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Hair health and science

How to Stop Hair Dye Fading

6 minutes

If you’re looking for things to do when you’re stuck at home and you’ve found yourself wondering how to stop hair dye fading, read on for easy hair hacks at home that’ll help protect those beautiful hues.

So, you’ve got your perfect colour. You think that’s the end of the story? While we’d all love colour that lasts and lasts (oh what a dream!) unfortunately those gorgeous new glossy strands that have been painstakingly dyed - whether in a salon chair or at home - are prone to fade from the moment you next wash them. And even more if for some unfortunate reason you can’t colour at the moment or need to stay at home!

There are countless ways hair can go awry, whether it’s withering beneath harsh summer sunlight or washing your hair with the wrong shampoo. Yup, we’re afraid you may have been sabotaging your hair without even realising. But fret not, here we reveal the insider secrets to getting long-lasting hair colour to dye for. If you’ve ever wondered, “Why does my hair colour fade so quickly,” or “What makes hair dye fade,” this is the big reveal on maintaining your colour and keeping it vibrant come rain or shine.

How to stop colour fading

Dozens of factors can contribute to your hue going dull, but enhancing and elevating the condition of your tresses is paramount. Coloured hair needs a hit of hydration more than virgin hair, both for colour preservation and to maintain its strength against the chemical damage.

Choose a colour protecting shampoo

If you’re wondering, ‘Why does my colour fade so quickly?’, think of your newly coloured hair as thirsty, parched strands of rope. Whether it’s prone to greasiness, or was already dry before you added colour to it, it’s vital to make sure you're moisturising your hair after every wash. And that stands for every single shampoo. Nourishing each strand will transform brittle, weak rope-like tresses back to their smooth and strong former selves. The main rule is to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Whether you’ve gone lighter or darker, the colouring process will inevitably cause some damage to your strands, so regular re-moisturising porous tresses will add dimension, shine and life to your hue.

It’s vital to choose products that add moisture and quench your strands, and are specially designed for coloured hair. We’re partial to Pantene Pro-V Colour Protect Shampoo as a first essential in your battle on shade fade. Scientifically proven to protect colour vibrancy while smoothing hair cuticles for touchably smooth strands, it’s mineral oil and colourant-free, making it a safe and gentle choice for coloured tresses.

Follow up with a nourishing conditioner

Conditioner is coloured hair’s ultimate superhero, literally coating it with smoothing, hydrating and nourishing ingredients. Healthy-looking hair and strong hair go hand in hand! When hair is damaged from extreme colour changes (say from dark to light) it doesn’t “hold” colour as it should, leaching colour molecules and looking patchy at lightning speed. Regular conditioning is therefore vital to up the inner strength levels from the cortex of the cuticle and nourish your mane. Designed to seal, shine and keep all tones true, Pantene Pro-V Colour Protect Conditioner prevents colour fading with its special keratin protection complex, prolonging the hair's vibrancy and brilliance while providing lightweight, yet deep conditioning. If you want to treat your hair (or yourself) even more, add once or twice a week Pantene Pro-V Colour Protect Mask. The results? Hair that’s visibly smoother with a vibrant shine in as little as 2 minutes. You can of course leave it longer for “me time at home”!

Why does hair dye fade?

Why indeed? And why is it that it’s often the boldest hues and pastel colours that tend to be the most high-maintenance? The basic answer is that to achieve these striking tones the hair has had to be bleached to open up the hair shaft sufficiently for the dye to “take,” and this long process often leaves hair in less that pristine condition. The simplest route to avoiding it happening to your precious colour is to simply don’t wash your hair too often.

Water is coloured hair’s biggest enemy, along with the likes of heated styling tools and UV radiation. Saturating the hair with water swells the hair fibre and lifts the scale-like cuticles, allowing those dazzling dye molecules in the matrix of your hair to escape. When you do shampoo it, select a colour-safe formula and always finish your wash with cool rinse that works to close the hair cuticles, reducing fade and promoting shine. Together, this should seriously extend the life of your new hue, with your new best friend: conditioner!

If you’ve washed your hair as delicately as your finest cashmere jumper then the next step is to extend that gentle approach to your day-to-day hair care regime. While it might be obvious, we’re all susceptible to the occasional hair-tearing rushed brush or accidental singing our hair on heated appliances, but it’s this kind of rough and ready handling that can really damage your newly coloured strands leading you down the road to those ‘why does my hair colour fade so quickly?’ searches. Ripping through tangles with a brush or constantly putting your hair up in tight ponytails and buns will eventually damage the cuticle.

Equally, that singing sound you sometimes hear when you’re straightening or the steam coming from your hair when blow-drying is a very clear signal that you’re literally scorching your strands. Ouch. Weakening the hair in specific points makes it even easier for the dye molecules to escape, leading to your colour fading much faster than it should. To lessen the wear and tear, apply a light leave-in detangling or hydrating treatment (why not try Pantene Pro-V Repair & Protect Oil?) regularly after washing to smooth the way for your hair brush or comb. Always use a heat protective spray or oil prior to styling and opt for softer hair styles, wearing your hair down as much as possible.

How to stop hair colour fading? Simply wash a bit less, condition a bit more and treat your coloured tresses with regular top ups of TLC (and then more conditioner, obvs). Searching for more info on how long hair dye lasts? We’ve put together a guide to take you through the ins and outs.

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