Some tips to make your dyed hair looking great08.07.2022
A professional can do a great job. This is the first rule to a great color job. It doesn’t matter how many people might tell you that it looks amazing. It’s amazing that you did this at home! However, DIY jobs often skip important steps that ensure your hair’s integrity and longevity. You don’t want it to fade a few days later so you need to keep that color looking good for the long-term.
Even if you see a professional, it is important to learn how to preserve the color. Rebekah Norris is a colorist and educator at Cutler Salon, NYC. Here are her top tips for keeping your color vibrant and lasting longer.
How to keep your dyed hair healthy and vibrant
Norris offers one piece of key advice before we get into our picks for the best hair products and tips to dye hair. Ask your stylist or colorist what they recommend. She says, “They know what your hair needs and what it is capable of.”
1. Stay with the Big 3
One safe rule of thumb: Norris believes most people can stick with the “Big 3” products for hair color preservation: heat protector, dry shampoo, and masks. Here’s her opinion on the benefits of each.
Hair will “fade” when it is exposed to heat, such as from a blow dryer or hot showers. Heat can dry hair, causing it to become dry and frayed. You can protect your hair with heat protection products like sprays or oils. “Heat protection creates a barrier around your hair shaft and seals the cuticle, locking it in color. Apply the product to towel-dried hair and comb through as usual,” Norris explains. For the shower, use lukewarm water.
A hair mask is a great product for hair health, both long-term and short-term. You can target color-treated hair and plump strands with the nutrients you desire.
Norris says that it’s like a super conditioner. “Masks have a thicker consistency than conditioners and are full of moisture and hydration. You can leave them on for longer than recommended. It is important to follow the brand instructions to dyed hair.”
As is the case with shampoos and conditioners targeting blond/silver/platinum hair, the designated hair masks will also usually have a purple hue to prevent brassy tones in the bleached hair. These can be used to increase vibrance by natural gray-haired people.
Dry shampoos can be used to treat oily scalps and give hair extra lift by absorbing excess sebum at their roots. Norris also recommends them for dye jobs: “Over-shampooing may lead to color fade and dulling,” she states. Dry shampoo leaves your hair feeling clean and doesn’t compromise your color. Your hair will stay color longer if you don’t wash it as often as possible.
2. Color-safe shampoo and conditioner should be used (with the right frequency)
While it is up to you how often you wash your hair and what your personal preference might be, there are some things that should be remembered. First, any product you use to call yourself “shampoo” should not contain sulfates or surfactants (SLSs). Although you may have already gotten rid of these products, it is worth checking again. Norris says that products without harsh additives can help prevent your hair from fading and are better for your scalp’s pH levels.
You might already be familiar with the purple “toning” shampoos and conditioners that many bleached/platinum/silver-fox types use. The permanent lift of the cuticle, combined with the absence of hair pigments that can compromise the color, helps to prevent hair from getting “brassy”. It is also susceptible to brassiness because almost all hair dyes start with bleaching. This highlights the importance of professional dye jobs, which can reduce the damage to your hair and recommend the right bonding/treatment products to improve cuticle function.
Regardless of your chosen color, Norris says to use these purple toning shampoos/conditioners once every other week. This nourishment can also be obtained from a toning shampoo mask. She says that people with brighter colors can only do this once a month. She says that it is better to tone your hair less than over-toning. This can lead to a buildup in color and a rosy or purpley look to your hair. Norris advises that you should not use toner products for your primary shampoo and conditioner.
3. Every month, get touch-ups
The frequency you have your hair colored is dependent on the color and possibly your hair’s length, quality, texture, and quality. (Your colorist will be able to advise you on these aspects with your hair health in mind and overall aesthetics.
Below is Norris’ general recommendation for the primary colorings she uses:
- Most Uniform Color Jobs: 6-10 weeks. Shorter styles will need more frequent touch-ups due to the higher ratio of dyed/undyed hair
- Platinum: 4-6 weeks. It is the most difficult to maintain as it requires double processing, which makes it more vulnerable to damage. The pro will balance this color and match the roots as carefully as possible.
- Gray Roots: It takes 4-7 weeks to complete, as it is only one process.
- Highlights: 7-10 Weeks to ensure they focus more on highlights than full-on dye
4. Double your summer savings
Summer may seem like the perfect time to experiment with vibrant hair colors and be carefree, but it also comes with more color care and balance. Your hair will likely be dry and lacking in moisture if you are exposed to chlorine, sand, and sea salts. Because serums are more concentrated than other options, you’ll want to increase your heat protection. “Make sure you look specifically for UV protection. You’ll need to increase your daily use of your mask to 2x per month.
5. Brands and products that are “professionally styled”
Norris says there’s a rule of thumb when it comes to choosing the best hair styling products that are color-friendly. It is best to trust brands that have been backed by salons, whether they are salons themselves or are regularly carried by hair professionals. Think Sachajuan, Kerastase and Davines, R+Co and Oribe, Kevin Murphy and Living Proof. These brands are worth looking at for hair products.
6. A shower filter is a good idea
No matter where you live, water can have an impact on the color of hair. This could be anything from hard-water minerals or rust properties.
Norris says that if you live in a rural area, well water is likely to be available to you. This can cause hair to frizz and dry out. If you live in densely populated areas, it’s likely that you are exposed to rust in pipes which will dull your hair color. A hard water shower filter will benefit you in both cases. It will trap all harmful minerals before they get onto your hair. This will save you time and money on maintenance.
7. Regular haircuts are a must
Routine haircuts are a key aspect of hair health, especially for those with color-processed hair. Norris states that products alone will not save hair from split ends and breakage. This is a common advice I give to people who want effortless platinum hair. If you want your hair to be healthy, it is not easy. She recommends that longer hair should be trimmed every 3 months. It’s easier to trim shorter styles.