When it comes to vibrant hair color that goes the distance, oxidative dyes won’t fade off tone like direct dyes can, adding a final gloss can help seal in color, and brands with double-dye loads are ideal for vibrant reds with longevity.
You’ve also got fillers, color concentrates, plus color-depositing shampoos and conditioners. “I love using CelebLuxury Colorditioners to either create or maintain my color done with any line,” says colorist Casey Powell, @updoguru.
Explain your choices as you make color recommendations, and relate them to creating color that lasts. Then, use the following as talking points when you’re discussing with clients:
1: When hair is properly prepped, hair color will last longer. Malibu C’s Crystal Gel Treatment can be done prior to a chemical service to help remove the minerals, oils, silicones that can layer on hair and interfere with color absorption. Mineral deposits, product build-up and chlorine can all prevent color from penetrating. The fewer color molecules anchored in the cortex, the less vibrant the color, and the faster it will fade. Poor porosity can also cause color to face, because the cuticle is open. Pre-color treatments ensure that you start out with healthier hair that can hold color longer.
2: Shampooing: Recommend clients avoid shampooing 24-48 hours after coloring. This allows hair to return to its normal pH. “I also avoid shampoos with sulfates,” says Amanda Ludwig, @thehairwhich. “I also tell clients to limit how often they wash their hair.” Many people don’t have a daily need to shampoo and condition. Second-day hair can look fuller and thicker, which is great for fine hair. If your client has a very vibrant shade or a new red color, tell her to limit shampoos to three times a week. Dry shampoo can be a best friend for color-treated hair. "PH balance is everything," says Alison Valsamis @braidedandblonde. "Using something balanced but slightly acidic will help the cuticle stay closed, ensuring that the color stays locked into the hair."
3: Ensure that she’s using color-safe shampoos and conditioners, and tepid water. Always suggest shampoos and conditioners intended for color-treated hair. Temperature matters, too. "If the water isn't ice cold and my client isn't complaining about how cold it is... it's not cold enough!" laughs Sydney Ann Lopez @sydneyannlopezhair. Hot water aggrivates the cuticle, making it a major color-fader, so encourage clients to rinse with cold water. "When you wash your face and you want to address the sebum in your pores, you use a facial steamer or hot water, it's the same concept for the hair cuticle," says Alexis Bills @chicolorist19. "When you lift the cuticle of the hair, color molecules are released and rinse out."
4: Double Process: “Especially when working with reds and coppers, I double tone,” says Britny Naté Bassett, @hairbybritny. “When low lighting my blondes, I mix a demi with my semi and it gives it a much longer hold.”
5: Formulating: “Adding a little warmth to your formulas will make the ash tones stick better! It acts like a magnet,” says Amy Baugh, @hairbyamybee. And, as Jess Dworniczak @jessdeehair suggests, "Don’t be afraid to fill if you’re coloring porous hair!"
6: Avoid elements and environments that fade color. Sun, salt water and chlorine are color enemies. In summer or heading to warm climates, make sure clients know to cover their hair and use styling products with UV protection. Before swimming, clients can work a conditioner through damp hair to prevent salt or chlorine from penetrating. After swimming, recommend a clarifying shampoo.
7: Upsell! Recommend a final glossing treatment. These seal in color and boost shine.
8: Styling tools: Suggest thermal protection for heat styling. Styling irons at higher temperatures than necessary are damaging. Also, tell your client to keep the blow dryer moving, and to hold it at least six inches away from her head. “The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer uses less heat to evaporate moisture and, instead, uses air velocity to dry the water molecules out,” says Todd Tinnel, National Education Manager for Dyson. Colorist McKenna Anzaldua says she suggests clients air-dry 90% of the way prior to blow drying, it can help, too.
Another tip? Lopez tells her clients to get a filter for their showers. "Filters can protect blondes from yellowing, too," she says.