Hands down the most common question I get asked on social media is “how do you keep your hair colours bright for so long?”! When you’ve dyed your hair something funky and colourful, the last thing you want is to see all that hard work and money go down the drain (literally!) after a few washes. In my many years of having hair in every colour of the rainbow, I’ve learned loads of ways to extend the life of a fabulous, colourful unicorn mane, so I thought it was high time to make a post of my best tips for maintaining vivid and pastel hair!

Click through to the post below to read on! 🙂

  1. Keep your hair healthy
    Healthy hair takes and holds dye far better than brittle damaged hair. Therefore it is absolutely paramount that throughout all the bleaching it takes to get your hair ready for applying colours (and then continuing on once you have your colourful locks!) that you are taking excellent care of your tresses. I recommend doing weekly protein treatments, using heat protecting products before styling, and using a leave in oil after washing. Regular trims are also a must to stop breakage – I get one every time or every second time I go in for a new colour.
  2. Take your bleaching slow
    Bleaching is a marathon, not a sprint… One of the worst things you can do it go out and buy a bottle of 40vol/50vol developer and apply it to your hair in an attempt to lighten it in one go! When it comes to bleaching I always recommend going to a salon to get the best result, however if you are bleaching at home I have a few tips to help you go about it in the right way. I never use developer stronger than 20vol on my hair (my natural colour is a medium brown). And I strongly advise against bleaching over hair that has already been bleached and dyed in the past to remove colour… That is a last resort, and even then I only use 10vol developer if needed for this purpose. It is much better for your hair to just let a colour fade out as light as possible and then dye a new colour over the top, which is what I usually do (I elaborate on this at point number 7… So keep reading! 🙂 ).When lightening your hair all over in preparation for dying it vivid/pastel, it is better to space your bleaching out over around three weeks, bleaching once a week with 20vol developer (or 30vol if your hair is quite dark), rather than using something harsh and doing it in one go… Trust me, your hair will thank you in the long run for going easy on it! 🙂
  3. Get used to cold showers!
    When washing your pastel or vivid hair, use water that is as cold as you can stand it, as using colder water minimises the amount of colour that will wash out of your hair. This is one of the most common mistakes that I hear of people making – heat and coloured hair do not go together well! This tip is also particularly handy if you have more than one colour in your hair at once. Less colour coming out of your hair while washing it means less colour running, so your hair won’t get that ‘muddy’, dull look that occurs when colours run onto each other!A plus side of washing your hair in cold water is that you also get a pretty great ab workout while trying to lean your head into the water stream while keeping your body as far out of it as possible, haha! ;P
  4. Make dry shampoo your best friend
    Dry shampoo is a godsend for those of us with a mermaid mane – the less your hair gets wet, the longer your colour will last! I only wash my hair in the shower once a week, and in between that I dry shampoo to extend the time between washes. As someone who has used many dry shampoos over the years, I recommend investing in a salon brand one. They really do work much better, and enable you to go longer without wetting your precious locks!
  5. Avoid heat styling as much as possible
    As I’ve previously mentioned, heat and colourful hair do not go well together! Heat fades colour, and high temperature heat styling tools are some of the worst culprits of washed out locks. I rarely use heat styling tools, aside from a medium temperature blow dryer after washing my hair. If you want to use a straightener/curler/crimper/etc, make sure to turn the temperature down so it isn’t too high. (And remember: use a heat protecting spray to help preserve the integrity of you hair too!)
  6. Use a good quality shampoo/conditioner (specifically made for coloured hair!)
    I always notice a difference if I use a cheap shampoo compared to a salon-purchased colour shampoo! Some ingredients in non-colour formulated shampoos/conditioners can contribute to fading, and some cheaper brands will often contain silicone, which coats your hair strands and can negatively effect how well colour will take when you apply dye! :O
  7. Want to change shades? Fade your colour, don’t bleach it out!
    Elaborating on what I mentioned about this earlier while talking about bleaching… When you want to change your current colour, I recommend allowing it to fade to as close to blonde as you can and then dyeing your new colour. This is much better for your hair than bleaching over hair that has already been bleached in the past!To get your hair colour to fade, I recommend using an anti dandruff shampoo or a clarifying shampoo, and washing your hair in very warm water (as you know, heat will help with fading!). When I’m trying to fade a colour I will often repeat washing it 3 times, and then condition with a nice salon purchased conditioner afterwards. Conditioning and using a leave in oil while fading a colour this way is very important, otherwise your hair can become a little dry.

So there you have it – my top tips for maintaining a magnificent unicorn mane for as long as possible! I hope you guys find them helpful!

Do you have another handy hint that I haven’t mentioned here?? If so, I’d love to hear it in the comments below 🙂