NewBeauty March 29, 2024



15 Things You Must Do After Getting Your Hair Colored, According to Experts


Tips straight from hairstylists themselves.

Like the rest of our beauty routines, hair color is an investment worth protecting. In order to get the most of your hair color and keep it looking vibrant for longer, there are certain things you must—and must not—do after you leave your colorist. We asked top hairstylists for their highest-recommended tips on how to keep color healthy and thriving long after you leave their chair.

Wait to wash your hair

Don’t wash your hair immediately after you get your color done, says celebrity hairstylist Glenn Ellis. “Wait 2-3 days after you get your hair colored so the color can set in your hair and not get washed out,” he instructs. Ever wonder why? “The oxidation of the dye molecules, most of the time, need time to properly settle,” explains Richy Kandasamy, colorist, VP of R+Color Development and R+Co Collective Member. “It’s generally recommended to wait at least 24-48 hours before shampooing after a color treatment to ensure the best and longest-lasting results.”

Think you can stretch it? “Go as long as you can before your first shampoo at home,” says Lorena M. Valdes, colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. “This gives the hair time to hold on to as much color as it can.” Liz Vargas, Arctic Fox hair colorist and salon owner, agrees: “I know some people love to wash their hair daily, but your color won’t last if you do,” she advises.

Wait to heat style

Before you pick up that curling iron after your color appointment, think twice. Bianca Hillier, celebrity hairstylist and colorist, says thermal styling with any hot tool will “always” fade color quicker. “I ask my clients to avoid thermal styling for at least two days after their color service,” she says. If you’re looking to add some volume and shape to your strands during this time, opt for a heatless curl.

Use the right shampoo

When it comes time to wash, don’t just use any shampoo you have lying around. “This is my number-one must-do after getting your hair colored,” says celebrity hairstylist Jennifer Korab. “Choosing the correct shampoo after having your hair colored is a must. This plays a huge role in keeping hair color vibrant and helps keep the longevity of the color.”

Skip sulfates

Along with color-safe formulas, “use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner,” says Ellis, noting that sulfates strip color and moisture out of your hair, “which can fade your color faster.” Korab also recommends choosing a sulfate free, color-safe shampoo. “Using a shampoo with harsh sulfates can strip your hair of the color.” Korab’s favorite shampoo is Pureology Hydrate ($37), which is sulfate-free and contains an anti-fade complex which will help ensure your color lasts. “A good hydrating shampoo and conditioner combo that is sulfate-free is necessary,” agrees Vargas. Her pick: Arctic Fox Resurrected Shampoo and Conditioner ($30).

Wash with lukewarm water

A hot shower might be just the thing to help calm a tense mind, but when it comes to your color, it’s a major no. “We all love hot showers, but it’s not good for our hair color,” explains Korab. “Washing your hair with hot water will open your hair’s cuticle, allowing your hair color to be washed out. By lowering the temperature to lukewarm or cool, this will close your hair’s cuticle, maintaining that beautiful color and helping to ensure shine.”

Finish with a cold rinse

After washing with lukewarm water, there’s one final step. “Always use a cold water rinse after shampooing and conditioning hair,” advises Kandasamy. “Cold water helps seal the hair cuticle to deliver the look of healthy, shiny hair.”

Don’t shampoo too often

“After getting color, you want to elongate those results for as long as possible. That ‘salon look’ is what we all strive for,” says Hillier. To keep color intact, “wash no more than three times per week,” she instructs. “Twice is even better.”

Stay away from clarifying products

Along with sulfates, Ellis suggests staying away from clarifying shampoos. “These shampoos are used to strip natural oils out of your hair, which will also strip out your color and leave the hair looking brassy.” Opt for a color-safe formula like Monday Haircare Color Protect Shampoo ($8) that cleanses strands while keeping color intact.

Mask regularly

You might fold a skin-care mask into your self-care routine every now and then, but when it comes to the longevity of your color, experts say to make it a regular occurrence. “Healthy hair is more likely to hold color better,” says Valdes, who suggests masking every other week at minimum. “The more dry, damaged or dehydrated your hair is, the more likely it will be to get unpredictable color results.” Rodger Azadganian, hairstylist and founder of äz Craft Luxury Haircare, recommends masking at least twice a week “for that extra swagger and shine.” His favorite: äz Craft Luxury Haircare Remedy Restorative Masque ($52). For a more lightweight but just as hydrating option, try Kenra Platinum Rapid Hydration Mask Light ($30).

Always use a heat protectant

Further underlining the importance of healthy hair, Valdes says using a heat protectant is top priority, even when you’re air-drying. “This helps keep your hair healthier from external damage. Healthy hair holds color better and helps it fade less quickly.” If you’re working on damp hair, try spritzing BondiBoost Thermal and Heat Protectant Hair Spray ($20) throughout before heat styling. For air-dried styles or touching up your curls, Oribe Gold Lust Dry Heat Protection Spray ($46) moonlights as a conditioning spray and goes on dry for a quick, nonsticky refresh sans the damage.

Don’t forget UV protection

Heat tools aren’t the only thing we should be shielding our strands from—UV rays are also a color-fading culprit. “Always use a UV protection cream or spray because UV rays can fade hair color,” says Kandasamy, who loves R+Co SUN CATCHER Power C Boosting Leave-In Conditioner ($32).  “Also, remember to wear a hat when exposed to direct sunlight.”

Invest in high-quality hair care

Along with a heat protectant, experts agree a proper hair-care regimen is critical to healthy, beautiful color. “The number-one thing I tell my clients to do after getting their hair colored is to make sure they have the proper hair care at home, especially if they’re looking to prolong results,” says Vargas. The hit list: sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, leave-in conditioner, heat-protectant spray, hydrating masks and hair serums. “Great products post-color are super important to keep hair color from drying and fading.”

Treat brassiness at home

If you notice your blonde strands are turning a bit orange, opt for purple-hued shampoos and at-home treatments to reverse brassiness. Chase Kusero, cofounder of IGK hair care, says the violet pigments in the IGK L.A. Blonde Purple Toning Treatment Spray ($29) offer “an instant toning effect” that you can quickly spray right onto damp strands. “It’s infused with hydrating hyaluronic acid and squalane to keep blonde strands nourished, which are inherently more prone to damage and dryness.” For an in-shower option, try sulfate-free dae Violet Hour Purple Shampoo ($32).

Pair your color with a treatment

According to Valdez, opting for a treatment the same day of your color service will give your strands the best chance of absorbing the most color. “Hair that has had the cuticles lifted or swelled—this happens while coloring or lightening—will absorb treatments a bit more while in that stage.”

Try a gloss

If your colorist recommends a gloss to maintain your color’s vibrancy and shine, Valdes suggests pre-booking the appointment to fall six weeks after your color appointment. This will help retain color in between your appointments. For an at-home gloss option, Kusero loves IGK Expensive Alma Oil Hi-Shine Topcoat ($32) “once to twice per week to add prism-like shine and UV protection.