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How To Care For Color Treated Hair


Changing your hair color for the first time can be pretty exciting.

In my late teens, I had my first foray in the world of hair coloring– I went from dull dirty blonde locks to vibrant golden blonde tresses and felt like a brand new person.

Whether you’re going lighter and brighter like I did or trying a richer, darker shade for your hair, a new color is often all it takes to perk up your look.

But if you’ve never dyed your hair before, figuring out how to care for your locks after they’re colored can be a little tricky. That’s because color-treated hair requires a little extra TLC if you want to preserve the color and keep your locks looking shiny and healthy.

If you’re thinking about coloring your hair or have just colored your hair for the first time, here are the basics for keeping it looking great no matter how many times you dye it.

Limit Washing

When you’ve got color-treated hair, water is the enemy. Every time you get your hair wet, it readily absorbs water because colored hair is extremely porous – but when it releases the water it takes in, some dye goes with it, making your color fade a little more each time. That’s why you should limit how often you wash your hair after coloring it – actually, try to wash it as little as possible. Invest in a dry shampoo to use between washes to soak up excess oil at your roots and freshen up your locks. The TRESemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo Color Care is an ideal option for color-treated hair.

When you do wash your locks, opt for a shampoo that’s designed to protect color treated hair. They’re usually gentler than regular shampoos so they don’t strip your locks of color or moisture. Try the Matrix Biolage Color Care Shampoo, which is sulfate-free to help keep color vibrant. When it’s time to rinse the shampoo from your hair, use cool or lukewarm water because hot water makes color fade faster – and don’t stand under the shower spray for several minutes to wash out the shampoo. Spend as little time as possible to rinse it clean.

Keep It Hydrated

Coloring your hair strips it of vital moisture, which can leave it looking dry and frizzy. Conditioning your hair every time you wash it is crucial for restoring that lost moisture. Choose a conditioner for color-treated hair like the Redken Color Extend Conditioner or Pantene Color Solutions Color Preserve Conditioner to ensure that it’s hydrating enough for thirsty color treated locks.

Use a deep conditioner or hair mask once or twice a week, depending on how fine or thick your locks are, too. These conditioners offer even more hydration than daily conditioners so your locks look smoother and shinier after a treatment. Try the Redken Color Extend Magnetics Deep Attraction to improve the look of dull, dry hair.

Protect It

Like water, sun is an enemy of color treated locks. UV rays from sunlight not only dry out your hair; they make your color fade too. If possible, wear a hat whenever you’re going to be out in the sun for prolonged periods. If a hair isn’t doable, use a product with UV protectors to help shield and hydrate your locks. The Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil guards hair against UVA and UVB rays and contains antioxidants to really protect your color treated hair.

Heat styling with your curling iron, flat iron or blow dryer can also pose a danger to dyed locks. The heat used to curl or straighten your hair actually evaporates moisture out of it, so it can leave colored tresses looking dry and dull. Whenever you use a styling tool, apply a heat protectant spray to guard against damage. L’Oreal’s Color Vibrancy Dual Protect Spray is designed to protect color treated hair from heat damage up to 450 degrees.

Freshen Color

No matter how well you care for your hair, the color will start to fade before it’s time to color it again. Using a color-depositing shampoo and conditioner, which leave a small amount of pigment behind in your locks after you rinse, between coloring sessions can help freshen your hair so it looks brighter and more vibrant. Aveda offers a line of color-depositing shampoos and conditioners with options for blondes, brunettes and redheads, so you can keep your hair looking fresh no matter what color you choose.

A glaze doesn’t deposit any color, but it helps seal the cuticle so hair looks smoother and shinier – and the color looks more vibrant. You can get a glaze done at the salon, but an at-home version works well too – try the John Frieda Luminous Color Glaze Clear Shine to perk up your hair between coloring sessions.

Have you been considering changing up your look? Share your favorite hairstyles below.

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing