Is Your Hair Color Fading Problems all Your Fault?

Whether you color your hair yourself (be careful, please) or you spend hundreds of dollars at the salon, some people just can’t seem to catch a break with hair color fading. While some fading is to be expected, you may be surprised to learn that some of the reasons your hair color is fading are all your fault, and some of the things you always thought was fading your hair, really aren’t at all.

Hair Color Fading Problems
Is Your Hair Color Fading Problems all Your Fault? Photo Credit: The Power of Forever Photography/Getty

Your Hair is Damaged

Honesty is the best policy here. Is your hair damaged? Do you flat iron and curl it too often? Are your highlights damaging your hair?

FACT: When your hair has damaged the cuticle of your hair doesn’t seal down, and the color escapes through this unsealed cuticle.

You may have damage that you don’t even realize. For example, if you use box color often or your hair is over processed, your hair’s cuticle suffers un-repairable damage.

MYTH: You can’t reverse the most damage that’s already done to your hair, but there are several things you can do to stop the damage and prevent future damage. Above all, be sure to discuss your hair’s damage with your hairdresser and come up with a plan of products and services that can help prevent future damage.

Damaged hair
Damaged hair. Hair Color Fading Problems. Keith Berson/Getty

Your Shampoo is Stripping Your Hair Color

FACT: So often your hair color investment is literally washed down the drain by your shampoo. Shampoos can be full of sulfates and harsh detergents that wash everything off your hair, including the color.

MYTH: Color safe shampoo will not fade color.

The wrong shampoo can be the problem, but washing your hair too often is a guaranteed way to strip your color, no matter what kind of shampoo you use. While it’s great to shop for a shampoo that’s sulfate free and color safe; you’ll get more mileage out of your color if you put as many days between shampoos as possible.

A great alternative to traditional shampoo is a cleansing conditioner, but do your homework before choosing a cleansing conditioner. Many are full of waxes that can cause serious long-term damage to your hair.

Shampoo is Stripping Your Hair Color
Peter Cade/Getty

Sun Exposure is Fading Your Hair

FACT: The sun is one of the biggest culprits of hair color robbery.

MYTH: Sunscreen for your hair will block UV rays and keep hair from fading.

Ultra Violet protection is a lot easier with hair products these days, but even the best sunscreen can’t completely prevent color fade from sun exposure. If you know you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the sun (yard word, beach days, or sporting events), investing in a hat that completely blocks UV rays is your best bet for sun protection.

Do continue to use products that help deliver SPF protection. Even small doses of sun exposure add up to color fading and products that protect from UV rays can help minimize that exposure.

Sun Exposure is Fading Your Hair
Frank P Wartenberg/Getty

Your Water Temperature is Fading Your Hair

MYTH: You’ve probably been told time and time again that you have to rinse your hair in cold water to keep your color from fading. This is a big fat myth, in my opinion.

FACT: The fact is that rinsing your hair in warm water is okay, but it’s not necessary to freeze in your final moments in the shower. Scalding hot water can open your cuticle, but rinsing in warm to slightly cool water is just fine.

Water Temperature is Fading Your Hair
Photo Credit: Glow Decor/Getty

Your Toner has Worn Off

FACT: Toner wears off before your next hair color appointment. If your stylist used a toner to perfect your hair color or highlights, it’ll probably wear off after 6 to 8 weeks.

MYTH: You have to return to the salon to have your toner updated.

You can keep your toner (which typically tones out yellow and brassy tones) fresh by self-toning at home using self-toning shampoos and conditioners. These products have a pigmented base that keeps unwanted tones at bay or keeps your color vibrant.

Toner has Worn Off
Photo Credit: Byba Sepit/Getty

You’re Not Deep Conditioning Your Hair

FACT: Deep conditioning treatments will help restore shine and seal the cuticle of your hair, keeping the color locked in for longer.

MYTH: Deep conditioning treatments are expensive and should be done at the salon.

I love at home deep conditioning treatments, and some of my favorites are incredibly affordable. A weekly mask with a deep conditioning treatment will ensure your color lasts longer, and your hair will have more shine and vibrancy.

Deep Conditioning Your Hair
Paul Viant/Getty
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