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’.
But add one of the smart formulas that tackle the minerals in water, as well as treatments to rehab any colour imperfections to your haircare arsenal, and you can keep newly hued locks looking fresher for longer.
Heavy metal enemies
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.
For a pre-wash treatment that removes particles from iron to aluminium, Color Wow Dream Filter Pre-Shampoo Mineral Remover (£24) spritzes on and works in three minutes to noticeably refresh hue.
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Triple Detox Shampoo (£25) is a colour-safe cleanser that removes metals, pollution and product build-up with charcoal while keeping hair and the scalp nourished.
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.
For blondes, Michael Van Clarke 3 More Inches Silver Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner (£19 each) counteract any brassy cast with a cooling, violet pigment, while cashmere proteins help repair damaged hair fibres.
The intense navy tone of John Frieda Blue Crush for Brunettes Shampoo and Conditioner (£6.99 each) is fantastic for neutralising unwanted copper tones due to a blend of blue, purple and teal. They don’t leave colour deposit but will smooth and boost shine.
If you do want to add a little ‘oomph’, The Hair Boss Colour Corrector Drops (£8.99) by leading UK colourist Lisa Shepherd are clever toning drops that come in brunette and blonde.
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.
Fekkai Technician Colour Shampoo (£20) and Conditioner (£22) are super-nourishing, silicone-free formulas packed with antioxidant-rich plum seed oil that leaves a sheer, protective layer on the hair, helping prevent colour fade and brassiness from washing and in the sun.
Now we can all enjoy the brighter days.
Hair savers: Look after your locks with
Hask Curl Care Detangling Conditioner
Hask’s new Curl Care collection — a moisturising shampoo and detangling conditioner — has launched just in time to combat summer frizz and humidity.
Only Curls satin-lined cap
Who said curls and hats don’t mix? This satin-lined baseball cap has a large opening at the back for curls to push through and a smooth lining to limit frizz.
Leaf + Seed Clear Head anti-dandruff shampoo
Wild Science Lab has created the scalp-protecting Leaf + Seed Clear Head anti-dandruff shampoo to reduce flaking skin and soothe redness and irritation.
3 More Inches LifeSaver Deep Sleep Overnight Hair Treatment
Deep-condition your hair while you snooze with 3 More Inches LifeSaver Deep Sleep Overnight Hair Treatment. It’s lavender-scented and rich in strengthening cashmere proteins. Coming soon.
Staying protected is essential in the summer so keep your cool and safeguard your colour (and scalp) with this cotton headscarf for a 1970s retro, boho look.