It is a universal truth that our hair always looks amazing right after we step out of the salon, but keeping that color looking fresh afterward is a challenge unto itself. Even when you opt for permanent color, the nature of hair is such that the dye fades a bit with each wash, so after just a couple weeks your hair is holding onto significantly less of your desired color. This affects blondes most dramatically—if you’re a brunette who’s gone blonde, toner tends to fade the fastest, and if you’re a blonde who’s gone brunette, your color will lighten gradually the more frequently you shampoo—but all colored hair can fall prey to fading, lackluster tones.
Short of getting your color touched up every few weeks, an at-home glaze is your best bet—but those, too, can be intimidating. And yet! There’s a surprisingly easy fix in the form of one type of product that’s been available on the market for quite some time.
We’ll say it outright: Color-enhancing tinted shampoos and conditioners don’t get nearly the attention they deserve. If you’re blonde, or have ever gone blonde, you’ll likely be familiar with purple products, like the classic Clairol Shimmer Lights, which combat unwanted brassy tones in the hair, but beyond that, products that restore color to the hair without using dye don’t get much air time. So when we ran into celebrity hairstylist and John Frieda expert Harry Josh (he’s responsible for everyone from Gisele and Miranda Kerr to Kate Bosworth and Alexa Chung, so we’ll believe just about anything he says) at a recent event, we didn’t anticipate that he would suggest just that for our fading color, which had left our hair super dark at our natural roots and fading to a pale, washed out blonde at the bottom.
“It looks good,” he reassured us, “but the contrast is just too severe, too dramatic.” We were quick to tell him that we were going to make a salon appointment for a touch-up, we just hadn’t gotten around to it—when he suggested this much easier at-home solution. “No, you don’t even need to go to the salon—you just need a little something to blend it and make it a little softer, like a tinted shampoo.” We were all ears.
Tinted shampoos and conditioners are a ridiculously easy, totally effortless way to boost color, regardless of whether it’s natural or not. They’re not messy and can be used in the shower like any regular shampoo or conditioner, and they can be used to cancel out undesirable tones, like brassiness, or to put color back into the hair. Shampoos tend to deposit less pigment than conditioners, since you leave conditioner on your hair for longer, but you also have to take care with conditioner to not deposit too much color.
Whether you’re blonde, brunette, or a redhead, there’s one out there for you, and you even have your pick of several brands and formulas. We’re huge fans of the Davines Alchemic System—it’s available in six targeted shades to rejuvenate your hair’s color and tone, and the conditioner is great for replacing moisture as well as depositing color. evo also offers their Fabuloso line, which covers all the bases with its instantly colorizing conditioner that also repairs and softens the hair.
Whichever formula you choose, you’ll be blown away by just how effective these simple, shower-friendly treatments are, and you’ll even save money since you’ll require fewer salon visits. Just don’t tell your colorist we said that.
Read more from Daily Makeover: Should You Try Organic Hair Dye?