Getting your hair colored is an investment. Aside from the financial investment of spending your hard-earned money on these oftentimes expensive treatments, changing your hair color can also have a significant impact on your overall look and appearance. As with any major investment, you’ll want to do anything and everything to preserve and protect your hair coloring treatment. While a quality hair-color treatment can last an incredibly long time, even the best treatments will only last you a handful of months, and this timeline can be dramatically shortened if you aren’t careful to take some proper precautions. Read our guide below and learn how to extend the lifespan of your beautiful new hair color for as long as possible!
Fine-Tune Your Washing Routine
Perhaps the most important part of maintaining your spanking-new hair color is ensuring a proper washing routine. Improper washing can not only lead to premature color fading, but it can also exacerbate any dryness or fragility issues your hair may be experiencing post-treatment.
1. The 72-Hour Rule
This one is crucial: no washing your hair within 72 hours of a dye job! During the first 72 hours following a color treatment, the dye begins to firmly settle within the hair strand for a long-lasting look. Washing your hair during this period threatens to remove the dye from your hair before it has settled in, so it’s best to leave your hair alone while showering during these three days.
2. Cold Water
When you finally do wash your hair, make sure the water is cold or lukewarm at most. Hot water can open the cuticle layer, allowing for some of the color dye to escape the hair and cause premature fading. Additionally, your hair will be more sensitive and possibly drier than usual, making hot hair a huge threat to your hair health.
3. Wash Less Often
In general, you’ll want to space out your hair washing as much as you possibly can. For color-treated hair, this is even more true, as over-washing can cause damage and dryness while removing dye.
4. Invest in Color-Safe Shampoo
Lastly, invest in a quality, color-safe shampoo specifically formulated for color-treated hair. Aside from being extremely gentle and moisturizing, these shampoos lack sulfates and other harsh cleansers that can strip away your hair color. Additionally, these shampoos are designed with ingredients that help seal the color in your hair for longer results.
Protect from Heat and UV Damage
We all know that too much heat can take a massive toll on our hair’s health, but did you know that this same excess heat can also ruin our hair color? High temperatures from styling tools can degrade the cuticle and allow hair dye to seep out. Additionally, UV rays from the sun can have an equally damaging effect, destroying your hard-spent color treatment with each passing minute!
1. Heat Style Hair Less
This may be a tough one, but you’ll have to make sure to cut down on the heat styling. To cut down on the heat styling as much as possible, try and opt for low-to-no heat drying methods, using hair turban wraps or letting your hair air dry. If using a dryer or iron is unavoidable, make sure to use a high-quality tool with elements like infrared rays and ionic technology while utilizing a low heat setting.
2. Use Heat Protectant Spray
When using a heated styling tool on your colored hair, make sure to always apply a heat protectant spray beforehand. A heat protectant spray coats the hair in lightweight chemicals that limit the direct heat transfer to the hair strand as much as possible. Additionally, these sprays can incorporate moisturizing ingredients, preventing dryness as much as possible.
3. Use Products with UV Protection or SPF
As we just mentioned, the sun can be of your colored hair’s biggest enemies, with UV rays causing premature fading and color loss. Thankfully, many products incorporate UV-protective ingredients such as coconut oil and shea butter, which possess natural SPF properties. Additionally, there are even SPF sprays that are specifically designed to be applied to the hair and scalp!
4. Spend Less Time in Sun
In general, try and spend as little time in the sun as possible, especially in the first few days following your color treatment. If this is unavoidable, aside from using a hair-specific SPF product, you can also wear a hat or cap to help cover your hair and extend your hair color.
To be honest, there are very few hair-related issues that can’t be solved by proper moisturization and hair hydration. Hair looks and performs its very best when it is adequately moisturized, and this is even more true following a post-coloring treatment. The outer cuticle layer of the hair is one of the primary components in preserving your new hair color, and this cuticle layer stays sealed shut when the hair receives adequate moisturization.
1. Use the Right Conditioner
You should always be conditioning your hair after shampooing, but this is even more true for color-treated hair. Even a color-safe shampoo needs to be followed up with a conditioner, as you will need to seal in your cuticle and lock in your hair’s moisture after a wash. Aside from using a rich conditioner that can adequately coat the hair strand, you’ll also want to consider a specially formulated conditioner that contains color dyes that match your hair. These unique conditioners impart a tiny amount of dye into your hair with every application, adding a little extra life to your hair color.
2. Apply a Weekly Leave-In Conditioner or Mask
Speaking of sealing the cuticle, maybe the best way to close the outer cuticle layer and lock in your hair color is with a leave-in conditioner or deep-conditioning mask. After your first wash 72 hours after your hair treatment, apply a leave-in conditioner prior to going to bed, letting the product seal in your new color overnight. Afterwards, make sure to use a leave-in conditioner or mask at least once or twice weekly to preserve moisture and cuticle health.
3. Apply a Hair Serum as Needed
Finally, consider investing in a moisturizing hair serum. There are a variety of hair serums out there that utilize all kinds of unique ingredients to keep your hair in tip-top shape when on the go. When you’re out and about and notice a bit of hair dryness, make sure to apply a serum to coat the roots and tips of the hair, keeping your hair as happy and color-safe as possible.