Make Your Hair Color Last
- If your color is fading: The protective outer layer (cuticle) of each strand of hair needs to remain intact to prevent color molecules from escaping; the more porous the hair, the more likely the hair color is to migrate out, explains Arun Nandagiri, a cosmetics chemist and the founder of Bria Research Laboratories, in Libertyville, Illinois. Any color treatment should be followed by deep conditioning (don't shampoo for 24 hours afterward). Then, two to three times a month, apply a deep-conditioning hair mask. In these masks, chemicals known as cationic polymers help keep the layers of hair closed like the shingles on a roof, says Nandagiri. And don't use clarifying shampoos, which can strip color. Also, the active ingredients in sunless tanners, makeup removers, and astringents can diminish hair color. "Before using products on the face, gather strands of hair into a ponytail with a boar-bristle brush," which is less damaging to hair, says Eric Fisher, owner of two salons in Wichita, Kansas. "Then avoid any large movements with the hands to prevent touching your hair."
- If you have peekaboo hairs: Nonporous hairs, which tend to be gray, make holding on to color difficult. Hairstylist Cristophe, who owns five salons across the country, suggests asking your colorist to apply peroxide to roots first to make the hairs more porous and improve absorption.
Products to Try
- Aveda Color Conserve Shampoo and Conditioner ($21 each, aveda.com.) These gentle moisturizing formulas won't strip away color..
- Clairol Nice 'n Easy Root Touch-Up ($8, at drugstores). Applied directly with a brush, it dyes roots in 10 minutes to tide you over until your next salon visit.