Updated: Jul 29, 2020
1. Only Use Quality, Conditioning Hair Colors
Begin by asking your hair colorist to use a professional hair color with conditioning properties that will continue to condition the hair as the weeks go by. Hair color with oils will help retain moisture in your color-treated hair and leave it looking shiny and healthy.
2. Remember: Red Dye is Most Susceptible to Color Loss
Red hair colors tend to fade faster because they have the largest molecules. The molecule size makes it more difficult for red dyes to penetrate deeply into the hair, thus they dissipate more rapidly.
3. Shampoo Your Color-Treated Hair Less Frequently
To prevent washing away your vibrant color, the answer is simple: wash your hair less often. Research suggests that 80% of the reason color fades is water. Shampoo 2-3 times per week, and never more than every other day. This will help your color last longer and help maintain health in your colored hair.
4. After Coloring, Wait 2 Days Before You Shampoo
When you color your hair, wait at least 48 hours to shampoo, preferably longer. If you can go 3 or 4 days before shampooing, that is even better. This will give the color plenty of time to set.
5. When You Don’t Shampoo, Keep Your Hair Dry in the Shower
When you don’t shampoo, wear a shower cap to keep your hair from getting wet while showering as this can cause some color to fade.
6. Turn Down Water Temperature When Shampooing Color-Treated Hair
When you shampoo, stick to lukewarm or cooler water temperatures. Super-hot water leeches dye out of hair faster and strips the color.
7. Skip Shampoo and Go Straight to Conditioner From Time to Time
If you can, consider using moisturizing conditioner only on your color-treated hair. Shampoo can take more color from your hair more than conditioner.
8. Condition Every Time You Shampoo Color-Treated Hair
When you do shampoo, be sure to condition your color-treated hair every time with a conditioner. Conditioned hair will help your color look shinier and more even. Even if you have fine hair, condition the tips, which are the oldest parts of hair on your head and have the most damage.
9. Product Usage Matters on Color-Treated Hair
What you put on your hair will make a difference in the longevity of the color and the long-term health of your hair. Dyed hair requires special attention, so invest in salon-grade products formulated for colored hair. Using color-protecting shampoos and conditioners can help protect color and add shine.
10. Avoid Sulfates on Color-Treated Hair
Sulfates can strip color from hair, so look for a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates contain salt, which strip away moisture, and moisture loss is one of the main causes of color fading.
11. Use Clarifying Shampoos on Color-Treated Hair Only Before Coloring
Clarifying shampoos can strip hair color because contain a high level of detergent in order to deep cleanse and remove build-up of dirt and hairstyling products, so avoid using them unless it’s right before you are going to have your hair colored.
12. Use the Best Conditioner on Color-Treated Hair
Because color-treated hair has a different chemistry than its virgin counterparts, you might need a color-protecting conditioner. There are conditioners that are formulated specifically to prevent premature fading in color-treated hair.
13. Keep in Mind a Basic Rule
Plan ahead. If you're trying to lighten your hair a whole bunch, consider the fact that your hair will become much dryer than you're used to. Be willing to change your hair-care routine for the very best care and results for your hair.
14. Use Deep-Conditioning Treatments to Smooth and Add Luster to Color-Treated Hair
For extra shine, pamper your color-treated locks once a week with a deep-conditioning treatment. Apply the treatment to damp hair and comb it through from roots to tips. Pull your hair into a bun and pin it into place or wrap it up in a soft towel and leave the treatment in your hair for 30 minutes. When you rinse it out, you’ll be left with softer, shinier hair.
15. Apply Leave-In Treatments to Protect Color-Treated Hair
Using a leave-in conditioning treatment can help detangle your hair and protect it from heat tools, the elements and other damaging forces. Look for leave-in conditioners that are formulated to protect color-treated hair. This is particularly important if you frequently use blow dryers, curling, or straightening irons or if you spend a lot of time in the sun.
16. Maintain a Healthy Diet to Keep Your Hair Looking Great
What you eat has everything to do with the health of your hair, and how it looks. The nutrients from a healthy diet provide the energy that fuels hair growth and luster. Foods that include iron-rich protein feed your scalp and hair by building strong keratin, the protein that strengthens hair, improves texture and stimulates growth. Consume lean meat, fish, low-fat cheeses, egg whites, spinach and soy to keep your hair looking its best. Between meals, snack on fruits, nuts, vegetables and grains. Vitamin C keeps blood vessels in the scalp healthy by supporting hair follicles. It also helps you absorb iron from plant proteins. Biotin, an essential B vitamin, strengthens weak hair and improves its texture. Biotin is found in salmon, carrots, egg yolks and sardines. When diet is lacking, taking vitamin supplements can help keep hair – and your body – healthy and strong.
17. Use Products With UV Protection to Protect Your Hair From the Sun
Whatever the season, the sun’s rays can fade hair color. Try to avoid long exposures to the sun, but when you are outside on a bright day, care for your color-treated hair by using products containing UV protectors. Many styling products, leave-in conditioners, and hairsprays have SPF in them. Some UV-protecting products even contain a mix of vitamins to help restore color-treated hair and prevent future damage.
18. Avoid Chlorinated Water on Color-Treated Hair
If you spend much time in a swimming pool, wet your dyed hair and apply a protective leave-in conditioner before you get wet to help prevent the chlorine from damaging your color, because the chemicals in chlorine can build up and cause hair color – especially lighter colors – to shift to an unattractive hue. Or, wear a swim cap to keep your hair dry.
19. Don’t Process Your Hair Too Frequently
Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing, and that includes hair color. Coloring your hair too often can cause damage so don’t color more than once every five to six weeks. If you color, try to avoid perming or relaxing.
20. Get into glazes
This demi-permanent salon process does for hair what a topcoat does for nails or a clear gloss does for your lips — it adds instant shine. Lighter color, in particular, dulls more quickly than any other color and can benefit from this boost. You should visit the salon every 4 weeks for a quick toning session.