Picture this: you head to the salon to treat yourself to a new ‘do. You leave a couple hours later with a fresh, blown out cut, and the perfect new color, out to take on the world. After all that time (and money) you’ve spent getting the perfect hair, you want to keep your hair looking fresh and fabulous for as long as possible. You want to maintain the vibrant color and shine for weeks to come, with that fresh-from-the-salon look. To preserve color treated hair and maintain long-lasting vibrancy, here are our best tips:
1. Wait to Wash. When getting hair colored, the outermost layer of hair, the cuticle, has been opened, so that the color molecules can penetrate and react with the interior layers of hair to change the color. Following the process, the cuticle is then sealed using conditioning products. The cuticle, however, doesn’t always fully close, leaving new color and hair vulnerable. This is why it is recommended to avoid washing hair for least two days after leaving a salon, with three days being preferred. Skipping an immediate wash allows the cuticle to fully close and color to fully set in your hair.
2. Invest in color-preserving shampoos and conditioners. The best way to preserve hair color, is to incorporate products into your routine that have the best ingredients to protect color-treated hair. You’ll ideally want products that have fewer sulfates. Sulfates are known to remove hair color molecules. Additionally, you’ll want a shampoo and conditioner that can protect from UV rays that can lighten or alter the color of your hair. Some shampoos have color depositing pigments , for example purple shampoos, that can help fight brassiness. Be sure to discuss options with your stylist, who will have the best suggestions to preserve the specific color in your hair.
3. Wash smarter. It’s already recommended by many stylists to, if possible, avoid washing your hair daily. This is recommended because daily washing can leave your hair dry and stripped of natural oils that maintain shine and overall hair health.. Daily washing will cause the color to become dull much faster, forcing you to make another trip back to the salon much sooner. If excess oil becomes an issue between washes, pick up a dry shampoo to absorb oil. In addition, when washing and conditioning hair, switch the temperature to a cooler setting. A colder temperature helps seal the cuticle, locking in the benefits of the shampoo and conditioner. Cold water also helps preserve some of the natural oils that are found in hair, thus protecting your gorgeous color.
4. Weekly Treatments. To add an extra layer of protection to your color-treated hair, consider adding in a weekly moisturizing mask. The use of a weekly mask has tons of benefits besides color preservation. Masks strengthen hair cuticles, lock in shine, eliminate frizz, and the list goes on. Look for a hair mask that is sulfate free and has additional vitamins or natural oils such as argan or almond oil that can help preserve color and add back moisture that may have been lost during a color treatment. Hair masks can be an easy addition that you add in the shower. For even greater benefits, apply a mask to damp hair at night and sleep with hair wrapped. Rinse your hair in the morning with cool water for your softest and shiniest hair yet.
5. Try to Air Dry. If you are spending more time at home lately, instead of reaching for the blow-dryer, let your hair dry naturally. We already know that the use of hot tools like curling irons and blow dryers can lead to damage, but this is especially true for hair that has been colored because it has been chemically treated. Using excessive heat on color-treated hair can damage and weaken the hair. If using heat is necessary, be sure to always use a heat protectant spray or cream that will help prevent damage.
6. Watch the Weather. Just like you need to protect your skin from the elements, you also need to protect your hair. In particular, sun and chlorine are most damaging to hair. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun with damage and lighten hair if exposed for long periods of time. Look for leave-in products with UV protection to help protect your hair color. A simpler solution? Throw on a hat to block your hair from the sun’s rays. Similarly, chlorine, most typically found in pools, is particularly tough on colored hair. If swimming is part of your weekly agenda for exercise, or you’re headed on vacation sometime soon, apply a leave-in conditioner to damp hair prior to taking a dip so that hair is protected against chlorine.
Easy changes to your hair routine can help you maintain your color-treated hair for weeks after you leave the salon. As always, the best tips specifically tailored to your hair will come from your stylist, who can give advice based on your hair texture, color and your existing hair care routine. If you’re looking to make a color change from someone who can provide cutting edge styles, as well as more best hair care practices, consider making a clinic appointment at a nearby Tricoci University Campus.