How to Boost Your Hair Color
Whether your preferred hair color is a rich and earthy brown, a vibrant shade of red, or a knock ‘em dead platinum blonde, there’s one hair coloring outcome everyone can agree on. If you’ve invested the time and money in getting the perfect dye job, of course you want to make it last as long as possible. Few things are more disappointing than getting a color you love, only to have it look faded and lifeless within days. There are several typical mistakes women make that shorten the lifespan of their color, and most of those mistakes are things we do in the course of our regular routines. By learning what to do (and what not to do), you’ll keep your color looking fresh and vibrant until it’s time to head to the salon for a touchup.
1. Keep Your Hair Healthy – There is a direct correlation between your hair’s health and how long your dye job lasts. Daily wear and tear takes a bigger toll on your hair than anything else. Washing it too often, seasonal exposure to chlorine, salt, and sun, as well as over processing, brushing, blow drying, flat ironing, and curling can all result in weakened hair. By minimizing your exposure to harsh and damaging elements and babying your hair, you’ll give your color the best possible base for longevity and vibrancy.
2. Use a Sulphate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner – Avoid washing your hair for at least the first 24-48 hours after coloring to minimize disruption of color adherence. Once you resume shampooing, be sure that you are only using sulphate-free shampoos and conditioners that are specifically formulated for your color. This will help moderate the amount of color that is stripped from your hair, and it will put back some of the color you do lose during washes. Another protective measure is to use cold water to rinse your hair, because this will help seal in your color by keeping your hair’s cuticles closed.
3. Don’t Skimp on Color Protectant Products – After every wash, use a color protecting serum. Be sure to work it in thoroughly from the roots to the tips of your hair. This product coats the hair and protects it from the ravages of heat and humidity. You can also try color protecting creams like L’Oreal Tecni Art Hairmix Supreme Smooth Cream for added hydration and strengthening while you style. Whenever you use any type of heated styling tool, make sure you’re using a heat protectant, too. Overuse of heated styling tools without protectant will fade your color practically overnight, but heat protectants will act as a barrier to minimize damage.
4.Protein Power – Your hair is made up of a protein called keratin. You’re your hair has been damaged through chemicals from dye, relaxers, and heat styling, you’ll lose color through the porous cuticle. A hard protein treatment will serve as a fill-in for the weakened protein comprising your damaged hair. These protein treatments lock the cuticle, helping your color to stay in place by providing a solid base for it to adhere to. Ask your salon about the types of protein treatments they offer, and consider getting one a few days before your coloring appointment. Priming your hair this way will ensure the best possible color and the longest lasting results. You can supplement salon protein treatments at home by using moisturizing shampoos and conditioners containing keratin.
5. Unless You’re Covering Grey, Opt for Semi-Permanent Colors – Grey hair is notoriously stubborn, so you might have to opt for a permanent color to cover it up. If you’re not contending with grey, consider staying away from the permanent dyes. Semi-permanent hair colors lift and deposit color on your hair, and the impact fades naturally over time, giving a less harsh look when your color starts to go away, which can be a relief when you’re dealing with the time period between great looking color and your next dye job appointment. Permanent colors are much harder on hair, damaging tresses more quickly and easily. Another thing to consider is the added versatility of semi-permanent colors, which allow you to jump from shade to shade with ease. If you use a permanent color, your limits are going to be severely limited for the foreseeable future. The one potential drawback to consider when deciding about whether or not to use semi-permanent dye is that red shades tend to fade much faster.
6. Your Color is Meant to Fade – While of course you want to extend the life of your color, it won’t last forever, no matter what you do. Keep in mind that your color is meant to fade over time. The reason for this is that when your roots begin to grow out, your fading color will help ease that awkward transition between two dramatically different colors.