Hair Care

By Kelly Hushin

Brass is a blonde’s color nightmare. For redheads it’s fire engines. Brunettes fear looming mouse-iness. Anyone who lives with color treated hair – and let’s face it, these days, who doesn’t? – knows that maintaining a hue’s vividness is a full-time beauty job. With hectic work and social schedules, weeks can turn into months between color touch-ups, and a once professional highlight job can start to look like a bad run-in with Sun-In.

Luckily, hair authorities know about this problem and have at their disposal a countless number of products that counteract a seemingly unavoidable fate for colored hair. What’s even better is that most of these products are available to us too, if we know where to look. To help alleviate some of that searching, the BN team has rounded up some favorites that will help you escape the woes of fading color.

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Cleanse (Shampoo)

While hot water and over-washing can be the number one nemesis of colored hair, we can’t get away from it forever. Eventually, you WILL have to wash those freshly colored locks. When you do, try a shampoo that’s sulfate-free like Hemp Organics’ Straight Shampoo with Color Hold™ by Alterna. This powerful cleanser is formulated with Enzymetherapy™ and certified organic botanicals such as hemp technology, which is made to increase shine and protect hair from damage. Makers of Hemp Organics have trademarked Enzymetherapy products as “the science of skincare for hair.”

Moisturize (Conditioner)
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Color-treated hair will suck up moisture like a sponge, so don’t forget this crucial step in maintaining color vibrancy. In fact, according to many hair stylists, skipping the shampoo a few times a week is a good idea, but conditioning everyday is an even better one (if your hair isn’t too oily to handle it.)

“The people of beautiful hair,” at Ojon (or so they call themselves – and we couldn’t agree more) have devised color protection therapy to keep hair frizz-free and vibrant. Their Shine & Protect Conditioner locks in color and adds a high-gloss finish to freshly treated hair. It also boasts UV and heat protection to keep color and softness longer.

Silken (Softening treatment)
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Maintaining a soft, silky look to hair is essential for accentuating color. In case you hadn’t noticed, the velvety hair that graces commercials and magazine ads by our favorite hair products is also impeccably highlighted and color treated. In order to maintain such sheen, we recommend a product like Graham Webb’s Velvet Soft Advanced Softening Treatment. This rinse-out treatment can be applied in place of your regular conditioner or in addition. Either way, make sure you apply the formula to cleansed hair in the shower after squeezing out excess water. Leave on for three to five minutes and rinse.

Style (Polishing Cream)
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Styling products can mean death to color saturation if the wrong ones are used. For instance, anything volumizing will open up the hair follicle and allow the color to leak out. On the other hand, certain styling products were designed to do exactly the opposite. The Kerastase Reflection line includes a product called Chroma Protect that protects hair from outside aggressions and ensures optimal color reflection. Chroma Protect is a leave-in styling cream that polishes each individual hair fiber to reveal color radiance in its truest and boldest form.

Finish (Gloss)
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The last step in giving hair a bright and shiny look comes with a finishing product that tames fly-aways and gives your hair a weightless style and control. For such an effect, celebrity hair stylist Billy Lowe called on natural extracts like licorice root, white birch, chamomile and jojoba to create his recently launched Gloss&Toss™. Lowe’s product is meant to speed up drying time and give hair a polish and shine while protecting colored hair’s integrity. The gloss can be applied to both wet or dry hair, and can also be used as a conditioner at home.

Originally published March 2008
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