By Jason Croxford

Nothing is worse than spending big bucks at your hair salon for the newest trending color and having it fade after a week because you’re not taking care of your locks.

 Whether you have black, red, platinum blonde, or even blue hair, color-treated hair needs an extra bit of attention if you’re wanting your color to last longer. Nothing is worse than spending big bucks at your hair salon for the newest trending color and having it fade after a week because you’re not taking care of your locks. 

Steps to Maintaining Your Hair Color

1. Use Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner

Sodium Laureth sulfate, also known as sodium Laureth ether sulfate, is a type of anionic detergent that is found in many personal care products. This ingredient is used to help produce a foaming effect to your conditioners and shampoos. By using sulfates, you run the risk of stripping your hair follicles of their natural oils and moisture, which can then lead to stripping your beautiful color-treated hair.

2. After Coloring, Wait a Full 72 Hours Before Shampooing

When coloring hair, your cuticle layer is opened, making it easy for color to penetrate the hair shaft. When you wash your hair right after your appointment, the cuticle layer could still be open which then leads to your color being washed down the drain. It takes up to 3 days for the cuticle layer to fully close, so the longer you wait to shampoo your hair after you color, the more time the color pigment has to soak into the hair cuticle–which will help your color last longer in between salon visits.

3. Turn Down Water Temperature When Shampooing

Though hot showers feel so amazing to some, it isn’t so great for your hair color. When washing hair with hot water, your hair’s cuticle is opened, allowing your color to wash out while shampooing and conditioning.

To help prevent seeing all of your colors go down the drain, try shampooing with slightly warm water and then rinse with cold water after conditioning. The warm water will allow the shampoo and conditioner to cleanse, while the cold water will help seal in the moisture from your conditioner. This can help to prevent color from fading by sealing the hair’s cuticle.

4. Wash Your Hair Less

Washing your hair every day is something you will want to avoid if your wanting your hair color to last longer. Not only are you washing away the natural oils that moisturize and keep your hair color looking fresh, but you also wash away a little bit of your hair dye every time you wash your hair. Try washing your hair every 2-3 days to keep your color on lock.

5. Use Heat Protectant Spray Before Using Hot Tools

The heat will strip away color and hydration and lead to damaged hair. To help prevent these problems from happening while using hot tools, try using a heat protectant spray before blow-drying or styling. Heat protectant sprays will help reduce the moisture inside your hair, smooth the outside of the hair, and protect your hair from humidity after heat styling which, in all, will help maintain your color.

6. Use Leave-in Treatments to Protect Hair Color 

Colored and chemically-treated hair needs extra hydration and protection from the sun to prevent damage and loss of nutrients to your hair. Leave-in treatments will keep your hair hydrated and smooth, and it’s important to find one with UV protection so the sun doesn’t fade your hair color.

7. Avoid Chlorine

Chlorine is a chemical bleaching agent that helps cleans pools and will definitely strip color from your hair on a sunny pool day. Blonde hair is susceptible to turning a greenish tint, while darker hair may become dull, dry out, and lose its shine. If you find yourself wanting to go to the pool, try a swimmer’s cap! Or, try getting your hair wet in the shower, use conditioner, and then don’t rinse it out. This will help create a barrier on the hair shaft so that the chlorine won’t penetrate it.

Bottom Line

With proper care and little creativity, you can keep your color-treated hair looking shiny and vibrant. This is good news since 70% of women in the U.S. color their hair!