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The recent COVID-19 outbreak, among many things, has caused an upheaval in our daily routine. Among the things we have taken for granted are salon visits, where we would go for out monthly for cut and colour, routine touch-ups, toning, and highlights that needed TLC. Now, since we are colouring our hair at home — cautiously and out of desperation — it’s best to know how to get your post-colour care right. Because maintaining colour-treated hair requires patience and the right products. 

“When you know how to care for coloured hair, you can enjoy its radiant vibrancy for even longer. Using the right products can help keep the colour pigments locked in the hair for longer, while also protecting against harmful UV rays, which can bleach the colour out. What is more, using a special shampoo for coloured hair will improve the overall hair quality,” explains Melissa Hughe, National Technical Head, Schwarzkopf Professional India

Here are a few tips that will help you get your colour to stay longer and your hair healthier. 

Don’t wash your hair immediately

When you are colouring hair, you open the hair cuticles, so the colour goes in seamlessly. When you wash your hair right away, the opened hair cuticles can lead to your colour being washed off. It takes 2-3 days for your colour to settle in and your cuticles to close. The longer you wait, the stronger your hair colour will be and will also last longer. After you are done with your hair colour and wash, the first wash should ideally be about 48 hours or longer,” explains Santosh Velu, Creative Director Jean-Claude Biguine India (Bengaluru). 

No hot showers allowed

“Do not use hot water to cleanse your hair, wash your hair with lukewarm water,” adds Velu. Again, hot water can open up your hair cuticles so lukewarm water can let your shampoo and conditioner penetrate, and cold water will seal the moisture. It is particularly essential if you are looking at maintaining colour-treated hair, so it doesn’t fade quickly.

Shampoo your hair less

Shampooing can cause two things: Dryness and brittle ends. So after colouring, let your hair washes be far in between — two times a week is good enough. “Try to use dry shampoo when possible to limit your hair’s contact with water and use a shower cap when not shampooing your hair,” adds Velu.

Always use colour-safe shampoo and follow up with a good conditioner 

Look for a shampoo that enhances freshly-coloured hair. They work to cleanse the hair without affecting the natural chemical balance of the hair. Colour-protecting shampoo provides all of the regenerative and hydrating ingredients that your hair craves, helping to fast-track your hair cuticles back to health and give it that soft, sleek, and radiant salon-finish.

Sulfate-free shampoos are a great option for coloured hair

Use conditioners that are sulfate-free 

Sodium Laureth ether sulfate gives your products that foaming effect but by using them on colour-treated hair, you will be stripping your hair of its natural oils and moisture. So, try a sulfate-free option which means it contains fewer harsh ingredients and your hair colour gets its protection from fading.

Using the right conditioner and technique

One of the best-coloured hair tips we can give is not to apply conditioner near the roots, but instead around an inch from the scalp. The application should be from the tips upwards instead of from the roots downwards, as the hair tips require the conditioner the most. “An interesting product is the BC Bonacure Colour Freeze Leave-in Spray Conditioner comes in a handy spray form and is ideal for anyone pressed for time but still wants to nourish and care for their coloured hair. Shake the bi-phase spray bottle well so that all ingredients mix before spraying. Spray into towel-dried hair and comb for even distribution through your hair before styling your hair as usual,” adds Hughe.  Maintaining colour-treated hair can get tough if you don’t follow a certain routine – so don’t switch up too many products and stick to a few that really help. 

Look for hair masks that are moisturising and deep conditioning like the Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask

Leave-in treatments and heat protectant sprays are important if you are styling your hair 

Your hair when coloured is already pretty dry so look for hair masks and leave-in conditioners that give you extra hydration and protection from the sun. Make sure you pick one with UV protection so that the sun won’t fade your hair colour. On another note, wear a bandana or a hat when you go out in the sun, protection is everything. Use heat protectant spray before using hot tools – so your hair colours stays longer. 

Red hair colour care 

Red hair colours are known to fade faster than other colours because they have the largest molecules. So using a hair colour retaining shampoo like Infuse My.Colour is the perfect solution to maintain that dull and faded hair colour at home. The 100% vegan, silicone, sulphate, ammonia and paraben-free range of shampoos nourish and cleanse while infusing the hair with vegan colour pigments for a deeper, stronger tone.

Blonde hair care

Hair that is dyed blonde certainly needs extra-special hair care compared to other colours, particularly if your hair is bleached several shades lighter than your natural colour. “Using a purple shampoo like the Schwarzkopf Professional GoodBye Yellow can also assist in combating yellow hues that sometimes appear after colouring,” adds Hughe. 

Friendly tips: 

  1. Shampoos can be more stripping, so once in a while, try using a moisturising conditioner only on your colour-treated hair. 
  2. Use a dry oil to make sure hair is hydrated and shiny – colour-treated hair can get a bit frizzy at times.

Picture Courtesy: Getty Images

Latha Sunadh
Deputy Editor
When she's not trying on a new serum, researching on yet another classic fragrance and sharing lip balms with her 5-year old daughter, Latha Sunadh keeps it reined in with a nice song and a good book. Special skills include obsessing over handmade, home-made and handcrafted luxuries.
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