A Timeline to Maintaining Your Hair Color

Whether you’re going for Gisele-esque golden highlights, Kate Middleton’s regal brunette hue, or Katy Perry’s slime green shade, a new hair color means a new haircare routine. But don’t worry—there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that your hue stays vibrant. Here’s our chronological cheatsheet—starting long before you step into a salon.

1 Month Before: Prep and Protect

The healthier your hair is before, the better your color will look after. In the month leading up to your appointment, use a deep conditioner like Ojon damage reverse™ Restorative Conditioner, which is loaded with hydrating ingredients like Murumuru Butter that seal in moisture and replenish dry strands. Post-shower, try a healing serum like Number 4™ Fluoro5 Elixer Restore & Repair Oil, which has naturally fortifying argan and sunflower seed oils.

1 Week Before: Shampoo Smarter

The fastest way to wash your money (and gorgeous shade) down the drain is by using the wrong shampoo and conditioner. Prior to your salon trip, start stockpiling color-protecting products. Bain de Terre’s passion flower color-preserving shampoo and conditioner maintains the vibrancy of color-treated hair for up to 18 washes. Blondes in-the-making should try Klorane’s suflate-free Shampoo and Conditioner. The duo contains Egyptian chamomile, which is rich in apigenine—a golden pigment that intensifies blonde shades.

24 to 48 Hours Before: Don’t Wash Your Hair

Freshly washed hair lacks the oils needed to absorb dye. Instead of your usual suds routine, use Oscar Blandi’s Pronto Dry Shampoo in the days leading up to your salon appointment.

48 Hours After: Try a Hair Primer

Once your color has set, apply Nexxus Assure Vibrancy Retention Primer before you wash your hair. This high-tech pre-cleanse treatment creates a shield that protects color by repelling water. Follow with Nexxus® Color Assure Vibrancy Retention Shampoo and Conditioner. This gentle, sulfate-free duo hydrates your hair with orchid oil, increasing shine and extending the shelf life of your hue.

1 Week After: Double Down on Conditioner

Fact: Chemical dyes strip your hair of moisture and cause serious follicle damage. To repair your strands, add a leave-in conditioner to your routine. We’re big fans Nexxus® Pro-Mend Split End Binding Targeted Leave-In Treatment Crème, which protects against heat damage by infusing strands with moisturizers like glycerin and coconut oil. And use a fortifying mask like Kérastase Masque Chroma Captive – Treat two to three times ever week. It preserves color by infusing strands with vitamin E and UV filters to combat oxidation and sun damage.

2 Weeks After: Practice Sun Protection

Protect your color from damaging rays by spritzing some of Number 4's Super Comb Prep & Protect. Made with a unique UV/Color Polar Shield, it contains soy and vegetable proteins to repair damage caused by the heat. Just like your regular sunscreen, this formula is best when used every day.

And when you do go to the beach…

Cover your hair with a seriously stylish hat or scarf. Need some inspiration? Watch our tutorial for four easy ways to wear a summery head wrap.

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