Making Your Hair Color Last

By Karen M. Shelton

Whether you have your hair professionally colored or you use a home hair coloring kit, you probably want to make your hair color last as long as possible. There are several things you can do to maximize your newly colored locks so that the 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:

(Image courtesy of Clairol).

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

When your roots are less obvious, your hair color will last longer before you have to touch up your roots. Always 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.

Color hair that has not been washed for one day.
The natural hair oils will assist in making the hair 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. The color shampoos like Mine, Manic Panic, ARTec, Paul Mitchell and Aveda's color shampoos are specifically designed to keep your color fresh as long as possible. Be sure to use the color shampoos religiously to maintain your color. The color shampoos 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.

(Image courtesy of Clairol)

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 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 hairstylist Ken Paves also recommends 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.

(Image courtesy of Clairol)

About Karen M. Shelton - Noted as a leading consumer hair expert, Karen is the founder & CEO of the award-winning, financially successful, Her articles & hair tips have been regularly featured in 101 HairStyles, ShortCuts, Pregnancy magazine, Radiance, Hair World, e-Pregnancy,,, and Featured as a Cybergrrl of the Month and profiled in Cybergirl@Work: Tips And Inspiration For The Professional You, Karen was named as one of Working Woman Magazine's Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2001. She also received the MTBC Tech Titan award for Emerging CEO. Articles about Karen have appeared in the Dallas Morning News, D Magazine, Dallas Business Journal, Red Herring, Fortune Small Business, Modern Salon and Working Woman Magazine.

*Disclaimer: This information is not guaranteed to be proven, scientific or clinical but is based on my humble opinions and experiences. This article is provided solely for your general information only. It is in no way intended as medical or beauty advice, and should not be depended upon as a substitute for any consultations with qualified health professionals. makes no warranties of any kind regarding this article, including but not limited to any warranty of accuracy, adequacy, completeness, currency, reliability, merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, expressly disclaims liability of errors or omissions in this information and materials. No warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, is given in conjunction with the information and materials. This information and material is not, and should not be construed as advice in any shape or form.

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