Last week, I paid a pretty penny to have my hair colored the most gorgeous shade of light auburn.
But as much as I love the way my hair looks whenever I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, it also makes me a little sad – because I know it’s only a matter of time before all this rich, beautiful red starts to fade and I wind up with a drab shade of strawberry blonde.
It’s happened to me too many times before to count.
Hair color fading definitely ranks right up with there with dark root growth and brassiness as some of most frustrating things about dying your hair. Red hair color may fade a little faster than others, but whether your hair is blonde, brunette, or any shade in between, you’ve probably dealt with the slow, dull fade of your dye job a time or two. This time around, I’m determined to get a little more mileage out of my color, so here are some of my favorite tips for preventing your hair color from fading as long as possible.
Use the Right Shampoo
One of the quickest ways to make your hair color fade faster is to wash it too often. Try to go at least a day or two between washes to prolong your color. When you do wash, though, it’s important to use shampoo that is designed for color-treated hair. These products are usually formulated without sulfates, one of the biggest culprits in stripping dye from hair, so they’re gentler on color-treated hair. If your hair does start to fade, try a color-depositing shampoo in a shade that matches your hair. It’ll leave a slight tint in your hair so your color looks refreshed. And while it may be a little tough, skip the hot showers when washing your hair because hot water opens hair follicles so color fades more quickly. Instead, use cool water to wash your hair and preserve the color a little longer.
Use Products with UV Filters
Another major culprit in fading hair color is sunlight, whose UV rays can actually break down the active ingredients in hair dye – which usually means unattractive fading and brassiness. Look for shampoo, conditioner, and styling products that contain UV filters, so your hair is protected whenever you step outside.
Avoid Heat Styling
While your hair may look great after you’ve used a curling iron, hot rollers or straightener, the heat from these styling tools can do serious damage to hair that’s already weakened by a dye job, causing the color to fade faster. Minimize your use of heated styling tools and the blow dryer as much as possible. But when you must use them, always spray your hair with a heat protectant beforehand to help ward off fading.