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Haircolorist Secrets To Extending Colored Hair Life


Hair color by Geoffrey Herberg Style by Richard De Chazal

Australian Hair Fashion Awards Photo by Richard De Chazal All Rights Reserved

There is nothing more heartbreaking than dropping a wad of cash on a fabulous hair color service and then watching helplessly as your glorious hue fades quickly away.

Is there anything you can do to prevent this fated fade-out from happening? Yes, there are several tricks and tips that will help extend the life of your color.

An informal phone poll of some of the best colorists such as Rita Hazan of New York's Rita Hazan Salon, Robert Hallowell, Hollywood's The Kitchen Beautician and Barbara Lhotan a senior educator with John Paul Mitchell Systems, netted the following secrets that will help extend hair color even further:

1. Wait 24-48 Hours After Your Last Shampoo Before Adding Color

Hair color experts like Rita, Robert and Barbara often will explain that when you allow your hair and scalp to "age" slightly before applying color, the natural oils produced by the scalp will help color adhere better and penetrate more deeply to the follicles.

In addition, waiting 24 to 48 hours after your last shampoo, before you apply color protects your scalp from becoming irritated. The longer you wait, the better shot you have of extending the life of your gorgeous new shade.

Hair color by Geoffrey Herberg Style by Richard De Chazal

Australian Hair Fashion Awards Photo by Richard De Chazal All Rights Reserved

2. Wait 24-48 Hours After Color Application To Wash Hair

While it is prudent to apply color to hair that has "aged" 24-48 hours, it has been noted that waiting up to 48 hours AFTER a color service is beneficial.

Rita Hazan suggests "delaying your shampoo as long as possible after color is applied to give your tresses time to completely absorb the color".

The longer you procrastinate a trip to the shampoo bowl, the less chance you have of inadvertently rinsing away that expensive highlighting or color job.

3. Shampoo Only When Really Necessary

Barbara Lhotan pointed out "each time colored hair is shampooed, the hair color fades slightly. Just applying shampoo to recently color treated hair can impact the overall hue".

Barbara suggests cleansing your hair on a regular basis, but only as often as really necessary.

Robert Hallowell explained, "many shampoos contain sulfates that can strip and fade color into total oblivion. To add to the problem, typical conditioners and related styling products will do virtually nothing to block the rays of the sun that cause slow but steady color oxidation".

4. Avoid Hot Oil Treatments Which May Too Acidic

Hot oil treatments that have highly acidic ingredients like extra virgin olive oil may also strip hair new shades.

If you're addicted to hot oil treatments, make sure that your treatment of choice is specifically safe for colored hair.

Hair color by Geoffrey Herberg Chemistry For Hair 2006

Australian Hair Fashion Awards All Rights Reserved

5. Avoid Additional Chemical Treatments

Hair treatments such as perms, relaxers or straighteners may damage the hair hue. In some cases the use of chemical texture treatments may cause color treated tresses to become brittle, spongy or break off.

Perms may also affect hair color, and re-coloring the hair after a perm, if appropriate may be necessary.

6. Have A Clear Color Glaze Or Gloss Applied

Many hair colorists may offer to apply a clear color gloss or foil over newly colored hair to extend the life of the treatment. These glosses not only help to seal the newly colored hair's cuticle, but also help stretch its life.

Glosses can be semi-permanent when applied with heat or temporary without heat. They are considered a very healthy way to extend hair color, tone down intense colors or help to modify color on hair that is porous.

Vegetable glazes are semi-permanent glazes that provide a slight change of color that lasts from two to six weeks. They give hair shine and body and are usually activated by heat.

Approximately 5 to 10 minutes under a dryer produces a temporary color reflection, 15 to 20 minutes offers semi-permanent color and 30 to 45 minutes makes color last six to eight weeks. Glazes or glosses are generally safe to use after relaxing and perm treatments.

Hair color by Geoffrey Herberg Chemistry For Hair 2006

Australian Hair Fashion Awards All Rights Reserved

7. Have Hair Cut Right Before Not After Color Service

How many times did you get glorious highlights applied only to watch them be snipped off at your next trim?

With some careful planning you can have a color service or apply color at home right after a cut so your beautiful new hues do not land on the salon floor.

8. Keep Hair Hydrated And Moist

Up the amount of water or liquid you drink, right after your last color treatment. This will help keep the roots moisturized and prevent strands from drying out. A side advantage is that your skin will also benefit from the added hydration.

Products To Help Maintain Your Great New Hue

When in doubt ask your own colorist for a list of products which would work best for your own hair to help extend the life of the color.


Follow the tips of the colorists Rita, Robert and Barbara and you will never again drop a pile of bills on a fabulous hair color service only to watch it quickly fade away.

About The HairColor Experts

A short bio about the different hair colorists featured in this article are included below.

Rita Hazan

Hair color by Geoffrey Herberg Chemistry For Hair 2006

Australian Hair Fashion Awards All Rights Reserved

In the past few years, native New Yorker Rita Hazan quickly became one of the most sought-after colorists in the world, known for setting beauty trends and reinventing celebrities.

She created the signature looks for stars such as Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears (the comeback blonde bob), Jaime Pressly, Debra Messing, Michelle Williams, Ellen Pompeo, Rachel Weiz, Keyshia Cole and most recently, Renee Zellweger.

In addition to this wealth of creativity, Rita owns and operates her own busy Rita Hazan Salon, a 6000 sq. ft. full service beauty mecca located at 720 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan (on the 11th floor)

The entrance to the salon is on 56th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues).

Although Rita does the color for major celebrities, she still sees new hair color clients when she's in town.

For an appointment call: 212-734-4757. To email: [email protected]

Robert Hallowell

Robert is nicknamed "The Kitchen Beautician" because of his propensity to whip up special hair treats using ingredients from his celebrity clients' cupboards.

Robert searched everywhere for a single product line that encompassed everything he liked. When he found no single line that fit his needs and those of his celebrity roster, he developed his own.

Robert is also known for making celebrities look fabulous. Jennifer Love Hewitt, Geena Davis, Lucy Liu, Anne Heche, Claudia Schiffer, Camryn Manheim, Brendan Fraser, Sharon Stone, Whoopi Goldberg, Candice Bergen, Denzel Washington, Sarah Jessica Parker, George Clooney, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Martin and Bridget Fonda are just some of the many stars who have benefited from Hallowell's talent.

Note: To make an appointment with Robert call 323-221-6779 or 213-925-4035.

Barbara Lhotan

Barbara Lhotan is a fabulous colorist who is also known in the hair industry as the "Personal Trainer" for stylists. She has special expertise with naturally curly tresses.

Director of Education for Elie Elie Salon in Winchester, Virginia, Barbara is a national Educator for John Paul Mitchell Systems. For an appointment call: 516-982-8588.

For more information about Barbara and Elie refer to: Elie Elie Salon: Bringing Out The Celebrity In You and Elie Gerdak: Hair Guru.

Check out Barbara's Lhotan's Hair Gallery on

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- Revised: 06/02/11

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