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Making Your Hair Color Last

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Whether you have your hair professionally colored or you use home hair coloring kits, you want to make your hair color last as long as possible.

There are several things you can do to maximize your newly colored tresses so your beautiful new hue remains gorgeous and vibrant as long as possible.

Listed below are several techniques you can try for finding a great hair color you will love:

- Select a hair coloring product that is most compatible with your life style. If you don't have time to update your roots every 4-6 weeks, you may want to select a shade of hair color only 1-3 shades lighter than your natural color. The closer you stay to your natural hair color, the less your roots will show as they start to peek through. 

- When your roots are less obvious, your hair color will last longer before you have to touch up your roots. It is always best to select the type of coloring product that is easiest for you to maintain. Apply a deep conditioning treatment to your hair a few days before coloring. The better conditioned your hair is, the easier the color will take and the longer it will last. Recently conditioned hair will also be softer and shinier. As an extra bonus, a deep conditioner will protect your hair against any possible damage from the color chemicals. 

- It's best to apply hair color to "aged hair". Wait at least 24 or 48 hours before applying color products. The natural hair oils will assist in making the color application more successful. The color will cling better to hair that is not dry. 

- Use a color enhancing shampoo between applications to enhance and maintain the color. Color shampoos are specifically designed to keep your color fresh as long as possible. Use color shampoos religiously to maintain your color. A color shampoo will help you keep your color looking good until it is time for the next application. If you don't wish to use a color enhancing shampoo then at least use the most gentle shampoo that you can.

- Avoid exposing your colored hair to the sun or chlorine in swimming pools. The sun may fade your hair color and the chlorine may damage the color. In some severe cases, if you have colored your hair a very light color the chlorine may leave a green tinge to your hair.

- Keep your hair well-conditioned. Hair coloring will make your hair drier than normal. It is important to keep your hair conditioned and soft. Conditioned hair holds color better than dry, brittle or damaged hair. Conditioned hair also makes the colored hair shinier and brighter.

- Add a temporary color to give you longer wear. There are several wonderful temporary hair colors now available on the market that will give your hair a temporary color what washes out after a few shampoos. If the roots seem to be growing out a lot faster than normal, or the color looks a little faded, use a temporary color until your next permanent color application.

- Use layered colors to prevent an overall faded color look. If your hair is colored all one color, or seems to fade rapidly after each color application, you may want to try a layered color look. The advantage to applying layered colors would be to have complimentary shades of darker and lighter colors which would reflect the light and give the color a multidimensional look. This would give your color a fresher, less faded look. It would also last longer because of the multiple shades woven into your hair. 

- A professional colorist would need to assist you with layered coloring since it can be somewhat complicated. Celebrity hairstylists also recommend using eye shadow in a matching color to your blonde hues and gently dabbing along the darker roots to camouflage new growth.  

Final Hair Coloring Notes

If you use a home hair color kit be sure to read all the instructions before you begin and always have an extra box on hand in case you run out of the mix, have an unexpected spill or the bottle is damaged in any way.

If you visit a color professional, be sure that you carefully explain your lifestyle and time constraints. 

Be sure to select a color that you can maintain easily and will fit your pocketbook.

Images courtesy DC Media

If you would like to learn about a specific beauty trend, email
If you would like to consult with Karen personally about any of your health and beauty questions, please see our Ask Karen page.
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