6 ways you could be ruining your hair colour (without even realising).

Image: iStock.

I’ve been dyeing my hair for the best part of 15 years, so I’m all too familiar with the disappointed feeling that can sometimes come from looking in the mirror a few weeks after a salon visit and realising that my bright, fresh shade is now looking extremely dull.

Blondes however, have it easy when it comes to their colour fading. For redheads and brunettes, colour fade is virtually inevitable and for the brief period of time I dyed my hair a darker brown, I became all too familiar with #darkhairedgirl problems. These are the ways you could be causing your colour to deplete…

1. Being rough

If you brush your hair with enough intensity, you can cause damage to the cuticle which will lead to premature colour loss.

“Anything that opens up the hair cuticle, such as breakage, will fade your colour,” explains Hannah Rickson, a senior stylist from Snip Into Hairdressing in Sydney.

Related: Want to be the next big beauty vlogger? Here’s your chance.


“While it’s not such an issue for blondes, brunettes and redheads – the more vibrant colours – will find this is definitely the case.” (Post continues after gallery.)


 2. Water

Yes, water.

When your hair gets wet, the cuticles swell which can allow dye to escape, therefore leaving your colour less vibrant than it was.

Unless you’re using something to protect and close the hair cuticle, water can certainly contribute to colour loss. She suggests investing in a good conditioner to nourish and protect the hair, as well as close the cuticles.

Related: The Chop: “I cut off 43cm of hair to raise money for cancer research.”

3. Not using the right products

“If you have coloured hair, you should always be using specially designed products to maximise the longevity of your colour,” Hannah explains.

Blondes can use purple-based shampoos to counteract any brassiness creeping into their colour, and redheads and brunettes should choose products which are designed specifically for their hue.

If you go to the effort of colouring your hair, you should invest in the right products to take care of it. Image: istock

4. Heat Styling

Heat is the main culprit when it comes to ruining your lovely dye job.

"Warm water and heat work to open up the hair cuticle, cold water and alkaline products close it," explains Hannah. "Not using a specially designed heat styling product will make the most difference to your colour fading".

5. Silicon products

Silicon is found in many hair care products and essentially acts to put a seal over the hair shaft. Over time the use of such products can have a drying effect on the hair. While silicon-based products are not as bad for colour fade as some other things, a build up of products can lead to your hair appearing dull and lacklustre. Cream-based formulations are the worst offenders in this regard.


Related:The 6 reasons you’re having a bad hair day.

Did you know brushing can cause colour damage?


Additionally, you should avoid brushing your hair when wet (it's at it's most vulnerable) or look into getting a specially designed brush to manage knots.

Related:Sorry to break it to you, but you’re washing your hair all wrong.

6. UV damage

Due to the conditions in Australia, many women will experience early colour loss. That's because it's very hard to protect our strands from our high UV rating. Hannah suggests using a leave in conditioner with added UV protection but warns that not all products are made the same:

"Cheaper products on the market don't tend to have UV protection added because basically, it costs a lot to add it in. Therefore you will see a lot of heat protectants on the shelves without UV protection".


Related: Sarah Harris’ hair just got “shorter, choppier, messier”. And it’s glorious.

So next time you're going to the beach, make sure you protect not only your skin, but your hair too by using a specially designed product, and by wearing a hat.

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Whats your best trick to maintain your salon colour?