Whether you have platinum blonde, brunette, black, red, or even blue hair, color-treated hair needs a little extra attention if you’re wanting your color to last long. Nothing is worse than spending big bucks at your hair salon for the newest trending color and then having it fade after a week due to not taking care of your locks. Trust me: I learned the hard way. Coming from someone who has had pink, orange, black, brunette, and blonde, I have had to learn a thing or two about how to take care of dyed hair. Here are the tips that I have gathered over the years and tips from a hairstylist:
1. After coloring, wait a full 72 hrs before shampooing
When coloring hair, your cuticle layer is opened, making it easy for color to penetrate the hair shaft. When you wash your hair too soon after your appointment, the cuticle layer could still be open which then leads to your color being washed down the drain. It takes up to three days for the cuticle layer to fully close, so the longer you wait to shampoo your hair after you color your hair, the more time the color pigment will have to soak into the hair cuticle, which will help your color last longer in between salon visits.
2. Use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner
Sodium laureth sulfate, also known as sodium laureth ether sulfate, is a type of anionic detergent that is found in many personal care products. This ingredient is used to help produce a foaming effect to your shampoos and conditioners. By using sulfates, you run the risk of stripping your hair of its natural oils and moisture, which can then lead to stripping your beautiful color-treated hair (which you just spent hours and dollars at the hair salon to achieve).
Try using a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to keep your hair color from fading. L’oreal has great options for all hair types, so whether you have frizzy, curly, straight, or even thin hair, there is a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner option for all.
3. Add dye to your conditioner
If you’re rocking a brighter look like pink, purple, or even blue, try adding a little bit of your dye to your conditioner when washing hair. “Using color depositing conditioners will do wonders to keep your color vibrant at home,” said celebrity hairstylist Michael Dueñas. He recommended Aloxxi’s Instaboost line, and our editors also love Kristen Ess’s Color-Depositing Conditioner. This will slightly re-dye your hair every time you wash to keep it looking fresh until your roots grow out.
4. Turn down water temperature when shampooing
Though hot showers feel amazing to some, it isn’t so great for your hair color. When washing hair with hot water, your hair’s cuticle is opened, allowing your color to wash out while shampooing and conditioning.
To prevent seeing all of your color go down the drain, try shampooing with slightly warm water and then rinse with cold water after conditioning. The warm water will allow the shampoo and conditioner to penetrate and cleanse, while the cold water will help seal in the moisture from your conditioner while preventing color from fading by sealing the hair’s cuticle.
5. Wash hair less often
Washing your hair every day is something you want to avoid if wanting your hair color to last longer, especially if you have a vibrant color. Not only are you washing away the natural oils that moisturize and keep your hair color looking fresh, according to Dueñas, you also wash away a little bit of your hair dye every time you wash your hair. Try washing your hair every other day or even 2-3 times a week to keep your color on lock. You shouldn’t wash more than that unless you’re working out a lot, said Dueñas.
“If you find your color is fading fast, but your hair is oily/greasy and you need to wash often, mix your shampoo with your conditioner,” Dueñas suggested. It’ll make the shampoo “less abrasive,” keeping your color longer.
6. On off days, use dry shampoo
On your off days of not washing your hair, try using color-safe dry shampoos. These will refresh your hair and make it look like you just got a blowout without even having to wash your hair! You can also try color-tinted dry shampoos to revamp your color without having to head to the salon.
7. Use leave-in treatments to protect hair color when styling
Colored and chemically-treated hair needs extra hydration and protection from the sun to prevent damage and loss of nutrients to the hair. Leave-in treatments will help keep your hair smooth and hydrated, and it’s important to find one with UV protection so that the sun won’t fade your hair color. Dueñas even recommended adding a sunscreen spray over your hair if you don’t want to purchase another product. “Using hairsprays and styling products with UV protection will do wonders.”
8. Use heat protectant spray before using hot tools
Heat will strip away color and hydration and lead to damaged hair. To help prevent these problems from happening while using hot tools, try using a heat protectant spray before blow drying or styling. Heat protectant sprays will help reduce moisture loss from inside the hair, smooth the outside of the hair, and protect your hair from humidity after heat styling which, in all, will help maintain your color. Dueñas recommended starting any of your irons with the lowest setting possible as well to avoid the high heat from pulling the color from your hair.
9. Prepare your hair for next color process
Use a clarifying shampoo the day before your next color treatment at the hair salon. This will strip your hair of any oils that could block your color from penetrating the cuticle at a deeper level.
10. Avoid chlorine and salt water
Chlorine is a chemical bleaching agent that cleans pools and will definitely strip color from your hair when enjoying a sunny pool day. Blonde hair is susceptible to turning a greenish tint, while darker shades may become dull, dry out, and lose their shine. So, if you find yourself wanting to go to the pool, try a swimmer’s cap! “If you are going to be swimming in the ocean, or in a pool, adding conditioner to your hair and putting it in a cap will save your color from being drawn out by salts and chlorine,” Dueñas said. This will create a barrier on the hair shaft so that the chlorine won’t penetrate.
11. Keep up with trims
Dead ends won’t hold color and will fade even faster, so make sure you are cutting off those dead ends every 6-8 weeks so your color looks fresh from root to tip.