How to keep your hair color from fading

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Tired of that unintentional ombre effect you get by the time it’s time to color your hair again? Reds go orange, brunettes go lighter and off tone, blondes get brassy. It’s a given that hair color fades, but here are some of the things that accelerate fade-age and what you can do to keep your hair color from fading.

Environment. The Sun, first and foremost, is our biggest opponent  to keeping hair color fresh in Arizona. The sun bleaches everything, even your hair color! And yes, even in the winter, the sun is out. Walking to your car or mailbox without any protection on your hair is considered ‘sun-exposure’. This  plays a huge role in our hair color fading problem. Also, the air is filled with pollutants. Think of when you first wash your car it looks beautiful, clean, and shiny, right? Then we drive around all day and once we’re home, if you were to swipe your car with your finger it would be filled with dust and dirt! This is what happens to our hair as well these pollutants and chemicals and the dirty environment can effect our hair texture which in turn can fade our hair color.

The best defense against the sun is a hat or scarf. If you must be out without one, try a styling product that has UV protection. Cleanse the hair of pollutants with regular cleansing and the occasional rinse with diluted vinegar, 1 part white vinegar to 4 parts distilled water in a spray bottle, apply and rinse in the shower.

Water. The water we wash with effects our hair color. Tap water is full of different chemicals and minerals that are unhealthy for our hair. The chlorine in tap water is very harsh on the hair cuticle. Some municipalities have tap water that contains minerals that will discolor chemically treated hair. These chemicals that are on the hair to begin with before your color service may effect how the color performs . I recommend a mild clarifying shampoo  the day before your color service, which will help remove some mineral build up on the hair shaft. It is a great detox from  hair products, those harsh minerals and chemicals, and also any other build up & pollutants from the environment. Consider installing a filtering showerhead to filter out some of these contaminants.

The temperature of our water effects color life. Hot water opens the hair cuticle and makes the hair color fade out faster. Try to use as cooler water.  Cooler water also helps with shine and makes the hair feel silkier by closing the cuticle and sealing the conditioner.

Shampoo. The shampoo we wash with will either help your hair color life or ruin it. A lot of shampoos and conditioners contain salts and sulfates and will fade our hair color. I recommend shampoo that is sodium chloride, sulfate, and paraben free. We spend all that money on our hair to get it colored then we shampoo our money down the drain with improper products. Talk to me about what you are using if you experience fading. I will go into detail about the specific product needs of your hair color.

Heat Styling. Heat styling + color treated hair = color fade-age. This doesn’t mean you can’t use flat irons and curling irons…. It just means use a thermal protector before you style. Heat styling includes blow drying, using a curling iron, flat iron, & hot rollers. Make sure to use the nozzle that came with your dryer when your round brushing to prevent burning and breakage. If the last inch or two of your hair is significantly more faded than the rest, this is usually the culprit.

Low quality color products. Even the best colorist will be limited by cheap color product. High ammonia content, pigments that aren’t durable, and harsh developers will cause color to last much less time. I use top quality Wella Koleston, Color Touch, and Illumina color. The ammonia is very low and the color is very durable and shiny. This equals lasting color results.

Paying attention to these factors will pay you back in shiny, long lasting hair color.