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Want vibrant, long-lasting hair color? Try these 10 ways to keep yours looking great:
1. Don't wash your hair the day you color it. Allow your scalp's natural oils to build up for a day. This will protect your scalp from irritation. (If your skin becomes irritated, you'll have to wash your hair immediately, rinsing away the new color.)
2. Swear off shampoo for two days. After coloring, avoid washing your hair for two days to keep the color on your hair -- not down the drain.
3. Use a shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair. These products, like Frederic Fekkai's Baby Blonde, Rio Red and Brilliant Brown shampoos ($20 for 8 ounces), are formulated to maintain your new color. Normal shampoos and conditioners can be too harsh.
4. Use cool water in the shower. Colorists swear that hot water fades shades, while cool keeps color in place.
5. Beware of dryer heat. Too much of it can cause hair color to oxidize, turning brassy and dull. Blow-dry as little as you can.
6. Protect your locks from the sun. The sun's rays can also oxidize color. Protect your hair with a leave-in conditioner or a special sunscreen for hair before going outside.
7. Condition religiously. Because hair color is a chemical, it can weaken your hair and cause it to break easily. Regular conditioning can keep strands pliable and break-resistant.
8. Choose the right shade. Reds are notorious for fading the quickest; if you're concerned about fading, go for a brown or blond shade.
9. Touch up regularly. Semi- and demi-permanent colors need retouching every six to eight weeks; permanent colors need touchups every four to six weeks; and double-process blond needs a touchup every two to four weeks.
10. Trim regularly. Fried, straggly ends make hair color look dull and dingy. Get a trim at least once every two months to avoid this.