Here’s The Correct Way To Actually Make Your Hair Color Last
Whether tame or wild, all of your faves are switching up their looks—and we can barely keep up! But while it’s always fun to try a new look, the summer season can be notoriously hard on your hair—think sun, salt and chlorine—especially after your strands have undergone a strenuous chemical process like going blonde. To help manage it all, we caught up with a few A-list stylists whose clientele lists include everyone from Amanda Seales to Jennifer Hudson to give us the tea on how to maintain our color well into fall (and maybe even longer!)
According to Muze|Hair founder and celebrity hairstylist, Kiyah Wright, the top summer ‘18 color trends are “platinum blonde, pale ashy blonde, caramel brown, ‘soft’ highlights, pastels, shades of pink, and icy blues.”
Jaxcee, color director at Hair Rules Salon in New York City, says she gets a lot of requests for lighter browns and copper tones. “Various copper shades like Jillian Hervey from Lion Babe or Issa Rae,” Jaxcee says. “[And] Rich warm chocolate browns like the one I give my client, Jasmine Cephas Jones, is also major look right now.” Jaxcee’s client list also includes Amanda Seales, Anika Noni Rose and Debra Lee, among others.
While you don’t necessarily have to toss all your current hair products, you’ll want to refresh your collection with sulfate-free or color-safe options to keep your new investment on fleek. “The type of shampoo you use is key in keeping vibrant colors alive,” explains Jaxcee. “I love Bumble and Bumble’s Color Minded Shampoo for straight to loosely curled textures and Hair Rules Cleansing Cream for highly curly to kinky textures.”
For wash-and-go clients, Jaxcee recommends cleansing and conditioning at least 3 times per week. For those with relaxers or blowouts, she suggests not letting more than 5 days go by without a fresh wash. “Your hair can be your best friend if you treat it with the care it needs,” she adds.
Wright, who works with Jennifer Hudson, Tyra Banks and Laverne Cox, often reminds her clients (especially those who are natural) of the drastic effects coloring can have on curl patterns. “Dying your hair will definitely change the curl pattern,” Wright explains. “The best way to lighten your hair without altering the texture, would be to keep your base color and begin by adding highlights.”
“My advice is to take it in steps,” she adds. “ Don’t try to dye your hair all at once. Take it slow, especially when you start doing blonde. Begin with highlights and then gradually introduce more color to your hair about every 6 months.”
Hairstory colorist Julia Elena echoes Wright’s sentiments.
“Bleach will not eliminate curls, but it does tend to dry out the hair,” she says. “Bleach, in essence, sucks out all of your natural oils. It all comes down to looking closely at the type of hair, mixing the bleach accordingly and applying it properly to maintain the integrity of the hair.”
“As a hairdresser who my clients look to as a person they can trust implicitly, it is important to be transparent and have an open dialogue,” Elena adds.
Her product of choice isNew Wash.
“It cleans effectively yet unlike detergent it keeps your natural oils intact,” she says. She’ll even mix together semi-permanent color with New Wash for clients to use as an at-home treatment to keep their color from fading.
For at-home maintenance, Wright favors the tried-and-true olive oil and saran wrap combo. “Sleep with your hair wrapped overnight,” she adds. “This helps with hydration and moisturizes and conditions color treated hair.” Wright is also a fan of “conditioners that have color already build in, like Overtone. These conditioners will refresh your colors and are great for maintaining those unnatural hair colors like pinks, purples, etc. ”
Elena suggests all of her clients wrap their hair in a silk wrap nightly. “Hair tends to get knotted when you’re sleeping which causes a whole lot of mess, extra brushing, manipulating, etc.” she continues. “I also recommend Hair Balm. It’s great because it has so much moisture which helps keep hair from getting brittle, and you can apply it wet as well as you can add more once hair is dry.”
If your hair is feeling dry and/or brittle, Wright loves using braids as a styling hack. “Not only will braids help you reduce the amount of heat you used on your hair, but they’ll give you a fun, wavy texture once taken out,” she says. “I’m noticing that women of all races are doing a lot of different braid techniques in order to maintain their hair. Simply wash and blow dry your hair first, put a shine serum (or hair oil) on the hair as needed and then braid.”
One tip that Jaxcee can’t highlight enough is keeping your hair super hydrated. “Once you leave the salon chair, it’s up to you to maintain a regimen that keeps your hair moisturized and healthy,” she says. “Moisture is always king!”
“I love using leave-in conditioners on my hair when it’s feeling extra dry during colder months. My favorite for blow drying is Kerastase Keratine Thermique Blow Dry Primer. I apply Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Oil-In-Cream on freshly washed and conditioned hair before I put on my curly product for my wash and gos.”
Of course, Elena doesn’t want color maintenance to feel too serious. “Have fun with colors,” she says. “If there is a color you’ve been wanting to try, speak to a professional. I always suggest booking a consultation first so that you can get to know the colorist, feel comfortable and ask questions.”
For more tips on maintaining colored strands, visit ESSENCE.com.