Due to the stay-at-home orders in several states, you can't call up your salon to make an appointment when your hair color is starting to fade. It's not the worst thing in the world, but it's not an ideal situation. Then again, neither is living through a pandemic.
Fortunately, there are ways to maintain your usual beauty rituals through this new normal: You can trim your hair at home or touch-up your own dye job. But for those who prefer to leave well enough alone and work with what they've got, there are options.
Coloring your own hair is one of the most daunting tasks that people are attempting at home, but if you'd rather leave such an undertaking to the professionals, we've got a plan for that. We reached out to a few of our favorite colorists to tell us exactly how to preserve your hair color when you're stuck inside and don't have access to a salon. Follow these simple tips, and you should be able to hold out just a bit longer.
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1. Use a bond-building hair treatment.
Bond-building treatments can help extend the life of your hair color. According to cosmetic chemist Ginger King, these treatments coat the hair strands and lock in the color, making the hair appear more vibrant and acting as a protective barrier to prevent damage. New York City-based colorist Aura Friedman loves the KHairpep bond-building treatment for color maintenance, which is a treatment that helps strengthens and improves the elasticity of the hair.
"Apply the treatment and rinse it off at the end of your shower with cool water," she says. "This will help seal the cuticle." We also love the IGK Anti-Social Overnight Bond-Building Mask, which is a dry treatment that repairs and strengthens the hair using vegan silk proteins. You don't have to wash this one out — just apply and leave it in until the next time you hit the shower.
Using treatments like these weekly can help keep your hair looking (and feeling) as fresh as possible.
2. Make color-depositing shampoos and conditioners your new BFFs.
New York City-based colorist Nikki Ferrara is all about color-depositing shampoos and conditioners to give your dye job staying power. "They aren't long-lasting (so if you mess up it's OK), but they will give an instant shine and color boost," she says.
3. Skip wash day.
Ferrara also suggests going a few days between washes. "There is no better time to train your hair to wait a little longer between shampoos than now," she says. Skipping wash days allows the color to sit in your hair longer; washing tends to strip it away.
Instead of washing your hair as often as you typically do, try using dry shampoo or texturizing spray on the days you need to freshen up. Ferrara recommends the Shu Uemura Texture Wave Dry Finishing Spray because it gives a gorgeous lived-in look if you don't feel like washing or restyling your hair. We love the 2019 Allure Best of Beauty winner, Tresemmé Between Washes Volumizing Dry Shampoo because it disguises greasy roots without a trace of residue.
However, if you can't stand the grease and need to wash, Ferrara recommends the DpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar hair rinse to cleanse your scalp before you condition. This will help remove excess buildup without stripping your hair of its natural oils.
We also love the Act + Acre Hair Cleanse. It smells like a sandalwood candle-filled spa, and makes you feel like you just walked out of one.
4. Stop heat styling.
"Heat-styling can fade color, so if you're going to use them, turn the temp down," she advises. But if you must curl your hair, trying doing so without heat. Sock-curls is a great way to mimic the texture you would get with a curling iron, or you can try using flexi-rods or pin curls as an alternate option.
5. Get glossy.
If you really need a boost, try a gloss. "The pigments in hair glosses are deposited within the strands and on the surface [of the hair]," explains cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson. "This type of treatment is for anyone wanting a color or shine boost."
Ferrara loves the Madison Reed glosses, which come in a wide range of shades — you're almost certain to find something that matches your desired tone. If you're unsure which color to choose, you can always reach out to your colorist to point you in the right direction. Oh, and Venmo or CashApp them a tip while you're at it.
We know times are tough right now, but things could be a lot worse than having faded or dull hair color. Follow these tips or just let your natural hair do its thing. Sooner or later, you'll be right back where you want to be: in your colorist's chair.
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Originally Appeared on Allure