How to Make Your Hair Color Last All Summer Long

There is nothing that will kill your summer vibes like dull, faded hair. Not that we don’t love to see our stylists, but dropping $100 a month at the salon really isn’t an option. With a little extra work (and bravery, because spoiler alert: you have to rinse with ice cold water!), you can maintain any color, from platinum blonde to fiery red, all summer long.

Photo and Hair by Lauren Kottyan at Infinity Salon (Athens, OH), Model Paige Bennett

Get Dirty

    That’s right, get down-right dirty with those locks. After you get your hair done, go at least 48 hours before washing it. Hair expert and salon owner Lauren Kottyan advises clients to wait the 48 hour period to allow the pigments in the hair dye to swell into larger pigments that link up to create a chain. Have you ever wondered why red hair is so stubborn to stay? Red pigments don’t swell up as much as other color pigments, which leads to weaker links.

    After the first initial wash, you’ll want to wait until your hair is dirtier than you can stand before you wash it again. Fewer washes equals less fading.

New Hair, New You

    Just because you aren’t washing your hair does not mean you should pull it into a greasy ponytail daily. Try some styles you normally don’t wear. Create a zigzag in your part to hide oily locks. Wear different headband styles to pull back your hair and show off your gorgeous eyes. Create volume by curling your hair instead of straightening it. Your hair might not be at its best on the third or fourth day without a good scrub, but you can still be flawless from wash to wash.

Ice, Ice, Baby

    The day to wash the vibrant tresses will come, and it is important to shower with care. Use the coldest water you can tolerate while you shampoo, rinse, condition, and rinse again. Do not repeat, because the more you shampoo, the more color (and money) you wash down the drain.

Fake It ‘til You Make It

    Dry shampoo is your new best friend. Kottyan advises that your dry shampoo does not contain alcohol in the ingredients list, which can cause the strands to dry out in the worst way. Try Redken’s Pillow Proof Blow Dry to save a couple more days before your next wash, without sacrificing your hair’s silky smoothness.

Take the Heat

    A fresh hair color does not mean you have to throw out the blow dryer and curling wand. While you should always use protecting products before using thermal styling tools, it is even more important when you are trying to save your hair color from falling flat. We recommend Aveda’s Smooth Infusion Style Prep Smoother, which protects from styling tools and humidity. It also smells like vacation in a bottle.

Throwing Shade

    You don’t have to sit indoors all summer to keep your precious hair color. Lie on the beach (or in your backyard), but be sure to cover your hair to protect it from the sun’s harsh rays. Perfect hair deserves to be shown off, so take that sunny vacation to the tropics, but make room in your suitcase for a big, floppy hat.

Cover photo from Style Bell