Hair color is an amazing form of art. It’s transformational, aesthetically and emotionally. There’s no better feeling than walking out of a salon with freshly-colored hair. Whether you’ve decided to lighten, darken, brighten or sport a gorgeous unicorn shade, new hair can put anyone in a great mood.
However, it comes with a certain anxiety – how to wash colored hair to not fade it, how to keep hair color bright, how not to mess it up altogether? We get it. Coloring your hair professionally is not cheap. You want to make maximum use of it while it lasts.
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Hair color makes your hair porous – especially if you’ve had to get it bleached before locking in color. Bleach and hair dyes work by lifting your hair cuticle, making your hair expand and become more receptive to color.
Think of it like a sponge soaked in dye – colored hair is more absorbent and it releases moisture much more easily. Therefore, it loses color molecules every time it gets wet.
Your goal is to make sure your color looks fresh for as long as possible. The good news is that you can extend the life of your hair color by using the right products, techniques, and care tips. Even purple hair can keep its color for longer.
Don’t wash your hair immediately after coloring. Your best bet would be to wait 72 hours to wash your hair after leaving the salon because you want your hair to absorb the dye fully before you shampoo it.
You also don’t want to over wash your hair following the first three days. Ideally, you should wash your hair every 2-3 days because hair that’s treated with a lot of pigment tends to look more brassy and faded the more you wash it.
It’s best to avoid any hair treatment for at least three days after your salon visit because you want your hair to readjust and return to its normal pH levels on its own. After the first week, feel free to deep condition with a nourishing oil, such as argan oil or almond oil once every week.
We’ll cut right to the chase. Whether you’ve changed your hair color drastically, or have just gone a couple of shades darker or lighter, you will have to adjust your weekly washing routine to prolong your new hair life.
Here’s a simple explanation why...
Your hair is naturally coated with a protective layer called the cuticle, which controls the appearance of your hair and keeps moisture locked inside. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Dermatology shows that bleach may cause permanent loss of tensile strength and allow cuticles to appear scaly, irregular and lifted. This makes your hair more susceptible to moisture loss, fading, and damage.
If you haven’t colored your hair yet, see if you have to wash your hair before your next session. If you’re bleaching your roots, you don’t have to as your natural oils will protect your scalp during the dying process.
Whatever color you choose, it’s crucial to pay attention to your hair texture before creating a washing and overall care routine. Natural hair tends to be dryer than chemical-treated hair, so if this is the first time you’ve dyed your hair, it’s best to wash your hair only once a week.
On the other hand, individuals with fine hair or oily, acne-prone skin, may require to wash their hair more frequently. This is mainly because the build-up of sebum and sweat can trap dust and pollutants in your hair, weighing it down and making it look flat.
If this sounds like you, try washing your hair every other day.
Steer clear of regular shampoos and conditioners that aren’t designed for color-treated hair. You need to use formulas that are engineered for the task. You aren’t just cleaning your hair anymore; you’re trying to prolong your hair color.
Dying can damage your hair cuticle, chipping its surface and making it appear dull and coarse. Your hair’s natural protective barrier has gaps in several areas now, so it is likely that your new dye will leach out, causing the color to fade over time.
Choose products that not only brighten hair but also have properties to visibly repair your hair cuticle and restore the protective barrier (such as keratin-enriched formulas). Such products can make your hair appear smoother, shinier and more vibrant.
Of course, whether you’ve added a subtle balayage or have colored your hair red, you want to pick products that are tailored to your hair tone.
Sodium laureth sulfate is a type of anionic detergent that is designed to quickly remove sebum and dirt from your scalp and hair, leaving it cleaner instantly. It is the ingredient that is used to produce that rich foam and lather we all love. Unfortunately, this same ingredient is also used in laundry detergent and other general cleaners.
This means that most regular shampoos are harsh and damaging. By using products with sulfates, you’re running the risk of stripping the natural oils and moisture of your hair, which are only produced by the body to nourish your scalp. Furthermore, such products also tend to strip hair colors easily.
If you’re coloring your hair, especially with the use of bleach, understand that their chemicals will damage your hair as well. Therefore, your goal should not only be to keep the color fresh but also to maintain the structural integrity of your hair. This can be done by avoiding harsh products.
And if you need more convincing, washing your hair more or using sulfate shampoos will only going to add oil to your scalp. When you strip your hair’s natural oils frequently, your body is prompted to produce more oil to make up for it.
It’s a vicious cycle, which can be easily avoided by using gentler products and washing your hair less frequently. So whether you have frizzy, straight, curly or fine hair, there is a sulfate-free option for you that stop hair color from fading.
Hot water can open up your hair cuticle, which is a complete no-no if you’re trying to keep your color from leaching out. On the other hand, cold water can seal the cuticle – kind of like how cold water closes your skin pores.
Although this may sound like an easy fix, switching from hot showers to cold ones isn’t the most comfortable of all changes.
Try reducing the temperature of your water slowly so that you get used to it and always keep in mind that the longer your hair is exposed to hot water, the more color it would lose overtime. You can also try taking a quick cold water shower and place a shower cap on, before switching to a warmer temperature to wash your body.
Ideally, you should try to bathe in tepid water as it’s better for your hair and skin and doesn’t dry both out quickly.
Purple shampoo is all the rage these days for all the good reasons. If you’re someone who lightens their hair often, this could be the miracle product you’ve been waiting to gets your hands on.
Over time, blond hair tends to fade and become brassy. This is especially prominent in individuals who live in city areas where there is a low of rust and mineral build-up in water. While this can be easily fixed by a professional colorist using corrective treatment methods, which include highlights, lowlights, and toners to fix the issue, we all know how lengthy and expensive this process can be.
Furthermore, even the best dye jobs slowly tiptoe back towards dull, brassy shades. Purple shampoos, such as the Drybar Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo, act as toners. The product goes on a bright violet when applied to hair and rinses out clear. Purple is at the end of the color wheel to orange and yellow, so it’s an inexpensive way to treat unsightly brassiness at home.
Of course, it doesn’t replicate the works of a skilled colorist, but it does do a decent job in extending the blonde you’re going for. Furthermore, it can also be used to brighten pastels, highlights, and balayages and add a desirable greyish hue to blue undertones. Note that it does stain bathtubs, so be sure to clean it up immediately after your shower.
Mix a teaspoon of dye to your conditioner and take it in the shower with you. Doing so will refresh your color every time you wash your hair until your roots begin to appear.
To take this a step further, try heating your conditioner a bit in the microwave for 10 seconds before adding the dye. This makes your hair more receptive to the moisture, nutrients, and color in your conditioner.
Colouring is a chemical process, so it can leave your hair looking and feeling a little dry and damaged. This can have an impact on how vibrant your hair is because well-nourished, moisturized hair reflects light better and gives you a deeper shine.
Choose a deep conditioning product containing keratin, provitamin B5 and natural oils that will help moisturize, condition and smooth your hair cuticle, giving it an added boost. Also, you’ll also want to opt for a low pH formula as this helps to close your cuticle and lock moisture and pigment in after coloring.
If your dying process involved bleach or excessive damage, use a deep conditioner instead of a regular conditioner the first time you wash your hair after leaving the salon.
Or, if you have to, make sure you do a loose braid before hitting the bed.
Hair is susceptible to damage when wet. Therefore, when you’re sleeping on a pillow, tossing, and turning throughout the night, expect some of your hair to break off.
The solution, shower a couple of hours before bedtime or right after you come home from work, as this will allow plenty of time for your hair to air dry, without the need for a hairdryer. Speaking of which…
As colored hair is more vulnerable to heat, protecting your mane from heat styling tools is one of the best ways you can keep it from dulling or fading. According to a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science, extended heat use can permanently change the structure of your hair and cause loss of cuticle.
You can avoid heat styling entirely by trying no-heat ways of curling and straightening your hair. However, on days when you really have to use a straightener or curler, make sure you use a heat protect spray beforehand to protect your hair and preventing any damage to it.
Sunlight can also fade your hair color. Use a conditioning spray that contains SPF before spending time in the sun to protect your hair and color from harmful UV radiation. Also, you can also take another protective step by wearing hats or covering your head with a scarf when you’re reclining poolside.
It’s also critical that you wet your hair, either with a conditioning product or with plain bottled water before swimming. This will prevent chlorine from absorbing into your hair and causing it to change color. You should also shampoo your hair after swimming to prevent pool water or the salt in seawater from drying your hair out.
While dry shampoo is no way a replacement for washing your hair, it can be used for “in between” days to add some oomph to your hair – especially when it looking limp and oily. A spritz of dry shampoo is a great way to freshen up your tresses and even add some volume to them.
More importantly, you don’t have to subject your dyed hair to water and shampoo as much. This way you’re not only protecting your new hair color but are also protecting the cuticle and the natural moisture in it at the same time. Plus it’s a swift fix!
Not all colors and hair types require the same amount of maintenance. You’ve probably already understood that new hair calls for a myriad of care techniques to ensure you get the most bang for your buck. However, it helps to know how much effort you should put into hair care.
The following are some chief factors that determine the amount of upkeep different colors and dye jobs require so that you don’t feel like caring for your new hair is a part-time job you never signed up for.
On average, we experience ½ inch hair growth per month. However, some people experience hair growth at twice this rate or maybe even half. Your diet, metabolism, age, gender, and genetics can play a significant role in how fast your hair grows.
If your hair is naturally dark and you have dyed it platinum, you may see dark roots in about a week. If your hair is a relatively darker shade of blonde, instead of a black or a brown, you might not notice roots for up to two months.
While some people enjoy dark roots, others don’t – especially if their new growth is grey. Understand how your hair grows to determine the amount of care required to maintain it.
There may be some specific requirements depending on the color you choose for your hair. The following guidelines cover three of the most requested hair colors and what needs to be done to maintain them. Following these steps will help you keep your tresses is fabulous shape for much longer than you imagined.
Any tone that’s lighter than your natural hair color is going to be hardest on your hair health. This is mainly because lightening requires stripping away pigment from it using ammonia and peroxide – two extremely damaging chemicals for your hair.
Converting to a solid blond requires plenty of maintenance and thus, regular salon visits. If you want to rock blond hair with minimum maintenance, try starting with blond highlights or a balayage.
Not only do these styles add more depth to your hair, but they’re also less damaging and require fewer salon visits to cover up roots. Once you’ve colored your hair, you can follow these steps as soon as you step out of the salon:
Week 1: Washing and conditioning
After dying your hair blond, be sure to wait two to three days before you shampoo it. This will give your scalp enough time to produce natural oils and fully nourish your recently-treated cuticles. Also, it will give your hair plenty of space to return to its normal pH levels.
To prevent further damage, apply deep conditioner instead of a normal conditioner the first time you wash your hair after leaving the salon. This will pack on more moisture into your hair, leaving it healthier and more nourished. After the first week, you only have to deep condition once a week to lock in moisture and fully nourish your hair.
Our favorite trick is to heat up a tablespoon of deep conditioner in the microwave and just run the product through the hair. While fifteen minutes is enough time to condition your hair, it’s better if you can let the product sit overnight. Wrap your hair with cling film before bedtime to prevent the product from getting on your bedding and pillows. Shampoo and condition in the morning.
Week 4: Add shine and neutralize
Blond shades require further attention to prevent them from getting too brassy or ashy. By the fourth week, consider adding gloss and neutralizing unsightly tones using a toning gloss.
You can tone your hair at the salon as well but who isn’t a fan of a great DIY remedy? Be sure to tailor this step to your hair type, hair tone, and budget. Opt for a cool gloss if your blond gets too yellow or brassy and a gold gloss if it’s too white or ashy. If you do not have any of these issues, you can use a clear gloss to add more shine.
Week 6: Recover
After six weeks of going blond, if you’re still hesitant to visit a salon for a touch-up, use Fanola No Yellow Shampoo to diminish brassy tones and reinvigorate faded highlights. Wash your hair with a purple shampoo once a week until your next salon visit. The product may come off as too purple for some, so try diluting it with your regular sulfate-free shampoo and use it in full-intensity next time.
After two months: Book another salon visit
It’s probably time now to head to the salon for a touch-up. Before you visit the salon, perform a clarifying treatment to eliminate any accumulated product build-up that may dull your hair. You can easily DIY this using an apple cider vinegar rinse.
Mix one part apple cider vinegar with three parts water and rinse your hair with this solution after your shower to even out your hair’s pH and make your hair more receptive to color. Once out of the shower, apply a pea-sized amount of argan oil to your hair, and you’re good to go.
If you’re going brunette, the good news is there is little-to-no cuticle lifting damage involved in the dying process. Darker hair colors are the least damaging and require very little upkeep. When going brunette, choose products that do not contain ammonia or peroxide.
According to a study published in the Journal of Dermatology, excessive use of products containing hydrogen peroxide may inhibit hair growth. Darker hair dyes do not require you to strip the melanin from your hair, so you can easily convert to brunette with minimal damage.
Week 1: Washing and conditioning
As with any dye, you are adding chemicals to your hair, so you want your hair to recuperate for at least two days before you shampoo it. Choose sulfate-free products designed for brunette hair types and deep condition once a week.
Week 3: Add gloss
Frequent shampooing can make brunette hair go brassy much faster. Therefore, use gloss to tone and neutralize your hair to push your salon visit a little further. You can also DIY this step using a coffee rinse. Rinse your hair with coffee and let it sit for 15 minutes before washing it out.
Week 6: Touch-up
By week 6, if you see more than 30 percent grey in your hair, it may be time for a salon touch-up. If you see less grey, you can wait until week 8 to book your next appointment. If you don’t have any greys, you may be able to wait for about 12 weeks before retouching.
Red dye tends to fade the fastest because red is the largest color molecule, making it leach out easily with every wash. This shade requires the most maintenance and effort, but we’ll save you the guesswork and get right to the steps that will help you keep your red hair for much longer.
Here are some shampoos that won’t fade red hair.
Week 2: Washing, conditioning, and further protection
Unlike with the previous shades, red hair requires you to wait a little longer before you can wash it.
We’re talking a whole week of not washing your hair – but it’s for your own good. After this, you should only wash your hair once a week with a red-enhancing shampoo and conditioner. When choosing products best designed for your hair, your best advisor is your colorist, so be sure to ask questions during your appointment.
Dry shampoo is going to be your best friend during this journey because it helps freshen up your hair on days it feels oily. You can rinse your hair occasionally with water – just not shampoo as it can strip your color too much.
Be sure to minimize heat styling tools as much as possible and use a heat protectant like “It’s a 10 miracle Leave in Spray” before using your straightener or color. Use a bamboo wide-toothed comb, especially if you’re using a blow dryer as combs and brushes with metal bristles tend to heat up much faster.
Think of your red hair as a bright red t-shirt. The more you wash it with hot water and run it in a clothes dryer, the faster it will fade. Therefore, minimize heat, and shampoo and you’ll be able to maintain the vibrancy of your locks for a much longer time.
Week 3: Add gloss
At this point, you’ll probably notice some fading so this is where gloss comes in. John Frieda Colour Refreshing Gloss can be used at home.
Week 4: Touch up
If you’ve gone redhead before, you probably already know four weeks is a long time to go without a touch-up. If you feel like your hair hasn’t faded enough yet, you’re probably doing a great job taking care of your dyed hair.
However, note that going four weeks without a touch-up for red hair is pretty rare as red hair does fade relatively fast. If you’re noticing some fading, it may be time to book an appointment.
There are no hard rules when it comes to taking care of your new colored hair. However, there are plenty of suggestions that will help you maintain the vibrancy of your new color for much longer. Understand that what works for one person, may not work for you. Some people have hair that grows much faster and thus, requires more touch-ups, while others can wait several weeks before their next appointment.
Regardless of how often you dye your hair or visit a salon for touch-ups, it’s critical that you pay attention to how you take care of your hair between each color-job.
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