Make your hair colour last

As colouring your hair can be an expensive and time-consuming process, you want to take care of your hair to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. Approximately one in every five Australians colour their hair, with 51 per cent of people who dye their hair doing so to cover up age-related greys. For many people, colouring hair is something that comes with age.

Whether dying your hair at home or walking out of a hairdresser, freshly coloured hair can make you feel a million bucks. Unfortunately, there are a number of environmental factors that may dull and fade your hair, so the next task becomes maintaining the richness and colour for as long as possible.

How to wash
Wait at least one to two days before washing your hair after a colour. Generally speaking, the less you wash your hair, the longer colour lasts. Stylist Shawnee Heltsley told Women’s Health that it’s also best to avoid using hot water when washing your hair. Heat opens up the cuticles in your hair, allowing the colour to be washed out. She recommends washing hair under room-temperature water before rinsing under the coldest water you can tolerate. This prevents a loss of colour and also seals the cuticles shut again. While you can condition your hair as much as you like, only use shampoo two to three times a week. Only use sulphate free, colour-safe shampoo and conditioner.

How to style
As heat is linked to fading, it’s best to avoid using hot tools such as blow dryers, curlers or straighteners in the first week after colouring your hair. Hair that has been chemically treated is also likely to be more porous and fragile. It’s best not to double up on other chemical treatments such as permanent straightening or perms to avoid hair loss or breakage.  

How to protect
Sunlight can damage your hair, making it look dull and faded. Wear a hat when going outside, or alternatively use a hair mist that contains SPF protection such as UVA and UVB filters.

The chlorine in swimming pools can also damage your hair and affect its colour. If you don’t want to avoid swimming, wear a swim cap over damp, conditioned hair.

There are a number of products available to help protect your hair. However, there are also a number of more affordable, DIY solutions to help repair and strengthen your hair. One solution from WebMD involves mixing almond oil, vitamin E oil and avocado in equal parts. Mix together and then rub into damp hair. Wait for 10 minutes before rinsing the mixture out.

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Written by Liv Gardiner

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