5 Things You MUST Do to Make Your Hair Color Last Longer

5 Things You MUST Do to Make Your Hair Color Last Longer
(Photo by Getty)

There's nothing worse than watching your freshly dyed color swirl down the shower drain. (Womp, womp.) So, give your hue a long-lasting boost with these five expert tips and tricks!

5) Cut back on the shampoo.

It's a simple equation: "The more you shampoo, the more your color fades," says celebrity hair colorist Negin Zand, of Salon Benjamin in Los Angeles. "I recommend only shampooing 2-3 times a week, if you can." Keep locks fresh in between washes with a blast of dry shampoo. We love Drybar's blowout-saver, Detox! ($20 at Drybar.com)
5 Things You MUST Do to Make Your Hair Color Last Longer
4) When you do shampoo, make sure you're using a shampoo for color-treated hair.

It bears repeating, if you've got color-treated hair, you've got to wash it with specially fomulated color-treated shampoo. Why? "When you color your hair, what you're actually doing is depositing color molecules into your hair," says celebrity colorist Joel Warren, co-owner of Warren-Tricomi Salon. "Over time, through sun exposure and repeated washing, the molecules come out, and that's what makes the color fade. So, you need a shampoo and conditioner formulated to keep the molecules in."

Sulfates, components that help make beauty products lather, are one of the main chemical offenses of color fade. Warren recommends using L'Oreal Professionnel's new INOAColor Care system ($23 for shampoo at Amazon.com). The products are sulfate-free, plus, they're infused with Argan Oil—a shine-boosting serum that replenishes and nourishes hair fibers, so not only will it make your hair stay vibrant, it'll look shinier, too. Win-win?

3) Protect your strands from the sun.

Just like they're harmful to your skin, the sun's UV rays are also damaging to your hair. "If you're going to be laying the sun, you'll want a UV filter for your hair," says celebrity colorist Rick Wellman, co-owner of Patrick Melville Salon. "They have sprays now that you can spritz on before going out in the sun. It's like putting a shield on your hair." Try L'Oreal's Color Vibrancy Dual Protect Spray ($6.99). It's like a leave-in conditioner and hair sunscreen all in one! Or you could always wear a hat, whichever you prefer.

5 Things You MUST Do to Make Your Hair Color Last Longer
(Photo by Lindsay Schallon/StyleBistro) Beware of the chlorine!

2) The same goes for the pool—chlorine is a color killer.

If you're planning on taking a dip in the pool, you'll also want an extra layer of protection in addition to UV spray. A quick trick? Wet your locks prior to jumping in, and use your everyday conditioner as a hair mask!

"It's more about trying to get something slick on there that will make the chlorine slide off," says Wellman. "It's not like you're giving yourself a treatment, you're just giving yourself a layer in between. The creamier or waxier the product, the better." Rinse the product out with cool (non-chlorinated!) water afterwards.

5 Things You MUST Do to Make Your Hair Color Last Longer
(Photo by Getty)

1) Invest in a glaze or gloss treatment.

Every expert colorist we've ever met has told us the same thing: gloss, gloss, gloss. Basically, it's a transparent dye—for some hues like reds and golden brunettes they'll use a tinted gloss to add extra vibrancy—that's used after your hair is colored. It instantly adds shine and seals in cuticles, therefore boosting the longevity of your new color.

Pop by your salon every 4 to 6 weeks for a treatment (it's much cheaper than full-blown color!) or use an at-home glaze, like John Frieda's Luminous Color Glaze Clear Shine ($9.99 in drugstores), once a week.

It's Hair Color Week at StyleBistro! Keep tabs on new color trends, maintenance tips, the best hair care products, and more, right here.