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  • Writer's pictureKatie M.

5 Ways You're Ruining Your Hair Color

Isn't it a great feeling when you leave the salon with your hair blown out, your color fresh, and you have a renewed sense of confidence? Or maybe you find the courage to try something totally out of your comfort zone, and fall absolutely in love with your new color and style?

On the flip side, I bet it's pretty frustrating when you feel like your color is lackluster after only a few weeks, right?

Your at-home hair habits might be the culprit. Here are some things to pay attention to, and how to make some reasonable changes:

Photo by Stefan Stefancik

1. You're shampooing your hair the day after a color service. This is a common mistake. Wait up to 3 days to shampoo your hair after leaving the salon. This allows color to settle and your hair's cuticle to close, locking in color for the long haul. If you need that clean feeling, use dry shampoo.

2. You're rinsing with hot water. I'll be the first to praise the luxury of a warm, steamy shower. But it is NOT good for color treated hair. The hotter the water, the longer your cuticle stays open and alert - aka, the faster your color will fade. Ideally, you should be wetting your hair with lukewarm to cool water. This may not be desirable in the colder months - so try washing your hair in the kitchen sink so that your body doesn't get cold!

3. You're not using a heat protectant. Salon quality products have a multitude of benefits, including protecting your hair from heat. Heat protectants not only safeguard your hair during heat styling, but also from environmental elements. Think about it: your hair is exposed to the sun when you're driving. And doing yard work. And especially at the pool or beach.

Photo by Greg Kantra

4. You don't know what type of water you have at home. If you learn what minerals are in your water, or if you have well water, this will be eye-opening in understanding the state of your hair. Personally, I have chlorine in my water, which causes my hair to tangle and lose shine quickly. (My blog post on hard water is a great reference)!. Well water, on the other hand, tends to turn hair brittle and matte looking, and can even turn blonde hair green.

5. You're using drug store products. There's a reason why you leave the salon looking fabulous - because your stylist uses quality products! The shampoo and conditioner you use post color service will be vital to maintaining your gorgeous locks. Many drugstore products contain sulfates and harsh cleansing agents - ingredients that are in household cleaning products! So basically, that's like washing your hair with dish soap, carpet cleaner, toothpaste, or Lysol.

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