Picture this: you walk out of the hair salon with freshly colored locks, love them for two weeks, and suddenly wake up to find them looking lackluster and dull. What?! Why?! And — most importantly — how?! For beauty girls, this is truly the stuff nightmares are made of. But at the same time, it probably sounds all too familiar.
If you've long struggled to identify the cause of your rapidly fading bleach or color job, we've got a hard truth to share: the issue probably lies in your everyday routine. To show you what we really mean, we've spotlighted a few insanely common habits you may not even realize you have. Read on for the full breakdown — including tips and products that can help prolong your next trip to the salon.
1. You Stock Your Shower With Random Shampoos
Don't lie: you know you do this. Maybe you like to buy what's cheapest in the haircare aisle (guilty), or perhaps you've just convinced yourself that half-empty bottles equal endless options. But the truth is, what you cleanse your strands with can truly make all the difference. Finding your perfect shampoo and conditioner match is key.
If you sport a mane of bleached or cool-toned locks (from platinum blond to silver fox), purple shampoo may be just what the hair doctor ordered. Not only does it work to neutralize unwanted yellow tones, but it helps eliminate dullness, too. And if your strands skew more gray, silver, or white, you'll benefit from added brightness and shine.
2. Your Haircare Routine Is Inconsistent
Whether it's sipping wine in a bubble bath, doing a face mask, or breaking out the nail polish to give your color a vibrant upgrade, we all love a good at-home pampering session. But while these more sporadic beauty treatments are nice, when it comes to hair, those indulgent extra steps are worth adding to your regular routine.
To give frayed, broken, and damaged strands some TLC, we recommend adding a pre-conditioner after you shampoo your strands. Formulated with maleic acid — an ingredient that works to help reconnect and reinforce weakened hair bonds — this once-a-week treatment will set up your locks for resilient, shiny success.
3. You Neglect Your Ends
Love thy ends and thy roots equally! For anyone with damaged strands, this is one hair commandment you should always adhere to. Because while giving your roots a good scrub is vital to keeping things fresh and clean (not to mention one of the best feelings ever), your ends are also subject to damage.
To help keep them in check, try using a restorative conditioner to lock moisture into your dehydrated ends. The inclusion of taurine helps seal in moisture and protect your every strand from the inside out, creating more resilience against future damage. The silky, lightweight feel it leaves behind is just an added bonus.
4. You Aren't Doing Your Part in Maintaining Your Color
Yes, we'd trust our hairstylists with our lives, but that doesn't mean all of the work should fall on them. Taking charge of maintenance can not only buy you a bit of time between appointments but also help your hair stay healthy so that when you do go in, they can work their magic easily.
For example, if you're a lightened brunette, a brass-neutralizing shampoo can be crucial to keeping your highlights looking great — even when your color starts to fade. Better yet, it's formulated with blue-violet pigments that help refresh and tone your strands to maintain a cool-hued look. All you have to do is leave it on for two to three minutes, and . . . presto!
5. You Wash Your Hair Every Day
You've heard it before, and you're about to hear it again: washing your hair every day is not — we repeat, not — the answer! Besides stripping essential oils from your hair, constant cleansing can be deadly to a fresh color job.
Instead, try spacing out your shampoo routine by a few days — or even every other day if that's all you can handle. One, this will extend the life of your newly minted color; two, it'll aid in training your hair to look fresher for longer if you're worried about it appearing oily or dirty. When you do hop in the shower, use a shampoo that helps cleanse away previous product buildup and leaves hair primed and ready for repair.