TRICKS TO KEEP HAIR COLOR LOOKING BRILLIANT.. LONGER
The perfect hair color and highlights cost a good deal of money, but there are some clever tricks to keep it from fading and looking brilliant for longer. 

PREPARING FOR COLOR
Prepare your hair before going for a color appointment by ensuring that it is well-conditioned. Give it extra conditioning with masks and deep conditioners in the final week before the color treatment. This helps prepare the hair for better color retention. You can also wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo, but only just before you go for your hair color appointment. This helps to remove any product build-up. Do not use clarifying shampoos on freshly colored hair. 

CHANGE THE WAY YOU WASH YOUR HAIR
The porousness of your hair changes with hair color. It can more readily absorb and release moisture, but this affects how it loses color molecules too, especially every time it gets wet. That is why you need to change the way you wash your hair. By the way: red colors fade at a faster rate because they have larger molecules and don’t penetrate the hair shaft as well. 

SHAMPOO LESS
To help maintain the color longer, don’t be tempted to shampoo your hair daily. Try washing it no more than 3 times a week, and two times a week is better.  If you must wash more frequently try to do so every second day, or use a color-safe dry shampoo on the roots in-between washes. Also, do not wash your hair for at least two days after having it colored. The color needs some time to set when it is still new. Always prefer a gentle shampoo for your hair that is specially designed to maintain color. 

WATER TEMPERATURE
Hot water is not good for your hair or skin. It also affects colored hair because it opens the cuticle that maintains moisture and your newly applied hair color. Lukewarm water seals the cuticle and helps the hair to maintain its color better. The best way to wash colored hair is to shampoo and rinse with lukewarm water. It should be towel dried before the conditioner is applied, and then rinsed off with cool water. This helps maintain the color, seals in moisture, and prevents or eliminates split ends. 

ELIMINATE HARD WATER
If the water in your area is hard, then consider placing a filter on your shower. A filter will remove minerals, chemicals, and chlorine. All these can strip the natural oils and color from your hair. 

CONDITIONING IS IMPORTANT FOR COLORED HAIR
Conditioner is important for colored hair, but too much won’t do it any good. Deep conditioners do fade brunette and red colors and are best avoided after coloring. This is because they are designed to penetrate the hair follicle deeply, and they can fade the color. A light, but good conditioner, left on for a short time, is usually enough for colored hair. Save the deep conditioning for the week before you go for your next color. 

PROTECT YOUR HAIR WHEN YOU ARE ACTIVE
Whether it is summer or winter, if you are active outdoors then you need to protect your hair. The sun, chlorinated pool water, and seawater can fade hair color. If you have blonde hues in your hair you don’t want to watch it turn green from the chlorine. There are a lot of products available that offer hair SPF protection and a moisturizing spray or leave-in conditioner are ideal if you are active. 

TAKE CARE WHEN STYLING YOUR HAIR
During the first week after coloring, avoid using hot styling tools on your hair. These do speed up color fading. Let your hair air dry or just style it lightly when it is almost dry. Thereafter, style your hair with care and less frequently. Colored hair is vulnerable and more prone to damage from heat. If you must style your hair, use a heat protecting product to help minimize fading and keep your hair in great condition. Rather use your styling tools at their lowest settings.
 
DON’T FORGET…
Your hair needs regular trims to keep it looking healthy. Also, be wary not to have too many processes done to your hair at once because the chemicals can be harsh on your hair. Stagger your treatments and make sure that your hairstylist uses mild, conditioning formulas, whether you are relaxing, perming, highlighting, or coloring your hair. 

Finally, a healthy diet and lifestyle are vital to healthy hair. Eat iron-rich foods to help build keratin and protect your scalp. They also stimulate hair growth and improve hair texture. Vitamins also help to keep color-treated hair healthy and gleaming. Vitamin C and biotin are essential vitamins that should be included in your diet. They help to support the scalp, hair follicles, and strengthen weak hair. Take a supplement if you are not getting enough of these. 
Choose hair care products that are made with some of the best ingredients nature has to offer to ensure that your hair stays healthy and retains its brilliant color for longer in-between color treatments.