Learn how to care for color treated hair at home without any salon treatments. These tips will help hair color last longer. You can also check out the best oils, treatments, DIY masks, etc. for dyed hair.
Coloring your hair is very common. Almost everyone these days has either a balayage or a head full of bright, funky colors like pink or green.
And while coloring your hair is fun it can at the end of the day extract a toll on your hair’s health.
Most hair colors also require you to get regular touch-ups so you end up dyeing your hair almost every 30-60 days.
So the regular exposure to harsh chemicals in hair dyes can damage your hair. Yes, even if you’re using a non-toxic, ammonia-free dye!
Plus, there is another issue of hair color not lasting long on your tresses. Sometimes, you can sit for hours in the salon only for your brilliant ombre or highlights to fade in 2-3 weeks.
To prevent all of this, today I’ve listed out a few easy-to-follow tips on how to care for color treated hair at home.
These tips will help you prevent hair damage after dyeing, prolong the life of your hair color and enhance its brightness.
How To Care For Color Treated Hair 2022
Here are some tips and techniques you can use to care for your colored hair without going to the salon for expensive treatments. Check them out!
Wait At Least Three Days After Coloring Hair To Wash or Style It
If you have recently colored your hair do not wash your hair or style it using heat styling tools for at least 72 hours.
The chemicals in the hair dye make your strands porous and leave hair cuticles open. This is actually necessary to let the dye pigments penetrate your hair’s cortex layer.
But these open cuticles leave hair vulnerable to damage so do not use heat or other chemicals on it after coloring your hair.
Also, since your hair cuticles are open you shouldn’t wash it at least after 3 days after coloring as the dye pigments can leach from strands.
Do Not Wash Your Hair Too Often
Shampoo and water is the biggest enemy of your color-treated hair. Yes, even if you’re using a sulfate-free shampoo!
The friction between water and hair strands itself is enough to leave hair cuticles open causing hair dye to fade.
Always Use A Color Protect, Sulfate-free Shampoo When Washing Hair
So while I suggest not washing hair too often, you will eventually have to clean it. And for this, it’s always best to use a sulfate-free shampoo which is specially formulated for colored hair.
Sulfates are a type of strong surfactants that can remove grease, dirt, and buildup from hair. But unfortunately, they also remove hair’s natural moisture and dye pigments.
So choose shampoos that do not contain sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate.
A color-protect shampoo might also contain dye pigments that UV filters that strengthens hair color and shields it from sun’s rays.
Try Joining The “No-poo” Movement
Yes, this is a real thing. No it’s not gross. The No-poo movement originated as a way to take care of curly, coily and 4c hair which doesn’t require a lot of shampooing due to its unique texture.
So if you have colored, curly hair you might use this trick.
The No-Poo movement basically means you rinse hair with water and condition it. No shampoo needed!
Note: I do not suggest trying this tip if you have straight, fine hair textures. It might cause your tresses to get oily and weighed down.
Substitute Regular Shampoo For Dry Shampoo
If you have straight hair or generally do not want to go the “No-Poo” way, you can try substituting a regular shampoo session with dry shampoo.
A dry shampoo removes excess oil, dirt and grease from hair and adds volume without stripping hair’s moisture or dye pigments.
This will also cut down your wash time as well.
Some dry shampoos for colored hair also contain dye pigments that will strengthen your hair color.
Always Use Cold Water To Rinse Off Hair
It’s not always about the products you use on your hair. It’s the water that can also make or break the deal.
A lot of people use hot water while showering (it feels so good, so understandable) but hot water can take a toll on your tresses.
The heat opens up your hair cuticles and causes hair to dry out. This can also lead to dye pigments getting washed out from hair.
So it’s a really good practice to rinse your hair with cold water at the end of it all. Doing so can seal hair cuticles and help them lay flat.
A little cold water rinse can not only prevent hair color from fading but it can also help prevent frizzy hair.
Reduce The Use Of Heat Styling Tools
Using hair dye on your tresses can cause a little bit of damage. So using hair styling tools that rely on heat can escalate this damage.
These styling tools include hair straighteners, flat irons, curling irons and even heated rollers.
And yes, even using a blow dryer counts as a heat styling tool. So either you can try using the blow dryer on a cool setting or just air dry your hair.
If you have curly hair you can even use a diffuser attachment as it doesn’t distribute heat in one direction.
The heat can cause open hair cuticles causing hair to become frizzy and unruly. And this effect is doubled as your locks are already vulnerable due to chemical processing by the hair dye.
If you really want to use a hair straightener or curling iron then make sure you use a heat protectant beforehand.
Apply Hair Products With UV Filters
Okay, so generally there is a lot of hair care advice that tells you to use certain products on colored hair or stop using some other products or hair styling techniques.
But not a lot of people talk about exposure to sun’s rays that can also fade your hair color.
The UVA and UVB radiation from the sun can react with the dye pigments and cause them to fade.
So always use a leave-in conditioner or hair spray that contains some SPF that can shield hair from UV rays.
Protect Your Hair From Chlorine While Swimming
A lot of people use good ol’ conditioners and oils to protect their colored hair. But not a lot of people think about protecting color-treated hair while swimming.
The chlorine in your hair can damage hair by drying it out. Also, the chlorine can react with your hair dye, oxidize it and cause hair to turn an unattractive green hair color.
The chances of this is more if you have bleached hair or dyed it a lighter color.
Regularly Use Hot Oil Treatments To Add Shine To Colored Hair
Using a hot oil treatment isn’t just for increasing shine on your color-treated hair, it also helps repair damage and reduce frizz caused by the dyeing process.
Also, a hot oil treatment is easy to do at home.
I often use coconut oil or argan oil on hair. And then you can soak a towel in hot water and then wrap it around your hair or use an electric hair cap instead.
This adds heat to your hair and opens your cuticles allowing oil to soak into it.
You can leave this oil on your hair for 2-3 hours or even overnight. Just make sure you wear a hair cap overnight to prevent oil from sliding down your face and clogging your skin’s pores.
FAQs about How To Care For Color Treated Hair
Can I apply oil after coloring my hair?
Yes, applying oil after coloring your hair can add the moisture lost during the dyeing process. It can also seal your hair cuticles, locking in the dye pigments.
Is cold water better for dyed hair?
Yes. Cold water can help seal hair cuticles preventing dye pigments in your strands from leaching out of hair. It also helps control frizz so that’s a win-win for your hair!
What shampoo should not be used on colored hair?
You should not use any shampoos that contain a high concentration of surfactants. And the harshest type of surfactants found in shampoos include sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate. So avoid these types of shampoos. Always go for sulfate-free shampoos that contain UV filters that protect hair color from fading.
Final Thoughts On How To Care For Color Treated Hair
Hair coloring can damage hair to a certain degree even if you are using the most gentlest of chemical-free dyes. This is especially true if you have darker hair and are bleaching it to get a lighter shade.
So color-treated hair already requires more nourishment to remain healthy.
Also, you cannot use a regular hair care routine on colored hair as it can cause your hair dye to fade quickly.
Using these tips that I’ve listed above can help you prevent hair damage and enhance the longevity and brightness of dyed hair.
Some of these tips like using cold water instead of hot water and reducing the number of times you wash your hair are very simple to follow and cost almost nothing.
So you can get gorgeous, color-treated hair in no time!
Leah LOVES hair. So much so, she dedicated an entire website to it! One of the founders of Hair Everyday and Chief Editor, Leah enjoys reviewing all the hair products and showcasing the best. She believes her most underrated articles are her hair care tips!