Tips to extend the life of hair color

Q. Dr. Said, I would like your expert opinion and some tips on how to improve the lasting effect of hair color? Jessica, Alexandria, VA

A. Jessica, here are some key steps that will enhance the longevity of hair color:

1.       Before applying color, make sure the hair is clean and free of metallic buildup. Metals are the worst enemy of hair color.

2.       Apply the color to the hair generously; making sure the hair is well covered and saturated. More often, coverage is poor because the amount of product on the hair is insufficient.

3.       Use a cap when processing color to prevent drying and to assure even penetration of the dyes throughout the hair fiber.

4.       Be patient with color development. Some hair types require more than the traditional thirty minutes for optimal deposit.

5.       Always allow color to process away from AC vents. Cool air slows down color development.

6.        Showering with hot or very warm water tends to speed up the washout of dye molecules (especially direct dyes) from the hair. This becomes more of a problem if the hair is porous.

7.       Use color conditioners fortified with UV blocking agents to retard color fading due to the sun.