Whether you’ve decided to go blonde, brunette or even full-blown unicorn, the colour treatment in your hair needs special attention if you want it to last all summer long. With that in mind, here’s our top advice for keeping your new hair colour vibrant and salon-fresh, while ensuring your luscious locks also stay healthy and protected.
Don’t forget… it’s dangerous when wet
Colour treatments can make your hair more porous, so it’s essential to keep as much moisture in your hair as you possibly can. After your treatment, avoid shampooing your hair for at least 72 hours – even longer if possible. Why? Because when your hair gets wet, your hair releases colour molecules. The longer you can delay that first shampoo, the more time you’ll give your new hair colour to set.
After that, limit hair washes to two or three times a week and, on the days you’re not shampooing, wear a cap in the shower to prevent your hair from getting unnecessarily wet. If you wet your new hair colour too often, the colour will fade more quickly.
On the days you don’t wash your hair, you can always keep it refreshed with a colour-safe dry shampoo.
Apply a colour-protecting conditioner on the days you shampoo your hair. Conditioning your hair won’t only help to protect it from damage (like breakages and split ends) it will strengthen the hair shaft, lock in nutrients, and seal in colour. If you want to turn up the volume in your hair, try adding the conditioner before you shampoo so that it’s thoroughly rinsed out by the time you leave the shower. When you condition after shampooing there’s always a chance that residual conditioner will be left in your hair, weighing it down and reducing its bounce.
And, while we’re on the subject of showers…
Don’t stand the heat!
If you want your new hair colour to dazzle for longer, never shampoo using overly hot water. When you wash with hot water, the hair cuticle opens, and you lose colour faster. Instead, try shampooing with lukewarm water and then rinse with cold. Cold water will seal in the moisture, stopping more colour from escaping.
Also, avoid applying direct heat to your hair via blow dryers, straightening irons, curling tongs etc. When possible, let your colour-treated hair dry naturally. When that’s not possible, apply a heat-protecting styling product and then keep the heat setting on your equipment as low as possible.
Sulphate is the ingredient many manufacturers use to give your shampoo or conditioner that luxurious-feeling foaming effect. That might feel good when we’re applying it to our hair, but sulphates contain salt, which can strip away our hair’s natural oils and moisture. By now you’ll already know what that means – your gorgeous new hair colour will be stripped away too! To avoid that happening (or, at least, reduce the possibility) try using a sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner instead.
No, we’re not expecting you to hit the treadmill every day just to keep your hair colour looking fabulous (although it goes without saying that a healthy diet and regular exercise are both hugely important.) In this case, we’re talking about visiting your salon every 6-8 weeks to trim off those split ends. Split ends will fade your hair colour even faster, so don’t give them the chance to ruin your look. But look on the bright side – whoever needed an excuse to visit their favourite hairdresser more often? We bet you don’t!