If you want to retain your hair color and keep things vibrant between salon visits, several proven tips can help keep color locked in for longer. Best of all, many of these hacks are affordable and can quickly be followed at home. While you will need to color your root regrowth every couple of months, these at-home tricks can save you some money and reduce your salon visits.
If you have ever wondered how to preserve color, this article is for you. Let’s explore the best tips to keep hair color from fading because your locks don’t have to be lackluster for long!
Get Yourself a Shower Filter
Shower filters are a sure way to improve the health of your hair. Many of us have hard water in our pipes, caused by a build-up of minerals like dissolved calcium and magnesium, chlorine and bacteria, and several metals like copper, iron, and lead.
Over time, these ingredients can wreak havoc on our hair, leaving it bristly to the touch and causing the color to fade fast.
As celeb hair colorist Terry Cunningham shares: “My blonde clients will come in after six to eight weeks with dull hair. That’s because of mineral build-up. It’s the bane of my existence.”
Happily, shower filters can be quickly installed (without a plumber) and soften the water in no time. With a filter, you won’t have to worry about damaging minerals destroying the health of your hair. Adding a filter can preserve your hair color for longer, improve the hair quality, and make it easier to wash out shampoo and conditioner without experiencing a slimy residue after every rinse. (This is a big tell-tale sign that your water is too hard for your hair!)
Don’t Wash Your Hair Too Often
Washing your hair too much can fade the color and dull your tresses fast. Frequent washing can cause two outcomes: it can either dry your hair or lead to an overproduction of oils by the scalp, making hair greasier.
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all rule for washing hair, every two to three days should suffice if you want to protect the color and keep things looking vibrant.
Opt for gentle shampoos (that are sulfate-free) and end the wash with cooler water with strands of hair seal. This can keep the color locked in and ensure that color molecules don’t rinse away.
It’s also advised that you wait 72 hours before washing your hair after you’ve colored it. This gives the dye time to lock in properly and penetrate the hair shafts.
If you are worried about greasy hair, use some dry shampoo between hair washing days.
Choose Products Formulated for Color-Treated Hair
Choosing shampoos and conditioners specifically formulated for color-treated hair is another fantastic way to lock in color for longer. Store-bought shampoos are usually full of harsh sulfates which contain salt. These ingredients can strip hair of its natural oils, and in turn, strip the color. Some store-bought hair products also contain tough ingredients like alcohol which don’t bode well for processed hair.
While salon-grade products might seem expensive, they might save you having to book additional coloring sessions. Since coloring (and particularly bleaching) can damage hair, these products will also boost overall hair health and reduce damage.
When choosing color-friendly shampoo and conditioner, be sure to choose:
- Sulfate-free products
- Conditioners with enriching oils like Tahitian Monoi and Ojon nut
- Salon-approved products, purposed for colored and processed hair
Top tip: Only use clarifying shampoos before you color hair, as these can further fade the hair dye.
Make Time for Hair Mask or At-Home Conditioning Treatment
Hair masks are another fantastic way to replenish moisture, lock in color for longer, and replenish your hair. Once you rinse the mask out, you will feel glorious, radiating ultimate shine. Use these masks weekly or monthly or whenever you need a little pick me up.
As a bonus, these masks offer the ultimate pampering experience. Pop on a hair mask while you soak in the bath or curl up with your favorite book.
Another hair treatment option is a hot oil treatment. These can enhance hair health, strengthen the strands, and boost overall hydration. Colored hair is more prone to damage so it’s super important to keep it healthy and full of shine.
Limit Use of Heat-Styling Tools
Styling tools are lots of fun and allow you to mix up your hairstyle. However, over time the heat can really damage hair. Straightening irons, curling irons, hot curlers, and blow dryers are useful for special occasions but shouldn’t be the norm. Coloring hair erodes the protective cuticles, ultimately damaging the protective layers that encapsulate the strand. This makes hair extra vulnerable to extremities like heating devices.
Heat-styling tools can further dry out our hair and make it look dull. If you want to use them, be sure to use a protective spray before styling and to keep up with those at-home conditioning treatments.
If you have to use a blow dryer, pop it on the lowest heat setting and use a protective hair primer before drying. When possible, air-dry your hair.
Wear a Hat Outside
Unfortunately, UV rays don’t just target our skin. They can also damage our hair and fade the color. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, opt for a stylish sunhat to keep those rays away. This will protect your hair and skin (hello, anti-aging) and make the color last longer.
Take Care with Chlorine
Chlorine gets a bad rap for damaging the hair and at worst, tarnishing bleached hair with a tinge of green. It does this by sucking melanin from hair, further fading color. If you’ll be swimming in a chlorinated pool, opt for a leave-in treatment (like a hair oil) before getting into the pool and cleanse hair deeply once out with a sulfate-free shampoo.
You can also use a hair mask for extra hydration on the days when you swim.
Adding color to your hair can add gorgeous radiance and vitality, but color can fade fast if you don’t look after your locks. Follow these top tips to maintain hair color, and your hair is bound to shine with glossy radiance all year long!