How to Keep Hair Color from Fading

So it happened.  I finally washed my newly colored purple hair and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results!  Since I’ve had just about every hair color in the rainbow (some intentionally, others not so much) I’ve compiled a list of 5 ways to keep hair color from fading quickly.

A photo posted by pRoy (@askproy) on

Though these tips focus on keeping semi-permanent hair color, these could definitely apply to vibrant permanent hair colors such as reds, blondes, pinks, purples, blues… any & every color you can imagine!

Watch it all here:

TIP #1
Wash hair as infrequently as possible.
This tip is probably the most important because it encompasses all of the other tips.  Hair color fades naturally, but roughing it up while washing it or using products that cleanse and strip color just isn’t ideal for color longevity.  Axe the washing for as long as you can hold out – I can go about 7-10 days without a wash (and without my scalp screaming), but it all lies in your preference.  Remember: most semi-permanent hair color washes out within 4-6 washes.

TIP #2
Try the “no-poo” and/or “co-wash” method.
This one kindaaaaaa can be worked around, but I’ve found this to only work with purple and red.  I use the GVP Conditioning Shampoo on my scalp ONLY and rinse my hair with cold water.  The GVP Shampoo is purple and *ding ding ding* so is my hair color, so it naturally deposits purple into the hair shaft.  Honestly, the longer you keep it on you hair the more color it will deposit into your hair shaft.  When I say I shampoo my scalp I mean that’s where all the action lies – the massaging of the scalp, the gentle washing with my fingertips – all of that.  I do, however, take the suds to coat my whole hair because – purple – but if I wasn’t using that shampoo I wouldn’t do that step (this method also worked well with my red color using my Alba Shampoo)

Use your discretion when reaching for shampoo because it realllllllllllllly isn’t that ideal.

Co-wash means conditioner washing and in this method, you substitute the shampoo for conditioner.  Co-washing is what most avid hair colors will rave about when it comes to washing your hair.  Tip #4 will explain why.

purple-hair-under-hair-askpRoy

TIP #3
Rinse hair with COLD WATER ONLY!
Think of it like this: when you wash your body with warm/hot water, you open your pores so they can receive a good cleansing.  The same happens to your hair when you wash it with warm/hotter water.  It allows you to open the hair shaft so that you can impart moisture into your hair; however, while you’re putting in that moisture, your color is leaving with a vengeance and that’s that ish I DON’T LIKE!  Though it may be uncomfortable, washing your hair with cold water will help keep that color in for as long as possible.  Whatever you decide to wash with – shampoo or conditioner – rinse only with COLD WATER (the coldest you can stand).

TIP #4
Add hair color to conditioner to make a custom color mixture for your hair.
Dyes can be drying to your hair, especially if you had to lift your hair color (think bleach) to achieve maximum vibrancy so you hair needs extra moisture.  By mixing the semi-permanent hair color into your deep conditioner, you not only condition your hair but you also infuse some of that color back in there – DOUBLE WIN!  I would suggest sticking to the conditioner you already use so that your hair continues to love you long time and to adjust the color depending on how much of it you need to deposit into the hair shaft (read how much the color has faded).

For this mixture, I used Manic Panic Ultra Violet (also added JUST A LITTLE Hot Hot Pink to the mix) and a few scoops of my Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex Deep Treatment Masque.  I used gloves when applying this mixture because I didn’t want to chance staining my hands, but you can do whatever you likeeeeeeeeeee.  And because conditioners don’t damage your hair you can keep them on for a while to get maximum color payoff (would not recommend over conditioning your hair, though – everything in moderation).

pink-purple-natural-hair-askpRoy

TIP #5
Create and wear low manipulation styles (no heat)
See, I’m not really one of those people who suffer from HIH – you know, Hand in Hair Syndrome, but being that I make a lot of videos showcasing different hairstyles it’s pretty much inevitable that I will have to have my hands in my hair.  However, since I am relatively LAZY I like to create styles that require the least amount of work.  This is most beneficial to me and helps me to keep this hair color from fading because it calls for less color transfer (read: bleeding/staining).  If it’s not on my hands or even my pillow case then it’s in my hair, right?  I’d like to think so.  Also, it helps me to avoid using styling products that can strip my hair color due to ingredients such as oils and butters.  For this style, I created a twist out using Obia Natural Haircare (same products used in this post) and I added pops of highlight with this hair chalk.

So there you have it – my five tips on how to keep hair color from fading.  These have been tried and true ways for me, but by all means do what you’ve got to do to keep your color in tip-top condition!

How do you keep your hair color from fading?  Leave your suggestions below!

  • Ashley Lynn

    Great tips!

  • Daila

    How often do you re-color?

  • Missy Bimbamboum

    Thank you so much for all those tips!! I’m new into this, I make a pink coloration 3 weeks agos, I only cleaned my hair every 10 days, on the color is already almost gone :-(, I’ll try those tips, I hope it will help!!

  • Nicole Denise Writes

    Thank you! My hair has been every color, but it seems like my previous blue and current green are the hardest to maintain. I’m definitely going to add dye to my conditioner for a refresher!