Maintaining vibrancy between appointments is absolutely possible.

By Erica Sloan
August 27, 2020
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Just-colored hair looks and feels glorious, but everyday exposure to water, heat styling, and sun can make it fade fast. These smart tactics will extend your hue (or highlights) beautifully between sessions. Plus, we curated several of the products you need in your arsenal to make sure your color goes the distance—at least, until your next salon appointment.

woman with hands in her red hair
Credit: PETE THOMPSON/GALLERY STOCK

Maintain Blondes

Going lighter removes hair's natural pigment, says colorist Angela Soto, owner of Baja Studio, in New York City. That can expose brassy undertones, especially in dark hair that's lightened by many levels, says Diane Stevens, owner of Cole Stevens Salon, in Washington, D.C. To remove the tinge, wash with a color-balancing purple shampoo, like John Frieda Violet Crush ($9.99, target.com).

Revive Reds

This shade fizzles fastest, says New York City colorist Giselle. (Red pigments, which are relatively large, don't penetrate hair shafts easily.) Try a tinted glaze, such as Kristin Ess In-Shower Signature Hair Gloss in Ruby ($13.99, target.com), and swap shampoo for a cleansing cream, like New Wash by Hair Story ($40, hairstory.com).

Enrich Deep Shades

Brown, auburn, and black dyes gradually wash out, leaving hair lackluster. Add shine with dp-Hue's Gloss+ in Sheer ($35, dermstore.com), or subtly boost tone by mixing the Medium Brown or Dark Brown with your conditioner, says Stephanie Brown, a colorist at IGK Salon Soho in New York City.

Polish Grays

Natural or dyed, silver hair can get discolored from minerals in water. Blue colorants in Oribe Silverati Illuminating Treatment Masque offset yellowness ($63, amazon.com).

Get to the Roots

Not able to visit your colorist? No problem. Use a touch-up formula to conceal regrowth and push that appointment out a few more weeks. We're fans of smudge-resistant L'Oréal Paris Magic Root Cover Up ($10.99, ulta.com), which gets spritzed right into your part (and comes in 8 shades!). If you're looking for a brush formula, bookmark Color Wow's Root Cover Up ($34.50, dermstore.com); this formula boasts reflective particles to help the tinted powder blend in seamlessly. For a full-coverage fix, try Roux 'Tween Time Instant Root Concealer, which is best applied to damp hair ($8, sallybeauty.com).

Rethink Your Routine

To preserve your color (and your investment), you need the best possible routine—in fact, you shouldn't splurge on color without splurging on hair care, as well. First up? Shield your color from the sun's harmful rays: Like bright fabric, hair fades in the sun. Protect it with a UV-filtering spray, such as Kérastase Soleil Huile Sirene Hair-Oil Mist ($29, sephora.com). Then, nourish strands—dye breaks hair's bonds to deposit pigment, which can create brittleness, especially in naturally curly or coiled hair, which has a raised cuticle, says Stevens. Try a strengthening salve, like Wella Fusionplex Intense Repair Mask ($22, ulta.com) or Khairpep Transforme K18Peptide Masque ($75, khairpep.com).

Last but not least, style gently. Hot tools can turn up to 450 scorching degrees F. Safeguard damp strands with a mist of Living Proof Restore Instant Protection ($28, ulta.com), and keep irons at 350 degrees and your hair dryer on medium.

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