All this week I'm giving tips on how to keep hair color looking full of life. I've got you covered already, redheads, and brunettes, you're up next. Whether you're a light toffee shade or a bold espresso, brunettes have lots of options. Besides the obvious color-keeping strategies of using a color-safe shampoo like Matrix Biolage Color Care Shampoo ($17) and Matrix Biolage Color Care Conditioner ($16), wash the hair less often, and rinse with cooler water to help lock in the color molecules. For more advice on caring for brown tones, read more.
- Color enhancers: To enrich brown tones on natural or colored hair, try a color enhancing shampoo and conditioner such as Pantene Pro-V Brunette Expressions Intense Hydrating Shampoo ($6) and Pantene Pro-V Brunette Expressions Intense Hydrating Conditioner ($6).
- Add glaze: For a shiny lift between colorings, try a color glaze such as John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Luminous Color Glaze in Chestnut to Espresso ($10).
- Brassless: If you aren't feeling the lovely brassy shades that sometimes occur as brown starts to fade, remedy it with a blue conditioner, which helps counteract unwanted warm/reddish tones. Try Aveda Blue Malva Conditioner ($17). You could also try a special temporary, non-ammonia color that lasts through 28 shampoos, formulated to ward off brassiness: Clairol Natural Instincts Brass Free Brunettes Non-Permanent Color in Light Brown 6C ($9.50) Clairol Natural Instincts Brass Free Brunettes Non-Permanent Color in Medium Brown 5C ($9.50).
- DIY: Make about four to eight cups of strong black coffee, and let cool. Shampoo hair like normal, wringing out excess water. Rinse coffee through hair, let sit about 15-20 minutes, and rinse out.
- Add more natural: Here's a trick I like to use to prevent fading. Whatever hair color I use, I always blend in a little natural brown base to give my brown extra holding power. If using L'Oreal Color Gems Haircolor Gold Copper Brown ($6) for instance, do a 50/50 blend with L'Oreal Color Gems Haircolor Light Natural Brown ($6) added in to soften the golden copper.