Here are 7 things you should do immediately after coloring your hair, according to colorists

Save your color after a dye job.

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You know the feeling from the salon. Your hair color is particularly vibrant and shiny, it has the right bounce and your head may be slightly tilted up. You know you look good. Fast forward a few weeks and the shine is not what it used to be. What gives? It turns out there are a few strategic steps you can take to ensure your freshly painted vibes last as long as possible. Read on to find out what hair experts recommend to incorporate into your post-salon routine.

Avoid washing for 48 hours

Chances are you won’t want to wash your hair until after you’ve had your hair cut, colored and styled, but if you want to take a shower, we recommend hitting the pause button. Celebrity stylist Cody Renegar says it helps the pigment settle into your hair. “If you wash it before then, the color may fade,” warns Renegar. You should also avoid getting your hair wet in hot tubs or pools, it’s even worse!

Limit shampooing

Even permanent hair dyes fade over time, and shampooing is one of the biggest contributors to easy fading. We’re not saying you should skip shampoo altogether, but cutting back a little (and using less shampoo in general) can help. “You want to wash your hair two to three times a week,” says celebrity hairstylist Glenn Ellis. “It really helps improve the longevity of your hair color.”

Use a high-quality shampoo

Ask any hairstylist about the biggest mistake their clients make and most will tell you they’re “using the wrong shampoo.” (Heat styling is also more damaging, but we’ll get to that!) If you’re spending big on great color, it’s worth investing a little in your weekly hair care regimen, too.

“Chemically treated and colored hair tends to be dry,” says Renegar. “It is very important to use a shampoo rich in moisture to moisturize, rejuvenate and maintain its tone. Moisture-rich shampoos are also very gentle on the hair, making them the best option for maintaining healthy hair and preventing your new color from fading.”

Rinse with cool water

In addition to frequent shampooing, washing your hair with very hot water can also affect your color. “Hot water fades color quickly, especially if you have a lighter color,” says Ellis. Washing your hair with cold or cool water can help reduce frizz, but it also helps seal the cuticle and retain more moisture in your scalp, strands, and skin.

Protect your hair from the sun

The sun doesn’t discriminate—it can damage your skin, your clothes, and anything else in its path, says Ellis: “Prolonged exposure to the sun will fade your color, so try to avoid it.” This doesn’t mean taking on hermit status, but it’s a good step to wear a cute hat, use an umbrella, stick to shady spots, and use sunscreen hair products.

Use a heat protectant

Colored hair is slightly damaged, which requires protection when using heat styling tools. “A heat protectant creates a shield between the hair and the heat source, preventing color fading,” explains Renegar. “It also helps prevent dryness, which can cause things like frizz and split ends.” She recommends using a heat protectant after shampooing while your hair is damp.

Schedule a toning procedure

Even if you follow all the tips above, your hair color will naturally fade over time. One way to keep riding on that freshly painted high is to schedule a refresher/glass touch-up between appointments. This service involves placing a semi-permanent toner over the strands and enhancing color, bounce and shine. To get the most out of this treatment, plan for a day when you can use a good shot.

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