THE BLOG

Caring for Our Color Getting the Most Out of That Investment

08/06/2014 09:20 pm ET | Updated Oct 06, 2014

We spend a lot on our hair color. We want to keep it as long as we can. Here are some tips on how to do that.

The challenge is that color can, and will, begin to wash out and fade, long before new growth begins to show along the scalp. The goal is to minimize that loss, some of which is unavoidable. If we get our hair colored and go on vacation with lots of swimming at the beach, or we're washing our hair after lots of athletic activity, we will see some color loss: a deep, rich red goes just a hair pale in the first few days. We watch some of the color going down the drain in the shower. Still, there are some simple steps that we can take to stretch that stunning 'do as far as it can go.

First of all, know this: those steps are different for lights and darks. That's partly because our stylists create those colors with different techniques. When we go for light, bright shades of gold and platinum, part of the process involves opening up the outer, cuticle of the hair and removing color with peroxides and other chemicals before adding the new color. Achieving darker shades and reds, our stylists don't use as much of those chemicals. The latter process is more about depositing color.

So, when we get highlights, when we go with platinum and blond, our hair takes a bit of a beating and it needs some healing nourishment. Go with some protein-rich deep conditioners each day for a few days after your coloring.

On the other hand, if you've just gotten a dark hair color, avoid washing and conditioning right after coloring. Let it settle in. With these darker colors, our hair hasn't gone through as much chemical processing and doesn't need as much healing conditioner. That can wait a while.

With any color, if you're headed to the beach or a day in the sun, for example, I recommend that you rub some conditioner through your hair to give it some added protection. Hair sunscreen can help with this, as well. We'll see some of those rich, dark colors wash out in the surf and shower but that's a worthy sacrifice.

I suggest that just before getting hair colored that we not go with shampoos and conditioners that can interfere with the depositing of color. Also, let your stylist know if you are taking any medications or have recently been on anesthesia that may leave deposits in our hair that interfere with absorption of color.

A great thing to do before coloring is to go with a clarifying shampoo. There are many available and you can also make one by creating a smooth cream of baking soda and water. Lots of conditioners and shampoos deposit oils and nutrients that are great for your hair but can also interfere with coloring.

Finally, some color is not designed to stay for long. Some of the crayon color treatments, for example, last about as long as a rock concert and that's what we want. We have some fun, wash it out and then head back to work Monday morning.

As always, be open to change!

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