How to Make Your Hair Color Last for as Long as Possible

These few steps are hair colorist-approved for preserving color and fighting fade.

By Angela Trakoshis

Due to the stay-at-home orders in several states, you can't call up your salon to make an appointment when your hair color is starting to fade. It's not the worst thing in the world, but it's not an ideal situation. Then again, neither is living through a pandemic.

Fortunately, there are ways to maintain your usual beauty rituals through this new normal: You can trim your hair at home or touch-up your own dye job. But for those who prefer to leave well enough alone and work with what they've got, there are options.

Coloring your own hair is one of the most daunting tasks that people are attempting at home, but if you'd rather leave such an undertaking to the professionals, we've got a plan for that. We reached out to a few of our favorite colorists to tell us exactly how to preserve your hair color when you're stuck inside and don't have access to a salon. Follow these simple tips, and you should be able to hold out just a bit longer.

1. Make color-depositing shampoos and conditioners your new BFFs

New York City-based colorist Nikki Ferrara is all about color-depositing shampoos and conditioners to give your dye job staying power. "They aren't long-lasting (so if you mess up it's OK), but they will give an instant shine and color boost," she says.

Ferrara loves the Davines Achemic shampoos and conditioners for redheads and brunettes and dpHUE Cool Blonde for blondes (it's great for combating unwanted brassiness).

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2. Skip wash day

Ferrara also suggests going a few days between washes. "There is no better time to train your hair to wait a little longer between shampoos than now," she says. Skipping wash days allows the color to sit in your hair longer; washing tends to strip it away.

Instead of washing your hair as often as you typically do, try using dry shampoo or texturizing spray on the days you need to freshen up. 

However, if you can't stand the grease and need to wash, Ferrara recommends the dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar hair rinse to cleanse your scalp before you condition. This will help remove excess buildup without stripping your hair of its natural oils.

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3. Stop heat styling

When quarantine boredom strikes, you may be tempted to pick up a hot tool to curl your hair for the 'gram, but according to New York City-based colorist Rachel Bodt, you should lay off for a bit.

"Heat-styling can fade color, so if you're going to use them, turn the temp down," she advises. But if you must curl your hair, trying doing so without heat. Sock-curls is a great way to mimic the texture you would get with a curling iron, or you can try using flexi-rods or pin curls as an alternate option.

4. Get glossy

If you really need a boost, try a gloss. "The pigments in hair glosses are deposited within the strands and on the surface [of the hair]," explains cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson. "This type of treatment is for anyone wanting a color or shine boost."

We know times are tough right now, but things could be a lot worse than having faded or dull hair color. Follow these tips or just let your natural hair do its thing. Sooner or later, you'll be right back where you want to be: in your colorist's chair.

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