You’ve just left the salon and are in love with your hair – wishing the vibrant, beautiful color and smooth, shiny locks could last forever. While forever isn’t possible in the styling industry, the right follow up hair care can help your color or smoothing treatment last longer. Here are some tips for how to handle your tresses at home.

The Best Follow Up Hair Care for Maintaining Color and Shine

Professional color can last from 6-12 weeks, while a salon keratin treatment can last up to six months. Since both services are done using chemicals, it’s important to use a follow up hair care routine that omits additional chemicals and excess heat. Here are our best tips:

Wait to Wash It

Newly treated hair needs time for dye or keratin to settle in. We recommend waiting at least three days before shampooing if you want the best results. 

Use Salon-Grade Products

There’s a reason you love the way your hair feels after your stylist washes it. Professional salons use shampoos and conditioners that are proven to deliver the best care for treated hair. 

During your appointment, your stylist may recommend specific sulfate-free products. While sulfates do a good job of stripping oil and dirt out of the hair, they can strip away too much moisture and even some color, leaving hair looking dull. Sulfate also strips protein away after a keratin treatment, shortening the treatment’s effectiveness.

It’s best to stick with your stylist’s in-salon recommendation for hair products. Pharmacies and big-box stores sell “salon quality” sulfate-free brands that claim to offer the same results, but from our experience, many of those products leave buildup that can weigh hair down. Buildup also makes it hard for toner to grab on to hair dye and work effectively at your next color appointment. 

Wash Hair Less Often 

The more times you wash color-treated hair, the faster it will fade. The same goes for keratin-treated locks since shampoo removes the protein that makes it smooth and shiny. This is why the best care for treated hair calls for washing it just 2-3 times per week. 

When you do wash it, focus on cleansing just the roots and not on the middle and ends, as this will strip your color over time.

If your hair feels oily in between washes, ask your stylist for a good dry shampoo. It may take some getting used to, but you will appreciate your new routine after seeing how much longer hair treatments last. 

Don’t Use Hot Water

We all love a nice warm shower, but it’s not good for hair. Both color- and keratin-treated hair rely on sealed cuticles to lock in color and moisture. Hot water opens the cuticle, which allows color to wash away and dries the hair out. 

It may be tough on cold winter mornings but try to keep your shower water cool or at least lukewarm when rinsing. A few shivers could make a big difference in your hair’s texture and hue.  

Avoid Ponytails 

Especially with keratin treatments, you’ll need to wait a week or so until the keratin coating is bonded to the hair before tying it into a ponytail or using bobby pins. If you try putting hair up too soon, the keratin layer can start to peel away and show bends, demarcation lines, and frizz where the ponytail was. Even tucking hair behind the ear is bad, as it will show uneven areas where the keratin didn’t absorb into the hair. 

It’s also best to avoid putting hair in a ponytail after having it colored since bleached hair is more porous. If you want to pull it away from your face within the first week after coloring, opt for tying it with a silk wrap rather than an elastic band. 

client wearing a ponytail after a keratin treatment
Image by Jupiterimages by Canva.com

Minimize Heat Products

Chemically treated hair is very susceptible to damage, and heat is one of the most damaging elements out there. While we’d love to tell you to stop curling, straightening, and blow-drying your hair altogether, we know that’s not easy. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize heat damage while still enjoying your favorite styling tools.  

First, use a professional heat protectant like the ones stylists use. This puts a layer of protection between the hair and tools to reduce damage. Second, blow dry hair only at the roots to help give a boost of volume at its base while minimizing split ends. And finally, only curl your hair once or twice a week. On other days, create natural waves with braids or heatless curlers. If you’re using the right products, you should be able to get beautiful results.

One of the main advantages of a keratin treatment is straighter, smoother hair, so you shouldn’t need to use a flat iron like you did before. If you get to a point where your hair starts to feel unruly or frizzy, ask your stylist if it’s time to schedule your next appointment.   

If Your Stylist Isn’t Telling You All About the Best Follow Up Hair Care, It’s Time to Call Vakkar

A good stylist will take time to consult with you about all of the best products for keeping your hair healthy, and best practices to make your color or smoothing treatment last the longest. If you’re leaving your salon clueless as to how to handle your hair, you should think about switching. Call or text us at (314) 648-3121, or book online by clicking here. We’ll be happy to find a time to get you in for a consultation.