Hair color can dramatically change your look or can be used to add subtle highlights
and definition to your hairstyle. Unfortunately, all hair coloring fades with time,
diminishing the vibrancy and richness that your hair had immediately after coloring.
It may be tempting to color your hair more often to compensate for color fading, but
more frequent chemical processes lead to breakage and hair loss. In order to minimize
the fading process and prevent the need for frequent retouches, you can take steps to
help your hair color retain its vitality and richness.
1. Select the Right Color and Prepare Your Hair for the Coloring Process
If you prefer low maintenance hair and want to avoid frequent touch-ups, select a color
that is only a few shades lighter or darker than your natural hair color. Because it is
more closely matched to your natural hair, fading will not be as apparent and roots will
be less obvious. Another excellent way to minimize color fading is to ensure that your
hair is healthy before coloring. Several days before you color, apply a deep conditioner
and allow the treatment to sit on your hair for 10 to 15 minutes. Well-conditioned hair
absorbs color more readily, resulting in longer lasting color. This conditioning treatment
will also help protect your hair from the damage caused by chemical treatments.
2. Use Color-Enhancing Products
There are many shampoos and conditioners on the market that help preserve and
boost hair color. To lessen the need for frequent touchups, women with blonde or light
hair should use color-enhancing shampoos that help reduce brassy tones and disguise
roots. Brunettes and redheads should try color-enhancing products that brighten hair
color and deposit minor amounts of tint to compensate for color loss. Color-enhancing
conditioners are helpful for women of all hair shade and retain color by smoothing the
cuticle of the hair and adding moisture. One of the best ways to ensure your color
remains fresh is to keep your hair well conditioned in order to prevent dryness and damage.
Some salons offer color-enhancing products that are custom-made for your specific hair
color. Color enhancers sold in stores are targeted towards a general hair color, such as
blonde, red, or brunette. However, some stylists can prepare a custom blend specifically
targeted toward the exact color of your hair. These mixtures help perk up hair color
between salon visits. Ask your stylist about custom-blends and the cost of the treatment.
3. Other Techniques
When you color your hair, ask your stylist to use permanent hair coloring only. Semi-
permanent colors fade much faster than permanent dyes. Retouches should be applied
only to the roots and not to the length of the hair. While you may eventually need to
recolor all of your hair, it is best to keep colorings to a minimum to avoid excessive
damage. After your hair has been colored, do not apply hot oil treatments or protein-
based conditioners, which prevent color from properly saturating your hair and can
actually strip your hair of tint.
When washing your hair, avoid using excessively hot water. Cool water helps hair retain
a richer color tone and helps to smooth the surface of your hair. You should also avoid
excessive exposure to the sun and chlorinated water, which can actually leave a green
tint on light hair. By properly preparing your hair for the chemical process, using color-
enhancing products, and carefully caring for dyed locks, your color will retain its vibrancy and richness.