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How to Wash Dyed Hair Without Losing Color

You finally have your dream hair color! You walk out of the salon with confidence, ready to show off your new style, and want your hair to stay exactly the way it is for the longest amount of time possible.

Unfortunately, washing your colored hair frequently along with other factors will make your color begin to fade. In order to get back to that perfect color, you have to sit in that salon chair and go through the coloring process all over again!

While it’s inevitable that colored hair will eventually fade, you can slow down the fading process by maintaining your colored hair for as long as possible.

One major factor in the fading of colored/dyed hair is washing it. Of course, I am not going to tell you to never wash your hair. That would cause a whole new set of problems!

By washing your colored hair the right way, you can make sure your color won’t fade away quickly.

In this article, we will discuss three suggestions you can apply when washing your colored hair so that you can say goodbye to oily, dirty hair without saying goodbye to your beautiful, expensive hair color.

Use the Right Shampoo to Wash Colored Hair

washing colored hair - use sulfate free & color safe shampoo

It’s no secret in the hair world that the shampoo you use has a direct effect on the health and appearance of your hair. In my opinion, everyone should be using high-quality shampoo, but this is especially true for those who have colored hair.

Use a Sulfate-Free Shampoo

If you have colored hair, it is essential that you choose a shampoo that is not going to strip your hair of the pigment you have applied to it. Many shampoos, and especially clarifying shampoos, have sulfates in them, which strip the hair of its natural oils, and also cause hair color to fade quickly.

When choosing a shampoo, look for something that is sulfate-free. A few types of sulfates you may see in the ingredients list of shampoo are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate.

But, what if you need to clarify or deeply cleanse your hair? There are plenty of clarifying shampoos on the market now that don’t contain sulfates. They may contain other clarifying ingredients such as apple cider vinegar or charcoal. These are safer to use on colored hair.

Choose a “Color Safe” Shampoo

When shopping for a new shampoo, it’s also a good sign when you see the term “color safe” on the bottle. This means that extra care has been taken to make this shampoo gentle and prolong the life of your color.

However, don’t be fooled by all color-safe labels. Some brands may put “color safe” on the bottle, while the shampoo inside still contains sulfates. It is best to take an extra glance at the ingredients just to make sure that the shampoo you are selecting is indeed color-safe.

Note: It is recommended that you don’t wash your hair every day, especially if you have colored hair. Try skipping at least one day in between washes, but try to go longer if you can.

Use a Color Enhancing Conditioner/Mask After Washing Colored Hair

How to Wash Dyed Hair Without Losing Color - Use Color Enhancing Mask

After you shampoo your hair, it is essential to condition it, especially if your hair is colored or has been otherwise chemically processed. While a simple, good-quality conditioner will moisturize your hair, it doesn’t do anything to enhance its color.

So, if you want to give your hair an extra boost of color and slow down the fading process, I recommend that you use a color-enhancing conditioner or mask.

What exactly is a color-enhancing conditioner/mask? Simply put, it is a conditioner with a small amount of pigment in it. When you apply it to your hair, this pigment coats your hair and refreshes your color.

A color-enhancing conditioner doesn’t contain the elements of permanent hair dye that open up the cuticle of the hair, so it is not damaging to your hair. It simply adds a bit of “oomph” to your existing color.

Color-enhancing conditioners/masks come in a variety of tones, from subtle mochas, golds, or coppers, to vibrant pinks, blues, and greens. And, they can be purchased online or in a salon or beauty supply store.

Before you use a conditioner/mask, be sure to read the directions for that specific product. Generally, they are meant to be used once every week or two. If you shampoo your hair once a week, that’s perfect! You can just apply it every time you shampoo your hair!

If you shampoo your hair more times throughout the week, you can alternate your color-enhancing conditioner/mask with your regular conditioner.

If you use a color-safe shampoo and a color-enhancing conditioner, you may be surprised at how long your color lasts!

Wash and Rinse Your Colored Hair with Cool Water

How to Wash Dyed Hair Without Losing Color - use cold water

I simply cannot stress this point enough. If you want to make your color last as long as possible, you mustn’t wash and rinse your hair with hot water.

As someone who loves to take boiling hot showers, I have to force myself to turn down the heat before it touches my hair, but it is so worth it.

But, why? The reason why you should avoid washing and/or rinsing your hair with hot water is because hot water opens the cuticle or outside barrier of the hair. Picture your hair strand like a house, and the color like the nice, crisp air conditioning inside the house.

During the hot summer months, you want to keep as much of that cool air conditioning in the house as you possibly can.

But, if someone went around opening all the doors and windows, the precious, cold air would escape, and the hot air outside would replace it.

It is the same with your hair! If you open all the windows and doors, or the cuticle of your hair, you are leaving the core of the hair vulnerable, and just like the cool air in an air-conditioned house, some of that precious color is going to rinse right out.

Cool water, on the other hand, does not open the cuticle of your hair. That’s why I suggest shampooing your hair with lukewarm/cool water and rinsing out your conditioner with cool/cold water.

It may take a bit of time to get used to, especially if you’re like me and love steamy hot showers, but your hair color will stay vibrant for so much longer if you do.

In Summary

When you walk out of the salon with the perfect hair color, you want to keep it that way for as long as possible! One of the best ways to ensure that is by following the suggestions in this article for properly washing your colored hair.

With the right products and methods, you can prevent your hair from losing its precious color, and you can keep your hair vibrant week after week.

Key Things to Know:

  • Use a sulfate-free shampoo to wash your colored hair.
  • Don’t shampoo your hair every day. Try to skip at least a day in between washing it.
  • Use a color-enhancing conditioner/mask to enhance your hair color.
  • Wash and rinse your hair with cool water.