Maintaining Fashion Colors

No one can argue that Audrey Kitching has some gorgeous hair, and we've all probably tried mimicking a color we've seen on the internet. But it just runs so fast! It's like we plucked it from the rainbow and it got homesick after the first shampoo. How can we possibly keep up?

Semi vs. Demi

There are three types of fashion color hair dyes: temporary, semi-permanent and demi-permanent. Read the label of your hair dye. What does it say? If yours says demi, you can just skip down to the showering details. If yours says temporary or semi, stick around.

As the name would suggest, temporary hair dyes aren't meant to stay in your hair longer than a few days. Mainly, people only use them to test out a hair color or to color their hair for a holiday weekend. They're almost always the cheapest dyes, as well.

Semi-permanent, while not as wash-out as temporary dyes, last maybe 2 weeks before needing a touch up. Manic Panic is a prime example of this: I only use their hair dyes when I know I'm not going to stick with a hair color for very long and I don't want to work hard to get it out. While the colors are nice and vibrant at first, those using semi permanent hair dyes will find themselves needing to touch up their color more often than they would like. I've also noticed that most semi-permanent dyes will only dye bleached hair, and not naturally light colored roots.

Demi-permanent lasts about a month to a month and a half, depending on how you take care of your hair. The word, "Demi," means, "Half," which, in this case, is implying that it lasts half as long as a permanent hair color. My favorite brand is N'Rage, which is a vegetable-based hair dye. Demi permanent dye is sometimes limited to only a dozen or so colors, because of their make up, but it's the only fashion color type that gives you a run for your money. This tye of hair color also has a much easier time dying unbleached hair, as long as it's light enough.

Maintaining Hair Color

Maintaining your hair color almost all has to do with how diligent you are in the shower. With high-fashion colors, you have to completely change the way you wash your hair. It's going to take some time and a little extra cash if you want to prevent your sapphire locks to fading to green before the next touch up.

First off, you're going to want to only wash your hair once ever 3 days or so. Over-shampooing will fade your hair faster than you might think. When you do shampoo, make sure that you're only using cool to cold water; just like with skin, your hair pores react differently to water temperature: cold water will keep your hair pores closed and tight, and warm water will open them up, allowing the color to bleed and run. It's a little uncomfortable at first, but, it will help keep your hair vibrant and colorful. No matter what you do, though, at least a little color will bleed onto your skin. If you don't work with it, though, it will stain your skin so you look a little funky. The easiest way to avoid this is to dab a little bit of conditioner or lotion around your hairline and by your ears, and to tilt your head back as far as you can so the color just runs straight to the shower floor or down your back so the staining won't be obvious to the world. A good tip to follow, also, is to get a pair of reusable gloves so you don't have to worry about your hands being stained.

If you have naturally oily hair, however, I understand that it isn't exactly practical (Or attractive) to go 3-4 days without shampooing those luscious locks of yours. No worries! You can use dry shampoos such as Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo. They refesh your hair and let you go a day or two extra without washing it without drying out your scalp. Now, onto shampoo specifics.

For Red

Lucky you! Red hair is actually the easiest fashion color to touch up, contrary to popular belief, because of the dozens of color-depositing shampoos and conditioners you have available. My personal preference is Tressa WaterColors in Crimson Splash. You leave color-depositing shampoo/conditioner in your hair a little longer than you would with a normal shampoo because it's actually replenishing your color while it cleans. Sort of like it's part-dye and part-shampoo.

For Everything Else

Sadly, not all of us have the world at our dispense in terms of hair care, so a little improvising is in order. To keep up with your hair color, you want to mix your favorite color-preserving shampoo/conditioner with 2 tablespoons of your hair dye. Just as with color-depositing shampoos, you are going to want to leave it on your hair for roughly 3-5 minutes so the color can settle into your hair.


Showering aside, there are other small ways to help maintain your hair color. For instance, styling your hair differently can make almost as big of a change as showering, especially when you're using heat products. Heat causes your hair to become more porous from the damage, so, your hair's ability to hold color will be less than reputable. This not only applies to your flat iron, but, your blow dryer as well. If you're anything like me, though, not straightening your hair simply isn't an option. That's totally fine - we can work around that. Heat protectant sprays such as Got 2 B Guardian Angel can protect the integrity of your hair so the heat causes significantly less damage than if you were going bare. That being said, it doesn't mean you can just go wild and stick with the highest temperature your flat iron can supply - if you're going to use a curling or flat iron, make sure that you're using it on one of its lowest temperatures. Believe it or not, it will still get the job done. In terms of drying, however, nothing is healthier for your hair than traditional air-drying. If you're in a rush, though, and you seriously need your hair dry ASAP, most blow dryers have the option to use room-temperature air. It will take longer, of course, but it won't cause your hair color to oxidize and your hair follicles to become porous like it normally would.

Hide from the Sun

While you might love to sunbathe, your hair begs to differ. Have you ever seen a really old bumper sticker or a poster that looked like it was a million years old? That's because the sun seems to enjoy seeing nice colors fade away. Just as a flat iron can damage your hair, the sun will fade your hair color almost as fast as shampooing will, especially if you live in the Sunshine State like myself. It's always a good idea to wrap your hair in a scarf or wear a hat so that you don't expose your hair to unneccesary sunlight when you head outside.

Following these simple tips will make a very noticable difference in the time lengths between your touch ups which, in the long run, will keep you from having to spend excess money at the beauty supply store buying more hair dye.

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