Shampooing & Highlights Coming Out

Long hair with highlights
Photo: Luis Molinero/Shutterstock
Q: If you wash your hair every other day, can your highlights come out?
A: As a quick answer, “No.” But that’s because by definition, “highlights” are created by lightening the color of the hair to create depth and the appearance of paler strands within the hair’s base color.
Highlights, therefore, are simply created by removing pigment from the hair through a lifting or bleaching process. Because of this washing the hair cannot make your highlights “come out”, since that would involve restoring the color that was removed in the lightening process.
However, if your “highlights” are created with a process that not only lightens the base color of the hair, but also adds pigment to create a specific color or tone to the highlights (whether through a multi-step or single-application process) frequent shampooing with a harsh shampoo could result in some color fading from the highlighted hair.
Remember that lightening processes leave the cuticle layer of the hair elevated and can leave the hair more porous. Because of the porosity the color that is deposited can sometimes be more readily stripped away by shampooing. So, NO, you won’t lose your highlights, but you might experience color fade in the highlighted hair.
See also:
Questions about highlights
How to highlight hair with a highlighting cap
How to do foil highlighting
How to make your hair color last longer