How to Maintain Dyed, Color-Treated Hair - Avoid Fading

From subtle highlights to vivid fantasy hues, hair color transforms looks instantly. But the aggressive chemical processing leaves strands unprotected and vulnerable to damage. Faded tones and dry, brittle textures disappoint over time erasing the initial thrill. Preserve freshly colored hair and vibrancy in between salon visits using these pro tips.

Invest in Color-Safe Shampoo

Sulfate-free cleansers gently remove dirt without stripping color layers revealing dull undertones. For bonus points, lather up with a tinted shampoo depositing pigmented oils to refresh faded brunette, blonde or red shades between dye jobs.

Shampoo Minimally

Limit cleansing to twice a week at most when rocking color-treated hair. Too much washing depletes needed hydration and natural oils allowing moisture escape through raised cuticles. Additionally, abrasive scrubbing accelerates fading over time.

Use Targeted Conditioner

Quench chronically thirsty, compromised strands using weekly reparative masks. For daily conditioning, rely on lightweight formulas with color-safe ingredients that seal the cuticle down for lasting vividness. Prevent brassiness and warmth with cool brunette or silver conditioning toners.

Protect Strands from Heat

Allow hair to air dry whenever possible instead of subjecting strands to heat tool intensity which accelerates fading. If using hot tools, always prep with a thermal protectant. Also, invest in advanced dryer systems with gentle far-infrared or ion-generated heat preventing further damage to color-treated hair.

See Wired’s complete guide to the best hair dryers for fast, frizz-free styling without excessive heat exposure.

Rinse with Cool Water

Give color-treated hair a cool water final rinse to seal down opened cuticles after shampooing. If cuticles remain raised longer than needed post-wash, humidity sneaks in causing swelling and faded results.

Be vigilant protecting fragile color-treated strands by using specialized shampoos and gentle heating tools only after protectants. Limit chemical and heat processing whenever possible between dye jobs. Follow these tips religiously to maintain dazzling and vivid shades for months beyond the initial bowl visit!