Expert tips for ensuring your hair looks great after you’ve given in to the temptation to switch things up at home.
If you’re used to coloring your hair regularly, the idea of salons being closed due to COVID-19 may make you panic a bit – especially if you’ve never dyed your hair at home. There are dozens of products and how-to guides that aim to make the process of DIY color as easy and accessible as possible (not to mention tons of professional colorists willing to walk you through the process virtually), but knowing how to care for your hair after an at-home dye job might be a little less clear. No one wants to go through the stress of trying to get just the right color, tone, and highlights in their own bathroom only to worry that they might ruin it all afterwards.
Luckily, though, learning how to take excellent care of colored hair is something that is universal. In other words: These tips and tricks will help your hair look and feel its best whether you’ve colored it yourself or not. “Even though your hair is in quarantine mode, it’s still essential that you take care of it, especially if you’ve recently dyed it at home,” New York City-based hairstylist Marshall Lin tells Allure. “And not just your hair, but your scalp too.”
If you’ve just mastered an at-home coloring session (congratulations!) and now want to make sure your hair (and scalp!) looks and feels as good as possible for as long as possible, here are some professional-backed tips to do so.
- SKIN Kim Kardashian Revealed How She Reapplies Sunscreen With a Full Face of Makeup OnBY KALEIGH FASANELLA
- MAKEUP How to Clean Your False Lashes, According to Makeup ArtistsBY ANGELA TRAKOSHIS
- HAIR Here’s How to Cornrow Your Own HairBY KAMARI GUTHRIE
Linkov says to keep blow dryer heat on a low setting and to avoid high temperatures in shower water as well. It’s also worth considering skipping heat altogether if you can. It will give your hair a much needed break and help it stay as hydrated as possible as you sport your new color.
If you must use heat, Rez suggests using a heat protectant spray like Redken’s Extreme Play Safe 450 to avoid damage and cuticle splitting, calling it a “next-level, leave-in conditioner that will reduce hair damage, strengthen, and protect hair while reducing the appearance of split ends by 70 percent.”
Mask Once A Week
As Lin says, “Can you tell the theme here is moisture and hydration?” He suggests using a mask like Pai-Shau’s Supreme Revitalizing Mask “at least once a week” to ensure hair stays as moisturized as possible.
“Your hair soaks up all the nourishment from the brand’s Signature Tea Complex, and gives you soft and shiny locks in return,” Lin says.
Masks are great for any type of hair, but if you’ve used bleach or other permanent colors on your hair, consider using a weekly treatment that’s a little stronger, as Roux Beauty Education Ambassador Patricia Williams suggests.
“These formulas penetrate into the hair shaft and can also change the porosity of the hair,” Williams says. A keratin-based treatment can help gradually strengthen and repair any breakage that a permanent dye or bleach may cause.
If you’re looking for product suggestions, IGK’s Antisocial Overnight Bond-Building Dry Hair Mask, Kerastase’s Nutritive Mask For Dry, Thick Hair, and Moroccan Oil’s Restorative Hair Mask are among the highest-rated options on the market.
However, if you’re looking for the bond-rebuilding product that is most likely to be found in professional salons (especially if you’re blonde), look no further than Olaplex.
Consider Using Olaplex If You’ve Lightened Your Hair At Home
If you’ve attempted to go blonde at home and lived to tell the tale, then odds are your hair might be in need of some extra TLC. This, as Jimieson shares, is where Olaplex might come into play. Unlike the protein and keratin treatments listed above, the Olaplex system is three-fold and uses a specific patented ingredient (Bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate) to restore bonds in hair from the inside out rather than just focusing on surface-level damage.
“If you have done a lightening service or if your hair feels damaged, I would also recommend Olaplex 3 as a weekly treatment. It’s a once-a-week breakage preventer,” Jimieson tells Allure, explaining that it’s used in addition to a conditioner, rather than in place of one.
Olaplex is considered a bonding product, because it reforms disulfide bonds in your hair that are often broken when you use bleach. It’s formulated to protect hair from all types of chemical damage, but has become especially well-known for how well it repairs bleached-blonde hair.
Use A Silk Scarf Or Pillowcase At Night
For people who have particularly damaged (or damage-prone) hair, thinking about how your scalp and hair is being affected during the night is important. If you fall into this group and you’ve just colored your hair at home, then it’s especially important to consider the effect your sheets or pillowcases might be having on your hair.
“I also recommend a silk scarf around your hair at night or a silk pillowcase to prevent friction on the hair,” Jimieson says, noting that friction is one of the main reasons for “manual damage,” which is what causes split ends and breakage.
If a silk pillowcase sounds foreign to you, don’t worry; there are a ton of brands that are selling silk pillowcases in all sizes and colors for reasonable prices. For options, consider browsing on ShhSilk, Brooklinen, or even Amazon.
All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.