it doesn’t completely fade away between salon visits? Luckily, there are quite a few things in your control.
Wait to shampoo your hair a full 72 hours after coloring. Washing your hair too soon after it’s been colored should be avoided as it will interfere with the cuticle, which opens during the coloring process, and can cause color to wash away in the shower. Because it takes about three days for the cuticle to close back up, waiting this long to shampoo allows for color to absorb fully into the hair first.
Use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. Sulfates strip away natural oils and moisture each time you wash. Using shampoos and conditioners that contain sulfates on color-treated hair further disrupts the cuticle, stripping hair of color more easily, so always look for sulfate-free products.
Add some dye to your conditioner. This is especially beneficial for anyone rocking a pink, green, blue, or purple look because these colors tend to fade quicker (or at least more noticeably) than colors closer to your natural hair color. Regardless, this is a great way to re-dye and refresh your hair with every wash.
Wash your hair with cold water. We’re so used to taking hot showers, that the idea of bathing in cold water may sound insane, but you’ll be doing your color-treated hair a favor. Hot water opens up the cuticle, allowing for color to wash away much easier than if you lower the temperature. Try shampooing with lukewarm water and rinsing out the conditioner with cold water. This will help to seal the cuticle and protect your precious color.
Wash your hair less often. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t wash your hair every day, and this is especially true for color-treated hair. Shampooing every day can cause hair’s natural oils, which provide moisture and help keep color looking fresher for longer, to be stripped away. On top of this, you wash away some of your color each time. Instead, try washing your hair every other day, or even just a couple of times a week to get more longevity from your color.
Use dry shampoo. On non-wash days, trying using a color-safe dry shampoo. This is a great way to amplify color by refreshing your hair without water. There are even color-tinted dry shampoos out there, which is an easy way to amp up your look in just a few minutes.
Use a heat-protecting spray when using hot tools. Protecting your hair against heat styling is a good idea for everyone, however, it’s especially important for color-enhanced locks because heat strips away color and hydration, leading to dry, faded, and damaged hair. Heat protectants can also help defend against UV-rays and humidity, both of which contribute to color fading.
Keep up with trims. Dead ends don’t hold color well, so make sure you’re getting your hair trimmed consistently. Trimming every 6-8 weeks is a good habit to get into to keep your locks looking fresh.
What other tips do you have for making your hair color last? Feel free to share them in the comments!