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An Expert Explains How Color-Enhancing Shampoos Work Their Magic

If you’ve ever stepped out of the shower, only to uncover a newfound vibrancy spread throughout your strands, that probably has to do with your shampoo. Nourished locks are one thing, but an almost gloss-like revival of your faded hue is another story. If you wonder how shampoos enhance color, you’re not alone.

We, too, were curious what separates a standard rinse from one that actually electrifies a stale shade. Luckily, L.A.-based hairstylist Matilde Campos was available to answer our questions. Keep reading for what she had to say!

Mane Addicts: First and foremost, what causes hair color to fade? And what haircare ingredients should you avoid if you want to maintain your color?

Science and chemistry and our everyday life in the world take over. Wait as long as you can before washing your hair. You want the color to be locked in for as long as possible, allowing the cuticle to close back once again, so it can melt into the hair. Waiting at least 48 hours after a color service is key to keeping that color shining brightly.

Avoid using hot water when showering. Hot water opens up the cuticle and expands your tresses, causing color molecules to be washed out with the water. To avoid this, use lukewarm water to keep your color intact. 

Remember to use a heat protectant when using hot tools to avoid the damage from extreme heat and to keep the heat from eating up all your color. Quick Dry Heat Spray by Maria Nila works wonders and is a good choice for everyday use.  In the summer months, being out in the sun and swimming can be the culprit of the color change. Remember to wear a hat or use products with UV protection. Luminous Colour Hair Lotion is an amazing product to protect your hair color from the rays of the sun. 

Steer clear from products that strip your color. Anything containing plastics, surfactants or sulfates will remove color quickly and leave your hair looking dull over time. Find a shampoo and conditioner combo that is PH balanced and doesn’t contain harsh chemicals. This will keep your hair protected and make it last longer. 

MA: What are some specific haircare ingredients to look out for if you want your shampoos to enhance color?

MC: Shampoos, conditioners and products for color-treated hair usually contain milder, much softer ingredients such as proteins, antioxidants and amino acids. These ingredients tend to add conditioning and moisture to the hair, keep the cuticle protected and prevent the color from fading. In other words, it knows not to remove and completely strip everything out of the hair, allowing the color life of your hair to be extended from weeks to months, depending on the product brand you are using. 

Key ingredients that enhance the life of your color will always include extra hydration and moisturizers. The products want to protect and keep the color in, not allowing your hair to be overexposed to damage from the sun or heat. This is where UV protectants and sunscreens come in. Just like with your skin, protecting your hair from sun exposure will enhance the color of your hair.

MA: What exactly do these color-enhancing ingredients do to revive the shade?

MC: These products keep your hair in a healthy state, adding moisture, reducing frizz and keeping your hair at a healthy PH balance. All of this combined add bounce back into each strand, allowing the hair to not lose its color and maintain its porosity. All of these products coat and protect the hair, promoting long-lasting care.

MA: If you really want to get down to how shampoos enhance color, what are some at-home products you recommend in particular?

MC: If you find yourself in a place where your hair has lost its shine and color, there are a few routes to take without taking the plunge back to the salon chair. An array of color depositing products can be a great place to start. For example, the Maria Nila Hair Refresh line has an array of colors that deposit into your hair. This may be a goldmine to brighten your blondes, darken your browns or even add a pop of pink to already blonde hair. 

Glosses and hair glazes are another option to revive your strands. [I recommend] at-home treatments, including Kristin Ess Signature Hair Gloss, which may not last as long as a salon service, but gives you that ultimate boost of vibrancy in-between services.

Oribe’s Glaze for Beautiful Color is another one of my go-to secrets for ultimate shine. It can be used once a week, replacing your conditioner and maintaining that boost of brightens in your hair. 

If time is an issue, grab your go-to shine spray and spritz lightly all over to add a quick shine to your strands. Extra Mist-ical Shine Spray by Color Wow Hair is a go-to favorite of mine. It’s light, adds all the shine that you need and it makes your hair super silky.

If maintaining your color is stressing you out, HERE are a handful of celebs who’ve been going au-naturel!

2 minutes

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