Regardless of whether you’ve spent these past months honing your home-colouring skills or have just emerged from the salon with freshly toned locks, there are other foes coming for your hair colour.
From the water you wash it in to the bleaching effect of the sun’s UV rays, key culprits will undo your new, carefully cultivated colour to look dull and discoloured faster than you can say ‘social distancing’.
While some minerals may be helpful for skin, when it comes to hair, they are a beauty nemesis.
‘If hair is subjected to hard water for long periods of time it can cause particles and molecules of metal and minerals to get trapped in the cuticle,’ says Tom Smith, a colour specialist and creative director at Billi Currie in Marylebone.
‘Coloured hair tends to be more porous, which means the likelihood of having particles deposited into it is greater. This can dull the colour, make lighter shades in particular look distorted and accelerate fade, while any kind of build-up can effect texture and feel too.’
Tackling metals is a must for coloured hair. As we can’t all rinse our locks in bottled water (as once suggested by super-stylist Sam McKnight), there are clever potions aimed at removing metals such as calcium and magnesium from tap water that make hair dull and discoloured.
Or to prevent metals and minerals making it to your hair at all, Hello Klean Eco Shower Filter (£60) screws on to your shower hose and neutralises them as water passes through.
Being stuck indoors has provided the perfect play time to experiment with home hair dyes. However, aftercare is often an afterthought, meaning that if you’ve eschewed regular deep nourishing treatments, your hair condition could be subpar. If your locks look frazzled, they are likely to be porous, so any new colour application will fade fast.
‘The easiest way to tell if your hair is in bad condition is that it will immediately show split ends and lack of shine,’ explains New York celebrity hairstylist Frédéric Fekkai.
‘The main causes for coloured hair to lose its true tones and intensity are sun and water. Developing a consistent hair washing and care ritual will help ensure colour vibrancy for an extended period of time.’
That means sticking to a routine, plenty of nourishment and carefully choosing colour boosters.
Rehab your hue
Start by considering what your end game is. If your colour needs a refresh rather than a redo, boosters offer easy enhancement.
They support highlights and don’t change the colour too much but subtly brighten and gently give a natural lift,’ adds Frédéric.
Add drops to your shampoo or conditioner for a hint of uplift or to a creamy styling product for a more intense effect.
Colour with care
To add temporary colour, whether it’s to road-test a shade without commitment or boost effects such as balayage between salon appointments, Wella Color Fresh (£15.50) comes in a rich mask formula, ensuring incredible softening and smoothing benefits.
Shades last between four and ten washes then fade gently. Once you’ve found colour nirvana, help it stay there with a care routine.
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