The perfect colourist is akin to a wizard - transforming a lack-lustre shade into the impossibly shiny, multi-tonal, radiant hair hue of your dreams. So, naturally, you'll want to keep it looking its best and fight the fade.
But after leaving the salon, even with the best of intentions, it's not always easy to maintain your colour between dye jobs. Even when we think we've followed all of our hairdresser's tips to the letter, we're probably commiting some serious coloured hair sins without even realising.
So, to help you keep your locks and their shade looking their best - and stay in your colourist's good books - we quizzed our favourite colour pros on the biggest at-home haircare sins you could be making and how to stop them in their tracks.
Specialist shampoos are a must
Investing in the right shampoo and conditioner is as important as getting the best dye job in the first place. Salvadore, a senior colourist at Hari's salon, says it's important to be wary of products which promise to enhance your colour- they don't always do what they say on the tin. “One the worst things is to go to a shop and buy a shampoo or conditioner thinking it will enhance the colour, but that’s the opposite of what it actually does."
"You have to ask your colourist, which shampoo or conditioner you need to maintain the colour of your hair. You’ve spent all of that money, why would you want to take it it into your own hands? Pureology has some really nice products that won’t change colour." He recommends Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo and Conditioner (£11.10 and £14.10).
Blondes: beware of skipping regular appointments
It's easy to brush off your colourists recommendation that you book in your next visit now for two to three months time. But putting off topping up your colour isn't just a risk for tell-tale roots - avoiding regular appointments can make your blonde brittle and lead to damage. "Leaving too long between appointments can really damage your hair if you are trying to be as blonde as possible," explains Sapphire Driver, Salon Manager of Bleach Dalston. "If you leave your roots too long you’ll end up with banding that will result in damage and breakage down the line when your colourist is trying to correct it."
Try to stay away from straighteners
Sorry straight hair fans, but your flat iron addiction is harmful to your coloured hair, so try to avoid them as much as possible. "Hair can get frazzled from too much heat styling. The general rule is that you should completely avoid straighteners if your hair is bleached or highlighted," warns Sapphire. "Even tinted hair can become weak from too much heat styling. Make sure you damp style as much as possible and save the heated tools for special occasions (with lots of heat protector)," she advises.
And NEVER use straighteners if your hair is wet
Salvadore explains "This is the absolute worst thing for your colour, and your hair, it’s very damaging and makes your hair brittle, and brassy, and it strips out every good emollient that is in your hair. It’s a disaster, just don’t do it.” Got it?
Ditch the old hair clips
According to Sapphire, a common cause of hair damage are hair accessories which are past their best. "Old clips or kirby grips can get rusty after a while and leave permanent rust stains on blonde hair - make sure you use clips that are properly coated to protect from rust and throw away any old ones." Sterling advice.
Don't forget about heat protection
If you do need to blow-dry or heat treat your hair, Salvador, senior colourist at HARI's, explains the importance of using a heat protecter to seal hair cuticles, which are opened when your hair is coloured. He recommends Kerastase Ciment Thermidor to "seal the ends so that a blow dryer or hair straighteners on a moderate heat won’t hurt your hair or reopen the cuticles."
Your hair is as sensitive to the sun as your skin
"Ever feel like your hair is super dry after you come back from a sunny holiday? If skin is made from the same cells as your hair why wouldn’t you protect your hair like you protect your skin in the sun?" asks Salvador. He advises "There are lots of products that contain UV protection and should be sprayed on liberally before sitting in the sun but the best thing is to wear a hat or head scarf so that you’re completely blocking out any damage."
Try to ditch the dry shampoo
Dry shampoo and other powder products are also high on the list of coloured hair enemies. "Using too much dry shampoo and powder styling products can seriously dry out your hair and clog up your scalp," warns Sapphire. Though if you really can't resist a fast refresh then she advises "Use it the day in between washing and make sure you thoroughly wash it out."