Before you know it, you're back in the salon. While you're relaxing, sipping tea and flipping through magazines as your color processes, your bank account is taking another hit.
To help you get the most out of your appointment (with minimal effort), we've rounded up the latest color-saving super hero products and enlisted the help of celebrity stylists George Papanikolas and Harry Josh. Help extend your hair color with these tricks and we promise: you'll go twice as long between color appointments.
Image via Imaxtree
Prep Your Hair Before Your Appointment
In the days before your salon visit, if you're going for a single process color treatment, Papanikolas (who recently took Kim Kardashian from black to blonde) recommends skipping shampoo. "One to two days of natural oils on the hair can help protect your scalp," he says. However, if you're going in for highlights or ombré, "clean hair is best because it back-combs better than oily or dirty hair," Papanikolas explains.
Avoid This No-No Ingredient
Shampooing, especially with hot water, relaxes the hair, which allows the color molecules to escape more easily. You'll lose some color each time you shampoo, so Papanikolas advises that at a minimum, "wait one to two days after color to shampoo for the color molecules to fully stabilize." When you finally do shampoo, use a gentle, color-safe formula, and try to keep the water cool or lukewarm.
"Gentle" means staying away from shampoos with sulfates (commonly listed as sodium laureth sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate toward the top of the ingredient list). Sulfates make your shampoo foamy, but they also strip the color molecules from your hair. Instead, use a shampoo and conditioner like L'Oreal Professionnel INOAColor Care, $27 or Redken's Color Extend Magnetics, $18, to help lock in color. New technology like Redken's Interlock Protein Network (IPN) strengthens the hair fiber while amino-ions help seal in color molecules. Papanikolas also suggests avoiding clarifying or volumizing shampoos because they can also strip and fade color.
Skip A Few Washes
We also love the new Vidal Sassoon ColorFinity Dry Shampoo, $3.99, which comes in two options tailored for dark and blonde color-treated hair. It uses tapioca starch to soak up excess oil, but sprayed so lightly onto my dark brown roots, there was no sign of the dreaded white residue.
Boost Color With A Gloss
Glosses work to "restore lost pigments that are customized to a woman's hair tone, bringing hair back to its true, brilliant color," says John Frieda International Creative Consultant Harry Josh.
They're also super simple to use. The glosses come in six shades -- a cool and warm option for blondes, brunettes and redheads. You can expect to get six applications out of each gloss, which is designed to be used just once weekly on wet hair after you shampoo and condition. Rinse out after 3-5 minutes, and bask in the glory of your renewed, straight-from-the-salon color without the harsh chemicals of a permanent dye job.