Whether you are rocking the latest balayage trend, a classic platinum blonde, or even rainbow-inspired hues, a little extra TLC can make a major difference in the longevity of your hair color treatment. Learning how to take care of color-treated hair can help prevent premature fading, reduce the appearance of unwanted tones, and even improve the overall health of your hair.
And here’s more good news: properly maintaining your color doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, with just a few simple changes to your at-home hair care routine and some handy tips from our expert colorists, you can keep your hair looking salon-fresh for as long as possible.
Proven Hair Care Tips for Colored Hair
From icy blonde to jet black – and every shade and style in between – color-treated hair will look its best when you are taking care of it at home. We asked our Arlington hair stylists at Daireds Salon & Spa Pangea their top tips for handling colored hair, and here is what they had to say.
Wait 72 Hours Before Shampooing
The hair’s cuticle layer is opened during the hair coloring process, allowing color to penetrate the hair shaft effectively. So, if you wash your hair too soon after an appointment, you are washing your color down the drain. The cuticle layer takes up to three days to close completely, so wait about 72 hours before your first shampoo. This period gives the pigment enough time to soak into the hair’s cuticle, which will only benefit your color in the long run.
Use a Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner
Sodium Laureth Sulfate, or “sulfate” for short, is a form of anionic detergent that creates a lathering/foaming effect in shampoos and conditioners. It can be found in many hair care products, despite having the potential to harm your hair more than it actually helps.
Sulfates can strip hair of natural oils and moisture, which can easily result in rapidly fading your freshly-colored hair. So, not only will the color be affected, but the overall texture and look of your hair will be, too.
Look for a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to protect your hair and color. Many hair care products will be clearly labeled as “sulfate-free,” so it is relatively easy to find options that suit your needs. If you are unsure which ones are ideal for your hair type, your stylist can offer some suggestions.
Add Color to Your Conditioner
A conditioner with a small amount of added color can work wonders for ultra-vibrant jobs that use bright colors like pink, purple, or blue. A color-depositing conditioner will slightly re-color the hair with every use, giving your at-home routine a little boost. It is an easy way to keep your color fabulously radiant until your roots eventually grow out.
We recommend asking your colorist which color-depositing conditions are best for your hair color and type.
Turn Down Water Temperature When Shampooing
Most of us can appreciate a relaxing, steamy shower, but the hot water can affect your hair color. When your hair is exposed to hot water, its cuticle opens, which puts your color at risk of washing out a little more every time you rinse.
You don’t have to suffer through ice-cold showers for the sake of your color; turning down the temperature just a bit can make a difference. Use warm water to shampoo, and then rinse with cold water once you’ve finished conditioning. The warm water allows your shampoo and conditioner to penetrate the hair effectively, and the cold water helps reseal the cuticle to lock in moisture and keep your color from fading.
Wash Your Hair Less Often
Shampooing your hair every day might not be as good a habit as you think, especially if you have color-treated hair. Everyday washing can deplete the natural, healthy oils your hair needs to maintain balanced moisture and cause your color to fade far more quickly. Try to wash your hair every other day or two to three times per week if possible.
At first, you might find that your hair is slightly oily or greasy; but over time, it will actually adjust to the new wash routine. You’ll eventually be able to go longer between washes without issue. Try mixing your shampoo with conditioner to make it slightly less abrasive.
On Off Days, Use Dry Shampoo.
If a great dry shampoo isn’t already a staple in your hair routine, now is the time to get one. Dry shampoo will refresh your hair on no-wash days, restoring volume, soaking up oil, and even adding a light fragrance. There are color-safe dry shampoos, with products ranging from aerosol sprays to light powders. You can also find tinted dry shampoos that add just a touch of color to your hair to extend its vibrance between salon visits.
Use Leave-in Treatments to Protect Hair Color From the Sun
We all know the importance of slathering our skin with sunscreen, but what about our hair? As it turns out, our hair can also fall victim to UV damage, especially after it’s been colored.
Colored hair needs extra protection from the sun, as well as added hydration to prevent the loss of nutrients. Leave-in treatments can provide a generous dose of hydration, keeping your hair smooth and silky. Specifically, search for leave-in treatment products that offer UV protection so the sun doesn’t damage your hair or affect your color.
Use Heat Protectant Spray Before Using Hot Tools
Heat styling is another enemy of color-treated hair, but taking protective measures can prevent damage while still letting you regularly use your blow dryer, curling iron, or straightener. Heat protectant sprays can be applied to dry or damp hair and help stop moisture loss and safeguard against heat damage, thus preserving your color. Many heat protectant products also combat humidity and smooth flyaways, so your style will last longer.
Apply a Hot Oil Treatment to Add Shine to Color-Treated Hair
Hot oil treatments are an easy way to improve the health of your hair and give it some serious shine. Simply apply the hot oil to your clean, towel-dried hair, then put a shower cap over it. Use a blow dryer, hot towel (or even the sun!) to heat up your hair. Then, give your hair time to cool back down to room temperature, and follow it up with a good rinse with cool water.
Another option is to do an overnight oil treatment, which you apply before bed, and then rinse off in the morning. Whichever route you choose, regular oil treatments can be your secret to shiny, gorgeous color-treated hair.
Maintain a Healthy Diet to Keep Your Hair Looking Great
The foods that you eat can have a big impact on your entire body, including your hair. When you eat a consistent, healthy, well-rounded diet, you’re providing your body with key nutrients for supporting shiny, healthy hair and steady growth. For example, foods high in protein and iron help keratin production, the natural protein that keeps your hair strong, smooth, and growing. You don’t need to follow a super-strict diet for hair; focus on getting plenty of lean meats, fish, vegetables, and fruits, and of course, stay hydrated.
Supplements Improve the Health of Color-Treated Hair
If nutritious foods are good for your hair, it makes sense that supplements can provide an extra boost that is particularly beneficial for color-treated hair. When searching for information about how to care for dyed hair, supplements such as Vitamin C and biotin are among the most recommended. Look for high-quality supplements to add to your daily routine to bolster the nutrients you’re getting from a healthy diet.
Use Products That Offer UV Protection to Protect Your Hair From the Sun
The sun is one of the biggest culprits behind faded color-treated hair, so proper UV protection is crucial to extend the life of your color. Many products, including stylist sprays and leave-in conditioners, contain UV protectors. On days when you’ll be spending extra time outside – no matter the season – consider wearing a hat to help prevent fading and UV damage.
Avoid Chlorine on Color-Treated Hair
Chlorine and color-treated hair are not a good mix, especially for those with hair in lighter shades, like blonde. At the very least, apply a leave-in conditioner before going swimming; for extra protection, make it a habit to wear a swim cap.
Don’t Double-Process Color-Treated Hair
It is usually not a good idea to double-process your hair, especially if it’s color-treated. Instead, stagger treatments to minimize damage, such as perming, relaxing, and dying.
If Your Hair is Damaged, Don’t Skip Regular Trims
You should trim your hair every six to eight weeks, especially if you’re trying to combat damage. Color-treated hair is far more prone to damage, making regular trims much more important. You don’t have to take off a ton of length; just a quick trim will stop damage in its tracks and reduce split ends or breakage.
Long-Lasting Hair Color Treatments in Arlington
What’s the number-one thing you can do to keep your hair healthy and beautiful? Choose an experienced, knowledgeable colorist who will prioritize the health of your hair just as much as the final color results. Even with the best at-home care, over-processed or poorly dyed hair won’t live up to your expectations, so make sure you find a trusted stylist that can create the look you have in mind.
At Daireds Salon & Spa Pangea, we provide a wide range of professional hair coloring services in Arlington, TX. Our highly trained team can create a gorgeously customized look using balayage, highlights, ombre, and other specialized techniques, with the skills to handle every hair type and color. Whether you are dying your hair for the first time or need a major color correction, our Arlington colorists are here to help.
Transform your hair with a fresh color or cut at our Arlington hair salon: contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our stylists today!
Imaging Credit: Shutterstock users Subbotina Anna / Sofia Zhuravetc / schankz / Sofia Zhuravetc