You've finally done it! You've taken that dull, mousy brown shade and transformed your locks into a platinum mane (or gone from brunette to blonde, or blonde to black - you name it!) Coloring your hair is one of the quickest ways to completely transform your look, but it's also one of the most taxing on your hair. Here are eight great ways to moisturize and strengthen your hair while preserving that new, notice-me color.
1) Pick Products and Shades Carefully
Ideally you should visit a salon, but it you're a D.Y.I. person, be sure to at least use salon quality products at home. Ammonia-free hair dyes with natural oils will help keep your tresses looking better longer. Also, think carefully about the color you pick. Red hair dye will fade the fastest, as the bigger molecules in red dye make it harder to penetrate your strands of hair. If you're going scarlet, be warned that it will need touch ups more frequently than other colors.
2) Wait It Out
The longer you wait between dyeing your hair and washing it, the better, as the color will have more time to set. Try to give your hair at least 48 hours before splashing water on it. If possible, go longer - a dry shampoo can do wonders for extending the life of your style.
3) Don't Drown Your Hair
Too much water can be a bad thing. Once you color your hair, it's more porous - meaning water is absorbed easier. Try not to wash your hair daily. And when you are washing, keep rinsing to a minimum. As nice as it can be to luxuriate under a hot stream, it'll fade your color.
4) Always Use Color-Safe Shampoos and Conditioners
The cleaning agents in some shampoos and conditioners can strip color. Go for a sulfate-free shampoo, like Fadeless™ Shampoo and Conditioner. Gentle products like these can help extend your dye job by restoring your hair's natural color and shine, while locking in moisture.
5) Deep Moisture Is Your Friend
Hair dye saps the 'lipid layer' of your natural hair, which can result in that dry, fried look and feeling. A weekly hair mask can be essential to the life of your locks. Wear it overnight, or work it in at the start of your shower, for some deep moisture action to restore your hair's shine and bounce.
6) Strengthen Your Hair from the Inside Out
Dyed hair maintenance isn't just about slathering on products. Your scalp and hair can benefit greatly from the foods you eat and the supplements you take. A diet rich in iron, protein and Vitamin D can help you build more keratin, a naturally occurring protein that strengthens your hair and stimulates new growth. The more lean protein you eat - such as chicken, eggs or fish - the better your hair will look.
7) Avoid Harsh Elements
While it's important to keep tabs on what you do put on your newly dyed locks, it's equally important to stay away from other things. The sun's UV rays and chlorine are two commonplace elements that can wreak serious havoc on your hair with prolonged exposure. When it comes to the sun, throw on a hat to keep UV rays from sapping your hair's vibrant color. If you're a swimmer, tuck your hair into a swim cap and rinse hair immediately after stepping out from the pool. Another majorly damaging culprit? Heat styling. Try to let your hair air dry as much as possible before blow drying, and give your locks some time off from your straightening or curling iron.
8) Don't Overdo It
As fun as dyeing your hair can be, too much dye can cause serious damage. Try not to dye your hair more often than every six weeks. If your roots are growing in before then, there's plenty of root cover up products on the market that can get you through the time between salon appointments. Also, avoid additional chemical treatments to straighten or add texture to your hair - it can only take so much!