There is nothing more heartbreaking than dropping a wad of cash on a fabulous hair color service and then watching helplessly as your glorious hue fades quickly away.

Is there anything you can do to prevent this fated fade-out from happening?  Yes, there are several tricks and tips that will help extend the life of your color.

Wait 24-48 Hours After Your Last Shampoo Before Adding Color

Hair color experts like Rita, Robert and Barbara often will explain that when you allow your hair and scalp to “age” slightly before applying color, the natural oils produced by the scalp will help color adhere better and penetrate more deeply to the follicles.

In addition, waiting 24 to 48 hours after your last shampoo, before you apply color protects your scalp from becoming irritated.  The longer you wait, the better shot you have of extending the life of your gorgeous new shade.

Wait 24-48 Hours After Color Application To Wash Hair

While it is prudent to apply color to hair that has “aged” 24-48 hours, it has been noted that waiting up to 48 hours AFTER a color service is beneficial. Delaying your shampoo as long as possible after color is applied will give your tresses time to completely absorb the color. The longer you procrastinate a trip to the shampoo bowl, the less chance you have of inadvertently rinsing away that expensive highlighting or color job.

Shampoo Only When Really Necessary

Each time colored hair is shampooed, the hair color fades slightly. Just applying shampoo to recently color treated hair can impact the overall hue. Cleansing your hair on a regular basis, but only as often as really necessary is the key.

Many shampoos contain sulfates that can strip and fade color into total oblivion. To add to the problem, typical conditioners and related styling products will do virtually nothing to block the rays of the sun that cause slow but steady color oxidation.

Avoid Hot Oil Treatments Which May Too Acidic

Hot oil treatments that have highly acidic ingredients like extra virgin olive oil may also strip hair new shades. If you’re addicted to hot oil treatments, make sure that your treatment of choice is specifically safe for colored hair.

Avoid Additional Chemical Treatments

Hair treatments such as perms, relaxers or straighteners may damage the hair hue. In some cases the use of chemical texture treatments may cause color treated tresses to become brittle, spongy or break off. Perms may also affect hair color, and re-coloring the hair after a perm, if appropriate may be necessary.

Have A Clear Color Glaze Or Gloss Applied

Many hair colorists may offer to apply a clear color gloss or foil over newly colored hair to extend the life of the treatment. These glosses not only help to seal the newly colored hair’s cuticle, but also help stretch its life.

Glosses can be semi-permanent when applied with heat or temporary without heat. They are considered a very healthy way to extend hair color, tone down intense colors or help to modify color on hair that is porous.

Vegetable glazes are semi-permanent glazes that provide a slight change of color that lasts from two to six weeks. They give hair shine and body and are usually activated by heat.

Approximately 5 to 10 minutes under a dryer produces a temporary color reflection, 15 to 20 minutes offers semi-permanent color and 30 to 45 minutes makes color last six to eight weeks. Glazes or glosses are generally safe to use after relaxing and perm treatments.

Have Hair Cut Right Before Not After Color Service

How many times did you get glorious highlights applied only to watch them be snipped off at your next trim?

With some careful planning you can have a color service or apply color at home right after a cut so your beautiful new hues do not land on the salon floor.

Keep Hair Hydrated And Moist

Up the amount of water or liquid you drink, right after your last color treatment. This will help keep the roots moisturized and prevent strands from drying out. A side advantage is that your skin will also benefit from the added hydration.