How to Make a Dye Job Last (and Prevent Color Damage)
Lathering up too often can cause fast fade. The goal is to shampoo as infrequently as your hair allows (from every two days to once a week, depending on how greasy your roots get), using übergentle shampoos that are high on moisturizing ingredients and low on detergents such as sulfates, says Sharon Dorram, owner of Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger in New York City.
Try: Matrix Total Results Brass Off Shampoo ($16; Ulta.com)
2. Condition regularly.
“Aside from adding hydration, conditioner seals the cuticle, keeping color molecules inside your hair shaft,” says Joe Martino, creative director of the Orlo Salon in New York City. Condition at least after every shampoo, and use a hydrating mask or a leave-in treatment weekly.
Try: Arvazallia Fortifying Protein Hair Mask ($14; Amazon.com)
3. Style protectively.
Avoid products that contain alcohol, like many volumizers and hairsprays. “They can dry out your hair and shrink the cuticle, which causes color to appear washed-out,” says Martino. Instead, look for alcohol-free alternatives and stylers formulated with fade-fighting UV filters like benzophenone-4 and benzyl salicylate.
Try: Kenra Professional Shaping Spray 21 ($19; Ulta.com) and Paul Mitchell ColorCare Color Protect Locking Spray ($14; Ulta.com)
The coloring process can leave hair brittle and dehydrated— but it doesn’t have to. Here are some tools many colorists keep in their kits to protect delicate strands.
A precolor leave-in treatment plugs up porous spots along the hair shaft, making strands smoother and more balanced, which allows the color to be distributed more evenly, says Martino.
Color that replaces ammonia with hair-nourishing oil has been a major boon for dry, damaged hair. And now salons are using oil-based lighteners. “They don’t itch, burn, or smell, and most important, hair doesn’t feel fried,” White says. Another way colorists can now prevent damage when going light: low-volume bleach. “It might take three times as long to get the shade we’re trying to achieve, but it’s far less damaging,” Martino says.
The latest in-salon innovation is Olaplex, a treatment that’s added to a color service to help mend hair’s bonds, which can break during the dyeing process. “It’s literally repairing hair as you color,” says White.