Maintaining the longevity of your color is very important, whether you dye your hair a solid color or prefer highlights. Using the right products is just the first step. Developing the right habits is just as important in order to protect your color for longer.

Find out how to maintain hair color in order to keep your preferred shade vibrant and gorgeous. From protecting your hair against UV radiation to a simple conditioner trick, here’s what you need to know in order to prevent fading for as long as possible.

Avoid Sun Damage

Keeping your hair protected when you’re spending time outdoors is very important since the free radicals produced by UV radiation play a big part in fading. If you don’t want to wear a hat, then you absolutely have to use a protecting spray or a leave-in treatment. The ingredients that help protect the color on your tresses the most include cinnamidopropyltrimonium chloride, polyquaternium-59, butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, along with benzophenone-3 and benzophenone-4.

Rethink Your Shampoo and Conditioner

Most shampoos and conditioners don’t affect color negatively, but when you’re wondering how to maintain hair color, using specially formulated products is a must. Both your shampoo and your conditioner should be protective for your color. Sulfates can actually strip color, and so does clarifying shampoo, so these should be avoided.

Stay Cool

Washing your hair with hot water is a big mistake. Using cool or lukewarm water is the way to go when color protection is a priority. The hotter the water, the more pigment will escape from your hair, and you might end up needing touch ups sooner than you expected.

How To Keep Hair Color Vibrant

Experiment with Dry Shampoo

Even with cold water and the right shampoo and conditioner, exposing your hair to water still fades the color each time. The most important time to skip the suds is right after you got it dyed. Aim for keeping it dry for the next 3 days to preserve color longevity. Try to to maintain hair color by using dry shampoo or opt for shampoos that contain small amounts of dye.

Avoid Water Issues

When you’re washing your hair every day, you should absolutely make sure that the water isn’t contributing to color fading. Lime, iron, magnesium, and chlorine can all strip color or make your hair look dull. A showerhead filter can help remove most of these minerals, but you should also make sure that you avoid scrubbing your hair with towels once you’re done washing. Gently patting prevents frizz while also protecting color.

Try a Glaze

The simplest way to get a touch up is using a glaze or a gloss that’s compatible with your hair dye  to maintain hair color for longer. You can use it as often as every other week in order to maintain the vibrancy of your shade and add shine.

Protect Your Hair in the Pool

If wearing a swim cap isn’t an option, you can still protect your color from the heavily chlorinated water. Get your hair wet before you go into the pool, and use a little deep conditioner or baby oil to coat your hair and protect it. Always remember to rinse well once you’re done swimming in order to get all the chlorine out of your hair.

Avoid Products with Alcohol

Using the right products is a big part of the answer to the question of how to maintain hair color, and that also means you should make sure alcohol isn’t a top ingredient in your styling products. No type of alcohol should be listed in the top 5 ingredients of any product that touches your colored hair.

Hair Color Care Tips

Add Color to Your Conditioner

Even with a bi-weekly glaze, you can still make a difference every time you condition your hair. Add a bit of color, but never peroxide to your conditioner. This simple tricks only works for solid colors and allows you to keep the conditioner on for longer.

More: 10 Dangerous Ingredients in Hair Products

Reduce Heat Styling

You’ll have trouble when you try to maintain hair color, but also use heat styling tools every day. Make sure that you use a strong protectant, and try to reduce the heat. Obviously check the ingredients in your heat protectant to make sure it’s sulphate-free.

photos: Schwarzkopf