Time Drain: You Color Too Frequently
Do you have your colorist on speed dial, ready to pounce at the first hint of root growth? You’ll be doing your hair a favor, not to mention saving a few hours, if you extend the time between color jobs. Barricelli says it’s ideal to hit the salon every six weeks. If you can make it eight, even better.
There are a few things you can do to stretch the time between salon visits. First, “if you have hard water—and you’ll know you do if it’s difficult to make soap or shampoo lather—use a shower filter, as heavy mineral content can strip color,” says Marie Robinson, a celebrity colorist and the owner of the Marie Robinson Salon, in New York City. Washing less frequently will extend color, too; when you do shampoo, use a formula that’s color-safe (which preserves vibrancy) or color-enhancing (which adds pigment). Last, “at-home glosses and glazes can protect the integrity of your hair and help seal in color pigments so that you experience less fading,” says Harry Josh, a stylist and a creative consultant for John Frieda. Try a product such as Oscar Blandi At Home Salon Glaze ($27, oscarblandi.com). Once a week, apply it after shampooing and conditioning, leave it on for three minutes, then rinse it out.
If grays are your issue, buy some time with a root touch-up kit. Try Clairol Root Touch-Up by Nice n’ Easy ($8, at drugstores). It’s designed to blend away grays with shades that match most colors. In fact, if you’re only about 20 percent gray, a root touch-up may let you skip every other trip to the salon. If you need to eke out a few more days, try the TouchBack Marker (available in eight shades, $30, touchbackgray.com) to literally draw over grays between shampoos. Finally, never underestimate the power of optical illusions. Simply parting your hair in a different spot can uncover less exposed, and therefore less faded, hair. A blow-out can also amp up shine and make your hair look more vibrant.