5 Simple Ways to Make Your Hair Color Last

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To make your color remain as vibrant and be as long lasting as possible, you have to treat it with care. There are 5 simple ways to help ensure this, says Eva Scrivo, author of Eva Scrivo on Beauty: The Tools, the Techniques, and Insider Knowledge Every Woman Needs to Be Her Most Beautiful, Confident Self.

1. Wait seventy-two hours to shampoo or condition your hair.
This is no myth. It really is optimal not to shampoo or condition for at least two days, preferably three, after having your hair colored (if you absolutely have to, rinse with tepid water after twenty-four hours). This allows the cuticle to close and lock the color molecules into the hair shaft. When the cuticle is still slightly open, using a cream-based conditioner, a conditioning mask, or a hot-oil treatment could pull some of the color out. The professional shampoos and conditioners that are used at a salon after the coloring process are made with this in mind.

2. Use a shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair.
This is not a case of big cosmetics firms trying to hoodwink you into buying something you do not need; these products actually make a difference. The coloring process takes some of the shine and moisture from the hair. Shampoos and conditioners specifically formulated for color-treated hair are more emollient and gentle. They are technologically designed to cleanse the dirt and oil from the hair without removing the color molecules.

VIDEO: Eva’s Tips on Using Thermal Brushes

3. Protect your hair from the sun.
Just like fabric, hair fades and discolors from consistent exposure to the sun. There are hair products that contain sunscreen, but these will not completely block UV rays. The best sunblocks for skin and hair are physical. I recommend covering your hair with a hat or scarf to protect it in the sun. Ideally wear both, since many sun hats have tiny holes for ventilation and do not adequately protect the hair.

4. Do not rinse your hair with hot water.
Heat lifts up the cuticle of the hair, allowing pigment to escape from the hair shaft. This concept is also why a conditioning treatment works more effectively when you apply heat or steam; it can penetrate better. Adjust the water in your shower to a warm or tepid temperature when rinsing or washing your hair. This tip is especially important for redheads, because red pigment tends to fade the fastest.

5. Install a water filter on your showerhead.
A water filter is a simple solution that removes chlorine and metal deposits which otherwise dry out your hair and fade hair color. Consider how chlorine in a swimming pool dehydrates the hair and can actually turn blond hair green. Chlorine, along with iron deposits, is a big reason why many brunettes go brassy. It is not just from sun exposure. Chlorine also dries out the skin. When I installed a charcoal filter in my shower, I noticed that my hair and skin felt softer

Eva Scrivo is one of today’s most well known and respected names in beauty. She is a highly acclaimed hair and makeup artist, radio show host, television personality, and an entrepreneur who owns a successful salon in New York City.


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