Exiting the salon with perfect hair color can make you feel like you’re on top of the world. But fast forward a few weeks—and a couple dozen shampoos—and you’re left with color that’s a ghost of its former self. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Take the fate of your hair color into your own hands with these expert-approved tricks.
1. Multitask while you work out
The more moisturized your hair is, the better it holds color. Use any gym session as a time to treat your strands to an extra dose of moisture: smooth coconut oil onto hair’s ends and braid it before exercising. The heat from working out will help lock in the moisture.
2. Raid the pantry
For apple cider vinegar, that is. Once a month, mix one part apple cider vinegar with three parts water, and use the mixture to rinse your strands after your regular shampoo and conditioner routine. The rinse will freshen highlights and boost shine by removing the dulling mineral buildup that’s accumulated on the hair shaft.
3. Turn down the heat
As good as piping-hot showers feel, you’ve probably heard that they’re a recipe for dry, rough skin. And failing to turn down the temps dashes your chances of great-looking color, too. Super-hot water opens the cuticle and washes away the dye.
4. Embrace hat hair
Now that summer’s almost here, it’s especially important to protect your color from UV rays, which will fade your shade in the same way they lighten your patio furniture’s cushions. Wearing a hat or scarf when outdoors to keep your color bright.
5. Don’t DIY
As tempting as it may be to reach for a drugstore root touch-up kit, leave it on the shelf—since the pigments aren’t tailored to your existing color, they can completely botch your look. Instead, cover roots in a pinch with a wash-out spray.
6. Skip a shampoo
If there’s one thing just about every colorist will agree on, it’s that washing your hair frequently does more harm than good. The detergents meant to get grime off your scalp cause color to fade faster. To put off shampooing without suffering a greasy look, invest in a great dry shampoo.
7. Pump up your conditioner
Jojoba oil is closest to the oil the scalp naturally produces. Make a quick mask by adding a drop or two to your regular conditioner to amp up hair’s moisture level and color retention power.