Making Your Hair Color Last

Hair color can dramatically change your look or can be used to add subtle highlights and definition to your hairstyle. Unfortunately, all artificial hair color fades with time, diminishing the vibrancy and richness that your hair had immediately after coloring. It may be tempting to color your hair more often to compensate for color fading, but more frequent chemical processes can lead to more damage and more time at the salon than you may want to spend. In order to minimize the fading process and prevent the need for frequent retouches, you can take steps to help your hair color retain its vibrancy and richness.

1. Select the Right Color and Prepare Your Hair for the Coloring Process

If you prefer low maintenance hair and want to avoid frequent touch-ups, select a color that is only a few shades lighter or darker than your natural hair color. Because it is more closely matched to your natural hair, fading will not be as apparent and roots will be less obvious. Another excellent way to minimize color fading is to ensure that your hair is healthy before coloring. Several days before you color, apply a deep and allow the treatment to sit on your hair for 10 to 15 minutes. Well-conditioned hair absorbs color more evenly, resulting in longer lasting, more beautiful color. This conditioning treatment will also help protect your hair from damage from tint and lighteners.

2. Use Color-Enhancing Products

There are many shampoos and conditioners on the market that help preserve and boost hair color. To lessen the need for frequent coloring, women with blonde or light hair can use color-enhancing shampoos that help reduce brassy tones. Brunettes and redheads can try color-enhancing products that brighten hair color and deposit minor amounts of tint to compensate for color loss. Stick to color enhancing shampoos, because color-enhancing conditioners tend to look a bit flat and uneven. One of the best ways to ensure your color remains fresh is to keep your hair well conditioned in order to prevent dryness and damage.

3. Make sure your colorist is using great products

Cheap color products, even “salon” quality products, fade faster and damage the hair more than newer, higher quality hair colors. I use Koleston color, Wella’s high end permanent color product, and color touch, Wella’s high end demi-permanent color. We also now offer Illumina, an innovative new color product that leaves the hair in almost as good condition as natural hair.  Why do some salons choose lesser quality color? Because they are cheaper. While there are some other good lines, this is one example of “you get what you pay for”. You will find that my color lasts better and feels better than color you get some other places. Using great products assures me that the great color you leave with will still look good when you return.

4. Be nice to your hair

When washing your hair, avoid using excessively hot water. Cool water helps hair retain a richer color tone and helps to smooth the surface of your hair. You should also avoid excessive exposure to the sun and chlorinated water, which can actually leave a green tint on light hair. See my previous post on getting better performance from your hair for more tips. By properly preparing your hair for color, using the right products, and carefully caring for your color, your hair will retain its vibrancy and richness.

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