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4 Ways to Extend Your Color-Treated Hair

young woman with pink shoulder-length hair smiling in sunlight
Yuricazac/Shutterstock

Whether you’ve dyed your hair an icy blonde or a vivid blue, these four tips will help extend the life of your color-treated hair so you won’t end up back in your stylist’s chair a week after you last left.

Wait Before Washing

You can start preserving your color-treated hair the second you leave your stylist by waiting at least 24 hours before washing your hair. If you can, try to wait 48 hours. The longer you hold off from washing your hair, the more the treatment will set. Your hair will be more vibrant, as it’s had more time to soak in the color.

Avoid Sulfates and Sodium Chloride

Sulfates and sodium chloride are common ingredients in shampoos that strip your hair of dirt and oil. Unfortunately for those of us with color-treated hair, they will also strip the color from the hair follicle.

Look for shampoos designed specifically for color-treated hair, which typically contain color-protecting ingredients like antioxidants and vitamins.

Wash Your Hair Less Frequently

One of the best ways to preserve your color-treated hair is to wash it less frequently. Every time you wash your hair, you lose a bit more color.

If you can, wash your hair at least every other day, if not more infrequently. Products like dry shampoo will help to preserve your hair color and eliminate the greasy look that develops as you extend the time between washes.

Use a Color-Depositing Shampoo and Conditioner

Color-depositing shampoos and conditioners add temporary color to the surface of each hair strand.

Pick a pair in the same hue as your hair and use it in the shower to preserve the vibrancy of your dye job. Brands like oVertone and Davines are very helpful for elongating your stylist’s work, particularly if your hair is dyed a vibrant color.

Wash with Cold Water

If you do need to wash your hair, do so with cold (or lukewarm) water. Hot water makes the pigment applied to your hair escape more quickly.

Washing your hair with cold water might take some getting used to, as will some of the other tips on this list. But it’s all worth it if your color looks amazing, right?

Hayley Milliman Hayley Milliman
Hayley is a former Teach for America teacher turned curriculum developer and writer. Over the past five years, she's written hundreds of articles on everything from education to personal finance to history. She's co-author of the book Museum Hack's Guide to History's Fiercest Females. Read Full Bio »

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