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9 Ways To Avoid Hair Color Fading

by Madison Reed {{"2018-11-28T19:39:00.000Z" | blogDate:'MMMM d, y'}}

Image by Madison Reed

We should get this out of the way first—you can’t stop artificial hair color from fading. It’s just one of those sad facts of life. But you can slow the process down and keep your color looking fresher, better, and more vibrant for quite a bit longer. Read on to discover the simple steps we rely on to protect our hair color from life’s harsh realities, like UV rays and blow dryers. The big takeaway? Be gentle.

  1. Wait 72 hours to shampoo—after your initial wash to remove excess color, of course. The reason? The process of coloring your hair opens up the hair cuticle to receive artificial pigment, so one of the most important steps you can take to preserve your color is to allow enough time for the cuticle to close completely. We’re not saying don’t take a shower for 3 days, just wear a shower cap, mmkay?

  2. Take lukewarm showers whenever possible. Yes, this is an incredibly hard thing to hear. We’re all about the piping hot showers, too. But here’s the thing—cold water is much gentler on colored hair. Hot water can actually re-open the hair cuticle, allowing color to escape. Cold water, on the other hand, locks your color in. May we suggest investing in a space heater for your bathroom?

  3. Put a filter on it. On your shower head, that is. Installing a filter will cut down on your hair’s exposure to minerals like iron and lime, and even small amounts of chlorine, which are way too harsh for artificial hair color to be subjected to on a regular basis. Your hair will likely feel softer, too.

  4. Avoid sulfates in shampoo and conditioner. Sulfates can strip your hair of color, so it’s super important to wash and condition your strands with color-safe products only. Try our sulfate-free Color Protecting Shampoo + Conditioner for a gentle cleanse that will leave your hair feeling softer, shinier, and stronger.

  5. Wash your hair less often. This one is very low-effort. The less you wash your hair, the better for your color. Unless your hair is very oily, you should definitely refrain from washing it every day. If you can go three or even four days between shampooing, do it. Remember, dry shampoo is a beautiful invention we could all be buying more of.

  6. Take a break from hot tools. The less heat you subject your poor hair to, the better. But we know how hard it is to quit hot tools cold turkey. Instead, baby steps. Commit to air drying your hair once a week. Keep your blow dryer and straightening iron on the lowest possible heat settings. And always, always use a heat protectant before styling.

  7. Stay out of the sun. Getting too much sun isn’t just bad for your skin, it accelerates hair color fading, too. UV rays can penetrate the hair cuticle and oxidize or bleach out your color. Luckily, sunscreen for hair actually is a thing...our Color Protecting Shampoo + Conditioner contains fade-resistant UV protection. But if you know you’ll be spending the whole day outside, you should also bring along a cute hat.

  8. Make masking a hobby, for the sake of healthier hair. When your hair becomes dry or brittle, it’s actually far more susceptible to color-fading. Adding hydration back in is key. Once a week, apply a deep conditioning treatment or hair mask to your mid-lengths and ends. Then leave it on for at least one hour. Moisture is the essence of hair color longevity...or something like that.

  9. Use styling products developed specifically for color-treated hair that aren’t too harsh or too drying. Products containing alcohol, ammonia, or peroxide (listed as one of the main ingredients) can be especially damaging to color-treated locks. Your hair color is crying out for nourishing ingredients, not drying ones.

While you can’t prevent your color from fading, you can take simple steps to keep it looking and feeling healthier and more vibrant. And when it is time to color your hair again, just remember: a little pampering and protection goes a long way.

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