Even though permanent hair color penetrates the hair shaft and won't wash out like semi- or demi-permanent color, it doesn't mean the color won't change over time. Hair dye is a chemical compound that can fade and lose its vibrancy if it's not maintained correctly.
If you've ever had black color turn brownish or ash blonde darken to a honey-like shade, you know the frustration of fading hair color. Fortunately there are some things you can do the next time you color your hair to help the new shade last longer.
Wash your hair the day before. Hair should be clean to take the color properly, but it has to be the right kind of clean. It needs a bit of the naturally protective oils, but color won't penetrate if there is too much oily residue from styling products or buildup from hair spray. More importantly, hair needs to be completely dry. Damp hair is too porous and will absorb too much color. Also, coloring damp hair can weaken it further.
Condition. Hair should be healthy and moisturized before you apply color. Any chemical process, such as color, permanents or straighteners, can break severely dry, damaged hair. Make sure you condition your hair well in the weeks leading up to your coloring appointment so that the color can penetrate properly. But don't use conditioner the day before, or the color won't fully penetrate and will fade quickly.
Correct the porosity. Use a porosity controller to seal all the pores and abrasions on the hair shafts. Your color will be more even and less likely to wear off.
Avoid washing. Most stylists recommend not washing fresh color for at least 48 hours. This will allow the color to penetrate the hair and settle. If you must wash your hair, use cold water. Hot water can make fresh color fade.
Use a hair sunscreen. The sun's UV rays can affect hair color and make it fade faster. Use a conditioner that contains sunscreen, or apply a sunscreen spray specifically designed for hair. If you are going outdoors in the bright sun within a few days of coloring your hair, cover it with a hat.
Avoid chemicals. Always avoid harsh chemicals, especially chlorine and salt water, which can strip or alter the color. Make sure that styling products like mousse, gel and wave activators are alcohol-free. Alcohol can affect chemical colors and can also strip the natural protective oils from your hair.
Anything that affects hair health affects color as well. Chemicals, heat, sunlight and extreme heat can all dry your hair and make color fade. Follow these tips to keep your new color bright, vibrant and correct, and ask your stylist for product recommendations or a deep conditioning treatment. Not only can they help the color last longer, they will keep your hair healthier as well. As you hair's condition improves, future color treatments will be easier on your hair and longer-lasting. Talk to professionals in a hair salon, such as Cut'N Edge.