It doesn’t matter whether you have pastel, rainbow, or a more natural shade of dyed hair, or whether you went to the salon to get your hair colored or you did it at home, you want your new hair color to last as long as possible. You don’t want it to fade or change into a strange color of its former self. You also want your hair to look glossy and well-conditioned. No one wants their mane to look like colored straw.
(Related: Forget About Gray, These Looks Will Make You Want To Dye Your Hair White)
Here’s how to keep your hair color looking its best:
1. Wash it less often.
This is an obvious one but lazy girls aren’t going to argue with it. The more often you wash your hair, the faster it fades. To stretch your time between washes, use a dry shampoo that is ideally formulated for dyed hair such as Fresh Start Color Care Dry Shampoo ($7.29, TRESemme). When you first dye your hair, try to wait as long as possible before you wash it to give your color a chance to “set.”
2. Choose a shampoo and conditioner formulated for colored hair.
You spent good money on your hair color so don’t use the wrong products on it. Color-treated shampoos and conditioners nourish your hair and help protect the color. Also, look for a sulfate-free product. Shampoos with sulfates can strip your hair of the color. Color Freeze Sulfate-Free Shampoo ($17.50, Schwarzkopf) promises up to 90% color retention after 30 shampoos. Use it with the corresponding conditioner, Color Save Conditioner ($20.50, Schwarzkopf).
3. Use cool water when you’re rinsing your hair.
No one likes a cold shower. Heck, no one likes a lukewarm shower. However, the hot water makes your hair color more likely to bleed and fade. Turn the hot water down when you’re rising your hair.
4. Be careful when using hair products.
Hold up before you apply your usual hairsprays and lotions. They can actually make your color fade. To play it safe, avoid any products that aren’t formulated for color-treated hair.
5. Use a mask or deep-conditioning treatment to keep your hair hydrated.
Dyeing your hair can leave it brittle and dry. To hydrate your hair and keep it looking glossy use a deep-conditioning treatment formulated for color-treated hair once a week. Technician Color Care Luxe Color Mask ($24.99, Fekkai) moisturizes hair and boosts radiance.
6. Reduce your styling tools.
Remember what we just said about your hair being a brittle post-dye job? Lay off the blow dryer, straightener, and curling iron so you don’t damage your locks. You can also use a leave-in treatment to nourish the ends. Life Drops Color Locking Leave-In Conditioning Treatment ($22, Terax) reduces flyaways and helps lock in color and moisture.
7. Watch out for chlorine water.
It’s summer so no one is going to refuse a dip in the pool but be aware that the chlorine can do a number on your dyed hair. It can turn blonde or pastel hair green and strip the color out of rainbow brights. To protect your hair, you could avoid going underwater or use a swim cap.
If you want to go diving, apply a protecting leave-in conditioner to wet hair before you take a dip in the pool. Swimmer’s Leave-In Conditioner ($17.99, Ion) protects your hair from sun and chlorine damage. Be careful of clarifying post-swim shampoos. They will get the chlorine out but they can also take some of the colors with.
8. Remember your hair sunscreen.
Yes, there is SPF protection for your hair. Your hair may not turn lobster red like your face but the sun can alter your hair color and dry out your stands. A hair product with UVA/UVB protection and SPF like Refreshing Sun Protection Spray For Body/Hair SPF 16 ($30, Shiseido) will stop the sun from ruining your mane.
9. Try a gloss to extend the life of your color.
If you dyed your hair a natural shade like brown, blonde, or red there are color-boosting glosses on the market, like Ultimate Shine Red Gloss ($26, Rita Hazan) that refresh the dull color. If you’re just looking for shine, you can use a clear gloss.
10. Use a silver shampoo to correct brassiness.
If your white blonde hair has started looking a little yellow a silver shampoo such as So Silver Shampoo ($12.99, Matrix) can bring it back to its proper Daenerys Targaryen shade. It also works great for gray and silver-haired ladies. Blondes can also try a violet shampoo to increase cool tones.