8 ways to save your hair color
Pick the right products
You wouldn't scrub your sensitive, acne-prone skin with any old face wash, would you? Give your hair the same consideration. Use a shampoo and a conditioner with color-protecting ingredients tailored to your shade, and avoid styling products (like mousse and gel) with alcohol listed in the top five ingredients—it'll just dry your hair out. Our favorite duos? Alterna Caviar Seasilk Anti-Aging Color Hold Brunette Shampoo, Aveda Camomile Shampoo for blondes, and Pureology Reviving Red Shamp'oil or John Frieda Radiant Red Color Captivating Daily Shampoo.
Get (a little) dirty
Shampoo too much, and all that expensive hair color washes down the drain faster. Try washing hair every other day—even less if your strands don't get greasy. Tackle dirt and oil at the roots with a blast of dry shampoo in between washes. Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray and Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk are our go-tos.
Deep condition more
The chemicals in dyes leave hair porous and have a drying effect, so to keep it looking soft and healthy, smooth on a deep conditioner like Oribe Masque for Beautiful Color once a week after shampooing. Apply it from just below the roots to your ends if your hair is thick, or from ear level down if it's fine. Let it soak in for ten minutes, then rinse. To boost effectiveness, hairstylist Harry Josh of the Serge Normant for John Frieda Salon in New York City recommends putting a shower cap on after applying the treatment.
Add a glaze
Treating your hair to an at-home glaze is an easy way to stretch some extra mileage out of your color between touch-ups. Try a gloss (we like the John Frieda Luminous Color Glaze collection) to boost both shine and brightness every other week, says celebrity colorist Sharon Dorram-Krause.
The biggest reason for fading color is water, and while we can't recommend avoiding it altogether, there are a few ways to lessen the damage. For starters, don't stand directly under the spray unless you're rinsing, and keep the water warm, not scalding hot. Another idea: Add a filter to your showerhead to cut down on minerals like iron and lime, which are harsh on dyes, Dorram-Krause says. We like the T3 Source Showerhead Filter.
SPF isn't just for skin
Hair sunscreens exist—and they're not just a gimmick. "Ultraviolet rays can penetrate the cuticle of the hair and oxidize or bleach the color," says hairstylist Garren of the Garren New York salon. Spritz a protective spray such as Redken Color Extend Solar Screen SPF 12 over damp hair before heading to the beach, paying close attention to the crown, since it catches the most sun.
Protect yourself at the root
The mineral deposits found in pool water are what lead to that feared green-orange tinge, not chlorine, says cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson. How to counteract the stuff? Baby oil. Rub a drop or two over dry hair, then rinse with tap water immediately after swimming, says hairstylist Nathaniel Hawkins.
If you do emerge from the pool to find your blonde hair looking green, your initial reaction will be to freak out, not reach for the tomato juice—but trust us, a V8 rinse works. "The red totally neutralizes the green," says colorist Negin Zand of Sally Hershberger Los Angeles.