Have you ever had your hair dyed a few weeks before an event only to see it fade by the time your event rolled around? The faded result is a dull, boring, dead color and it feels as though you’ve wasted money and time with no satisfaction. The brutal truth is, and we ladies know all too well, that hair dye is expensive especially if you get your hair done professionally. And honestly, it’s hard to believe women can afford getting their hair done at a salon every six weeks or less! Looking good is expensive.
So what’s the solution to our faded hair dilemma? In my early twenties I experimented with different colors: pink, black, platinum blonde, and my favorite… red. I had bright red hair and received compliments on it all the time; it was bright, shiny, bouncy, and full of vibrancy! The trick? I dyed it every two weeks. That’s right, my hair suffered every two weeks- and my wallet along with it.
Fortunately for me, I knew what I was doing and I had found a great high quality color that worked for me and I dyed my hair by myself at home. That by no means that it was cheap, but if I were to consistently get my hair professionally dyed at the salon every two weeks I’d be homeless (with gorgeous hair).
There are plenty of problems with dying your hair every two weeks to preserve color. For one, your hair is being damaged when it doesn’t have to be. You’ll never grow your hair out past your shoulders with all that damage! I didn’t! And two, you’ll waste tons of money and time, and the hair dye and time aren’t cheap.
Today almost ten years later, we truly live in a different time. Nearly everyone has access to awesome quality products, and hair dying tips are readily available on YouTube channels. Today there are tons of amazing products available to keep your hair looking literally like you’ve just stepped out of the salon for months- except for those roots of course. Without further ado- here are the top 10 ways to keep your color treated hair from fading!
1. Wait 72 Hours Without Shampooing After A Dye
This is one of the most common mistakes women make that fades out the color of their hair instantly: they shampoo their hair the day of the coloring or the day after. Make sure you wait a full 72 hours before shampooing your freshly colored hair. Why does it matter? It takes up to 72 hours for your hair follicle layer to fully close, meaning that the color molecule is not yet trapped and will be washed away with your shampoo. So hold off! Use dry shampoo! *We’ll get to that later*.
2. Use Color Protecting Spray
Color protecting sprays are designed to lock in the color and keep your hair feeling silky, shiny, and conditioned. Paul Mitchell sells a popular color protecting spray at Ulta for $14. After you shampoo, condition and gently towel dry your hair, spray product.
3. Use Sulfate Free Shampoo & Conditioner
A lot of well known brand shampoos contain sulfate. What is sulfate and why is it important to use sulfate free shampoos and hair products in general? To put it simply sulfates are detergents. They’re used in everyday products like toothpastes, face cleansers, and of course shampoo. Basically those bubbles and that lather is caused by sulfates, and they’re designed to clean your scalp and strip it of its oils.
The problem with sulfates? They’re very drying and for a lot of people sulfates cause skin irritation. You want to keep some of your natural hair oils because they’re conditioning. Stripping your hair with sulfates contributes to stripping color out too.
4. Stay Out Of The Sun
Well, I know it’s not possible to always stay out of the sun, and why would anybody want to? The point is, overexposure to sunlight can fade your hair prematurely. The sun will take away the gloss out of your hair and even naturally lighten it. Not so good for us gals with dark or even medium vibrant hair. So if you can, limit your hair’s exposure to sunshine. Which brings us to our next no-no…
5. Stay Out Of Chlorine
Chlorine can literally strip color out of the hair shaft. This is especially damaging to the blonde ladies because chlorine can turn blonde hair green. It’s a bleaching agent, so it will change the color of your hair, and it’ll dry it out. The most effective chlorine protector if you’re a frequent swimmer is a swim cap. Another way to prevent chlorine damage is to wet your hair and condition before going for a swim in chlorinated water. The conditioner works as a barrier between your hair and the chlorine. And always rinse your hair after swimming.
6. Skip The Heat Tools
Heat and styling tools can really do a number on your hair. Heat tools dry out and damage hair causing it to fade. Let your hair air dry, and skip the styling tools as often as you can. If you absolutely cannot live without your blow dryer or straightening iron then at the very least use a heat protecting spray.
7. Wash Your Hair Less Frequently
We’ve all heard about the benefits of washing our hair only a few times a week. Hairdressers suggest it, stylists recommend it. Washing hair less often can soothe dry scalps and help with dandruff issues. It can make your hair softer and shinier; at the same time it can heal damaged hair. While the thought of washing hair once a week is great, the execution can sometimes be tricky. After all, nobody likes going out into public with oily limp hair. Heck, even looking in the mirror at home and seeing that hair is less than ideal!
So what do we do? Just start. After a while, your hair will get used to being washed less often and create less oils. On those days you feel you need an extra boost, use dry shampoo in your roots the night before!
8. Use Hair Gloss
A hair gloss treatment can sometimes be almost as good as an actual hair dye. The treatment revitalizes color, removes dullness, and smooths away dryness. You can ask for a hair gloss treatment in between colors at the salon, or purchase hair gloss and use the treatment at home.
9. Use A Daily Color Conditioner (or make your own)
Did you know that there are daily conditioners available for purchase that infuse fresh color into your hair every time you condition? OK, there are some amazing color products available these days! My favorite daily color boost product is Viral Colorwash. What is absolutely incredible about this product is that it can actually be used as a hair dye. So imagine what it can do for your fading color! Using this color boost whenever you’re feeling rather dull can extend the life of your color and you won’t have to think about visiting the salon again until those roots come out!
10. Rinse With Cool Water After Shampooing
A hot shower feels fantastic, but is actually contributing to the loss of your vibrant hair color. One of the biggest reasons your hair color bleeds is because you’re washing your hair with water that is too warm. Hot water opens the hair cuticle and releases that color as you rinse your hair. Money literally going down the drain. Cool water closes the hair cuticle, locking in those color molecules and helping your color last!