Few things make me as happy as someone saying “Did you just get your hair dyed?” No ma’am, I did not, but I have certainly been taking some steps to make sure my hair looks as fresh and bright as possible. If you are the type of person who wants vibrant hair color, the last thing you want is for it to quickly become sad and faded. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your hair also stays bright:
- Healthy Hair
It all begins with healthy hair. Bleaching and dying will inevitably take their toll on your locks, but damaged hair does not hold color well. Be patient and leave plenty of time between appointments. Care for your hair with repairing masks and avoid styling with heat.
- Go Pro
Use a professional hair colorist, especially for the first time you bleach your hair. Bleach and dye will react differently based on the color and porosity of your hair, so instructions on the back of a box can rarely be trusted. A professional can help guide you towards the color you’re looking to achieve without risking all of your hair falling out. Also, professional stylist means professional products, so the color is likely to last much longer.
- Color Choice
Be sure to pick hair color that is going to stand out against your hair color. If your hair is darker, choose a more vivid dye. No matter what your hair color is, red dyes will always fade the most quickly. Red dye has larger molecules that rinse away more easily, so red or pink is never going to be the best option for a low maintenance look.
- Avoid Sun & Chlorine Exposure
Summertime is rough on brightly colored hair. Just like your skin, hair is damaged by UV rays. Let a wide brim hat pull double duty by protecting both your hair and your skin from harmful exposure. Chlorine is also hard on your hair. A top knot can help keep your hair safe and dry. If you plan on literally getting your hair wet, rinse your hair in fresh water before getting in a pool and try using a swimcap.
- Don’t Wash It… Just Don’t
This will likely be the least popular tip, but all unnatural hair colors are semi-permanent and will fade a bit every single time you wash your hair. Your scalp will adjust, so just slowly increase the time between washing until you can wash your hair just once or twice per week. Dry shampoo, baby powder, or cornstarch can help keep your locks looking fresh. Try hairstyles that incorporate braids or headbands for something that is more forgiving on that third day after a wash.
Note: This is not an excuse not to shower. Throw a shower cap on and keep up with your regular bathing habits.
- Cold Showers
When you do wash your hair, be sure to rinse with cold water. Warm water opens up the hair cuticle and allows for the dye to wash away. Apparently cold showers are good for you anyway, so give it a try.
- Lay Off the Alcohol (& Sulfates)
Many hair products contain ingredients that aren’t great for your hair. Shampoos with sulfates and hair products with alcohol can significantly fade your hair color. You’ll have the best luck finding higher quality products at beauty supplies stores or online.
- Color Depositing Conditioners
Many people with vibrant colored hair mix in a bit of dye with their conditioner to keep it bright after each wash. Color depositing conditioners have recently hit the market to make the process a bit easier. I personally have had great results with oVertone conditioners.
If you could change your hair to any color, what would it be?