After what often feels like months of frazzled ends and lacklustre colour, you’ve finally swished your way out of the hairdressers with a brand new do. And whilst it might feel near-on impossible to replicate a bouncy blow-dry at home (no one has eyes at the back of their head), keeping your colour salon fresh has never been easier.
Notebooks at the ready, we’ve got tips that work for every shade, plus some specific to your hair colour…
Hair colour tips that will make your dye last longer
1. Switch your shampoo
Washing your hair too often is one of the main causes of colour fade, as every time you shampoo, a little more pigment swirls away down the plughole. The best solution is to limit the amount of times you wash your hair per week. Instead of going for a full-on shampoo, why not see if you can you get away with a water rinse to refresh day-2-or-3 hair?
Founded by stylists, the pros over at Living Proof, know a thing or two about good hair days– with all of their newest formulations and launches tested on real women in their onsite salon. Their Color Care Shampoo, £24, M&S, is brilliant. Free from sulphates, it uses a ‘colour-optimised surfactant blend’ (try saying that 3 times fast) to limit the stripping of your hair as well as a seriously clever molecule called OFPMA to repels dirt – meaning hair stays cleaner for longer.
2. Take note of your water
Whether you’re blonde or dark, chances are some of your shine has been stolen by the water you wash with. With traces of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and chlorine found in your average tap water, it can wreck untold havoc on your hair. Metal pigments (like copper) can speed up the colour process, meaning your shade ends up far from what you hoped for, whilst chorine can dull and dry your tresses. Our blonde Beauty Editor swears by Color Wow Dream Filter, £24, feelunique.com. Sprayed onto dry hair before shampooing, it works in up to 3 minutes to gently lift those pesky minerals from your tresses. Take a peek at the impressive before and after shots on Color Wow’s website.
3. Greys: user hair toner
As we age, the cells that create melanin (the pigment that gives our hair colour) stop being produced, which in turn causes our hair to become slowly grey. Because of this lack of pigment, grey hair is more susceptible to picking up colour from elsewhere, and a range of factors from pollution to hard water can cause your shade to develop an unwanted yellow tinge. Instead of running to the salon to banish brassiness, stock up on an at-home toner like L’Oreal Age Perfect Beautifying Silver Care in Touch of Silver, £8.25, Boots. Non-permanent, it goes on like a hair dye, transforming your hair with cool, icy tones that stay put for a couple of washes.
4. Blondes: Banish brassiness with purple pigment
You might not have laid eyes on a colour wheel since your school days, but if you cast your mind back to your childhood art classes, you might just remember that yellow sits on the opposite side to purple. And it’s for this reason that a purple pigment works to well to neutralise pesky brassy tones in blonde tresses. Harnessing that purple power, Redken Color Extend Blondage Express Anti-Brass Purple Mask, £24.65, feelunique.com, is a turbo-charged treatment and best used with gloves to avoid staining your hands. Super concentrated, 5 minutes is enough to banish brassiness whilst the full 10 will leave you with an icy mane. It’s packed full of proteins and amino acids too to help repair the damage so often caused by bleaching blonde locks.
5. Reds: Add colour with every wash
One beauty myth that we unfortunately can’t debunk, red hair really does fade faster than every other colour. It’s all down to the molecule size, and as the red colour molecule is larger than other shades, it doesn’t penetrate as deeply into the hair strand – meaning it’s more likely to wash out when you shampoo. The best way to keep your colour fresh and vibrant for longer is to use a colour-depositing shampoo and conditioner, adding extra pigment to replace what’s been lost. John Frieda Radiant Red Conditioner, £6.99, Boots, targets fade-prone areas to leave your colour uniform and super shiny.
6. Brunettes: Cool it down
In the same way a cocktail of sunshine, pollution and heat styling can turn blonde hair brassy, brunette locks are likely to develop warm, red tones. And whilst this new shade shift might suit some, it’s easy to reverse for those that aren’t a fan. The latest innovation from king of colour Josh Wood, the Shade Shot Gloss in Smoky Brunette, £15, Boots, neutralises orange and red hues for a cool, ashy finish. Best used in place of your normal mask once a week, it deeply nourishes too for colour without compromising on condition. It does have a blue tinge so make sure you rinse well, especially around the hairline.
7. Dyed too dark? Clarify!
Normally we’d recommend steering well clear of clarifying shampoo if you have coloured hair, but it’s a great way to shift excess pigment if your dye has gone a little darker than you hoped. Designed to blitz build-up, Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo, £22.50, ASOS, leaves hair squeaky clean and your colour a little lighter. Or if you want to save the pennies, dandruff shampoo is an inexpensive way to get similar results.