Stepping out of the salon with a fresh new dye job can have you feeling like a different person. We don’t have to explain the completely new world of possibility that opens up to you once you switch shades—say, from a brunette to a full-on blonde, or from a strawberry blonde to a hot pink!—and what that means for you from here on out. Your clothes, makeup and even the accessories you wear can all be made to match your brand spankin’ new hue, and shades you never thought you’d wear on your face and body suddenly feel like second skin.
That said, it behooves you (and each one of us who’s ever had their heart broken by a fading color, sniff) to take care of your new dye job as best as possible. Below, a few easy things to remember to better prolong your shade—and keep that dreaded color bleed at bay for as long as necessary:
4 Ways to Make the Most of Your New Dye Job
1. Don’t wash as often.
Sad to say, plain and simple water is public enemy numero uno when it comes to color fade. It swells up the hair strand, allowing for pigments in your dye job to leech out of your strands. Some color dyes, such as red and blue, have bigger pigments and are therefore prone to leeching out easier than other shades. The solution: Wash as infrequently as possible. Most crucial is the first 48 hours after you get your color done too: Don’t wet your hair right after you get your hair colored to allow your hue to set into your strands more thoroughly.
A dry shampoo can help rid your scalp of oils wetting hair, for times you just need to refresh—like after the gym, or on Day 3. Choose one tailor-made for color-treated hair, such as Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Color Care Dry Shampoo.
Coating your hair with a conditioning primer before you shampoo, a.k.a. “pre-poo-ing,” can significantly help extend the vibrancy of your dye job. These help repel water and lock in color for a brighter, shinier color retention and payoff. A treatment that also has hair oil infusions like Argan and coconut oil, such as Nexxus New York Salon Care Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer, does a great job of giving softness and nourishment to bleached hair too. Apply around three pumps on dry hair before showering, and follow up by washing hair with a color-safe shampoo.
3. Use lower-sulfate blends.
A wash and care system with a lower-sulfate (or sulfate-free) formula is known to be the gentlest for freshly colored locks. Be mindful of choosing products that yes, remove buildup, but that don’t strip hair of moisture—hair is at its most damaged right after a color or chemical process, and has to be treated with utmost care. We like the gently clarifying lather we get from the Dove Nutritive Solutions Color Care Shampoo and the Dove Nutritive Solutions Color Care Conditioner, which have technologies that help keep your hue vibrant for up to two months (!).
4. Do a gloss.
Depending on how much fade you’ve been noticing, an in-salon, professional glossing treatment can help tone out any brassiness and refresh your hue every two weeks. Reinforce this with a glossing mist at home, such as the Nexxus New York Salon Care Color Assure Glossing Tonic, which can be used every day as a styling agent to help bring out your color’s shine and vibrancy, as well as provide softness.’
Want more hair color tips? Check out the best ways to maintain red hair’s vibrancy.