Whether you spend money to have your hair professionally colored or are brave enough to do it yourself, here are a few tips you should know in order to keep your locks looking vibrant and fresh for as long as possible.
One of the most important ways to care for color-treated hair is to limit washing. Shampoo causes color to fade and can leave hair looking dull and lifeless, so try to wash your hair every other day at most. If you find your hair gets greasy when you skip a day, consider revitalizing your hair with dry shampoo. Batiste is an affordable favorite that refreshes your hair and comes in fun scents such as cherry ($8).
Choosing the right products can have a huge impact on the lifespan of your color. Many shampoos on the market contain sulfates, or detergents that are too harsh for color-treated hair and can cause fading. Check the ingredients list before you buy shampoo or look for products that are specifically labeled as sulfate-free. While using sulfate-free shampoo is a step up from ordinary shampoo, your best bet is to invest in products that are specially formulated for color-treated hair.
Hair care brands on both ends of the price spectrum have products designed to make your color last. Check out John Frieda’s affordable line of color protecting products, which come in different formulas for different hair colors, from blonde to black ($7-12).
Keeping your locks healthy will improve the quality of whatever color you choose to dye your hair. Dying your hair already puts it in a fragile state. Therefore, taking steps to limit harm from damaging elements like heat and water. is even more important. Color-treated hair is prone to dryness, so consider using a deep conditioning treatment once a week to lock in moisture. Redken’s Color Extend Rich Recovery Protective Treatment is a great option to ensure your hair stays soft and protected while helping to extend the life of your color ($16.50).
Heat poses another threat to your colored hair. The best thing to do is to avoid using heat styling tools such as blow dryers, flat irons and curling irons. If you cannot avoid using any heat products, make sure to use a heat-protecting product such as Not Your Mother’s Beat the Heat Thermal Styling Spray ($6).
While styling tools are an obvious source of heat damage, the water from your shower can also contribute to hair damage, especially for color-treated hair. Keep the water temperature warm rather than scalding hot in order to further prevent heat damage.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Feb. 19 print edition. Rebecca Riddle is a contributing writer. Email her at email@example.com.