14 Things You Should Never Do After Coloring Your Hair (2023)

Hair Color

What not to do after your color appointment.

By Danielle Fontana Dooley, Associate Director, Digital Content ·

14 Things You Should Never Do After Coloring Your Hair (1)

Getty Images

Now that you’ve spent hours getting your hair to that just-perfect color, it’s time to keep it intact for as long as possible. “How you take care of your hair color affects how long it lasts,” confirms Laura Gibson, RUSK global artistic director. Truth be told, we’re all guilty of committing one (or all!) of the below hair-color sins. Ahead, an expert roadmap to keeping your color fresh for longer.

1 / 14

Use a Shampoo Substitute

When it comes to keeping color vibrant, celebrity colorist and dpHue cofounder Justin Anderson offers up a solid tip: “My number-one rule is definitely shampoo less,” says Anderson. “Over-shampooing not only strips your color but also the natural oils that your scalp produces, which are essential for the health of yourhairand scalp.”

“I always say, think of your favorite T-shirt. If you were to wash it everyday, the color will fade, the same applies to yourhaircolor. I recommend my clients opt for dpHUE’sACVHairRinseas a shampoo substitute. This will give yourhaira gentle cleanse, without stripping any essential oils and that beautiful vibrant color you just received at the salon,” he says.

14 Things You Should Never Do After Coloring Your Hair (2)

2 / 14

Avoid Swimming

“Swimming is a big no-no,” says Emily Claire Sacco, colorist at Rob Peetoom Williamsburg, noting that both salt water and chlorine will strip or alter your color. Tina Outen, founder of Tina Did It Salon at Ricky’s NYC, compares the chlorine in swimming pools like Kryptonite to color. It’s a bleaching agent, meaning colored hair should stay far, far away.

(Video) 5 Things You MUST Know After Coloring Your Hair

“Blonde hair is susceptible to turning green [from chlorine] while darker hair becomes more dull and loses its shine,” adds New York City–based colorist Jackie Seabrooke. The reason: “Chlorine is attracted to the most porous parts of the hair, which would be your fresh highlights,” explains Ryan Trygstad, celebrity hairstylist and cofounder of Mark Ryan Salon.

To curb any damage to your hair during summer months and always, be sure to keep your hair protected whenever you’re outside with a good hat and sun-protecting hair products.

14 Things You Should Never Do After Coloring Your Hair (3)

3 / 14

Trust At-Home Treatments

When it comes to sealing in hair color and getting as much longevity as possible, Sacco says professional-grade treatments may be your best bet. “Patented treatments such as Olaplex or K18 have been proven to seal the cuticle shut, locking the color molecules into the hair,” she says. As every hair type and need is different, Sacco suggests asking your stylist which they would recommend for your strands.

14 Things You Should Never Do After Coloring Your Hair (4)

4 / 14

Don’t Wash Your Hair—at First

We all ask ourselves the same question a day or two after our color appointment: “How long do I have to wait before washing my hair?” Celebrity colorist Aura Friedman makes it simple: “Wait at least three days before shampooing your hair after color,” she says. Izquierdo agrees, explaining this three-day waiting period gives ample time “for the cuticle to close and the color to set.” If you have a workout scheduled a day or two after your color appointment, your best bet is to reschedule to avoid lifting the color right off of your hair.

14 Things You Should Never Do After Coloring Your Hair (5)

5 / 14

Stick to Gentle Cleansers

Clarifying shampoos are definitely having a moment for their ability to deep-cleanse the scalp and strands of excess gunk and grime, but Trygstad says this type of shampoo is number-one thing those with fresh color should stay away from. “These shampoos can remove the fresh pigment and tone of your hair,” he says. Instead, Sacco says to opt for a sulfate-free or color-safe shampoo so you can cleanse without worry.

“Sulfates are fresh color’s worst enemy,” says Sacco. “They strip color molecules from the hair, leaving it dull and dry.” In addition, your colorist may suggest using a tinted shampoo or conditioner to up-keep your tonality in between services, she notes.

(Video) Dangerous Foods Your Cat Should Never Eat

14 Things You Should Never Do After Coloring Your Hair (6)

6 / 14

Mix Up Your Shampoo

To keep color looking bright and salon-fresh, washing with a pigmented shampoo at least once a week is a must. To tone oxidized blond strands, purple shampoos like Moroccanoil Blonde Perfecting Purple Shampoo ($24) instantly reverse yellow, brassy tones. (Lavender-tinted products also work to brighten up gray and ashy hues.)

“We recommend maintaining our clients color with color-pigmented conditioners such as Christophe Robin Shade Variation Mask in Baby Blonde,” says Trygstad. “These conditioners help maintain that fresh right out of salon color and tone.”

If brunette strands are skewing a bit too copper, incorporate a blue-hued shampoo such as Redken Color Extend Brownlights Blue Toning Sulfate-Free Shampoo ($22.50) into your regular wash schedule to cool things off.

14 Things You Should Never Do After Coloring Your Hair (7)

7 / 14

Avoid Hot Water

It may seem second nature to just hop in the shower and shampoo as usual post-color, but celebrity hairstylist Michelle Cleveland says freshly-colored strands should be sure to avoid hot water. Leo Izquierdo, cofounder and colorist at New York’s IGK Salon, agrees, adding that hot water will lift the outer layer of hair color and cause color to fade. “Instead, rinse with cold or lukewarm water, as it will help seal up the cuticle and lock in your fresh color,” says Cleveland.

14 Things You Should Never Do After Coloring Your Hair (8)

8 / 14

Rethink Your Workout

According to Gibson, certain workouts can impact the longevity of your hair color. Her two top tips: “Do not shampoo daily and avoid heated workout classes. This will cause your color to fade significantly faster,” she says.

14 Things You Should Never Do After Coloring Your Hair (9)

9 / 14

Steer Clear of Too Much Sun

Chemicals and chlorine are two of the more obvious color-strippers, but Eric Leonardos, celebrity hairstylist at STARRING, says there’s another huge one we often forget about: the sun. “You should avoid direct sunlight for long periods of time and use an SPF designed specifically for hair.” Cleveland agrees, adding she always recommends a good UV spray protectant for her color clients. Her favorite that also boasts SPF? Sebastian Trillant Spray. Friedman offers up another complexion-saving suggestion: “Try a hat with UV protection—it’s great for both your hair and skin.”

14 Things You Should Never Do After Coloring Your Hair (10)
(Video) 10 Ingredients You Need in Your Hair Care Routine

10 / 14

Stretch Out Your Wash Cycle

To keep fresh hair color intact for as long as possible, Seabrooke recommends washing your strands two to three times per week—”preferably once or twice a week while in quarantine to really get into that hair self-care,” she adds. “If you wash your hair everyday, you are not only washing away a little bit of your color each time, you are also washing away natural oils that are needed to moisturize your hair and scalp which keep it looking fresh and healthy.”

14 Things You Should Never Do After Coloring Your Hair (11)

11 / 14

Invest in a Color-Safe Shampoo

Another surefire way to prematurely strip gorgeous color? Washing with a sulfate-filled shampoo. “Sulfates are what give you the suds and squeaky-clean feeling when you shampoo,” explains Seabrooke, adding that those with fresh color should lay off the suds as much as possible. “Always have a sulfate-free shampoo in your shower that you switch between, especially if you’re someone who showers frequently. This will help your color last longer as you are not stripping the color as often.”

14 Things You Should Never Do After Coloring Your Hair (12)

12 / 14

Skip Certain In-Shower Treatments and Masks

Dandruff-busting shampoos or clarifying treatments can also do a number on hair color, because as Outen explains, “they are used to strip unwanted tones in color correction.” Another step to skip? Thick treatment masks. While they may seem nourishing and a great way to keep color intact, Outen says it’s quite the opposite. “They penetrate so deeply into the hair and can drag the color pigments out with them.”

(Video) HOW TO Cover GRAY HAIR - IN SECONDS! **without coloring your hair**
14 Things You Should Never Do After Coloring Your Hair (13)

13 / 14

It’s All About Protection

When it comes to color and heat, Seabrooke’s instructions are clear: “Do not style hair without a heat protectant before using hot tools. I see so many people blow-dry their hair and then hit it with a flat or curling iron and you can actually see where the color has lifted from having no heat protection,” she explains, adding that no matter how healthy your strands may be, heat will strip away color and hydration and lead to major damage. “A heat protectant will reduce moisture loss from inside the hair and smooth the outside protecting it from humidity, which will also help maintain your color.” Friedman recommends using KHairPep on eighty-percent dried hair before any kind of heat styling for best results.

In fact, Dorram notes the only product you should really be using when heat styling is a protectant. “Try to avoid using volumizers, mousse, hairsprays, and even gels with high heat for long periods of time. The hair is too vulnerable and easily damaged,” says Dorram.

14 Things You Should Never Do After Coloring Your Hair (14)

14 / 14

Lay Off the Chemicals

Celebrity colorist Sharon Dorram says one of the most important things to remember after coloring your hair is not to overexpose it to too manychemicals. “Anything from hairspray and styling products with alcohol to too much blow-drying can all contribute to color fading.” The chemicals found in styling products open up the cuticle allowing the color to slip out.

Not so lucky for us, Trygstad says heat-styling tools and excessive shampooing can seriously contribute to premature color fading. Instead of reaching for your curling iron every morning, try throwing your hair into a loose braid while still damp for a heat-free wavy style.

14 Things You Should Never Do After Coloring Your Hair (15)

It's Personal

At NewBeauty, we get the most trusted information from the beauty authority delivered right to your inbox

Find a Doctor

Find a NewBeauty "Top Beauty Doctor" Near you



1. Hairdressers Guide To Coloring Your Own Hair And Not Ruining It
(Brad Mondo)
2. Meghan SETUP RF/BAN Harry from US/Letters Patent/US remedies/no Blofeld; Meghan just clever hustler
(Lady Colin Campbell)
3. No One Should Ever Sleep with a Ponytail, Here's Why
4. 15 Ways You Are Hurting Your Guinea Pig Without Realizing
(Jaw-Dropping Facts)
5. If Your Hair Stands on End, You've Seconds to Run
6. 30 Things You Need to Throw Away from Your House
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Delena Feil

Last Updated: 01/08/2023

Views: 5595

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Delena Feil

Birthday: 1998-08-29

Address: 747 Lubowitz Run, Sidmouth, HI 90646-5543

Phone: +99513241752844

Job: Design Supervisor

Hobby: Digital arts, Lacemaking, Air sports, Running, Scouting, Shooting, Puzzles

Introduction: My name is Delena Feil, I am a clean, splendid, calm, fancy, jolly, bright, faithful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.