Three ways to prevent hair color fading in the summer from celebrity colorist Tracey Cunningham. (Photo: Trunk Archive)
When it comes to protecting your hair from the sun’s harsh rays, those with dyed locks are faced with an even greater challenge: Keeping their color fresh. Whether you’re a blonde, brunette or somewhere in between, salt, chlorine, and UV rays can all take a serious toll on your salon color.
“Color fading and dryness are the main concerns stemming from the summer elements,” says Redken Celebrity Colorist and co-owner of Mèche Salon in Los Angeles, Tracey Cunningham. “Hair becomes dull, rough and prone to color fading in both colored and virgin hair.” Thankfully, there are steps you can take to ensure your color stays looking it’s best throughout the summer — here’s what Cunningham says you need to do:
Keep hair clean.
“Salt water, chlorine and sweat are all alkaline and combined with the heat of the sun, cause a lightening effect on the hair,” says Cunningham. “That is why it’s always important to rinse the hair after activities, especially in the summer.” Cunningham suggests a clarifying shampoo to help remove build-up and minerals obtained from swimming pools. This type of build-up not only affects way hair feels, but also how the hair responds to chemical services. The chemicals found in pools and salt water can also strip away the healthy oils in your hair, which is what leads to color appearing brassy, gray, or even green.
Look for a UV filter.
“UVA and UVB filters are just as important for our hair, especially if you have color-treated hair,” says Cunningham. When heading to the beach or the pool your hair is more vulnerable to sun damage, so make sure you are utilizing a protecting product. Bumble and bumble Hairdressers Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer works to prevent UV and heat damage while also taming frizz. “All hair is lightened by the sun,” says Cunningham. “Heat mixed with sweat or chlorine causes the hair to lighten.” She notes that darker hair shows sun lightening more quickly because the change is more noticeable. One way to prevent unwanted highlights and color change? Redken’s Color Extend line utilizes a Fade Resist Complex and Interlock Protein Network (IPN) technology that protects color and prevents fading.
Use a hair mask.
“If your hair is distressed from highlights and the summer sun, I’d recommend integrating a fortifying mask as needed,” says Cunningham. Masks work to condition and strengthen damaged hair and can be used daily or weekly, depending on the state of your locks. For blondes, Cunningham recommends Redken’s Blonde Idol Mask, which works to add hydration and smooth damaged hair. Another good mask for dealing with sun damage? Sachajuan Over Night Hair Repair gets to work while you sleep — so you’ll be well rested before you hit the beach in the morning.