How to Make Your Color Last

March 17, 2012
This is Shanna, we have been friends since Kindergarten, and I've been coloring her hair for about 4 years now.   Isn't her hair color fabulous??  She has been all shades of red, and lately we've been going with a coppery Emma Stone red.  So flattering on her.     

 If you've ever had a bright color like this, you know it tends to fade really fast.  No one wants a faded color! Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your hair color in between your appointments:

1.  A good rule of thumb is the more unnatural the color, the faster it will fade.  Blue, green, violet, red, anything like that is going to fade a lot faster than the natural tones will. If you are tired of your hair fading so fast, consider doing a more natural color.

2.  Putting a dark color over blonde hair will also fade really quickly.  If you are a blonde going dark, ask your stylist to have your hair "filled" first.  A color fill is a two step process, first adding the missing pigments to your hair at the target level, then finishing by coloring your hair the desired color.  Basically it's like adding a "base" or underlying pigment for the dark color to grab on to.  Most stylists will fill a blonde going dark already, but ask just to be safe.  Your rich brunette color will last a lot longer. 

3.  Wash your hair in cold water.  Hot water opens up the hair cuticle, allowing hair color to rinse out a lot easier.  Washing it in cold water will keep the cuticle closed, locking color in.  No one wants to stand in a cold shower though, so it doesn't have to be Titanic cold, just on the cool side. 

4.  Use professional shampoo.  This one is HUGE.  Drugstore shampoos might be OK for natural colors or those who don't color their hair, but if you have a color that you want to stay vibrant, use a nice shampoo.  Cheap shampoos are harsh and will strip the color from your hair. 

5.  Try a pigment shampoo.  Pigment shampoos are targeted to specific hair colors.  They deposit color or tones that specific hair colors need.  If you are blonde, use a purple shampoo like Unite Blonda Shampoo.   Purple shampoo will keep your blonde fresh and prevent it from turning brassy.  If you have red hair use a red shampoo like Quantum Riveting Reds Color Replenishing ShampooThis shampoo will literally deposit red pigment, freshening up your color every time you wash your hair.  They make pigment shampoos for a variety of colors.  

6.  Try not to wash your hair every day.  Water, like heat, opens up the hair cuticle.  The less you wash it, the less chance there is that it will fade.  Use a dry shampoo for days in between washing.  No one wants stinky hair :)

7.   Avoid UV rays.  If you are going to tan, put a towel over your hair.  If you are going to be in the sun, try to wear a hat or use a sun protection spray like Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil.  You can also try switching up your part so different sides of your hair are exposed to the sun, preventing it from fading a lot in one spot. 

8.   Chlorine can also strip hair color.  Avoiding swimming within the first 48 hours of coloring your hair.