How to Care for Color Treated Hair

Color treated hair can become dry or brittle over time due to repeated exposure to chemical processing. As a result, protein is being stripped from the hair which is essentially composed of protein. Coloring your hair can cause it to become dry, leading to damage such as hair loss & breakage. This is why it is always  recommended to see a professional for color services so they can recommend the appropriate aftercare regimen for your hair type. They have been trained in the correct usage of the products in the intended manner of the manufacturer for the best results. However I understand salon visits can become a bit pricey so and there is a saturation of products on the market which make a laundry list of fantastical claims. It all gets a little confusing. As a licensed professional, allow me to share a few salon secrets for maintaining healthy color treated hair along with product recommendations.

NOUNOU Nourishing Repair Mask - $28
To prevent breakage usa rich hydrating treatment for dry brittle hair like NOUNOU Nourishing Repair Mask by Davines.

After coloring your hair you are faced with finding a product that helps keep the color fresh while restoring the moisture. First how often you wash your hair is key. This will have an effect on how long the color lasts and can also dry out your hair. Every day is excessive between 1-2 weeks is reasonable. It is important to use a color shampoo that will help keep the color from fading. You can read about color shampoos here. Normally one shampoo with warm water will work fine. You won’t really need two as long as you are not using heavy styling products. Be sure to take the time to THOROUGHLY  wet the hair before applying shampoo. If the hair is not sufficiently wet you won’t be able to work up a good lather.

Next, find a conditioner that is rich in protein, very thick and creamy which coats the hair shaft well and highly moisturizing. Read all about Conditioners here. I always like to use my fingertips to work the conditioner into the strands. Getting a weekly deep conditioning treatment or using a hair masque will help to revive those battered strands. Although it is recommended to wash hair in warm water to be sure that you have cleansed the dirt, residue and oils thoroughly, using cooler water to rinse your conditioner is advised to close the cuticle and add more shine to the hair.

John Freida Color Refreshing Gloss - $9

Before styling use a leave in conditioner to protect the color and lock in the moisture. For an additional color bump between color retouches, use a color gloss. This step is added between shampooing and conditioning. DO NOT GLOSS AFTER CONDITIONING,IT MUST BE DONE RIGHT BEFORE. This extra little step will revive your fading color and also add shine to the hair.  Glosses come in specific color ranges and you would use on complimentary to your current hair color to refresh it in between visits to the salon or to brighten highlights which may be turning a bit brassy. For example, John Frieda Colour Refreshing Gloss In-Shower Treatment (pictured above) is available in 6 shades. You can apply the gloss in the shower or wherever you wash your hair, leave it in for a few minutes as directed and bada-bing, bada-boom, there u have it.Super easy peasy. And please have no fear, there is nothing to mix!


Apani Smith is a professional licensed cosmetologist, avid beauty junkie, also a revered Indie Hip Hop Icon, sleep deprived mom and foodie extraordinaire.  Get social with @apaniclassic on Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest  to see more original work and life imitating art.

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