"Uh oh, are you starting to notice your once-vibrant colored locks looking a little lackluster? Don't panic! Having your dyed hair fade quickly is a common problem, but with some smart maintenance tricks, you can keep your color looking fresh and dazzling for longer.
In this post, I'll share my tried-and-true tips for making colored hair color really last, so you can get the most out of your expensive dye job. From using sulfate-free hair products to minimizing heat styling, you'll learn easy ways to keep your color from quickly washing down the drain.
I'll also advise on how often to touch up your roots, what ingredients to look for in conditioning hair masks, techniques to prevent fading from chlorine and sun exposure, and more. Plus, I'll recommend my favorite at-home glossing treatments that deposit temporary color between salon appointments.
Follow these pro colorist-approved recommendations and you can keep your fabulous fuchsia, poppin' purple, or spicy red locks looking like you just stepped out of the salon. Let's get started preserving that dazzling dye job!"
Here are more detailed explanations for preserving colored hair:
- Use Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner
Sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate are harsh detergents that strip color molecules from the hair shaft. They penetrate deeply to clean but also remove dye particles. Switch to a high-quality shampoo and conditioner formulated without these harsh sulfates. Look for gentle cleansing ingredients like cocamidopropyl betaine. Nourishing formulas with oils like argan, coconut, and avocado help seal in moisture and protect color. I recommend Rahua Color Full Shampoo and Conditioner.
- Wash Hair Less Frequently
Over-shampooing is one of the biggest culprits for fast fading. The more often you wash, the more the cuticle opens and allows dye to be stripped away. Limit shampooing to 2-3 times per week maximum for colored hair. Space out washes as long as you can tolerate. Use a dry shampoo like Batiste Dry Shampoo between regular washes to absorb oil and refresh hair.
- Use Cool Water When Washing
Hot water causes the cuticle, or outer layer of the hair, to open and expand. This allows more color pigment to be washed away. Rinsing with cold or lukewarm water causes the cuticle to contract and seal, locking in more color. Always finish conditioning with a cool water rinse to close the cuticle and reflect more light.
- Deep Condition Weekly
Intensely moisturized hair reflects light better and holds onto color molecules longer. A weekly deep conditioning treatment provides hydration and helps prevent the cuticle from opening. Look for thick, rich hair masks with ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and dimethicone. Apply generously and leave on for 10+ minutes before rinsing. Try Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair.
- Protect Hair from Sun Exposure
UV rays from the sun degrade hair protein and cause oxidation, fading color. Wear wide-brimmed hats and use a protective hair product containing SPF when spending time outdoors. Look for sprays with UV filters like Encens Solar Protection Spray.
- Avoid Chlorine and Salt Water
Chlorine from pools and salt water strip moisture from hair, lift cuticles, and allow color to escape. Always wet hair before swimming and wear a tight cap over colored hair. Rinse immediately after to remove damaging chemicals. An occasional swim won't ruin hair but regular exposure will cause fading.
- Use an At-Home Color Depositing Treatment
As colored hair fades, temporary depositing treatments can provide a boost. They contain tiny semipermanent dye molecules that infuse into the strands, refreshing faded or uneven color. Apply these conditioning glosses as needed, following the brand's instructions. Try Overtone Coloring Conditioner or Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Tint.
- Get Regular Touch-Up Appointments
New growth along the roots and part line happens within 4-6 weeks. The contrast of regrowth against colored hair can look harsh. Schedule salon touch-ups every 4-6 weeks to match new growth to your overall color. Ask your stylist for recommended timing based on your color and hair type.
- Invest in a Wet Brush
A quality wet brush provides pain-free detangling of fragile, wet hair. The soft, flexible bristles glide through tangles instead of tugging and ripping hair. This minimizes breakage of compromised colored strands. Use your wet brush when conditioning in the shower and before bed on towel dried hair.
- Use Heat Styling Sparingly
Frequent use of hot styling tools like blow dryers, curling wands, and flat irons over-dries and damages colored hair causing early fading. Allow hair to air dry naturally when you can. When heat styling, always apply a thermal protectant spray first and keep tools on the lowest effective temperature. Take breaks between heat styling days.
"Keeping your colored hair looking salon-fresh and vibrant can feel like an uphill battle at times, but have no fear - you now have plenty of insider tips to make that dye job last. By being diligent to wash less often with cooler water, deep condition weekly, protect hair from UV exposure, get consistent touch ups, and minimize heat styling, you can maintain rich, dazzling color for months on end. Your hair will feel softer, smoother, and look so much more radiant by following these tried-and-true preservation methods. Say goodbye to lackluster locks and embrace gorgeously glowing strands that dazzle with brilliant color. With this handy new knowledge, you can ensure that fabulous new fuchsia or spicy red hair retains its eye-catching vibrancy and remains runway-ready for much longer!"