Style & Beauty

6 Tips to Help You Keep That Colour

By Vanessa Fontaine


Sporting the latest colour is great, but it’s even better when it lasts

Your colour may look great when you walk out of the hair salon, but with time, blond yellows, red fades…. “The work doesn’t end when you leave the salon,” says Daniel Fortier, who has been a Montreal hairdresser and colourist for nearly 40 years.

“You’ve spent a lot of money on your colour, and you need to take care of it.” That’s true for those who colour their hair at home, too. Fortunately, it’s not very complicated. The following pro tips will help to keep the colour from washing out over time.

1. Washing

“People wash their hair too often,” Fortier says. “I tell my clients to stick to two or three shampoos a week. You don’t need more than that.” He points out that you can always wet and dry your hair without washing it. “For drier textures, add a little conditioner.”

2. Water Temperature

Hot water opens up the hair’s cuticules, allowing colours to escape. That’s why Fortier recommends washing hair in cold water. “At the salon, that’s easy to do, but a cold shower is less inviting,” he acknowledges, advising that you simply finish your shower with cooler water, which will also give your hair extra shine.

3. Hydration First

Coloured hair tends to be brittle, so it’s important to moisturize it well. “I really like liquid silks, argan oil, serums, and everything that helps to restore some of the essential oil you lose through washing,” Fortier says. “Use a small quantity every day.”

4. Other Heat Sources

At the drying stage, or when you’re using styling tools such as flat irons, you need a good heat protectant to seal treated hair. And because the sun tends to fade hair colour, it’s essential to use sunscreen or wear a hat. “When my clients tell me they are planning a trip south, I advise them to come to see me at least two weeks before they leave so their cuticles have time to close up,” Fortier says.

5. After Swimming

Because sea salt and chlorine are bleaching agents, Fortier suggests rinsing your hair after swimming. (Do the same thing with your favourite bathing suit!) “If there’s no shower on the beach, you can wait until you get back to the hotel and apply a bit of conditioner at the same time,” he suggests.

6. Orangey tones

For blonds and brunettes, Fortier suggests using a good blue shampoo to tackle brassiness. “You don’t need to buy it at the salon; drugstores also have an excellent selection of products,” he says. Caution: the blue pigment can be stubborn. To avoid the Smurf look, Fortier recommends using it every other wash.

The ABC of Colour-Deposing Conditioners

The new generation of semi-permanent colour-care products enhances natural hair colour, smooths out uneven tones, and revives colour that is starting to fade. Easy to use and available in a wide range of shades, from blond to chestnut, these conditioners are colour rich but don’t contain peroxide—which means they don’t bleach or damage the hair, and there’s no visible regrowth with time since the colour fades gradually.
It’s expected to disappear after around 15 shampoos, though it may last longer on bleached hair or if hair is very porous. (That’s why it’s important to do a strand test.)

Marcy Cona, the global creative director at Clairol and a colourist for more than 35 years, recommends applying colour-depositing conditioner on damp hair, after shampooing, and leaving it in for two to 15 minutes. The longer you leave it in, the more intense the colour will be, she explains.