Tips for Maintaining Bright Hair Colors

With summer just around the corner after a hard winter that blanketed much of the country in heavy snow, there’s cause for celebration. Many of us are already feeling so vibrant this spring that we have the hair to match—bright colors are very much in style this year, and that ranges from footwear to apparel to hair color. While following the care directions on the tags is easy, our hair doesn’t come with instructions attached. We’ll supply your instructions here instead. Read these tips for maintaining bright hair colors all summer long and ensure that neither your hair nor your energy fades in the sun.

Tips for Maintaining Bright Hair Colors

Stay Away From Sulfates

Many low-cost shampoos rely on surfactants, or lathering agents called sulfates. The one you should recognize is sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS. While this compound is an affordable alternative to more expensive ingredients, it’s a little too effective for its own good when it comes to vivid hair colors. Sodium lauryl sulfate can strip the dyes from your hair, leaving your locks faded or dull. What’s worse, this powerful detergent strips your hair of its natural oils, forcing your hair follicles to overcompensate, leaving you with overly oily hair and a dependency on your shampoo. Consult your stylist for the best sulfate-free shampoo.

Ultraviolence Against Hair

It’s not just detergents in your shampoo that pose a threat to your color. Not content with merely damaging your skin, the sun’s ultraviolet rays can also break down the dyes in your hair, causing fast fading. Look for sprays that protect against UV exposure, or wear a hat if you expect to be out in the sun for hours on end. A good hat should do triple duty—protecting your hair, shielding your face, and looking stylish.

Keep It Cool

You should be getting enough heat outside. Use your showers not only to bring down the temperature but to preserve your hair color. The third tip for maintaining bright hair colors is to avoid washing with hot water. Whether you’re implementing bright colors from top to bottom or sweeping across the hair with a balayage technique, these tones fall victim to steam and hot water itself, which open up the cuticle and break down the dyes. This can turn a stylish lavender into a dull purplish-grey, or an eye-popping chartreuse into a sickly, brassy tone. Wash coolly and gently, and your bright hues will last all summer long.

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