There are countless ways hair can go awry in summer, whether it’s withering beneath the harsh sunlight or turning green soaked in chlorine. But those strands that have been painstakingly dyed in a salon chair are particularly prone to that summertime fade. In light of this, we turned to colorist Aura Friedman, the authority on maintaining platinum and pastel lengths, for six tips on keeping your color vibrant all season, come sun or sea.
Keep the hair healthy.
Long-lasting color starts at the salon—with a colorist who protects each strand. “Above all, having healthy hair is the most important thing to keeping your color bright and vibrant,” Friedman says. She recommends bond-building products like Brazilian Bond Builder, which, when added to dyes and used to condition at home, can help “keep the hair strong, which in turn lets the color last longer.”
Use coconut oil as hair sunscreen.
According to Friedman, coconut oil has a natural SPF of about 6—not enough for your skin, of course, but a perfect poolside hair protectant that doubles as a hydrating treatment. “It’ll help prevent fading and keep the moisture in your hair,” she says. “You can do a conditioning treatment just sitting at the pool—killing two birds with one stone!”
Wet and condition before hitting the water.
The salt in seawater fades color fast, while the chlorine in pool water can also discolor the hair, usually imparting a sickly green tinge. So Friedman suggests thoroughly wetting your hair and applying conditioner before diving into either. “Without conditioner, your hair will absorb the chlorine and bleach in the water, and if your hair is really damp, it will absorb less of the water,” she says, adding that coconut oil helps repel the water, too.
Choose a cleansing cream over a shampoo.
One of the rules to preserving your color, according to Friedman, is to keep the hair cuticle closed, which prevents the dye from seeping out. “A cleansing cream won’t open your cuticle as much, and it doesn’t have any harsh laurel sulfates that can make the color come out,” Friedman explains. “It’s gentler on the hair and more moisturizing—the key in the summer is to keep your hair moisturized.”
Stick to cold-water rinses.
Though the hot, humid weather creates more reason to shower, it’s better to keep shampooing to a minimum—particularly for single- or double-processed hair—and rely on cool-water rinses instead. “I know—it’s summer, people get hot and sweaty and the hair gets dirtier,” Friedman says. “But rinsing with cool water really helps in the summer because it keeps the cuticle closed, which will keep your hair from fading.”
Try a cuticle-sealing vinegar rinse.
To further protect each strand, Friedman suggests a quick DIY trick: “At the end of your shower, an apple cider vinegar rinse will shut your cuticle and give your hair shine. Take a gallon of cool water and put a cap or so of vinegar in it, then pour it over your head once a week, as an acidic rinse.”