How To Take Care Of Your Colored Hair At Home

Medically reviewed by Dr. Jyoti Gupta, Dermatologist
Written by Annie Jangam

Coloring your hair is no longer restricted to gray coverage. From pastel balayage to the trending money piece – there are tons of ways you can use hair dye to radically change the way you look! But, nothing looks more unappealing than a washed-out dye job. Regular salon touch-ups are time-consuming, expensive, and damaging to the hair.

Since colored hair is fragile and prone to damage, it needs a dedicated hair care regimen to make your hair color last longer. Keep reading to find out 17 important hair care tips on how to take care of colored hair at home. Scroll down!

17 Tips on How To Take Care of Colored Hair at Home

1. Wait For Three Days Before You Wash Freshly Colored Hair

Do not wash your hair for at least 72 hours after coloring, otherwise, the color will wash off easily. The chemical processing during hair coloring leaves the hair cuticles open and prone to damage. Hair dyes chemically alter the hair structure. This hair is more porous and susceptible to damage.

2. Use A Color Protectant Shampoo

The type of shampoo you use plays a major role in keeping your hair color from losing its vibrancy. When you do wash your hair, use a specially formulated shampoo for color-treated hair. It will protect your hair as well as balance its natural pH. Color-safe shampoos maintain your hair color and ensure that it does not fade quickly. They also contain hydrating and nourishing ingredients that restore and repair your hair. Avoid shampoos with harsh ingredients such as sulfates and alcohols. They will strip color and moisture from your hair.

3. Shampoo Your Color-Treated Hair Less Frequently

Washing your colored hair often will cause the dye to leach out and the color to fade. Frequent washing also strips your hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry, dull, and lifeless. To prevent this, wash your hair less often. This will keep the hair color looking vibrant too.

4. Use Dry Shampoo

You can’t compromise on hygiene, so on days between washes, use a color-safe dry shampoo to soak up the grease, dirt, and product build-up from your hair. This will get rid of the grime and gunk without stripping your hair color due to frequent shampooing.

5. Condition Your Colored Hair

Every time you shampoo your colored-treated hair, you must use a conditioner. Ensure that the conditioner is also color-safe. These conditioners form a protective barrier on the hair strands. This helps in sealing the cuticles and locking in moisture which adds shine, volume, and luster to your hair. Thus, it leaves your hair soft, healthy, and glossy.

6. Limit Exposure To Damp Air

Avoid long showers or humidity as damp air makes hair color fade. Use a shower cap while you bathe, and don’t get your hair wet often. Protect your hair with anti-humidity serums, especially during the rainy seasons.

7. Avoid High Temperatures

Try to opt for cool or lukewarm showers as hot water can damage and fade color-treated hair. This also stands true for heat styling tools such as curling irons, hair straighteners, and blowdryers. The outer protective covering of the hair is disrupted as the heat opens up the cuticle and the dye bleeds out easily. Use a thermal protectant hair serum or spray whenever you have to style your hair.

8. Use Deep Conditioning Treatments To Smoothen And Add Luster To Colored Hair

For extra shine, pamper your color-treated hair locks once a week to a deep-conditioning treatment. Apply the treatment to damp hair and comb it through from roots to tips. Pull your hair into a bun and pin it into place or wrap it up in a soft towel and leave the treatment in your hair for 30 minutes. When you rinse it out, you’ll be left with softer, shinier hair.
Another side effect that comes with coloring your hair is the protein damage your hair goes through (1). You know your hair is in dire need of protein when it starts to stretch and snap off. It might also feel a bit mushy when it is wet. The only way to fix this is by nourishing your hair with protein. You can use store-bought protein treatments or DIY hair masks.

Eggs are packed with proteins that help nourish your hair (2). Anecdotal evidence suggests that mayonnaise tames frizz and smoothens your hair. Thus, regular use of this hair pack may help repair protein damage and restore the health of your hair. Here’s a simple DIY protein mask you can try out.

You Will Need

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon mayonnaise

Processing Time

  • 45 minutes

Process

  1. In a bowl, whip a whole egg and two tablespoons of mayonnaise together until you get a smooth mixture.
  2. Start working the mixture into your hair. Concentrate most on the tips of your hair.
  3. Once all of your hair is covered, leave the egg-mayo pack on for about 45 minutes.
  4. Proceed to wash your hair with a mild sulfate-free shampoo and cool water.
  5. Repeat this once a week.

9. Apply Leave-In Treatments To Protect Color-treated Hair

Leave-in conditioners contain silicones that form a protective layer over the hair shaft (1). This helps minimize sun damage and calms post-processing frizz. They also help protect your hair from the damage heat styling tools tend to cause. Using a leave-in conditioning treatment can also help detangle your hair and protect it from environmental aggressors. Look for leave-in conditioners that are specially formulated to protect color-treated hair. This is particularly important if you frequently use blowdryers, curling irons, or straightening irons, or if you spend a lot of time near a heater or in the sun.

10. Apply A Hot Oil Treatment To Add Shine To Color-Treated Hair

Hot oil treatments are simple to do at home and help color-treated hair really shine. Apply the hot oil to clean, towel-dried hair and cover it with a shower cap. Apply heat by using a hot towel, a blowdryer, or even by sitting in the sun. Then, allow your hair to cool down to room temperature before rinsing off the oil with cool water. While hair packs can do a great deal to improve the health of your hair, regular oiling must also be an integral part of your hair care routine (1). Whether it is applying oil to your hair before bed and washing it off in the morning or a brief hot oil treatment, no hair care routine can be complete without oiling.

Oils seal nourishment and moisture in your hair. They also form a protective layer over your hair, which protects it from sun and heat damage (1). Follow the steps below to give yourself a hot oil treatment at home.

You Will Need

  • 2-3 tablespoons of carrier oil of your choice (coconut, olive, or jojoba oil)

Processing Time

  • 45 minutes

Process

  1. Heat up the oil on a stovetop or in a microwave for a few seconds until it is slightly warm.
  2. Massage the warm oil into your scalp and work it down to the tips of your hair. Concentrate on the tips as these are the most damaged parts.
  3. Put on a shower cap and leave the oil in for about 30-45 minutes. Optionally, you can leave it in overnight.
  4. Proceed to wash the oil out with a mild sulfate-free shampoo and cool water.
  5. Do this 2-3 times a week.

11. Maintain A Healthy Diet To Keep Your Hair Looking Great

What you eat has everything to do with the health of your hair and how it looks. The nutrients from a healthy diet provide the energy that fuels hair growth and luster. Foods that are rich in iron and protein feed your scalp and hair by building strong keratin – the protein that strengthens your hair, improves its texture, and stimulates hair growth. Consume lean meat, fish, low-fat cheeses, egg whites, spinach, and soy to keep your color-treated hair looking its best. Snack on fruits, nuts, vegetables, and grains between meals.

12. Supplements Improve The Health Of Color-Treated Hair

Vitamins are another key to keeping color-treated hair healthy and shiny. Vitamin C keeps the blood vessels in the scalp healthy. Vitamin C also helps you absorb iron from plant proteins (3). Biotin, an essential B vitamin, strengthens weak hair and improves its texture. However, research to prove the same is limited. Biotin is found in salmon, carrots, egg yolks, and sardines. When your diet is lacking in vitamins, taking vitamin supplements can help keep your hair – and your body – healthy and strong.

13. Use Products That Offer UV Protection To Protect Your Hair From The Sun

Whatever the season, the sun’s rays can fade hair color. Try to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. When you are outside on a bright day, protect your color-treated hair by using products containing UV protectors. Many styling products, leave-in conditioners, and hairsprays have SPF in them. Some UV-protecting products even contain a mix of vitamins to help restore color-treated hair and prevent future damage. If you know you’ll be outside in the sun for an extended period of time, wear a hat to provide extra protection. During the summer, when the sun’s rays are at their most harmful levels, spritz on a moisturizing spray with SPF 10 to 15 throughout the day to protect your colored locks.

14. Avoid Chlorine On Color-Treated Hair

The chlorine in swimming pools can discolor your hair and weaken it (4). This is why it is vital to take precautionary steps before you go in for a dip. For starters, always wear a swim cap that prevents the water from getting in contact with your hair. For added protection, apply a leave-in conditioner or coconut oil that will form a barrier between the chlorine water and your hair. If you spend a lot of time in a swimming pool, wet your dyed hair and apply a protective leave-in conditioner before you go into the pool. Chlorine builds up in your hair and causes its color – especially lighter colors – to shift to an unattractive green hue.

15. Don’t Color Your Hair Too Frequently

Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing, and that includes hair color. Coloring your hair too often can cause damage, so don’t do it more than once every five to six weeks. When your roots begin to show, there are a variety of products on the market that help you get through until the next coloring. At-home touch-up kits, hair mascara, and spray-on root concealers can all help get rid of this “zipper” (grown-out roots around your parting look like a zipper) and hide grays between hair-color treatments.

16. Don’t Double-Process Color-Treated Hair

Again, don’t overdo the chemicals on your hair. If you color your hair, try to avoid perming or relaxing it simultaneously. If you want to do both, stagger the treatments, and be sure to ask your stylist for low-ammonia, botanical formulas that condition your hair while processing it.

17. If Your Hair is Damaged, Don’t Skip Regular Trims

If you have not been trimming your hair every 6-8 weeks, it is time you started doing so. Since your hair is much more prone to damage after coloring, regular trims become crucial for maintaining hair health and preventing the spread of damage. This will also help prevent split ends and breakage. If your dyed locks are frizzy, your hair may be damaged. The best way to keep your color-treated hair looking its healthiest is to get regular cuts or trims. You don’t have to get a super short cut – just trim it enough to keep frayed ends at bay.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to take care of colored hair, what are you waiting for? Following these simple tips can restore and maintain the health of your colored hair. Use these tips as a guide when you go on your next hair adventure.

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Annie Jangam is a Molecular Biologist with 7 years of research experience in Rice Functional Genomics and Nutrient Signalling with International Publications in Abiotic stress, Nitrogen, and G-protein signaling. She specializes in writing on Health and Wellness. She has been an avid reader since childhood and is passionate about stories that help decipher life and its meaning. She believes in Human Rights for all and that one should "love others like we love ourselves."
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