6 Secrets for Saving Color-Damaged Hair from Professional Stylists

You can color your hair on a regular basis, but if you want to keep it healthy and vibrant, you’ll need these professional tips.

Know the difference between box color and salon color

Hair color chartTMON/Shutterstock

Anyone who colors their hair knows how much of a hassle it can be to maintain a healthy look. After repeat bleachings and color processes, hair can lose its shine and strength and completely dry out. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With proper maintenance, even hair that has been processed over a period of years can be brought back from the dead.

The first thing to consider is the quality of the dye you’re using. Master colorist Chelsea Smith, of Madison Reed, notes that “most box colors tend to be one-dimensional and flat-looking, whereas a professional at the salon will mix several colors together for a more multidimensional, rich result. Madison Reed has been able to produce a salon-quality color with pre-mixed tonalities to emulate what your colorist does for you in the salon, producing fresh, from-the-salon results.” Beware of these 9 color mistakes that could completely ruin your hair.

Don’t use sulfate-based shampoos

Rear view of girl washing hair with shampooLightField Studios/Shutterstock

You probably don’t look at the ingredients in your shampoo. Even if you did, the words would probably look like jibberish. But there’s one word you should watch out for when it comes to protecting your hair—sulfates. “I always advise our clients to use a sulfate-free, color-safe shampoo,” Smith shares. “Sulfates are generally used in shampoos as a cleansing agent that strips dirt and buildup from the hair. However, this cleaning effect can also contribute to your color fading,” she warns. “Sulfate-free shampoos use a softer cleansing agent that keeps your scalp’s natural oils intact while gently cleansing.”

Sulfate-free shampoo can help prevent fading, and so can washing your hair less frequently, advises Smith. If you dye your hair bright pink, washing it every day or even every other day will cause that vibrant color to fade faster.

Cut your hair regularly


Cutting your hair on a regular basis is important for everyone, but even more so for those who frequently color their hair. While there are plenty of things you can do to help strengthen dyed or bleached hair, there will always be some sort of damage. “Sticking to a regular trim schedule is important to ensure the damage from your ends doesn’t move up,” Smith says. Cutting off the dull, damaged ends will give you a brighter, fresher look, as well.

There are also options you can talk to your stylist about to repair and fortify your hair. “Nowadays, you can easily add bond builder services to your lightening appointments, and this step helps to maintain the vital structural bonds in your hair. Deep-conditioning reconstructors can help reform some of the bonds if the damage is already done, making your hair more manageable as it grows out.” Here’s how to find the right blonde color for your skin tone.

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