How to Make Hair Color Last Longer

Brunette with hair color that lasts longer
Photo: Depositphotos
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 can lead to breakage and hair loss. In order to minimize the fading process and prevent the need for frequent touch-ups, 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 be less 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 a longer-lasting color. This conditioning treatment will also help protect your hair from damage caused by chemical treatments.
2. Use Color-Enhancing Products
There are many shampoos and conditioners on the market that help preserve and enhance hair color. To reduce the need for frequent touch-ups, 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 small amounts of tint to compensate for color loss.
Color-enhancing conditioners are helpful for women of all hair shades and retain color by smoothing the cuticles 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 to perk up the hair color between salon visits. Ask your stylist about custom blends and the cost of the treatment.
Coloring dark hair with permanent dye
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3. Other Techniques
When coloring your hair, ask your stylist to use permanent hair dye only. Semi-permanent colors fade much quicker than permanent dyes. Retouches should only be applied to the roots and not 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, as these can prevent the color from properly saturating your hair and may even strip the 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, as this 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.
See also: More about coloring hair