You just got out of the salon, and you’re in love with your new hair color. While hair color will never last forever, there are still ways that you can lengthen the time it does.
Caring for dyed hair differs greatly from natural hair. If you want your hair color to stay vibrant, avoid making these mistakes that will fade your new color.
1. Washing Your Hair Too Often
You don’t need to wash your hair every day, especially if you have colored hair. With each wash, your hair color fades.
Instead of using shampoo and conditioner daily, switch to washing your hair every other day. If you notice your roots getting greasy, use some dry shampoo to absorb any oil.
Make sure you don’t wash your hair on the same day you get it dyed – it’s best to wait two to three days after. Otherwise, you can expect your beautiful color to rinse out in the shower.
2. Using Shampoo/Conditioner With Sulfates
Before you use your go-to shampoo and conditioner, check for these ingredients:
- sodium laureth sulfate
- sodium lauryl sulfate, or
- sodium chloride.
These ingredients act like a deep-cleaning detergent that can actually strip your hair of its new color.
While sulfate does work to keep your hair clean, it also causes your hair color to fade very fast. If you don’t have any sulfate-free products in your shower, buy some – it’s worth the investment.
3. Frequently Using Heat Tools
Although you probably like using a curling wand, flat iron, or hairdryer every day, you might have to adjust your routine. First off, don’t set your heat tools at the highest possible temperature. Not only does this cause hair damage, but it can also cause your color to become dull.
You should also remember to apply heat protectant spray, like L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Sleek It Iron Straight Heat Spray, before using any heat tool. This keeps your hair safe from high temperatures, and also works to help your hair stay smooth and hydrated.
4. Not Protecting Your Hair Against UV
Did you know that even the heat from the sun can damage your hair? Staying out in the sun for hours at a time can lighten and fade your color-treated hair. The next time you go to the beach, don’t be caught without a UV protectant hair spray. Sprays like Sun Bum Revitalizing 3 in 1 Leave-In Conditioner Spray Detangler and COOLA Organic Scalp Spray & Hair Sunscreen Mist With SPF 30 are both color safe and vegan options.
In addition to protecting your hair from sun rays, you should also start using a leave-in conditioner. Colored hair is prone to dryness, split ends, and frizziness – a leave-in conditioner can restore your hair’s shine and silkiness.
5. Dyeing Your Hair Too Often
Don’t turn to box dye the moment you notice that your hair color’s fading. In fact, you shouldn’t even call your salon for a touchup.
You should wait a bare minimum of at least four weeks before thinking about coloring your hair again. Coloring your hair too often can cause breakage and very frail strands.
However, if you decide to use a less-damaging semi-permanent dye, you can wait a shorter amount of time between dye jobs.
You can use a temporary color that’s less harsh on your hair if you need a quick root touch-up for a few days. Most of these only last through your next wash. KISS Root Cover Up Gray Concealer Spray, EVERPRO Gray Away Root Touch Up Stick, and L’Oreal Paris Magic Root Precision Temporary Gray Hair Color Concealer Brush are all great options for touch-ups.
6. Washing Your Hair With Hot Water
Another major factor leading to faded, dull hair is your shower temperature. We all enjoy taking a relaxing hot shower, but that won’t make your color-treated hair last. Hot water opens your hair cuticle, letting the color escape.
To avoid this, use lukewarm or cool water when washing your hair. You can switch back to hot water when you’re done.
7. Swimming in Chlorinated Pools
Although a dip in the pool is refreshing, chlorine will only wreak havoc on your color-treated hair. Chlorine is used as a bleach, meaning it can alter and fade the color of your dyed hair. It causes blonde hair to have a green tinge and also makes brown and black hair become dull.
Fortunately, you can avoid chlorine altogether by wearing a swimmer’s cap. You might look silly, but at least your hair is safe! In case you don’t want to wear a cap, you can also use a leave-in conditioner before you swim to form a protective barrier against the chlorine.
8. Roughly Towel-Drying Your Hair
Right when you get out of the shower, your first instinct is to towel dry your hair. Scrubbing your hair with a towel can actually rub the color right out of your hair. Try blotting your hair with the towel instead, and let it air dry.
9. Using Hard Water
Minerals and chemicals in your water can wreak havoc with your color. If you notice discoloration, especially with blonde hair, install a shower filter. You’ll need to change it regularly, but it makes caring for dyed hair much easier. After all, you don’t want to ruin your color just because you have hard water.
Both AquaHomeGroup and AquaBliss offer multi-stage filters to capture minerals and chemicals that are harmful to your hair and skin, while infusing water with better vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C.
10. Skipping Conditioner
While washing your hair too often is a major no-no, don’t skip the conditioner. In fact, you could skip shampooing and just condition your hair. While conditioner doesn’t necessarily make your color last longer, it does help protect your hair and follicles from drying out from the dyes.
Of course, make sure your conditioner is color safe without sulfates. This will help your dye last longer.
Maintaining Your Hair Color
You don’t want to let your time and money go to waste by letting your hair color fade. Breaking old habits is the solution to maintaining your color-treated hair. With some simple changes, your hair will look fabulous for longer.
The next time you go to the salon to get your hair re-dyed, consider changing your haircut as well. But first, read this guide on how to find the perfect haircut for your face shape.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which hair color fades fastest?
Reddish dyes have the largest molecules, which makes these colors fade faster than brunette, blonde, and other shades. To make reds last longer, consider going to your stylist versus dying at home for a higher quality color.
How can I add more shine to color-treated hair?
Dyes dry out your hair, which can make it frizzy and fragile. Trying to use heat styling tools to tame it just makes it worse. Instead, focus on deep conditioning treatments. Use a color-safe treatment at least once per week to keep your hair soft and shiny. You usually leave these in for 5-30 minutes before rinsing.
Image credit: Josh Maddocks via Unsplash
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