From Ombre Hair To Bold Hues: How To Care For Color Treated Hair

Julia Sachs

Tags Hair Care

So you took a leap of faith and colored your hair. Now, you just have to figure out how to keep it looking as vibrant and properly toned as it did the day you left the salon. No matter what color you have—be it an ombre, highlights, a bold brunette, or even a neon—color treated hair needs more attention and care than virgin hair ever would. From the correct products to pre-salon tips, here is all of the knowledge we have on keeping your colored hair looking the way you like it for as long as possible.

Start Before The Salon

You read that right. One of the biggest secrets to maintaining color treated hair is to make sure your hair is healthy before you head to the salon. If you want to go from dark brown to blonde, or even experiment with fun colors like pink or blue, understand that it will not be possible to achieve in just one coloring session. Bleach is hard on your hair, and we cannot stress enough how important it is to find a colorist that can bleach your hair properly. That said, consider also getting a trim before you begin the coloring process because damaged hair often has a hard time holding color properly. 

Invest In A Colorist

We have no doubt that you also have a friend on Facebook that went into hairstyling as a career, so we can assume you have probably been told once or twice that you should never use boxed dye instead of working with a colorist. Going to a salon to get your hair colored can end up saving you a lot of time and money down the line. Especially when you inevitably have to go to the salon to fix mistakes from trying to do it cheaply or on your own. This is especially true if you plan on bleaching, since bleach can be tricky to work with and you could end up causing a lot of irreversible damage to your hair. 

Depending on the color you want to have done, find a colorist that specializes in that exact style. Looking to go blonde? We recommend finding a colorist that works mainly with blonde hair. The more obscure the color gets or the more complicated the job is, the more it matters to find a colorist that specializes in exactly what you want to do. 

Start Darker For Pastels

When you want to achieve the perfect shade of pastel pink or lilac purple, we recommend telling your colorist that you want to start off a bit darker than the color you want to end up with. This is because you may lose a lot of the color during the coloring process, and you definitely will lose even more every single time you wash your hair afterwards. While you may leave the salon with a pastel tone, it will last longer if you start with a bold color and let it fade over time. 

Avoid Washing For 72 Hours

After you leave the salon, the most important window of time for your new hair color begins. Your hair color needs some time to properly set in, so avoid reaching for your shampoo for a couple of days after your hair is colored (avoiding getting it wet at all is especially recommended). When you dye your hair with permanent color, it opens the cuticle of the hair follicle to change the color of your hair. It takes a couple of days for that cuticle layer to close back up, so when you wash your hair too soon after having it colored it could potentially wash all of that expensive dye away in a single wash. 

Avoid Sulfates When You Do Wash

Many shampoo bottles advertise that their product is sulfate-free, but not many people really know what that means or why sulfates can be an issue. Sulfates are chemical compounds used in many beauty products and soaps to give them their foaming effect. They can make soaps feel luxurious and foamy, but they can also be drying to your skin and damaging to hair and hair color. Sulfates can strip your hair of its natural oils and make it feel dry, causing damage that will ruin your color by washing it away. And to be honest, you don’t actually need your shampoo to foam--it just isn’t necessary!

Find A Good Dry Shampoo

No matter what color you dye your hair, dry shampoo is one of the best products out there to help maintain it. Dry shampoo can help absorb the extra oil in your hair without stripping all of the oil away (some of that oil is actually required for healthy hair!), making your hair appear freshly washed even on day four without a wash. Hot water and real shampoo are essentially the enemy of hair color, so cutting back on how often you wash your hair will help keep your hair vibrant for longer. Also, if you can stand it, we know a lot of people who won’t wash their hair with warm water--the colder the better. But we understand that cold showers aren’t always do-able (especially in winter!). We recommend these amazing products from Philosophy, Verb, and R+Co from Apothecarie. 

Use Leave-In Treatments & Heat Protectant Products

There are many ways to protect your hair from damage induced from styling with hot tools (like your curling wand, straightener, and blow dryer). We also definitely recommend using products to protect your hair after exposing it to bleach and dyes. The hair dying process can be very damaging, particularly if you have to bleach your hair to achieve your color. Avoid causing more damage to your hair when styling (that includes brushing) by using leave-in products such as leave-in conditioners or heat protectant sprays

Spike Your Shampoo With More Color

Particularly with the more vibrant colors, maintaining the exact shade you were initially going for is hard once you have to start actually washing your hair. To combat the loss of color from shampoos, put a little bit of color into your shampoo to match your hair. Or, you could blast it with color depositing products from Celeb Luxury’s Viral collection.

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