How to Care for Your Color

The expert tips and products that will keep your new color looking vibrant, longer.



Avoid Washing Your Hair

At least two days post-dye job, you shouldn't wash your hair. When you do wash it, steer clear of clarifying or deep cleansing formulas, as well as dandruff products, which will strip your hair of dye pigments.

Remove Buildup, Safely

Between color treatments and touch-ups, opt for Matrix's Shade Memory. These shampoos and conditioners will refresh your color by removing luster-busting buildup, without being so harsh that they dull your shade.

don't wash hair often
Getty Images
Back Next

Don't Lather Up Too Often

The key to making your color last: not shampooing. This goes doubly for redheads. Parvine Klein, a colorist at the John Barrett Salon in New York City, recommends keeping it to twice a week so your new shade doesn't fade — every other day if your hair is oily or very fine. On alternate days, you can rinse your hair with tepid water, or dust your roots with a dry shampoo.

Lay Off the Blow Dryer

Heat styling can rough up the hair cuticle, dulling your color. Using a tourmaline and ceramic grill blow dryer to produce negative ions will help smooth the cuticle while you style.

Use the Right Brush

Finding the right brush can shine and prevent fading — a must for colored hair, especially if you heat style. If you're trying to create a sleek style, you'll want to use a paddle brush. These brushes aren't good with layers, however, so when you want to create volume, your best bet is to use a round natural bristle brush.

Getty Images
Back Next

Seal Color In

Using leave-in conditioner will act like a sealant, keeping in the moisture that makes hair vibrant. We love Clairol Nice 'n Easy ColorSeal Conditioning Gloss, the same hydrating conditioner that comes in the brand's at-home color kits. Wrap hair in a scarf and leave it in overnight.

Lather Up with the Right Shampoo

Use a color-enhancing shampoo as your daily shampoo. They contain shine enhancers and additives that make color appear brighter.

Jupiter Images
Back Next

Avoid Hairspray

Unless you're in a beauty pageant, you don't need it. Plus, nothing strips the sheen off shiny strands faster than hairspray, leaving your new color looking dull. If you must shellac, follow with a spritz of shine serum.

Getty Images
Back Next

Manage Hard Water Hair

Chlorine and mineral deposits in water can cause hue-changing results to porous, color-treated hair. Invest in a filtration system like this one to flush out abrasive agents.

Went Too Dark?

Lighten up your shade with a hot oil treatment. Heat intensifies the process, so apply the oil treatment on your hair for 15 minutes and cover your head with a shower cap. Once you wash it out, your color should be slightly lighter.

Getty Images
Back Next

To-Go Kit

If you get your hair colored at a salon, ask your colorist for a small vial of the hair color she used and apply it two weeks after your salon visit. This keeps the color looking bright longer. Couldn't get a to-go kit? Try Nice 'n Easy's Color Boosting Glazes, instead, for easy at-home upkeep.

Add Major Shine

To make your new hue look even more vibrant, try a clear gloss treatment in between color appointments. You can either get it done at a salon or buy a kit at the drugstore.

Refresh Greasy Hair Sans Shower

Celebrity colorist Lorri Goddard Clark (Reese Witherspoon is one of her many A-list clients) recommends soaking a cotton ball with witch hazel and running it along the oily hairline and part before spot-rinsing hair with water. You can then blowdry and restyle the face-framing pieces as needed.