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5 Tips for for Making Your Hair Color Last

5 Tips for for Making Your Hair Color Last

At-home hair color costs less than a third of salon treatment, so a DIY dye job is a great way to stretch your beauty dollar further. But that savings will only be a success if the shade sticks around! What you do before and after you dye makes a big difference. Check out these five tips for making your hair color last:

1. Get the Right Stuff

Permanent colors include ammonia and peroxide, so they lift the natural pigment of your hair. The dye penetrates the hair shaft more and therefore covers gray better than other formulas. Permanent color fades in time, but it doesn’t actually wash out. Demi-permanent color does wash out and only enhances your natural color rather than changing it, so if you’re looking for long-term, noticeable results, go for a permanent formula.

2. Prepare Yourself

The day before you dye your hair, wash it with a clarifying shampoo. Doing so will remove any product buildup from styling products or conditioners. That kind of buildup can prevent color from penetrating your strands (and the color won’t last as long if it doesn’t penetrate well). As part of your prep, you should also do an allergy test as directed by the box–especially if you have had allergic reactions to anything in the past.

3. Keep the Color

To allow the color time to set, wait a full 48 hours before shampooing. Then, use shampoo and conditioners that are specially formulated for colored hair. These formulas use gentler detergents so they don’t strip away the color like hairs formulas can. Avoid using too-hot water when you wash as it doing so can speed up the fading process. Shampooing less often will help the color stick around, too.

4. Protect Your Tresses

If you use heated hair tools often or spend a lot of time in the sun, your color will fade sooner than if you didn’t do these things. To help minimize fading from styling tools, always use thermal protection spray before styling–it will protect both your hair itself from damage and help keep the dye molecules from breaking down. Before going outdoors, consider using styling aids with built-in sunscreen as they will help keep the sun from stealing your new shade.

5. Proceed with Caution

As much as you might love your new color, it’s important to avoid damaging your hair by dying it too often. Blonde and brunette shades tend to stay vibrant about a few weeks longer than red shades do, so if you’re looking to color less often, pick golden or brown shades over red-based shades like auburn. Highlights actually require less maintenance than all-over dye jobs because the line of your natural hair growth is less obvious since the color is not solid (read: no glaring roots to touch up!).