Here, I get the scoop from the pros and check out some wonderful samples to fight fading hair color.
Fight the Fade Out
Keep color-treated hair vibrant and healthy for longer than ever.
By Melissa Macron
Some hair colors are harder to hold onto than others (hello, red!). Still, color-treated manes in every range need attention. Conquer color-fading culprits with pros who know.
Washing may be the biggest offender in color fade-out. Choosing the right products makes a huge difference, but it’s often the H2O that blows your hue. Along with oxidation from the environment and free radicals, L’Oréal Paris celebrity hair colorist Kari Hill lists hard water and mineral build-up in pipes as top offenders. Raphael Reboh, Miami-based master stylist and owner of Femme Coiffure Salon, agrees, adding, “Don’t wash hair too often—three times a week is enough.” In between, he suggests using conditioner only or freshening hair with oil-absorbing dry shampoo. Ask your stylist about a glossing treatment right after your color to seal it in, or a few weeks later to freshen it up. When it’s time to color again, pare down in preparation. “Shampoo the day before and don’t use any styling products to ensure maximum color deposit,” says Katie Ferrara Macones, creative designer at DePasquale The Spa located in Morris Plains, New Jersey.
“The results of styling tools are achieved with heat, over-usage of which causes damage to the hair and affects color’s longevity,” Macones says.
“Heat is thy enemy!” echoes Reboh. “All heat styling tools fade the hair.” Choose heat-protectant styling products that will help defend hair from potential damage and seal in moisture.
Turn Up the Hair Conditioning
“Your hair and scalp are an extension of your face,” Reboh reminds. “Women don’t think twice about spending hundreds on face creams. It’s imperative to invest in good hair products as well.” And shade isn’t just color. “Using the proper hair care with sun and environmental protection is a must, no matter the season,” says Hill. In the sun, it’s a good idea to keep hair under wraps with a scarf or hat. Products with SPF, UV filters, and antioxidants protect hair all year.
Manes still need attention during the colder months. While you may be exposed to less sun, indoor heat can deplete hair’s moisture. A weekly deep conditioning mask will keep color more vibrant.
Shades of Gray
“Gray hair can be a factor in the fading process,” notes Hill. “It depends on texture. Coarse hair is harder to color, fine hair can fade fast.” Extra sun protection and keeping up with color every six weeks will keep gray at bay. Want to stick with your silver? Reboh suggests incorporating a few blonde highlights. The blend gives gray hair dimension while adding a bit of sheen.