When you dye your hair the color is so vibrant and full of dimension, but it’ll fade fast and become dry if you don’t protect it. Color-treated hair requires a little extra care and attention. Here are some things you can do to make your blonde stay bright or your red stay rich!
1. Always wash and rinse your hair in cool (lukewarm) water.
Hot water opens the hair shaft so much that your color will be exposed and will be “worn down” easier. Hot water also makes the hair dry and frizzy on the styling end. Washing and rinsing your hair in cool water (or what your grandmother probably calls “lukewarm”) will keep your color in tact longer and seal more moisture into your hair. Of all of these tips, this one is the easiest to do and probably the most important.
Washing tip: Let water run through your hair, without touching it with your hands, for about two minutes before shampooing. This will soften your hair and make it easier to cleanse.
2. Use sulfate-free shampoo or ones specifically formulated for color-treated hair.
Clarifying and neutralizing shampoos are designed to remove chemical (product) buildup, so you do not want them in your color-treated hair. They will also cause drying to your strands if you have higher-level colors or bleach. If you have to wash your hair more than every five to seven days, you can use a formulated co-wash (examples: Aveda Be Curly, Ouidad Curl Immersion).
3. Avoid olive and coconut oil.
Extra virgin olive oil (EVO) and coconut oil have benefits for hair when pH balanced blended into products, but in raw form, will remove some dyes, especially red semi- and demi-permanents. Try using jojoba, almond or argan oil. Also, do not hot oil treat your hair within three weeks of a new color process.
Beauty tip: You can use EVO to remove stain left behind on your lips from pink and red lipsticks.
4. Deep condition with every wash.
You will need to install as much moisture as possible when your hair is wet so it stays in your hair in the days after washing. Intense hydrating masks and protein treatments should be rotated into your wash routine every two to three weeks.
5. Use heat protectants/leave-ins with SPF or UV protection.
Sun breaks down chemicals in dye, so you need to make sure you are using heat protectants and leave-ins even if you are not planning to use heat to style your hair. There are lots of leave-in treatments with SPF or UV protection (example: Aveda Brilliant Damage Control) and most heat protectants have them in the formula to keep your hair shielded from the harsh rays of the sun.
6. Use filtered water to preserve hair and skin.
Tap water has chloride and magnesium, which can make your hair appear dull and brassy, especially if you are blonde. You can install a water-filtration system in your shower or on your sink if you live in an area with hard water.
Helpful resource: If you feel your hair and skin are dry right after washing, or your touch-up color is always fading fast, it could be the water in your house is too hard (high in dissolved minerals, specifically magnesium). Every city is different, so water varies per city. Contact the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline if you have questions about your city’s water.
7. Plan to see your stylist regularly.
The best way to ensure your color-treated hair stays beautiful and healthy is to see your stylist for regular treatments, ends maintenance (cutting) and color touch-up. It is a budget commitment, but it’s the best way to keep your hair care on-track. Talk with your stylist and work out a plan for care and agree on a salon visit schedule that’s best for you.