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You’ve just spent a small fortune to get your hair that perfect shade, with just the right amount of highlights to really make it pop. Now, you need to know how to make sure your new ‘do keeps looking amazing for as long as possible. Here are five tips that will keep your locks lush and that color right where you want it for as long as possible.

LIMIT THE SUDS

Washing your hair is the quickest way to lose the color, so you need to avoid washing it for at least 48 hours after getting it colored. If you have always been a daily washer, try one of the dry shampoos that are available now. It will dry up some of the oils so that your hair looks cleaner. After that first post-color shampoo, you should continue trying to wait between washes to protect against fading and dullness. Hair stylists also recommend looking for a shampoo and conditioner that don’t contain sulfate, as they will be less harsh on your fragile strands.

COOL IT

Just as hot water sucks the moisture out of your skin, it does the same with your hair color. When you use hot water for shampooing, the higher temperatures make the cuticle of your hair open, which means that as you are rinsing out your shampoo, you are also getting rid of the color. Your best bet is to use room temperature water, but if you can’t bring yourself to go that cool, at least try to use cold water when you rinse out the conditioner. This will close up the cuticle and lock in precious moisture right along with the color.

AVOID DEEP CONDITIONERS

While deep conditioners or masks are marketed for color-treated hair, if you have a bright red or bold burgundy hue, the conditioner will pull out the color molecules when you rinse. As long as you are using a daily conditioner that is good, yet gentle, your hair should receive all the moisture it needs to stay looking great.

MINIMIZE HOT IRONS AND DRYERS

You should always use straighteners, blow dryers and curling irons as little as possible, but for a week after your new dye job, you should avoid them altogether. The heat from these tools causes the color to fade quickly, but it isn’t quite as bad after that first week.

THERMAL PROTECTORS ARE A MUST

If you do use hot hairstyling tools after the first week, make sure to use a thermal protector every time—preferably one specifically for high heat. These products protect your hair from the heat, helping to minimize damage and loss of color at the same time.

If you follow these tips after your next hair color, you will notice a major difference in how long your color lasts. While your color will still fade after a while, you may just find that you can go quite a bit longer between hair colorings when you take care of your hair properly.

By Cecilia Soto
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