Last Updated on February 12, 2024
Watching your hair color fade just a few weeks after getting it dyed can be really frustrating. Here are 9 reasons your hair is fading faster than it needs to and tips to make your color last longer.
Table of Contents
1. UV Damage
The sun is the enemy of hair color. If you spend a lot of time out in the sun, whether that’s going to the beach, going for a run, or just sitting next to a window while you work your hair is probably fading quicker because of UV rays.
Your hair is mostly made up of proteins and some of those proteins are photosensitive, which means that their chemistry can change when exposed to UV rays. If your hair is exposed long enough, it will begin to lose some of its colors whether it is dyed or natural.
If you’re going to be out in the sun, it’s a good idea to wear a hat some of the time you are outdoors. There are also some hair masks that will rejuvenate damaged hair. There are also some scalp products you can use that have UV protection and will help protect your scalp and the roots of your hair.
2. Products Not Made for Colored Hair
You could fill an entire store with different kinds of hair products. There are shampoos and conditioners for every hair type, and not all of them are kind to colored hair. Some of them will dry out your hair and speed up the fading process.
Alcohol-based products are some of the biggest culprits. Alcohol in shampoo and conditioner can cause your hair to dry out and will make it fade faster than it otherwise would have.
When you have your hair colored, make sure to find shampoo and conditioner that are labeled as color-safe. These will keep your hair healthy and make the color last longer.
3. Washing Your Hair Too Much
Washing your hair too often can also make your hair fade faster and is generally bad for your hair’s health. Frequent washing strips your hair of the oils that your body naturally produces and that protect your hair from damage. The chemicals in your hair products will also strip the color away over time. If you use hot water, that will also make your hair fade faster.
When you have colored hair, it’s best to only wash your hair 2 or 3 times a week, but especially not every day. If you need to shower every day because you work out a lot or something like that, consider getting a shower cap to protect your hair while you wash the rest of your body.
4. Hot Water
One of the reasons you shouldn’t wash your hair too frequently is that hot water can also cause your hair to fade quickly. Hot water more easily strips the protective oils from your hair. If you’ve ever tried to clean an oily pan in the kitchen, you know that the hotter the water, the easier the oil and fat come off of the pan you are washing.
Your hair is no different, except that you want to have a healthy layer of natural oils protecting your hair. Hot water also causes the cuticles in your hair to open up more, which will cause the pigments to come out easier.
If you’re the type of person who loves to take really hot showers, you might want to drop the temperature down when you wash your hair. You don’t have to take cold showers, but the colder the water, the longer your hair color will last.
5. Heat from Styling
Similar to hot water, dry heat from styling your hair can cause it to fade as well. Frequently using a flat iron, curling iron, or even just a blow dryer will damage your hair over time. Irons are especially bad, though. The heat and the act of clamping down on the hair damage the cuticle where a lot of the pigment is, causing it to fade.
For blow dryers, try turning down the heat. Air dry your hair whenever you can.
If you do want to use irons and blow dryers, try turning the heat down and using a heat protection spray. You should also only straighten dry hair since wet hair gets damaged faster.
6. Pools and Spas
Pools and hot tubs usually contain a lot of chlorine in the water to keep them clean. Chlorine does not agree with hair, though.
Your hair is extremely porous and soaks up liquids like a mop. When you go swimming in a pool, your hair will soak up the chlorinated water and will leave some of that chlorine inside the hair. This will cause your hair to become brittle and dry, which can fade hair, but it will also remove some of the pigment. Some swimmers can end up with green hair because the chlorinated water will leave oxidized rust particles inside your hair if you swim a lot.
There are a few ways to protect your hair, though. Right before you get in the pool, get your hair wet with some non-chlorinated water. This will fill up space in your hair and make it so the chlorine doesn’t get in as fast. You could also apply a deep conditioner, which will protect the hair along with giving your hair a deep conditioning treatment; you can also apply an oil like coconut oil to your hair, as it will repel the water. Finally, a swim cap is one of the best ways to keep the chlorine out of your hair.
Make sure to rinse your hair after spending time in the pool as well.
7. Red Hair Dye Fades Fast
Different colors of hair fade faster than other colors. Of the more natural-looking colors, red tends to fade the fastest. Red pigments are larger and don’t stay in the hair as easily as blondes, browns, and blacks do. If you color your hair red, make sure to avoid many of the things on this list and take care of your hair. You should expect it to fade faster than other colors if you go this route, though.
8. Going Lighter Fades Faster Than Going Darker
If your natural hair color is dark, you are going to have a difficult time keeping your lighter hair from fading. In reality, your hair will fade faster the further you get from your natural color in either direction. Going lighter also requires using bleach to strip away some of the pigment in your hair, which damages it.
If you want your hair to last a long time, your best bet is to color your hair darker than your natural color or to go just a few shades lighter.
9. Unnatural Colors Fade Faster
Colors like silver and blue tend to fade very fast. If you color your hair blue, many people end up with green hair after a short amount of time, and if you don’t color your hair again, you may have green hair longer than you did blue hair. That’s what happened to me. If you do go this route, make sure to follow the other tips above.