Tips for Color Treated Hair

Whether you have vibrant all over hair color or perhaps just a few highlights, you want your new hair color to keep its beautiful hue long after you leave the hair salon. Here are several tips for preserving the longevity of your hair color.

Use a Color-Preserving Shampoo and Conditioner
Strong shampoos that are not formulated for color-treated hair can cause even the best hair color to fade, but a color-preserving shampoo and conditioner can enhance your hair color or highlights. Many color safe shampoos and conditioners, particularly those that are geared toward a certain shade of hair color, will contain special formulas and color enhancers to protect your hair color and slow down the color fading process.

Hair color consists of tiny molecules. When you first receive a hair color service, a hair color formula is applied to your hair that will open the hair cuticle allowing the hair color molecules to enter the hair and be deposited. Once the hair coloring process is complete, the color is rinsed out with cool water, the cuticle closes back to keep the color molecules in the hair.

In order to preserve the longevity of your hair color, the cuticle of the hair needs to stay closed to keep the color molecules intact. Heat styling as well as harsh shampoos and styling products can cause the hair cuticle to open and can strip the color molecules from your hair. Color safe shampoos and products are designed with a special formula that keeps the hair cuticle from being opened. Many color-safe shampoos and conditioners have a pH that is close to that of hair, making them more beneficial than regular shampoo. The pH of hair is 4.5 – 5.5, which means that any shampoo or product you use must should be close to 4.5 – 5.5 to protect your hair color.

In addition to a good, color safe shampoo and conditioner, use hair care daily products that contain sunscreens and light oils. Keep your hair thoroughly moisturized and protein conditioned! Regular conditioning goes a long way toward preserving hair color and keeping the hair radiant with little product!

Don’t Wash Your Hair Everyday
Not washing your hair everyday will not only help preserve your hair color, it will also make your hair less dry and add more shine. If possible, shampoo your hair no more than three or four times a week. When you do shampoo your hair, make sure to rinse it in cool water, not steaming hot. Cool water will help close the hair cuticle, which will help your hair color last longer. If your hair gets oily easily, use a dry shampoo on days you skip a normal shampoo

Protect Your Hair from the Sun
Just as the sun can fade fabric, drapery, and other items, the sun can also fade your hair color. If you plan to be in the sun, wear a hat to protect your hair color from UV rays and sun damage. Avoid going outdoors with damp hair. The sun can be especially damaging to hair color on damp or wet hair that is exposed to harsh sunlight.

Avoid Using Too Many Products
Using an arsenal of  styling products can weigh your hair down, creating the need for more frequent shampoos. If you put hairspray, mousse, and other heavy products in your hair, you will need to wash it more often to get rid of buildup. Finishing products like hair sprays, spritzes, mousses, and gels can also contain high amounts of alcohol. The alcohol helps your hair dry faster, but has the negative effect of causing hair color to fade more quickly. Our hair salon can recommend great products options for color-treated hair.

Avoid chlorinated or hard water
Washing your hair in hard water or chlorinated water can cause your hair color to fade. If your water is hard, or if you are a regular swimmer, you can use a chelating shampoo for regular color maintenance. Installing a good water filter on your shower head may also help to prolong your hair color. If you swim, the stylists at our hair salon suggest thoroughly saturating the hair in regular water or a good conditioner prior to hitting the pool to keep chlorine molecules from being absorbed. Then after swimming, shampoo and deep condition your hair as soon as possible.

Use cool water for rinsing your hair
Avoid washing and rinsing your hair in hot water. Hot water is drying to the hair whether it has been colored or otherwise. Hot water causes the hair cuticle to open, allowing color molecules to escape, while cold water helps close and seal the cuticles. Our Tallahassee hair salon recommends that you always shampoo and condition your color-treated hair in cool water. After conditioning the hair, do a final rinse in the coldest water you can stand. This final rinse will seal the cuticle and give shine to your hair.

Avoid heat damage and over-styling
We recommend that our clients avoid over-drying their hair with blow dryers and/or flat irons. These styling tools can damage the cuticle and can cause your hair color to become dull over time. The regular heat styling of colored hair reduces moisture levels and can lead to color damage and hair breakage.