Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

How To Avoid Hair Color From Fading

There are many factors, which can accelerate the loss of hair hues whether you had it colored at the salon or at home.  The following hair care products, tools and behaviors will definitely speed up color loss and should be avoided whenever possible:

1.  Avoid washing hair within 48 hours after having the hair color applied at the salon or at home.

Studies have shown hair color continues to set up to 48 hours after being applied.  If hair is washed too quickly after it has been colored a percentage of the newly added color may wash right down the drain.

(All images courtesy of Barbara Lhotan - All Rights Reserved)

Waiting allows the natural hair oils to help the color to stick longer and stronger. This is especially true if you haves porous hair in which case the color may wash out even quicker.

2.  Minimize use of cuticle opening formulas.

Once you do resume washing your hair avoid shampoo products which are described as volumizing, clarifying, fattening or designed to blow open the cuticle.  When the cuticle is opened, hair color may be more easily lost.

3.  Avoid alcohol when possible.

Avoid using alcohol rich styling products. Alcohol  is known to accelerate hair color loss. Ask your hairdresser to recommend products without alcohol which will not harm the life of the color.

4.  Use hot oil only when necessary and only on the ends.

Hot oil treatments may also fade color. The heat pops open the cuticle and then the oil can cling to the color and when the oil is shampooed out, it takes the color with it.  If you must use hot oils limit their application to small areas preferably where the color will not fade as easily.

5.  Evaluate color extension products according to your hair.

Some hair color experts suggest utilizing a color extending product line since they claim to refresh and brighten color.  Not all hair colorists agree that color extending products are the best.

If you find they work for you and your hair definitely pursue them as an option. If not, look at other ways to preserve your hair hues.  Some lines also offer products specifically formulated for the treatment of colored hair.  Evaluate their benefits for your own hair.

6.  Only use warm water.

Hot water will strip color quickly. Shampoo in warm water only and when possible always do a cool or cold water final rinse.  Many believe a cool or cold water rinse helps to seal in color.

7.  Keep it cool.

Minimize use of hot tool use like blow dryers, hot curlers or irons. It is best to air dry hair when possible.  Any blow drying should be done on a cool/cold setting.  When possible blow dry the head upside down to keep the colored areas from heat so as to protect color.

8.  Shampoo less frequently to preserve color.

Extend the amount of time between shampoo sessions to minimize wear and tear on your color. Experiment with diluting the shampoo with water or rinse with water only. Not only will your hair color last long but it will keep hair softer, healthier, shinier and stronger.

9.  Block out the environment.

The sun can do as much damage as hot tools.  Utilize SPF rich styling products to protect your beautiful hair color from fading in the sun.  Utilize products with vitamins A, C, and E to help protect hair color from environmental damage.  Opt for cute head coverings and minimize time with your hair exposed during the hottest times of the day.

10.  Pop on a cap before diving in.

If you're a regular fan of swimming then always select a cap to protect your hair from pool chemicals such as chlorine.   It may not look fashion forward but faded hair color doesn't look pretty.

11.  Work with a color expert.

If your hair has a history of quickly fading then work with a hair color expert who may be able to pre-treat your hair to guarantee longer and more vibrant coverage.

A good hair colorist may also finish a hair color application with a clear foil or glaze product which will seal in your hair hue.  Some hair color lines are known to be richer and fade less quickly than others.  Ask your hair colorist to recommend a color which is longer lasting.

12.  Prevent hair color from turning brassy.

Prevent blonde hair from losing its rich tones by utilizing temporary post-hair color treatments such as Clairol Shimmer Lights to keep hair bright and brass free.

13.  Select hair color hues which are less fragile.

Some hair colors such as red, plum, blue, pink or black may be more prone to fading than other hues.  When possible select a color which has a longer life cycle.

14. Treat in-between color applications

Some hair color experts suggest you utilize a glaze or similar style product in-between color applications.

15.  Less is more

If color fading is a problem consider going with just a few highlights and/or lowlights than allover color.


There's nothing worse than when you're lush super-rich hair hue begins to fade after just a few days.  With proper planning and utilization of the great products and tools you may be able to extend your hair color much longer.

More Information

Please follow me on Twitter at: I look forward to meeting new people from all walks of Twitter and learning from their Tweets. Visit us at located at:, on Facebook, MySpace and YouTube.

Thank you for visiting us at The HairBoutique Blog and for leaving your comments. They are very much appreciated. We apologize in advance but must remove any direct advertisements or solicitations.

Social Media Network Information

Please follow us on Twitter at: I look forward to meeting new people from all walks of Twitter and learning from their Tweets.

New On
Active HairTalk Threads
Wanna talk?
HairTalk® is the place for you!
Recent Topics:
Quick Poll
What's your favorite hot hair styling tool?
Blow dryer
Curling iron
Flat iron
Hood dryer
Hot rollers
View Results
Daily Hair Tip
Hair at the nape of the neck often misbehaves because it is where finer baby hair grows. Harness baby locks w/ faux-jeweled claw clips or smooth on your favorite hair paste or wax to hold fragile strands in place.
Top Gallery Images