It’s a familiar pattern for anyone who colors their hair. You spend hours (and hundreds of dollars) in the salon achieving your dream shade, only to watch your hard-earned color start to fade within weeks. And while you might think the only solution is more frequent visits to your colorist, there’s actually quite a few simple changes you can make at home to help your hair color stay fresh and vibrant for much, much longer.
To get the lowdown on at-home color maintenance, we turned to celebrity hair stylist Cheryl Marks, the go-to pro for stars like Rebel Wilson and Kathy Najimy (she also served as the lead stylist on the set of Pitch Perfect 2 and 3). “Color care hair maintenance doesn’t start and end at the salon,” Marks tells us. In fact, a color-safe hair routine actually begins in your shower, which is why she loves HASK’s Color Care line, specifically formulated to prevent color-fade and lock in shine. Read on to get all the details on the pro-approved collection, and for five genius color-protecting tips your colorist doesn’t want you to know.
Tip 1: Change your shower filter
If you’ve never given much thought to the water that comes out of your shower head, you’re not alone. The beauty industry places a ton of emphasis on the products we use in our hair routine, but as it turns out, your shower filter can have a major impact on the longevity of your color, too.
As Marks explains, hard water can cause mineral buildup on your scalp and strands, which over time, prevents moisture from penetrating the hair. This can lead to dull, lifeless strands, affecting the overall vibrancy of your color. An easy fix? Swap out your shower filter at least once a year to avoid unnecessary buildup and keep your hair looking fresh and brilliant.
Tip 2: Cool the temperature of the water in your shower
While we love the feel of a warm, steamy shower (it’s a self-care moment, after all), our strands are not as keen on super hot water. The heat from your shower can actually cause the hair’s cuticle to open, which allows the color to wash out from strands and down the drain. However, if the thought of an ice-cold shower seems almost unbearable (it does to us), don’t stress—Marks tell us that even a quick rinse of cool water can make a huge difference.
“Don’t worry, you don’t have to take an ice bath to maintain your best-looking color yet!” she explains. “But it’s really important to give your post-shampoo locks a quick rinse of cool water to close that cuticle layer, which will cut down on frizzies and fly-aways that lead to hair appearing dull.”
Tip 3: Use a color-specific shampoo and conditioner
As Marks explains, the #1 rule of hair-color maintenance is to use color-specific hair products after you leave the salon. “If you have colored hair it’s important to use a line of products specifically formulated to fight color fade as well as keeping your hair healthy and shiny,” she says. For her own blonde strands, Marks swears by the HASK Color Care line, which includes a Color Protection Shampoo and Conditioner. Both formulas are designed to not only revive color-treated hair, but also to improve the overall health of your strands with nourishing ingredients like rose oil, peach, and hydrolyzed quinoa. (After all, it’s impossible for your color to shine through if your hair is dry and limp).
As for rule #2? “It’s also important to look for collections that skip out on sulfates and parabens as they can be the culprit when it comes to stripping hair of color and natural oils,” says Marks.
While sulfates are a common hair care ingredient thanks to their powerful cleansing properties, they can be too harsh for dyed hair, causing the color to fade even faster. To make sure their formulas are safe for color-treated hair, all of HASK’s products are sulfate- and paraben-free, in addition to being devoid of phthalates, gluten, drying alcohol, and artificial colors.
Along with stocking your shower with color-safe products, it’s also important to take extra care when applying your shampoo and conditioner. Marks says to concentrate your shampoo application on your scalp (where the most buildup tends to occur), and to really massage the product in to remove excess oil. “I also try to avoid applying shampoo to my ends as that can cause excessive dryness where we tend to already lack moisture!” she says. Additionally, the stylist recommends running a wide tooth comb through your hair after applying conditioner to evenly disperse the product throughout strands. “This allows for silky, soft strands through and through,” says Marks.
Tip 4: Introduce a deep conditioner
A little extra TLC is always a welcomed treat for thirsty strands, but it’s especially crucial for color-treated hair, which has a tendency to be even more dehydrated post-dye job. A nourishing product like HASK’s Color Protection Deep Conditioner can help replenish any moisture loss while also smoothing frizz and boosting shine for even more radiant color.
“I am a true believer of deep conditioners!” says Marks, who has a genius pro tip for getting the most out of the product. “My best advice is during the weekend, dampen your hair and use a deep conditioner to slick your hair in a pony or a high bun and just let it soak in,” she explains. Or, to help the conditioner penetrate your hair even deeper, bring it to the gym and apply it before your steam room or sauna session. “The HASK Color Care Deep Conditioner comes in separate packs so it’s convenient and easy to take on the go,” adds Marks.
Tip 5: Protect hair from heat damage
When your strands are freshly colored, it can be tempting to style them constantly (who doesn’t want to show off their new hair with a sleek blowout or voluminous curls?). However, as Marks tells us, color-treated hair is more fragile than virgin hair, since it goes through more physical trauma that can leave it weak and broken. Her go-to tip for mitigating damage? “You don’t have to use the highest heat setting on your hot tool to achieve the end result you’re looking for,” Marks explains. “It might take a few more minutes to complete your look, but it can make a world of a difference when it comes to saving your color and overall hair health.”
Another must-know stylist recommendation is to “always, ALWAYS use a heat protectant prior to any type of heat styling,” as it helps to shield your hair from future damage, according to Marks. Her personal favorite is the HASK 5-in-1 Leave-In Spray, which in addition to offering thermal protection, works to detangle, moisturize, and repair damage. As an added bonus, it leaves hair with a glass-like shine, thanks to its hero ingredient of argan oil from Morocco.
The Bottom Line
There’s truly no better feeling than walking out of the salon with fresh hair color, whether your personal preference is an illustrious blonde, a fiery red, or a rich brunette. And while we’d do just about anything to preserve that post-dye moment (and our vibrant new strands!), it turns out that the key to protecting our color is much simpler than we thought. In fact, all it takes is a few small changes to our daily routine, along with a lineup of products like HASK’s Color Care collection that does the maintenance work for us. Thanks to Marks’ pro tips, we can spend a little more time enjoying our vibrant, healthy strands and a little less time in our colorist’s chair—until we’re ready to jump on the next big hair color trend, that is.
Click here to shop HASK’s pro-approved Color Care line.