How to Care for Colour-Treated Hair

Colouring your hair can be equal parts fun and empowering, but it’s also true that all colour-treated hair needs a little extra TLC to stay looking silky, shiny and smooth. Colouring disrupts the hair fibre, meaning hair colours can fade faster and become more prone to damage without the appropriate care. That’s why no matter your new shade, it’s super important to follow up with the right hair care for coloured hair.

Lucky for you, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide with all the key steps you need to achieve healthier-looking hair and to make your hair colour last longer. Put our easy-to-follow dos and don’ts into practice to keep your colour-treated hair looking and feeling in top condition. You can also stay tuned for some ultra-nourishing product recommendations from our Elvive Colour Protect range.

Why does colour-treated hair require extra care? 

Whether you go through the process at home or at the salon, colouring your hair will always create some changes in the condition of your strands. When your hair is coloured, the cuticle needs to lift to allow pigment to deposit underneath. Lightening the hair also lifts the cuticle and, in both cases, it can take several days for the cuticle to sit back down. After colouring or lightening, your hair will be more porous and vulnerable to damage than before due to its changed structure, which is why you’ll need to switch up your products and routine to accommodate.

How to maintain coloured hair

The good news is that as long as you treat your hair with kindness and use nourishing products, there’s no reason your colour-treated hair can’t look and feel healthy. Follow these steps to keep your strands feeling sensational. 

Wash your hair only when needed

The more you wash your hair, the quicker your colour will fade out – it really is that simple. Washing your hair no more than 2-3 times a week will help slow the fade, with the added bonus of buying back some time in your everyday routine. Soak up oil from your roots with dry shampoo when needed.

Choose your shampoo and conditioner carefully

Some regular shampoos can strip your hair and accelerate colour fade, our colour protective shampoos do the exact opposite. Be picky about your shampoo and conditioner by looking for low sulphate formulas like our Colour Protect Shampoo and Colour Protect Conditioner. These hair care products are enriched with red peony and UV filters to protect and brighten your hair for up to 10 weeks. Those with blonde or highlighted hair should opt for our Colour Protect Purple Shampoo and Colour Protect Purple Conditioner to keep your lightened locks toned.

Use at-home treatments

If you’ve been on a colour break and become slack about masking, now’s the time to get back on the wagon. Just 5-10 minutes of masking twice a week can add a super dose of healing nourishment that helps to repair damage, increase shine – and naturally, keep that colour going stronger for longer. 

Our Colour Protect Deep Purple Mask is perfect for protecting blonde and bleached hair, providing intense nourishment and toning at the same time. Leave in treatments such as hair oils are also a key part of how to maintain colour-treated hair. Our Extraordinary Oil Treatment Hair Oil replenishes lost nourishment in all hair types, repairs the hair fibre and provides lasting hydration. You can leave it on all day for a smooth finish, with only a small amount needed.

Style your hair carefully

It can be tempting to blow dry and straighten your hair every single day, but exposure to heat is another factor that can accelerate colour fade. Make your look last by allowing your hair to air dry when possible, using a heat protectant and your hot styling tools on the lowest possible setting.

Eat nutritious foods

Healthy hair starts from within, so you should feed your hair from the inside out. A diet rich in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel will nourish your hair with omega-3 fatty acids, making it shiny and strong. Add some walnuts in and get a hit of vitamin E to help combat dry, brittle hair post-colour.

What not to do after dying your hair

Now you know the dos of how to treat coloured hair, let’s explore the don’ts, beginning with don’t pick a low-quality DIY colour! Stick with our expertly formulated Excellence hair colour range and follow the steps below for best results. 

Don’t spend too much time at the pool

Spacing out your swimming trips is another method of how to maintain coloured hair. Remember the stories about chlorine turning coloured hair to a greenish hue? Chlorine can taint your colour and also accelerate fading, so it’s best to slip on a swimming cap before your dive in. You can also apply a conditioner or hair mask and leave on beforehand to form a barrier on your hair.

Don’t colour your hair too often

We’ve all heard the 6-8 week rule for colouring, but what does this actually mean? Colouring your hair too often puts too much strain on your strands, while waiting too long can make it more difficult to achieve an even result. The moral of the story? Try to stick to the ideal window to avoid stressing out your hair.

Don’t skip your trims

The ends of your hair are usually the driest and most fragile part because they’ve been through the most colour processing. Avoiding trims can lead to further breakage and snags, so we recommend trimming regularly to keep your coloured hair healthy.

Now you know how to care for coloured hair, why not read about How to Dye Your Hair at Home.

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