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Make Your Haircolor Last

Updated on May 24, 2016

What happened?

It's happened before, you color your hair and within a couple of weeks it starts to look drab, dull, or faded. There are a number of reasons why this can happen. Follow these tips to make your color last longer.

Go to the Salon

First of all, if you want good quality, long lasting color, don't expect to get it out of a box off a drug store shelf for $10 or less. You get what you pay for. Good color is an art form. It's not just about mixing it up and dumping it on your head. A professional stylist knows the do's and don'ts of haircolor, and has the education, knowledge, and expertise to provide you with good quality, lasting color. Click here for more on the pros and cons of box color.

Don't Skimp on Your Hair Care Products

To make sure your haircolor last as long as possible, be sure to use the proper hair care products. This means don't just pick up whatever shampoo is on sale that happens to say "for colored hair" on the bottle. While you're at the salon having your color service, make sure to ask your stylist to recommend the proper hair care products to help you maintain your color and style at home. Heed your stylist's advice and purchase these products. Don't let the price tag scare you away. Believe it or not, that big price tag will actually save you money in the long run. The reason for this is that the cheaper options that you might buy at a drug store or department store aren't as concentrated as products that can be purchased at a salon. That's right, they're watered down. Not only that, but they're chock full of harsh sulfates and parabens. Sulfates are the chemicals that cause the shampoo to lather. Sulfates are harsh and they can cause the color to fade out of the the hair. Parabens are preservatives, that, over time, can leave a waxy build up on the hair. This waxiness can not be washed off. Once it's there, it's there, and the only way to remove it is to cut it out. The build up will also put weight and strain on your hair making your styling routine twice as difficult, and can cause the hair to break off during styling.

Now on occasion you may run across the same product you buy at the salon, but instead you're in a drug store and it's half the price. Companies do this to expand their reach and increase consumer counts. The problem with this is that even though it looks the same, maybe even smells the same, it's watered down. It may be half the price, but you'll have to use twice as much to get the same result. Thus, you're not actually going to save any money. You'll actually spend more because you'll have to make your shopping trips more often causing you to use more gas, and waste precious time.

Choose A Good Shampoo

Make sure that the shampoo you do buy is a good color safe product. Even some professional products will fade your color if they aren't formulated for colored hair. Read the bottle. Make sure it says it's safe for use on colored hair.

Another option is a sulfate-free shampoo. As I mentioned above, sulfates are put in the mix to make the shampoo lather, however, some sulfates can cause haircolor to fade. Sometimes it's best just to use a product that is free of sulfates all together.

A third option is a cleansing conditioner. The most popular and widely known version of this is Wen. The downfall with Wen is, you have to order it and wait for it to arrive. That's fine for some people, however, some prefer a more locally available product. A newer, and similar, and cheaper alternative to Wen, is Biolage Cleansing Conditioner made by Matrix. It can be found at most any chain salon, most anywhere. This is a good quality, one-step product that cleanses as it conditions without stripping color or natural oils from the hair. It contains no sulfates, and no harsh salts or parabens. It is available in four formulations: Fine, Medium, Coarse, and Curly. An extra plus, any of the four can be mixed and matched to formulate the perfect balance for your hair type and texture.

Wash Your Hair in Cool Water

When shampooing your hair, using cool water will prolong the life of your color. When heat (hot water) is introduced on the hair the cuticle, or outer wall, of the hair opens. This can cause the the color molecules inside to "wash out." Cool water, however, does the opposite. The hair shaft remains smoother and more closed when washing, preventing the color molecules from escaping, thus your color lasts longer.

Use Styling Tools on Low Heat Settings

Just as I mentioned above hot water can cause the cuticle of the hair to open allowing color molecules to escape, the same applies to high temperature styling tools. When you style your hair, use your tools on a low setting. This will prevent color molecules from escaping as easily. Also the the expanding and contracting of the hair, coupled with high heat, can cause split ends and damage to the hair shaft. As a plus, lower temperature settings can add shine and smoothness to the hair.

Damaged Hair

Get a Glaze

In between color services, one way you can refresh your color is by getting a haircolor glaze. A haircolor glaze is a temporary color service that adds shine, and a protective "glaze" over your color. Glazes can be clear, or if needed, your stylist can recommend a slightly pigmented glaze to give your color a pick-me-up. If you need a quick refresher, but can't get to your salon, you can purchase an at-home glaze product, and apply it yourself. Be certain to follow the instructions carefully to ensure a proper result.


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