If you color your hair (like the majority of the population does), you know that one of the biggest issues with maintaining the color is that it fades, sometimes fairly quickly. If you get the perfect color, it fades out. Reds, especially, fade quickly due to the size of their color molecules. If your color comes out too dark, sometimes you’re thankful that it fades.
The hair care industry has come out with numerous products to prevent fading, refresh and tone hair color, and preserve all that precious time and money that went into tinting those locks.
So what actually works to make your hair color last longer? Is there really anything that will help delay the fading so you can go longer in between salon visits or coloring sessions?
Color Saving Tip #1: Revamp Your Shower
You don’t really need to spend a lot of money on color-refreshing shampoos and conditioners or products that promise to preserve your color with every use. The best product switch-up you can make is changing to a gentle sulfate-free shampoo (and the majority of product lines have at least one now).
Sadly, sulfates (such as sodium laureth and lauryl sulfate, salt-based detergents) strip color more than anything. So if you spent big bucks on a “color preserving” shampoo with sulfates, sorry to tell ya, but it’s counterproductive.
A second shower tweak that’ll keep your color from fading is not washing your hair with hot water. Sure, hot showers are nice and relaxing…but not only does the harsh heat dry out your hair and scalp, it opens the cuticle of the hair and those expensive color molecules get washed down the drain.
If you can, wash with lukewarm water—and a cool or cold rinse after conditioning will help seal both the color and the moisture in!
Color Saving Tip #2: Protect Those Tresses
Another big culprit that causes hair color to fade is the sun. If you go out for more than a few minutes, wearing a hat will help preserve your color just as clothing prevents sunburn. If you just can’t wear a hat, there are hair products with SPF that help. But during the summer, especially, hat hair means longer-lasting color!
At the same time, you’ll want to protect your hair when you go swimming. While butterfly strokes and laps may not be something you do on a regular basis, even one trip to the pool can cause damage, with the chemicals in the water and all. Applying some conditioner or coconut oil to your hair before you head out will keep the hair from absorbing chemicals, thus preserving your color and slowing fading.
If you style with heat often, that may play a part in stripping your hair color as well. The first few days after coloring are crucial, so if you can skip the blow dryer or flat iron at least for a little while, the life of your color will be extended.
With heat styling, it’s also best to find a good thermal protectant to prevent damage to your hair as well as color fading.
Color Saving Tip #3: Skip a Scrub Day
Your stylist will agree that if you can avoid washing your hair for a couple days after having it colored, this will go a long way in preserving the tint as well.
Of course, washing your hair every day is largely unnecessary for most everyone anyway, and if you have colored hair, it’s best to switch to washing at least every other day. But when your hair is newly colored, it has the most potential to lose color. So the longer you can wait for that first wash post-color, the better.
While nothing you do to your hair is really ever permanent, you can certainly extend the life of your hair color and make it last longer by following these tips. After all, you don’t want that money you spent in the salon to go right down the drain with those color molecules!
The more diligent you can be with taking care of your hair, the longer your hair color will last, and these simple tweaks will help.