Keep that colour longer…how to minimize fade!

Possibly the biggest challenge when you get your hair coloured is ensuring that the amazing result lasts until you are ready to return! No matter how fabulous your hair is when you leave…the test of a great colour is what it looks like a few weeks later.

There are lots of ways to keep your hair colour looking fresh, however before we recommend solutions it helps to understand why colour fades:

Natural hair…

Natural hair doesn’t fade exactly…it does lighten but ‘natures’ mechanism is quite different than the fading that occurs in colour treated hair. Colour fade is the loss of vibrancy of pigment (colour tone & depth) and the exposure of the underlying pigment underneath, whereas natural lightening is just that…lightening!

Interestingly enough, when it comes to your natural hair it is actually the wind that does most of the lightening…not the sun. Natural lightening (we call it natural oxidation) is less stressful to the hair than chemical colour…but ultimately the action on the hair is the same so extra condition will be needed to keep your tresses in best condition

Natural oxidation will occur on the top layers, on the finest textured hair and can be anything from red (in dark hair) to palest gold in blondes. The most obvious place to look for it is in children (or surfy types) where the hair is left to its own devices

Coloured hair…

When you get your hair coloured, the action of the product is to remove some (or all) of your hairs own natural pigment and replace it with an artificial colour molecule. Sound terrifying but it is an exact science that has been perfected in the laboratory and the salons over the last 100 years. If you ever listen to a colourist discussing formulae they will be talking numbers, and letter, and percentages and this mathematical operation is all about ensuring the right amount of pigment is removed…and the correct reflect replaced.

Demi-permanent colour removes the least of your natural tones and therefore tends to last the longest (if they are applied onto healthy hair)…the lighter your choice colour, the most natural pigment is removed and the least colour added in, therefore the most susceptible to colour fade. Any reflect that is not naturally present in ‘real’ hair is likely to have less longevity and if you choose to go to light or too dark you may have issues with your hair holding the colour. The most important thing is to have realistic expectations and ask as many questions of your colourist as you need to understand what will happen.

When you hair is over coloured or damaged, the protective outside layer is removed and this is what keeps your colour vibrant so treating the hair well and building strength is vital to longevity of your new reflects.

See a professional colourist

When you get your hair coloured in the salon we have the latest technology and best quality products available…but this is not what you are paying for. An expert colour specialist can diagnose the right products and treatments for you, plus they can tailor the formulae to the texture, condition and natural level of your hair. The ‘out of the box’ option is a one product fits all approach and there is no possibility of customizing the results. Varying the formula to take into consideration your hair allows us the best chance of recreating an even result that lasts. A great colourist should take into consideration your hair condition, texture, natural depth, percentage of grey (if any), your desires, your lifestyle and offer you realistic advice and suggestions to ensure the colour lives up to your expectations. You want someone who can offer you science-fact (as opposed to science fiction) and who knows exactly what the products can and cant do – on your hair

Use a mild shampoo

I know sometimes it just seems like a sales pitch but what  you wash your hair with can have the most profound effect on your colour.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is the most common cleansing agent in shampoo but is overly efficient cleaning your hair…we just don’t get that dirty any more.
The desire to see lots of foaming action (we want bubbles) has meant that traditionally the most highly active ingredients have been used. As our understanding of hair science has improved we now realize the detrimental effect this has on your precious hair colour.
Sulfate-free shampoo is a great way to deal with fading hair. These shampoos can be used on daily basis and will remove excess sebum and impurities without removing the colour as well.

Lay of the alcohol…products

Alcohol based styling products tend to dehydrate your hair…and in drying it out you are causing damage to the cuticle which is there to protect your colour. This will speed up the fading process as well so it’s best not to use them in summer when you know that your hair will be exposed to direct sunlight. The upside to this is that there are many wonderful alcohol-free products available nowadays which means that you won’t have to give up your favorite up-dos and hairstyles.

Protect your hair

It’s a case of slip-slop-slap when it comes to your hair too! Protecting your hair while you’re chilling on the beach or hanging by the pool is a must-do in case you want to avoid fading hair color! Use a UV conditioner to protect your strands against those dangerous, harmful rays

Remember that salt and chlorine are both bleaching agents so prevent them affecting your by saturating your hair with a heavy masque conditioner before you jump in and rinse as soon afterwards as you can.

Take good care…

Damaged and dry hair won’t be able to retain added hair color and if you’ve ever tried to go from bleached blonde to pretty much any other color you know how hard that is! Yup, if your hair is a mess, the color will simply bleed out! The solution? Hair care! Meticulous, constant, aggressive hair care! Why? Because healthy hair retains more of the original color enabling you to look great with less touch-ups!

Glaze it

The last on my list of ideas on ways to keep hair color from fading is a clear glaze – a technique you can opt for right after your dye job to make your color longer lasting or between two colorings to freshen it up a bit. Oh, and guess what – this is not one of those complicated procedures that can’t be done outside the salon! Yup, you can do it at home with the help of an easy-to-apply colored or clear glaze of choice!

Don’t shampoo too often

Many hair-coloring products (particularly demi-permanent hair dyes) tend to last for an approximate number of shampooings. Washing hair too frequently can cause hair coloring to fade more rapidly, requiring more frequent dyeing.

Colored hair may not require daily shampooing. In fact, shampooing on alternate days, if possible, may help to deter hair color fading. And, of course, those with dyed hair may choose to shampoo once each time, rather than practicing the old-fashioned lather-rinse-repeat step.

Mind the heat

Exposure to heat causes hair shafts to open. When heat penetrates hair, it can lead to fading of hair color. Curling wands, flat-irons and hot hairdryers should be used minimally on colored hair to prevent hair dye from fading.

Colour to your lifestyle

Most importantly of course, no hair coloring product lasts forever.

Both demi-permanent and permanent hair color fades in time, and hair grows out to reveal natural coloring at the roots. No matter what hair color products individuals may select, they generally will discover the need to recolor hair every month or so.