Changing up your hair is always exciting. Well... as long as the results turn out the way you wanted. If you have a new color that you love, you probably want to look like you’re fresh out of the salon for as long as possible, but a lot goes into maintaining color-treated hair. Here’s a handful of tips to keep your color-treated hair bright, radiant, and healthy.
- Wash Your Hair Less Often
It may be hard if you’re used to shampooing your hair every single day, but the most effective way to keep your color bright is to wash less often. Shampoo can actually strip not only the dye itself but your hair’s natural oils that are necessary for retaining moisture and locking in color as well. Try sticking to shampooing your hair 1-3 times a week. If you’re worried about your roots looking greasy, try using a dry shampoo between washes, and don’t fret too much, after a while your hair will adjust to being washed less frequently, and as a result, it won’t produce as much oil.
- Stay Away from Sulfates
On the days when you do wash your hair, there’s a couple of ways to limit fading as much as possible. First, stay far away from sulfates. Sulfates, including sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, and sodium laureth sulfate, are detergents that give shampoos, soaps, kinds of toothpaste, and other cleansing products that sudsy lather, and separate dirt and oils from your skin and hair. It sounds harmless, but sulfates are strong and abrasive and a lot of the time they end up stripping more oil from your hair than necessary. Some oils are vital for soft, healthy hair, and when sulfates take away those oils, your hair can lose moisture, and lack of moisture is one of the main causes of faded hair color. A sulfate-free shampoo will rid your hair of only the excessive built-up oil, dead skin, and sweat, without overly depleting moisture and color.
- Wash Hair in Cold or Lukewarm Water
After you’ve lathered up with your sulfate-free shampoo, it’s time to rinse, and you’d best turn the heat down a bit. Hot water opens the surface hair shaft up and strips color faster, so it’s beneficial to wash your hair with cold or lukewarm water. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to subject yourself to a freezing cold shower. Just make sure that when you rinse your hair that you turn the water down a notch, then you can go ahead and turn it right back up once your hair is clean.
- Keep Hair Hydrated
Dyeing your hair repeatedly can be damaging and drying in nature. The key to keeping color looking radiant and shiny is getting your hair back to its original soft and healthy state. Use a replenishing conditioner whenever you wash your hair (once again sulfate-free is the best option) and if your locks are looking dull between washes go ahead and use only conditioner without shampooing.
Also, look into a leave-in conditioner, whether it be a hydrating hair mist, an oil treatment, or a rich cream mask. This will give your hair even more of a moisture boost, and the more hydrated it is, the better it holds on to color.
- Protect Your Hair from Heat
Color-treated hair is fragile, and using a 400-degree flat iron will only make it more dry and brittle. Air dry your hair instead of blow-drying, and try finding new ways to style it that don’t involve a flat iron or curling iron. However, if you’re loyal to your curling iron, make sure to use some kind of heat protecting serum to provide a barrier between your hair and the heat.
Cleure Leave-in Conditioning Mist works as both a leave-in treatment and a heat protectant.
- Limit Sun Exposure
The sun’s UV rays don’t just damage our skin, they can also fade hair color, be it natural or from a bottle. UV rays have been shown to dry out hair and break down the chemical bonds in hair dye. Limit your sun exposure as much as possible, and when you do go in the sun for long periods of time, wear a hat, or even spritz a little of your SPF sunscreen on your hair.
Your hair color may not be natural, but if you use products that are, and remain cautious, you’ll keep your dye looking fresh, which means fewer trips to the salon and more luster from your color.