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Everything you need to know about taking care of color-treated hair

Young woman getting beautiful hairstyle in hair salon.
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Whether we wear it short, long, in a shag or pulled back into braids, there’s nothing quite like expressing yourself through your hairstyle. While some people go for oat milk blonde, purple or pistachio while others only add a few face-framing natural-looking highlights, colored hair is more delicate and needs to be treated differently. This may mean reaching for the best purple conditioner once a week while showering, or toning down the heat while styling.

To protect your new hue, it’s important to care for it properly. Here are a few ways you can keep your locks looking fresh until your next dye.

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Protect and Prevent Harm

As much as possible, you want to ward off contributing factors that can induce color fading. From the sun’s rays to exposure to high heat from styling tools, our hair is under attack every day. Even hard water can cause mineral buildup, which leads to rougher, duller strands.

Use products infused with SPF to add a layer of protection against harmful rays. If you know you live in an area with hard water, consider installing a filter for your shower head.

Consider taking 2-3 days per week where you forgo styling with heat. Instead, opt for braids, ponytails or dry shampoo. Chances are you’ve been brought up to think you need to wet wash your hair every day, but this isn’t actually the case! Sprinkling on a little dry shampoo can help soak up the oil and keep it smelling fresh — all while protecting against harm.

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Wash and Condition Well—Perhaps With Purple Shampoo

The sad truth is that the more you wash your hair, the quicker the color will fade. Hair that’s been color-treated requires shampoos and conditioners that are gentle and nourishing. These are usually free from sulfates, an ingredient that provides lather and can strip hair.

Depending on your color, you may want to incorporate a special shampoo or conditioner specifically designed to protect the hue. Blond highlighted hair can benefit from purple pigment-depositing formulas that ward off brassiness while they moisturize and repair without stripping. Purple shampoos and conditioners can be used daily or just once a week as a treatment. If you’re in the market for a highlight-boosting conditioner, check out our best purple conditioner picks that’s been vetted by a team of experts.

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Redheads might be primarily concerned with keeping the color pigment in place as red dye is notorious for fading quickly. Brunettes might find their hair turns warmer as their color fades. Using a blue color-depositing shampoo or conditioner can rebalance tone and add shine. Keep eye-catching shades bright by using products formulated to specially handle red-pigmented hair.

Additional Best Practices

Washing dyed hair less frequently can help preserve color from fading. Wearing a hat when outside is also beneficial. Using a hair mask once a week can infuse moisture back into dry strands to revive luster.

Before jumping in the pool, add a layer of conditioner and pull hair back into a bun to help lessen the opportunity for chemical damage.

No matter what color you dye your hair, treating it well will have others turning heads as you walk by.

About the Author

Emily O'Brien

Emily is a freelance writer who loves connecting the dots among facts and finding obscure little details to weave in throughout her work. Whether she's interviewing Olympic athletes, small business owners, dessert cookbook writers, or world-renowned architects, she's passionate about shining the spotlight on good people doing remarkable work. More.

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