In an ideal world, we’d be able to schedule a hair appointment with our go-to stylist at the very first sign of our color fading. As we know, that’s not always possible. While stylists don’t recommend DIY-ing your own color at home, that doesn’t mean you’re relegated to brassy, dull hair until your next visit to the salon. In fact, there are plenty of tried-and-true strategies for preventing the side effects of a postponed salon visit. It all starts with implementing good hair habits and a little at-home maintenance.
Don’t know where to begin? Here are 7 stylist-approved tips for how to preserve and maintain your color at home.
1. “WASH LESS, DRY SHAMPOO MORE”
Your hair is in a delicate stage after a fresh color, which is why most colorists recommend waiting 48 hours before washing your hair. “If you shampoo right away, your color can wash out and fade quickly because the cuticle is open,” explains Lauren Paglionico, hair colorist and owner of LRN BEAUTY, in New York City. She encourages her clients to adopt the adage “wash less, dry shampoo more” to help preserve your color even long after you’ve been to the salon.
Her go-to dry shampoo? Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo. “This dry shampoo smells great, removes odor and keeps your hair fresh throughout the day.” Not only does it absorb oil without leaving a chalky, white residue, but it also maintains hair health and color vibrancy.
2. ADD A PRE-SHAMPOO TREATMENT
The Olaplex system is used by tons of salons around the country—and the world—because it corrects and revitalizes damaged and compromised hair, improving manageability so that you can color and style it how you please.
To start, we recommend Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector. Made with the brand’s patented bonding technology, this pre-shampoo treatment strengthens hair and reduces breakage. For best results, leave it on for at least 10 minutes before rinsing and applying shampoo and conditioner.
3. CHOOSE THE RIGHT SHAMPOO FOR YOUR HAIR
When you color your hair, it’s vital that you use a shampoo (and ideally a conditioner) that is specifically designed for your hair type. Doing so will not only help your color look fresh for a longer period of time, but also help maintain the health of your hair, explains Stephanie Brown, master hair colorist at IGK SOHO.
She likes Living Proof Color Care Shampoo, which is a sulfate-free shampoo designed to protect color-treated hair against UV rays and hard water damage.
4. TONE YOUR BLONDE (OR SILVER)
If your blonde color turns brassy—i.e. you’re starting to see unwanted warm tones—you can use a purple shampoo to return your hair to their intended hue. “Purple is complementary to yellow tones, meaning they cancel each other out,” explains Brown.
She recommends dpHUE Cool Blonde Shampoo to her blonde clients and Sachajuan Silver Shampoo for her silver- or white-haired clients. Both work to extend the life of your color in between salon visits.
5. USE A DEEP CONDITIONER
“Hair masks contain super hydrating ingredients, including coconut, argan and jojoba oils, as well as shea butter and linseed extract, to help smooth the cuticle of the hair,” says Brown.
That’s why she recommends using Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil once or every two weeks, ideally underneath a shower cap or a warm towel to keep the moisture in and open the cuticle. “Rinse with cool water so your hair can reap all the benefits,” she adds.
6. TRY AN AT-HOME TOUCH-UP KIT
If you’re noticing some grays peeking through, Christine Thompson, hair colorist and founder of Spoke & Weal, suggests using dpHUE Root Touch-Up Kit. This gentle, salon-quality kit helps conceal your roots with a low-ammonia formula that won’t damage or fade your hair. The best part? Everything you need for two applications is included in the box.
7. LIMIT YOUR USE OF STYLING TOOLS
When we overuse heat-styling tools, like blow dryers, straightening irons and curling wands, our hair becomes increasingly porous, explains Paglionico. “Heat tools also let out steam, which can open the cuticle and lift the color right out,” she warns. She recommends cutting down your use of styling tools to a maximum of two times a week and to use a heat protectant to create a layer between your hair and the heat.
For long-lasting thermal protection, reach for Alterna CAVIAR Anti-Aging Restructuring Bond Repair Leave-In Heat Protection Spray. Clinically proven to shield hair from heat damage and reduce breakage.