How To Protect Color Treated Hair Fading


If you have color treated hair, you know the importance of protecting your hair from fading.

But sometimes it can be hard to know how to protect color treated hair fading, without damaging it.

That’s why I’ve gathered some of my favorite tips for chemical or natural dyed hair.

From using the right products to avoiding certain activities. I’ll cover everything you need to keep your hair looking great!

So read on for all my best tips for keeping your color treated hair looking fabulous!


How to make my hair dye last longer?

To keep your hair color looking fresh as long as possible, avoid washing it for at least 24 hours after dyeing.

If you feel like cleaning up after dyeing, rinse under warm water.

Next, scrub your scalp and rinse.

Washing your hair less often

Wash your colored hair every other day if you want it to last longer.

Equally important, shampooing every day removes the natural oil and color from your hair.


Use products formulated for color treated hair.

Sulfates are harsh chemicals that strip hair of its natural oils and can fade your hair color.

If you want a hair color that last long, use sulfate-free shampoo, conditioners, and hair masks.

Also ensure labels on packaging state they are “color-treated.”

Here are 2 tips:

Treat your hair with natural oils

Add a few drops of natural oil to your shampoo and conditioner. A little oil goes a long way in protecting hair color.

Before washing, add a few drops of either argan, coconut or jojoba oil to your shampoo and conditioner.

The natural oils will help seal in the color and keep it looking vibrant.

Use purple shampoo

Use a purple shampoo if you have dark hair.

Brassiness can be a major issue for those with darker colors.

If your hair is starting to look a bit more golden than your desired color, use a purple shampoo once or twice a week.

Furthermore, the purple will neutralize the brassiness and help keep it looking fresh.

DIY shampoo

You can do-it-yourself starting with Castile soap as your base. Next, you mix a bit of citric acid or bicarb soda (this is to help break down grease).

Wash your hair and rinse with a solution of lemon or orange juice (1:10) diluted in water.

This is simple to make and sulfate free. (research from Green stain busters by Alisa Mayne)


Time to mask.

Assuming you want your hair color to last as long as possible, make time for masking.

Once or every two weeks, apply a deep conditioner to your hair, and leave it on for at least 20 minutes.

This will help keep your hair hydrated and reduce fading.

You can also put a shower cap on to help the mask penetrate the hair and keep moisture in.

Finally, rinse with cool water to seal the cuticle, which helps your color last longer.


Maintain color vibrancy

Provided you want to keep your dyed hair looking fresh, you can use a hair glaze or gloss treatment.

This is a product that you can put on at home, and it will coat your hair with shine and color. The results usually last for 1 to 2 weeks.

It is recommended that you use a glaze once or twice between coloring sessions.

Moreover, you can buy hair glaze treatments at drugstores and beauty supply stores.

After you shampoo and condition your hair, you can rinse the glaze off.

Enhance the shine, apply a heated product.

Try hot oil treatments, as they are easy to do at home and help color-treated hair look great.

Start by adding the treatment oil to towel dried hair, and cover your hair with a shower cap or plastic wrap.

Then apply heat by using a hot towel, blow dryer, or even by sitting in the sun.

After warming the oil, allow the hair to cool to room temperature, and then rinse with cold water.


Prepare to apply touch ups

Ensure you have all tools needed for your hair color touchup on hand before getting started.

Tools like an applicator brush and bowl, a fresh pair of gloves or even a box of dye.

Maybe you may want to switch to a salon brand just for the touch ups.

Also look at buying a brush for easy application.

There are many tools and products on the market today that can make coloring at home much simpler!

Strand test

When it comes time for touch up, ensure you have a strand test first.

This will help you determine if the new color is too light or dark for your hair.

Try applying dye to a small section of hair before coloring your entire head. As this will help reduce any surprises and ensure the final result is what you wanted.

If you are happy with the results of your strand test, it is time to get dyeing! Start by applying the mixture onto roots in sections using an applicator brush or bottle.

Then work outwards towards the ends of hair until all strands are uniformly coated.

Hair care routine

Be sure to follow the instructions on your hair color box carefully, and avoid leaving the dye on for too long. Over-processing can lead to dry, damaged hair.

Allow the dye to process for the time recommended, then wash your hair with cool water. Follow up with a good quality conditioner to help seal in the hair color and add shine.

Temporary root concealer

Before applying a temporary root concealer, read the instructions.

Starting by shampooing your hair first, then applying the product to dry roots.

Leave the product in place for the time recommended, then brush or comb through to blend it in with your hair.

You may need to repeat the application if you have a lot of greys. But remember, temporary root concealers should not be used more than once per week.

Wash out color spray

If you are using a wash out color spray, follow the instructions before use.

Most products are applied from the bottle onto dry hair. It’s then brushed or combed through to blend in.

Allow the spray to dry completely before styling your fine hair as usual.

The color should last for a few shampoos, depending on how much product you apply, so be sure not to overdo it!

You can use this method every day if needed, until you reach your desired color.

Semi-permanent hair color

Most products need to mix the color with the developer before application. So be sure to read and follow all directions to the latter.

Apply the mixture to dry hair in sections, making sure to coat each strand from roots to ends.

This will help ensure even coverage and prevent patchiness when it’s time for your next touch up.

Allow the color to set, then rinse thoroughly with cool water, before shampooing as normal.

Mascara can help hide your roots.

If you want to temporarily cover up your roots, use hair mascara. Use it like normal mascara.

Brush to apply on the roots of your colored hair, and you can easily shampoo it out whenever you want.

However, hair mascara usually works best on darker hair colors.


Air Drying

Provided you can, try to air dry your hair as often as possible. The heat from blow dryers can cause color fading.

  • Use Mousse

Add a bottle of mousse to your daily hair care routine. Mousse will help improve hair texture. While preserving moisture and leaving your strands smooth and supple.

  • Use Thermal Protectant

Spritz a thermal hair protecting product onto towel-dried hair before using heat tools. This will help protect your hair color and keep it looking vibrant for longer.

  • Limit Heat Use

Try to limit the time you spend using hot tools for heat styling each day.

Heated tools can cause color fading and damage hair, which can lead to uneven hair color. If possible, avoid heat styling tools.


Keep it cool

It’s no secret that hot water can dry out your hair and damage your natural hair color.

But did you also know it could fade your color treated hair?

To help keep your hair looking vibrant and healthy, shower with lukewarm water instead of hot.

You may also want to avoid rinsing your shampoo out with high water temperature – doing so can further dry out your hair.

Instead, use cool or cold water to rinse your shampoo and conditioner out.

Dry shampoo

If you have dry hair, using a dry shampoo can be a lifesaver.

Using dry shampoos helps soak up excess oil and sweat. Thus leaving your hair looking and feeling refreshed.

Look for a dry shampoo that is dry and not wet, so it will not dry out your hair more.

A dry shampoo comes in handy when you’re short on time or don’t have the option to wash your hair with water.

You can use dry shampoos any day of the week, even when you are working out!

DIY dry shampoo

Mix equal parts of arrow-root powder with orris root powder. You next sprinkle the mixture on your hair and rub it in.

Follow this up by brushing to remove the powder. Your hair will now look and feel fresh.

Wet hair

When your hair is wet, it can be extra sensitive and prone to breakage.

So don’t comb or brush your hair while it’s still wet!

Before washing with shampoo and conditioner. Detangle dry hair with a wide-tooth comb

Once dry, you can use a brush or comb to style your hair.

Always use heat protectant spray before using a blow dryer or straightener on dyed hair.


Protect your hair from the environment

Here are some tips for protecting color-treated hair from the elements:

Use a heat protectant product or SPF.

Just as the sun can damage your skin, it can be harmful to color-treated hair.

The UV rays can actually fade your color treated hair. So if you’re going to spend time outside, use a UV protection SPF spray on your hair.

Pay special attention to the crown of your hair, which usually receives the most sun.

If you’ll be outside for a long time, cover your hair with a wide-brimmed hat to act as a protective barrier.

Chlorine and salt water

The chlorine in pool water and salt in ocean water can be very drying. Which means your color treated hair can fade when you swim.

To protect your hair, spray it with a dry shampoo before swimming. The dry shampoo will help absorb any moisture and keep your hair looking fresh.


trim split ends

Trim your hair

Get a trim every three to five weeks if you have short hair.

Color has a difficult time sticking to layered, damaged, or split ends.

If you have long hair, get it trimmed once every 12 weeks. This will ensure your hair color appears evenly from root to tip.

For a summary of all the tips mentioned so far, check out this video.



Color treated hair can be a hassle to keep looking great, but with the right tips, it doesn’t have to be.

There are a few things you can do to make your hair look its best, whether you color it at home or go to a master hair colorist.

I’ve listed some of my favorite ways to protect color from fading and damage.

Have you tried any of these methods? Care to share some of your experiences?

Let me know how they worked for you in the comments below.


Disclosure: Just a heads up: My articles may include affiliate links! If you buy something after clicking one of those links, you will not pay any extra money, but I will get a small commission. Many thanks for your support!

Disclaimer: We do not recommend or encourage you to use any of these statements as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. They are for educational purposes only. The FDA has not conducted any studies on them. If you have a medical concern, see your doctor immediately.

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