It’s fun to change up your hair color every once in a while, but paying a hefty salon bill? Not so fun. Luckily, these tricks can help stretch out the time between salon visits and keep your hair looking radiant.
Start off right. When you dye your hair, the protective outer layer on each strand (the cuticle) gets stripped away so the color can seep in. That is why it is absolutely crucial that you deep condition your hair after any color treatment, and avoid shampoo for 24 hours. This will refresh your hair and prevent color from leaching out.
Prevent fading. The best way to make the most of your dye job is to take steps to prevent fading.
• Washing. Try to wash as infrequently as possible, and always avoid “clarifying” shampoos, as these can strip the cuticle. Instead, choose shampoo and conditioner made specifically for preserving color.
• Styling. Colored hair is much more vulnerable to heat styling. If you must use hair dryers, straighteners and other heat tools, always keep your hair hydrated by spraying on a heat-protective spray before styling.
• Conditioning and protecting. In addition to the initial deep conditioning treatment, you should use some sort of deep conditioning mask every week or two to keep the hair hydrated. The more porous your hair, the more likely the color is to fade, so keep it strong. You should also protect it from sun damage when you go outside, as UV rays can break down the chemicals in your hair dye. This can cause the color to look brassy or some grays to peek out.
Keeping your hair shiny also helps the color look richer, even if it has faded a little bit. That is because the glossiness tricks the eye into seeing color as more fresh. Healthy hair is always beautiful!
Learn touch-up tips. One of the most important tools in making a dye job last is knowing how to cover up grays and roots when they do start to show! If you’re overdue for your salon appointment, you can make do in the meantime.
If your case is mild, dip a toothbrush in eyeshadow that matches your hair color, then apply to grays or roots. You can also buy a product made specifically for these types of touch ups. Sally Hansen’s ‘Tween Time Temporary Haircolor Touch-Up Stick is a crayon-like tool that you can use to “color” over problem areas. The best part is that it washes out in the shower.
For more extreme cases, buy a box dye in a matching color and apply to the roots only, using a toothbrush. This will erase the evidence of your overdue dye job and protects the rest of your hair from damage.
If your color seems to be fading all over, try a color-depositing shampoo. These products contain just enough dye to revive your color and hide any grays. Try L’Oréal Professionnel Colorist Collection Shampoo and Conditioner, which is pH balanced and comes in a number of varieties for all shades of brunette, blonde and red hair.
There are plenty of ways to make your hair dye job worth every last penny. Adopting some protective practices might be just what you need to make your color last longer than ever.