Tips & Advice

7 Tips for Keeping Colored Hair Bright and Healthy

  1. Shampoo before dying your hair – and don’t condition after!
  • In the past, we were always told to NOT wash our hair before dying it. However, times have changed – and so has our hair! Many hair color products today use conditioner as a base for their dye, and aren’t nearly as damaging or drying as hair color products from the past. Now, we can dye our freshly cleaned hair without worrying too much about damaging.
  • Clean, unconditioned hair is much more porous and absorbent as it doesn’t have that barrier of grime/grease you get after not washing your hair for a day or two (or three) – which is why it holds color so much better!

2. Always wash your hair with icy cold water!

  • You may have heard of the “cold water rinse” tip, where you only rinse your hair with cold water at the very end of your shower. If you’re trying to keep your colored hair vibrant and nourished, though, it’s best to rinse with cold every time water touches your hair. Not only does it help your hair color last, but it also helps with frizziness and makes your hair shinier/more reflective – making your hair color appear brighter!
  • This is one is definitely hard to get used to. I remember my hair stylist telling me to do this and my first thought was “Uh….sorry but no.” I mean, who doesn’t love a nice hot shower? If you’re a fellow lover of hot showers, I recommend switching your shower temperature to cold only while rinsing your hair and switching it right back to hot directly after.

3. Use ONLY sulfate-free hair products!

  • Just about anyone who dyes their hair regularly probably already knows this – but it’s still worth including! Sulfates are added to shampoo to help with getting hair clean on a deeper level, which unfortunately also results in removing more and more of your hair color each time you wash it.
  • When I’m feeling bougie, my favorite sulfate-free shampoo and conditioners are Redken’s Color Extend Magnetics line, which costs around $38.50 a bottle. Without a doubt, this is the best sulfate-free shampoo/conditioner I’ve ever used. However, the price isn’t too realistic. If you’re ballin on a budget, any of these alternatives would work great:
    • Carol’s Daughter Cactus Rose Water Sulfate-Free line (around $10 a bottle)
    • OGX’s Coconut Miracle Oil line (around $9 a bottle)
      • Note: ALL Organix shampoo/conditioning products are sulfate-free – this one just happens to be my favorite!

L’Oreal’s EverPure Sulfate/Free Color Care System line (around $8 a bottle)

4. Put a little hair dye into your conditioner!

  • Whenever I get asked about how I keep my hair color so bright, this is always the first tip I give. It’s simple but very effective!
  • I like to squirt a bunch of conditioner into a little plastic (Tupperware) container, add a few drops of whatever color dye my hair is at the time, mix it up, apply to my hair, leave for 5-10 minutes, then rinse out with cold water. I recommend keeping that container of your custom color conditioner in your shower at all times, so you always remember to use it when your hair color needs a little freshening up!
    • Note: If you get your hair colored professionally, ask your stylist to leave a little extra dye leftover for you to take home!
  • (Think of it as a cheaper/DIY version of Overtone!)

5. Stay out of the sun!!

  • Since I was 10 years old, I’ve been looking for ways to switch up my hair color. I remember having dark blonde hair (my natural color) and wanting highlights. My mom told me that I could lighten my hair naturally just by putting lemon juice on it and letting it bake in the sun.
  • Now that I’m older and can use real hair dye, though, the sun has become my hair’s enemy. If you have dyed hair and go out on a particularly sunny day, you may notice that the hair on the top of your head (which gets the most sun exposure) gets lighter and looks more faded by the end of the day.
  • Bottom line: the sun is a hair-color-fader that you should try to avoid as much as possible. You could literally avoid going outside, or opt for a hat, scarf, or hood whenever you’re in the sunshine.

6. Try to stay away from any heat tools!

  • You may be noticing a theme surrounding heat here. Colored hair is very sensitive to heat in any form – and that includes your favorite straightener, blow-dryer, curler, etc. If you absolutely must use a heat tool on your hair, consider using a strong heat protectant first.

(My fav is the Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray)

7. Avoid touching your hair as much as possible!

  • If you’re like me, you compulsively play with your hair pretty often. Whether you’re thinking about something, anxious, nervous, or just tired, playing with your hair frequently can fade your hair color over time.
  • [Show picture of my hair from the side that shows the difference between the color of hair that I play with and the rest of my hair]
    • This is what happens when you play with your hair compulsively too much, so try to avoid it!

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