Tips to Make Hair Color Last

Aly Walansky
Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

We work hard to find the products and stylists that will get us perfect hair— and perfect color. How frustrating is it when that color doesn’t last? We asked the experts: How do you make that color last as long as possible? The answers are easier than we imagined.

1. Avoid shampooing daily.
“It may sound dirty, but almost everyone does not need to wash their hair every day. Frequent washing strips the hair of valuable oils that keep strands moisturized, and it strips out your color. Instead, try a messy updo or dry shampoo to refresh your hair between washing,” says Estelle Baumhauser, expert colorist at

If you must wash your hair every day, wash your scalp only, not your hair. “This will save your color, keep your hair from drying out, as well as save money from over shampooing,” says hair colorist, Frederic States.

2. Use the correct styling products.
A lot of fading happens naturally, so hair doesn’t  look as vibrant. Not using the right products will exacerbate that problem. “It is important to use shampoos and conditioners made specifically for color-treated hair because others are too harsh and will strip the color quickly,” says celebrity colorist Rita Hazan.

“I always laugh when people spend so much money on their hair color and then go out and buy cheap shampoo and conditioner that will pull your color out,” says  Joel Warren at Warren-Tricomi. “I recommend that my clients use L’Oréal Professionnel INOA Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner. It’s sulfate free and contains argan oil to replenish the lipids on the surface of the hair fiber for a smooth, shiny finish. Also, it has green tea extracts, which nourish your hair to protect and maintain our color.”

3. Never jump into a pool or the ocean with dry hair.
Always wet it first with plain tap or bottled water. “Strands will absorb the tap/bottled water and help prevent the chlorinated water from bleaching hair,” says States.
4. Beware excessive heat or cold. 
 “You should always use tepid water when washing your hair to make the most of your color, and finish with a final rinse of cool water to seal your cuticle for optimal shine,” says Missi Koebler of Secrets of Hair Design & Day Spa in Butler, PA.
4. Seal in the color.
The more you color your hair and blow it dry, the more nutrients are lost, which is why it is so important to use a conditioning treatment to restore those nutrients. You can do a leave-on mask or you can do an oil treatment and sleep with it overnight. It’s almost like putting moisturizer on your face.  
5. Get glossy.
“In between color sessions you can come in for a gloss/glaze to add shine to your color and maintain your color,” says Warren.
6. Your hair needs SPF, too.
“The sun will fade your color and turn blondes a little brassy. If you are going out in the sun, look for products with UV protection and protect your hair like you would your face. If you are planning on laying out for a few hours, try putting an oil on your strands, like L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Colour Glow,” says Warren.

Read more: Everything You Need to Know About Going Gray