Make your hair color last

Watching your once shimmering, gorgeous hair color fade into a duller version of itself is frustrating. While telltale roots are unavoidable, you can use these tricks to make your hair color last until your next salon appointment.

Woman with highlighted hair

1Time it right.

Wait a few days after your last shampoo before heading to the salon. Natural oils on your scalp (that you wash away when you shampoo) help color penetrate hair follicles. Waiting a day or two after your last shampoo before you apply color also helps protect your scalp from irritation — which can happen if you have sensitive skin.


Wait to wash.

Go as long as you can without shampooing after color is applied, too. This gives tresses time to absorb color completely. If you wash your hair too soon, any color that hasn’t been absorbed yet goes down the drain (literally). And that means your color will fade sooner than if you’d waited.

3Cut back on washes.

Your color fades slightly with every shampoo, in part because of the sulfates some shampoos contain. Aim to wash your hair every other day — less often, if you can.

4Use the right products.

Opt for a shampoo and conditioner formulated for color-treated hair, which help protect it from the sun and pollutants that can cause premature fading. Some also help boost your hue temporarily by depositing just enough color to revive your shade. Avoid shampoo and conditioner that contain sulfates or sodium chloride, which can break down and fade color. Take a look at our picks for the best products for color treated hair.

5Avoid other chemical treatments.

Hair treatments involving chemicals, such as perms, relaxers and straighteners, can wreak havoc on your brand new hue. They can dry out your hair (a no-no if you want color to last), alter your color and speed the fading process.

6Avoid hot water.

When you’re in the shower or rinsing your hair, avoid very hot water; it has a tendency to strip your hair and dry it out. If you can stand it, rinse your hair with cold water once before getting out of the shower. This helps close the cuticle and makes your hair smooth and glossy — plus, you won’t need coffee to wake you up!

7Keep hair soft.

Moisturized hair maintains color a lot longer than dry, brittle hair. Minimize your use of of blow dryers, flat irons and curling irons to help keep hair from drying out. Deep condition your hair once a week for added hydration. Soften hair with these deep conditioning secrets.

More hair care tips & tricks

How to update your color for spring
5 Hair tricks to try
Secrets to silky hair

Since salon trips get expensive, we ladies like to go as long as possible without color fading and hair dilemas. Following certain hair care guidelines will not only help you make your color last but it can even help your beauty budget!

More beauty budget tips>>>


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