One of the fastest ways to blow a stack of money is to invest in getting your hair colored at the salon only go to home and ruin it a few weeks or even days later. Yes, that can actually happen if you’re not careful. Despite what you may have heard, it’s pretty easy to ruin your color-treated hair. All you have to do is wash too soon and too often and become besties with the sun among a few other things to ruin your hair color and there is no bottle of product that can undo the damage once it’s done. To help you avoid throwing away your money, here are some easy tips for how to make your hair color last longer and keep your color vibrant.
WASHING YOUR HAIR RIGHT AFTER YOUR COLOR SERVICE
After you get your hair colored, it takes up to 72 hours for your new hair color to fully oxidize meaning it will be about three days before your hair is true to its final color. What happens during this time is your cuticles close back down and starts holding in your new hair color. If you wash your hair before then, you risk washing away your fresh color pigment and leaving your hair looking washed out before the color has even had a chance to set in.
SHAMPOOING TOO FREQUENTLY AND TOO LONG
When you shampoo your hair too often, you significantly increase the rate of your hair color fading. Water is not a friend to color. To keep your hair color looking fresh, you should wash your hair as infrequently as possible if you want it to last and that’s the honest truth. You should shampoo as often as your scalp needs so don’t sacrifice your scalp for the sake of your color but don’t wash your hair too frequently either. When washing your hair, get through it quickly. Lather once being sure to concentrate the shampoo on your scalp and rinse your hair quickly under the shower head. If you find that your scalp get’s oily in-between washes, try a dry shampoo so soak up oil on your scalp. Batiste Original Dry Shampoo and and “Rusk Deepshine Color Care Invisible Dry Shampoo are both good options for all hair colors as they don’t leave that typical white residue of some dry shampoos. Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk and Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo are also good buys.
WASHING WITH TOO HOT WATER
When you’re washing your hair, keep your water lukewarm to cool because the heat from the water swells your hair and allows your cuticles to open wider which in turn releases more of your hair color so every hot wash will wash your color down the drain. Literally.
WASHING YOUR HAIR IN HARD WATER
We can’t emphasize how much water is the enemy to color treated hair. Over time, hard water can dull color treated hair (as well as non-treated and even your skin). Some homes have water that contain nearly as much chlorine as recommend amounts for swimming pools. Water softeners or filters are a great investment to keep your hair (and skin) vibrant. Which one should you buy? A high quality and still affordable option is the T3 Micro Source Showerhead Shower Filter. It works by removing up to 95% of chlorine from shower water to improve your hair’s body, shine, and color retention plus make skin noticeably softer. In addition to a shower filter, blondes especially should use tone balancing shampoos like Clairol Professional Shimmer Lights Shampoo to keep their hair from yellowing if they have hard water.
SHAMPOOING WITH SULFATE SHAMPOOS
Sulfate free shampoo is definitely the best choice for washing color-treated hair. Most shampoos and conditioners labeled “color safe” or “color-preserving” are often just gentle, sulfate-free shampoos. Some brands even formulate their color safe products with their own type of color preserving technology.? Renpure Organics Argan Oil Luxurious Shampoo And Conditioner,?KMS California Color Vitality Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner,?Herbal Essences Color Me Happy Shampoo And Conditioner,?John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Shampoo?and?Conditioner,?Pureology Colour Fanatic?are great brands that are gentle on color treated hair.
NOT USING A COLOR-DEPOSITING CONDITIONER
Color depositing conditioners are important because they keep your color looking vibrant between color services. They can’t work miracles and make your color look like the first day you got your hair done, but they can boost the vibrancy of your hair. You don’t have to use a color-depositing conditioner after every shampoo, every other time or once a month may be all you need. Be sure to leave your color depositing conditioner on your hair for three to five minutes while you shower before your rinse it out quickly under that lukewarm water we told you about. Aveda Color Depositing Conditioner enriches warm tones in dark and red shades of hair, Aveda Clove Conditioner enriches warm tones in medium brown shades of hair, Joico Color Infuse Red Conditioner refreshes and protects the vibrancy and luminosity of red tones and Wella Professionals Color Recharge Colour Refreshing Conditioner as well as John Frieda offers various tones for brunettes, blondes and red heads.
Color depositing conditioners can sometimes stain fabric, so you might want to invest in dark towels for caring for your color treated hair. Also it’s not a good idea to go to bed on a white pillowcase with a head full of wet hair after a color-depositing conditioner treatment depending on the brand you used, so to be safe, lay a towel over your pillow before you snooze with damp hair.
TOUCHING UP YOUR ROOTS WITH BOX “ROOT TOUCH UP” COLORS
In theory, the idea of root touch ups are nice but what you often get with products like this is a calico cat look as your hair grows out. Some colors may match your roots perfectly but often they won’t especially if your existing color was custom created in the salon. Applying root touch up products to salon color treated hair will often leave a band of color at your roots obviously highlighting where your touch-up was applied. If you want your roots touched up, be sure to schedule an appointment with your colorist.
NOT PROTECTING YOUR HAIR IN THE SUN
You should be using a color protecting leave-in on your hair to keep it in its best condition and minimize fading. The sun’s UV rays can wreak havoc on your color treated hair year round–yes even during winter–so it’s essential to try to slow down the process of your hair color oxidizing and fading from sun exposure or turning brassy if you’re blonde. A hat is obviously going to be the first line of defense but not everyone is a hat girl–or has hair that can even fit under a hat. If you’re at the beach or pool for a swim, you can spray an oil-based sun screen on your hair and it will work just fine. For day to day sun exposure, quality UV hair sprays are good options. Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil is a top of the line UV hair spray that provides an invisible film and formulated with green tea extract, certified organic flower seed oil and vitamin E, organic shea butter, coconut and palm oil and smells beautiful thanks to neroli, ylang ylang and wild crafted citrus oils. We also like Rene Furterer Okara UV Radiance Enhancing Spray, L’Oreal EverPure UV Protect Spray and Paul Mitchell Sun Shield Conditioning Spray.
This article is part of our “Curls In Color” series and is in collaboration with Hair Polish Natural Hair Studio in Lo Angeles, California.