How to Prevent Hair Color from Fading (Because Balayage Ain't Cheap)

Two things happen right after getting your hair dyed: First, you take all the selfies. Then, you stock up on dry shampoo to avoid ever washing your hair so the color doesn’t fade. Of course, there's more to protecting your new color than simply washing it les. Allow us, with the help of a renowned hairstylist, to show you how to prevent hair color from fading (aka how to best protect your investment).

Meet the Expert

Tom Smith is a celebrity hairstylist and the international color creative director for evo hair. He has over 15 years of experience and is also the color director at Billi Currie Hair Salon in London, as well as a senior educator for Olaplex.

What Causes Hair Color to Fade Quickly?

"Washing your hair too often with hot water or using heat from a blow dryer or straightening iron of any kind is going to cause hair fading," says Smith. "Excessive sunlight exposure is another reason. Lastly, if you've had some kind of color correction where your hair was previously bleached, and then made darker, it can be difficult for the darker hair pigments to stick to the hair, so they leach out and look faded," he adds.

What Hair Colors Tend to Fade the Fastest and Why?

According to Smith, the brightest colors (like artificial red or violet) tend to fade the fastest, since these shades aren't naturally occurring. "Very cool toned blondes and brunettes tend to fade quickly as well because your natural hair has warm undertones to it, containing brown red orange and yellow pigments, so cooler tones always fade quickly," he explains.

What Are Some Hair Colors That Tend to Last the Longest?

"Partial coloring techniques, so anything that preserves your natural color at the base, will last longer," says Smith. "For example, adding high or low lights will always last longer than doing all over color. Also, anything that processes the hair less—such as using a hair gloss to boost your natural shade or a semi-permanent color will last longer than a double-process (i.e., bleaching and toning your hair)."

What Are Some Best Practices to Preserve Your Color at Home?

Here are Smith's top five tips for caring for your color, so it lasts longer:

And if you're looking for some color protective hair products, we've got a few favorites for you to shop below.

“Cinnamon Swirl,” “Apple Cider Copper” and 13 Other Hair Colors to Rock This Fall

Shop Color-Safe Products

EVO Ritual Salvation Repairing Shampoo

$32 at Amazon

L'Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Conditioner for Damaged Hair


Buy It

Pureology Color Fanatic Heat Protectant Leave-In Conditioner


Buy It

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