Now that fall is in full swing, we are itching to switch up our hair color. But with so many options, its hard to figure out our favorite! From brilliant blondes to rich auburn reds and chocolate-y browns, the options are endless. But once you leave the salon chair, how do you keep a good thing going? A few of our favorite colorists shared a few of their best-kept secrets on maintaining gorgeous color at-home. Just because the leaves are changing color, doesn’t mean your new hue should too!
1. Choose your hue wisely
“The further you go from your natural tone, the more difficult it will be to maintain and upkeep the shade,” shares celebrity hairstylist Nelson Vercher who works with Olivia Palermo. According to Matrix Celebrity Stylist George Papanikolas, who works with Nicole Richie, the hottest color of the season is sombre (a.k.a. soft ombre). “Since you have a lot of your base color showing, it only needs a refresh when you cut your ends,” he shares. “Results can last up to six-months, while [colors like] blonde and red show re-growth much, much faster.”
2. Minimize the suds
Stop and think before you reach for the shampoo–you may be making your color fade even faster. “The less you wash you hair, the better you preserve the scalp’s natural oils,” shares Papanikolas. He suggests washing strands every other day or even bi-weekly if possible. “If you have an oily scalp, you may feel like you need to wash daily,” says Carrie McCard, a colorist at the Rita Hazan Salon in New York. “Try just shampooing hair at the roots to avoid washing ends as frequently [which leads to color bleeds].”
3. Hold the hot water
“Water temperature doesn’t necessarily affect the amount of time your color will last,” explains Vercher. “However, cold water can help lock in moisture after a warm rinse to remove soap suds from strands.” But by all means, avoid piping hot water especially on your hair. “It [hot water] swells the cuticle and makes the hair more fragile,” advises Papanikolas who also works with Shay Mitchell and Khloe Kardashian.
4. Keep it dry
“Dry shampoo is great for color-treated hair,” says McCard who is a fan of Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. “This formula dries up excess hair oils, smells great and helps prolong a great blow-out.” Vercher also thinks of dry shampoo as an alternative for traditional versions. “They [dry shampoos] minimize the number of times you actually have to wash your hair, which lengthens the life of your color,” he says. “Just spray at the scalp [on dry hair] to help minimize oiliness and product build up.”
5. A little hydration goes a long way
Surprisingly, it is possible to over condition your hair. “Deep conditioners should only be used once a week or every other week,” says Papanikolas. “Too many protein treatments can cause the hair to become brittle.” Those looking to quench thirsty strands should try oil treatments left on for 5 to 10-minutes maximum. “I heavily advise against leaving certain treatments on overnight,” he says. “It can do more harm than good.”
6. Deep condition like you mean it
On the other hand, when you do decide to deep condition, do it like a pro! “The proper way to work the treatment [in your hair] is from mid-shaft to ends,” shares McCard. “Applying directly at the roots will leave hair feeling heavy.” Vercher recommends leaving hair masques on for 5 to 10-minutes in the shower. “For deeper penetration, you can leave them on for 20 to 30-minutes with a plastic cap under a hooded dryer.” When in doubt, simply follow the product directions since they can vary brand by brand.
7. Get your shine on
“I absolutely love at-home glosses,” gushes Vercher works with Chloe Moretz. He recommends Rita Hazan Ultimate Shine Gloss to extend the life for your selected shade. “It helps bring the vibrancy of your color back just like you left the salon.” Naturally, Chrissy Teigen’s mane lady McCard feels the same way about Hazan’s signature gloss treatment.
8. Seek the right ingredients
“Natural oils are beneficial for your hair,” spills Papanikolas. “Alcohol should be avoided since it dries out strands which leads to excess breakage.” Vercher loves products that include rice protein, jojoba oil, coconut oil and shea butter to maintain hair health. “Stay away from heavy detergents or anything that features dyes in the ingredients list.”
9. Put down the flatiron
“Excessive heat not only fade color but damage ends,” warns McCard. She recommends using a leave-in condition like It’s A 10 Miracle to protect hair before styling. “If you must use hot tools, use a protecting product like Matrix Total Results Heat Resist Iron Tamer Smoothing Lotion to protect fragile hair.”
10. Don’t believe the hype
The jury is still out on the benefits of color depositing shampoos and conditioners. “Depending on your hair’s porosity, they [color depositing products] can really make hair look dark and dull,” voices McCard. “Typically I advise clients to not use anything at-home with a color pigment,” says Vercher. “It can get you into trouble.” However, these aren’t to be confused with regular color-enhancing treatments. “Purple shampoos for blondes can be beneficial, but should not be used daily–they can really turn your hair purple!” shares Papanikolas.