How long does hair color last? Hint: It depends on what you’re willing to do to preserve it.

Gorgeous platinum blonde, subtle babylights, eye-catching pink, or dramatic jet black – once you’ve found your shade, you know. But soon after coloring your hair, you’ll already need to think about the next time you need to come back for a touch up.

Wondering how to keep hair dye from fading? You’re not alone. Once you’ve found a colorist you trust, decided on the right technique – highlights, lowlights, balayage, ombre, dip dye, or all-over color – and spent hours in the salon chair, your journey is just beginning.

There are a number of challenges you’ll have to deal with after dying your hair, like repairing damage after bleaching and setting aside time for high maintenance upkeep if you’ve chosen a particularly bright hue for your tresses. Another big issue is making sure your hair color doesn’t fade or wash out after a few washes.

Think this won’t affect you because you’ve dyed your hair a subtle, natural color? Think again. Some people even reported their hair color fading after one week!

How long does hair color last?

The simple answer – it depends. If you’re a natural brunette whose gone blonde, your roots and natural color underneath might require you to get touch-ups every four to six weeks.

Rocking a super bright color, like purple, pink, or green? You likely had to use bleach to achieve that shade, and your maintenance routine might involve more frequent trips to the salon, and the use of a blue hair mask that’s specifically meant for your colored hair.

In other words, if you’re wondering how long does hair dye last, you should realize that the answer lies within what you’re willing to do in order to keep it looking salon-fresh in between visits. It is possible to keep your color glowing for months on end. Spoiler alert: you’ll need the right products, including a purple mask for color treated hair.

Beyond buying color-specific shampoo and conditioner, there are a number of easy steps you can take to ensure your color remains locked in and looks salon fresh for as long as possible. Read on to find out more.

Wait to wash

One of the most important things to take care of your post-dye hair is to not wash it for at least 24 hours after leaving the salon – and if possible, wait even longer than that.

Because it takes an average of three days for the cuticle layer (which is responsible for absorbing the color molecule) to completely close, premature washing increases the chance that less of the pigment will be fully locked into your hair.

Invest in a purple color depositing shampoo

Once you take the post-dye plunge and wash your hair, it’s time to break out the big guns. To preserve your color, a shampoo formulated for dyed hair is an amazing investment. The best shampoo for purple color treated hair will be specially formulated to not only keep your color looking intense and pigment locked in, it will also proactively tone and remove brassiness.

Did you go for an auburn or brunette shade and are now curious about how to tone brassy brown hair at home? Try a purple shampoo for colored hair – it will work wonders on your tresses and bring out all the subtle shades and highlights in your brown mane.

The best shampoo for color treated hair is a blue, violet, or purple shampoo that contains strengthening Keratin to not only keep your color bright, but to restore your hair back to health after dyeing.

Focus on repairing and healing

Even the most gentle coloring, like temporary hair dye, is likely to place some degree of strain on your tresses. And dry, brittle hair is never a good look. If your mane feels fried, it’s time to break out products that are specifically geared towards nourishing and nurturing dyed hair.

The best shampoo for color treated hair will include moisturizing, smoothing, and replenishing ingredients like Keratin, collagen, biotin, and castor oil, which work together in perfect harmony to give your hair the nutrients it needs after chemical processing.

This is also a good time to embrace heat-free styling. Try to use your flat iron, curling iron, or blow dryer as little as possible. If you must use hot tools on your main, be sure to use a heat protectant like a Keratin serum, beforehand.

The purple hair mask – your new best friend

The best hair mask for colored hair is a mix of powerful color protection that secures pigment and also gives your tresses a spa treatment after chemical processing. Whether you’re looking for a blonde mask or purple mask for colored hair, you need a solution that makes your silvery undertones shine brighter and reduces yellow and orange brassy tones.

A purple mask for dyed hair can also serve as a color corrector in the case that your hue didn’t develop exactly the way you wanted it.

Learn to love the cold

Hot water is terrible for your hair. Not only does it strip your tresses of their natural protective oils, it can lift your follicle, causing scalp irritation and exacerbating dandruff, itchiness, and general inflammation. On top of that, hot water damages the Keratin protein that’s naturally present in your hair, which can worsen everything from breakage to split ends to frizziness.

Basically, if you can avoid it, don’t wash your hair with hot water. But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through ice-cold showers. Rather, just make sure that whenever water is reaching your scalp, it’s lukewarm or room temperature. A cool rinse is the best possible way to wash shampoo or conditioner out of your hair, and will help your color stay intact for longer.

On that same note, try to cut down on shampooing your hair in general. You don’t need to lather up every time you take a shower – instead, try every other day (or even less, if you’re daring.) A quick blast of dry shampoo in the morning will help you avoid a greasy look between washes. Plus, hair that hasn’t been freshly washed is generally easier to style.