How To Care For Coloured Hair


While we love the look and feel of freshly coloured hair (there’s nothing quite like it to put a spring in your step) it can be tricky to maintain its vibrancy. To keep hair looking healthy and fresh between salon visits, follow our fool-proof anti-fade guide…

Understanding Colour

Different colour treatments have different maintenance demands so it’s important to know what’s required ahead of time in order to keep your colour looking fresh. “Anything that uses less chemical dye and works more with the natural tones of your hair (such as balayage), will involve less maintenance, but in general look to book in for a colour appointment every 8-10 weeks”, advises Sally Northwood, Senior Colourist at George Northwood’s London salon. If your colour looks like it’s fading before then, pop into your salon for a gloss, which as well as freshening up colour and shine, will strengthen hair too.

Pre-Salon Preparation

To give pigments the best chance of really penetrating the hair you need to start with a good, clean base that’s free of any kind of build-up. “Use a clarifying shampoo for at least a week before your appointment to gently strip away any existing colour,” says Sally, and if you’re someone who uses styling products like waxes or pomades that really coat the hair then give those a miss too. We like the Christophe Robin Clarifying Shampoo with Camomile and Cornflower.

If your strands are on the dry-side then up the ante with plenty of hydrating masks like Leonor Greyl’s Masque Fleurs de Jasmin, which will ensure hair is well prepped to lock the colour in when it’s applied. Post-colour there are some obvious rules to follow if you want to ensure luminosity from the off; avoid anything that will strip the colour such as chlorine, and shampoos containing sulphate (it can interfere with colour pigments). While a little sun can help lift blonde tones post-treatment, brunettes should steer clear if they want to avoid fading.

Routine Upkeep

For an easy route to glossy, true colour add a colour-boosting shampoo and conditioner into your daily routine. A fast and affordable way to preserve pigment, they can add softness and shine too. Look for ingredients that will protect against oxidative and environmental stress and UV (which can all fade colour) and if you’re blonde, consider products with violet undertones which will counteract any brassy yellow shades.

If you’re wedded to your regular cleansing routine, invest in a mask and use as a treatment once a week – Windle & Moodie’s Intense Treatment Masque is great for this. As a rule, all hair types will benefit from a hydrating option, while “fine or heavily bleached hair should opt for something strengthening, and curly or very coarse hair should look to reparative varieties” says Sally.

Safe Styling

“Using anything too drying on coloured hair, such as heated tools, will fade your colour fast” says Sally. To avoid hair turning dull and brittle, ensure you add a heat protection product into your routine ahead of using straighteners, tongs and even your hairdryer. We love Rossano Ferretti’s Dolce Protecting and Detangling Spray misted through hair before, while Windle & Moodie’s Invisible Day and Night Cream contains a UV protection agent to help shield colour from damage on a daily basis, and monoi oil, aloe vera and sugar beet to smooth unruly, frizz-prone strands into submission.