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Tips for Longer Lasting Hair Color

Tips for Longer Lasting Hair Color

Whether it’s long, short, curly, or straight, your hair is an expression of who you are. To make things even more exciting, there’s hair color! Between the touch ups and the fading, hair color is a commitment. Now, I am not a licensed beautician, but I have been coloring my hair for over 30 years and I have discovered some tips and products for longer lasting hair color based on my own personal experience. 

Whether your hair is black, blonde, or pink, coloring your hair is a commitment. Here are some products and tips to make your hair color last longer!

Whether your hair is black, blonde, or pink, coloring your hair is a commitment. Here are some products and tips to make your hair color last longer!

Blonde and Bubbly

My obsession with hair color began around the time I hit puberty in the mid 1980s. I was born with naturally blonde hair that got darker over the years.

By the time I was 11 years old, it had turned a dirty dishwater blonde. I thought it was boring and blah. I discovered this product called “Sun-In” and bought some at my local CVS with my paltry allowance.

Sun In is a spray on hair lightener. But beware, it can turn your hair orange!
Sun In is a spray on hair lightener. But beware, it can turn your hair orange!

Sun-In is this spray that contains hydrogen peroxide (bleach) and works with the sun or a blow dryer to lighten up your hair.

When I first used the product, it turned my ashy blonde brown hair an interesting shade of orange. Yeah, it wasn’t pretty. But I kept using it over and over until my hair eventually turned blonde.

And it also turned into straw.

Check out my apricot-orange Sun-In hair in Jr. High!
Check out my apricot-orange Sun-In hair in Jr. High (1985)

But I didn’t care, I was officially blonde again!

Around the age of 13, I decided I was going to try my hand at coloring at home. So I picked up a box of the cheapest box hair color I could afford a.k.a. Revlon Colorsilk.

Colorsilk is one of the most affordable box hair colors.
Colorsilk is one of the most affordable box hair colors.

I used this product every month for years until I was finally able to afford to go to a salon to get my hair professionally bleached platinum blonde. Keeping up platinum blonde is a lot of work!

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I had to touch up my roots every 2-3 weeks. And it took hours sitting under a dryer while the bleach did it’s job. Not to mention all that damage to my hair!

Me with platinum blonde hair in 1992
Me with platinum blonde hair in 1992

But when I was a blonde, there was one product that I swear by that my stylist turned me on to for blonde longer lasting hair color

Shimmer Lights Shampoo and Conditioner

Shimmer Lights Shampoo and Conditioner is amazing for blonde and even silver hair.
Shimmer Lights Shampoo and Conditioner is amazing for blonde and even silver hair for longer lasting hair color

This stuff is freaking purple. And scary (at first). But it totally works! It keeps your blonde hair from looking brassy and makes it shiny and bright.

If you are a blonde and want longer lasting hair color, I highly recommend trying this product. It also works great for light gray or silver hair.

Shimmer Lights Shampoo and Conditioner is available on Amazon for under $25 for the pair.


That’s So Raven

All that bleaching took its toll on my hair so several years later, I was ready for a change. I decided to go the other extreme. Black!

As you can tell by my expression, I was miserable with black hair.
As you can tell by my expression, I was miserable with black hair (2006)

Black, for me, was a huge mistake. Not only did it look terrible on me, but when my roots started showing I would look bald!

But this is a great new product to help keep your raven roots looking great for longer lasting hair color

Style Edit Root Touch-Up

Style Edit covers up dark roots between coloring with one step application!
Style Edit covers up dark roots between coloring with one step application!

Style Edit Root Touch-Up is a binding powder you apply to your roots with a sponge applicator. It helps blend away grays and allows you to have longer lasting hair color. The powder is transfer proof so it doesn’t stain your sheets or pillow case. Stays on until you shampoo it out.

You can find Style Edit Root Touch-Up on Amazon in this and other colors for around $20


Ravishing Red

My favorite color is burgundy, so it’s no wonder that I tend to gravitate towards Reds the most. I’ve had auburn, burgundy, and even violet hair. I just absolutely love the way it glows in the sun.

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Check out the many shades of Red I’ve had over the years:

Auburn hair with blonde streaks was fun!
Auburn hair with blonde streaks was fun.
Burgundy hair with black streaks
Burgundy hair with black streaks (sorry about the picture quality, but look at how the color shines in the sunlight!)
I love violet hair
I love rich violet, wine hair

However, the biggest complaint most women have is that red hair color fades the fastest. But I found this one hair product that I love, love, love! This product not only gives me longer lasting hair color, but it also makes it feel AMAZING!

Roux Color Refresh Hair Mask

Roux Color Refresh Hair Mask is one of my all time favorite products ever!
Roux Color Refresh Hair Mask is one of my all time favorite products ever!

I first discovered this product at my local Sally Beauty Supply when I was looking for something to keep my red hair from fading.

This hair mask comes in a resealable pouch so you can use it for more than one application depending on the length of your hair. I get 2 applications from one pouch.

You will need to use latex gloves as this product will stain your skin. You can also coat your hairline and neck with Vaseline to prevent staining if you wish.

Pour the mask into your hands and run through freshly washed, towel-dried hair saturating every strand. Then put your hair up with a clip or in a shower cap. You will want to leave the product on for at least 3 mins.

For even more vibrant results, you can leave it on up to 15 mins and use a blow dryer on it if you wish.

Put your hair in a shower cap to keep the product from staining your neck.
Put your hair in a shower cap to keep the product from staining your neck.

Once time is up, rinse the product out of your hair. Your hair will be vibrant, soft, shiny, and feel like you just had your hair done at a salon!

In fact, I love this product so much, I even wrote to the manufacturer and they sent me an entire box for free!

Roux sent me an entire box of color refresh mask for free! Plus they even sent a hand written thank you note.
Roux sent me an entire box of color refresh mask for free! Plus they even sent a hand written thank you note.

*A word of caution, since this product stains, you may need to clean your tub/shower with a product containing bleach. You may also want to purchase a color remover like Roux Clean Touch Stain Remover (although I hear cuticle remover works on skin as well).

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Keep this Hair Color Stain remover handy when using Roux Color Refresh Mask
Keep this Hair Color Stain remover handy when using Roux Color Refresh Mask

Not only Roux Color Refresh Mask great for red heads, but it also comes in shades for blondes, brunettes, and black. And it lasts for 4-6 shampoos!

You can find Roux Color Refresh Mask at Sally Beauty Supply or on Amazon for around $10


Here are some MORE tips for longer lasting hair color…

  1. Use lukewarm water to wash hair and follow with a cool water rinse.
  2. Wash your hair less frequently –  no more than twice a week. To keep hair grease free between shampoos, check out my post on Greasy Hair Tips.
  3. Use a dry shampoo for color treated hair.
  4. Install a water filter to your shower head.

    A shower filter removes chlorine to improve body and shine
    A shower filter removes chlorine to improve body and shine
  5. For bolder hair colors like blue, green, pink etc – you can mix a tiny amount of semi permanent hair color that matches your color (like Manic Panic or Punky Color) with your conditioner and leave on your hair for a few mins before rinsing.
  6. Use a thermal protection spray with SPF before styling or going out in the sun.

    This 3 in 1 thermal spray protects against heat damage
    This 3 in 1 thermal spray protects against heat damage
  7. Use a swim cap or a leave in conditioner before swimming.
  8. Blondes can use a lemon juice rinse to freshen and lighten blonde locks.
  9. Brunettes can use cold coffee as a rinse after shampooing.

Have you tried any of these tips to keep your hair color from fading? What hair color do you like the best? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Disclosure: I was not compensated for writing this post, but it does contains affiliate links which means I may be compensated a small amount if you click through and purchase. Full disclosure policy here.**

Published inHair Products

21 Comments

  1. I always felt like the best conditioner was that little tube that came in the hair dye package. All the products you listed are great. Next time I’m feeling adventurous with my color I’ll be sure to look at this list!

    • That conditioner tube they put in hair color boxes is great! But I think you notice the effects more because your hair is freshly died. That’s why it’s so nice there are products out there you can use to extend your color even if get it done at a salon. 🙂

  2. This is a great post! I used to love Sun In in high school, what a mess my hair was. I have been looking to go red, but I was nervous because of how fast the color would fade so I’m going to have to try this Roux Color Refresh Mask. Thanks for the suggestions!

    • If you go red, you should definitely try out that mask. It’s also great for other colors as well. You would love it!

  3. Would you believe I have actually never colored my hair?! I think I’m the only one! Ha! I enjoyed reading about your experiences and seeing your throwback photos!

    • Your hair looks gorgeous, so I don’t blame you for not coloring it 🙂

  4. AlwaysReiding AlwaysReiding

    I never used to color it, and now I do. When I color it darker, it turns reddish because of my natural color. Ha!
    I might as well embrace it, but I really like the items you talk about for maintenance. I think I need to figure out what color I want next.

  5. Wow, you’ve changed your hair colour so many times. I am yet to experiment so your tips are really helpful. I really like the idea of water filter.

  6. I’m 30 and have never dyed my hair! Nobody believes me! But these are some great time for when I do decide to go for it. Its too expensive to let it go too.

  7. Thanks for these insights. I color my hair every 5 weeks and would to stretch it to 6 and maybe I will with these ideas and products!

  8. I do a lot to keep my hair from fading. I use shampoo and conditioner specific for color treated hair. I also use a color saving gloss every week. To keep my brown hair from looking red I also use a purple shampoo periodically.

  9. I want to do a solid color but keep doing foils instead!!! These sound like great hair colors for coloring your hair!

  10. I love all of the pictures of you with different hair colors and styles! I’ve actually never colored my hair, but these sound like great tips!

  11. I’ve only colored my hair a few times and the last time was over 7 years ago. Crazy! If I ever color my hair again I will definitely remember a few of these tips. Thanks.

  12. toughcookiemommy toughcookiemommy

    These are some great tips. I remember when I dyed my hair red, I had a really hard time keeping the color bright and shiny.

  13. Fabulous! I am always so skeptical of changing my hair color. But I’m curious as to what the best product and style to use. I like your detailed review!

  14. So many great tips. I remember when I was 11 I used sun in but only put it at the top of my head… that was fun. Haha. Now its some really great stuff when used properly!

  15. Wow, you’ve had lots of different hair colours over the years! I’ve been blonde since I was 16, going to the hairdressers to get it touched up. I have found a few great shampoos over the years, and try my best to take care of my hair. I’m hoping to go ombre next!

  16. Surprisingly, I have never colored my hair before because I’m scared I would damage it, just like how relaxers took my hair out.

    Great tips! Your hair has gone through many different colors and styles. I love the wine hair!

    #ProductReviewParty

  17. I love to dye my hair red but it never lasts. These tips will definitely HELP me from fading!

  18. Thanks for the tips. I haven’t dyed my hair in a while, but I will keep these tips in mind when adding color again in a few months.

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