5 ways to refresh your hair color in literally five minutes

Apr 6, 2016 at 7:00 a.m. ET
Image: Westend61/Getty Images

In the quest for perfect hair color, getting the shade you want is only half the battle. The rest is all about maintenance—using color-safe products, shampooing as infrequently as possible, rinsing with lukewarm water, touch-ups that you’re supposed to get every six weeks but can stretch to the eight-week mark.… It’s the little things. No, but really it is. I know this better than anyone. (Well, maybe not better than people who actually color hair for a living.)

More: The complete simplified hair color chart for every shade imaginable

I’ve dabbled in a wide array of hair colors, from an ill-advised red to black to (disastrously, in the end) platinum blonde and back to brown and then some. They say that red is the hardest color to maintain, which is probably true, but honestly, there’s no color you weren’t born with that’s actually easy to keep on the up-and-up. Anyone who says otherwise is lying; “low-maintenance hair color” is a relative term. All it means is “at least you’re not a natural brunette who’s gone platinum.”

A color-depositing glaze can extend the longevity of your artificial color dramatically—we’re talking weeks. Colorists know this, too, which is why they try to get you back in their chair for a glaze in between coloring sessions and charge $30 for it. But I don’t have the time nor money to develop a biweekly glaze habit (who does? Don’t answer that), which is why I’ve amassed quite the collection of at-home color-enhancing treatments over the years.

More: 14 tips to style your hair based on texture

These products are pretty genius: They deposit just enough color that it won’t change yours in any appreciable way, but you’ll still get a boost to fend off both dullness and brassiness, the obvious enemies of good hair. If your ombré ends have started to turn orange, or if you’re horrified every time you shampoo and watch helplessly as your red pigment swirls down the drain, sit with one of these for a few and see how you feel after. Everything is going to be all right.

Hair color product guide

1. Rita Hazan True Color Ultimate Shine Gloss (Rita Hazan $26)

Rita Hazan True Color Ultimate Shine Gloss
Image: Rita Hazan

2. John Masters Organics Color Enhancing Conditioner - brown (John Masters $22)

John Masters Organics Color Enhancing Conditioner - brown
Image: John Masters Organics

3. Davines Alchemic Conditioner (Davines $29)

Davines Alchemic Conditioner
Image: Davines

4. John Frieda Colour Refreshing Gloss Weekly Salon Treatment (Drugstore.com $10)

John Frieda Colour Refreshing Gloss Weekly Salon Treatment
Image: Drugstore.com

5. Evo Caramel Colour Intensifying Conditioner (Evo Hair $35)

Evo Caramel Colour Intensifying Conditioner

Image: Evo Hair

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