How you approach your gray hair is entirely up to you. You might choose to celebrate its natural beauty, enhance it with fresh, glowing color, or transition to a full head of silver tones. But if you do color gray strands, you probably don’t want to see the shade turning dull or the coverage fading – which is why Wella pulled together important tips to make hair color last longer on gray hair.
Here, Wella reveals the steps to take to ensure your dream salon shade goes the distance, all while keeping hair glossy and hydrated in between appointments.
FIRST, CHOOSE A FULL COVERAGE COLOR
The type of color product your colorist uses will determine how much gray coverage you get, and how well that coverage is going to hold up until your next appointment. That’s why, for an upgrade on gray retouching, Wella recommends the Koleston Perfect Permanent Hair Color treatment, which teams up to 100% coverage with natural-looking dimensions. Plus, it’s PPD-free too, which means there’s a reduced chance of developing a new allergy from the hair color!
PROTECT COLOR WITH A SHADE-SAVING SHAMPOO
Not just any shampoo will do when you want to maintain your color. It’s important you pick one that protects the pigments from day-to-day aggressors, such as pollutants and chemicals. It’s also crucial to choose one with moisturizing benefits, as hair that’s turning gray tends to become naturally drier over time. Try ColorMotion+ Color Protection Shampoo, which offers shielding and hydration in one. You can use it for every wash, or alternate with other tailored formulas, such as the INVIGO Volume Boost Bodifying Shampoo when hair needs volume.
HYDRATE AND SHIELD HAIR WITH CONDITIONERS AND MASKS
As mentioned above, gray hair tends to be naturally drier and can sometimes feel a little bit wiry. This is because, just as the follicles produce less pigment over time, they also produce fewer lipids and nutrients to hydrate strands. By treating hair to deeply nourishing conditioners and masks, you not only add some much-needed moisture back in, but you also help your hair color look glossy and radiant for longer. In the salon, Wella usually reaches for the ColorMotion+ Moisturizing Color Reflection Conditioner for everyday hydration, and the Structure+ Mask for deep repair when hair needs it most.
GIVE HAIR PRE- AND POST-SWIM CARE
Whether you’re a poolside regular or only tend to swim on vacation, it’s important you keep colored hair protected before you go plunging into the water. If you can, tuck it away in a swim cap so not a drop can touch your shade. But if that’s not an option, turn to soft, silk scrunchies, twist hair into a topknot, and try to stay above the surface. And if that doesn’t sound like much fun or your hair doesn’t tie up easily, simply keep your ColorMotion+ Shampoo somewhere nearby, then hit the showers quickly to wash chlorine away before it takes its toll.
FIT A WATER FILTER ON THE SHOWERHEAD
It’s not just pool water that’s packed with chlorine. The water that comes from your taps might also contain it, along with other color-damaging chemicals and metals. The ColorMotion+ Shampoo works hard to remove such aggressors from your hair, but combining it with a water filter on the showerhead will give you added protection. They’re quick and easy to fit, and allow you to wash your hair with purer, cleaner water, which helps your rich color remain intact for longer.
TRY A COLOR-DEPOSITING CONDITIONER
One clever way to extend the life of your shade is to use a color-depositing conditioner, like the Color Fresh Mask. It comes in a range of blonde, red, brunette and rainbow shades, so you can find one that works with your existing color. Once you’ve got it, all you have to do is comb the mask through damp, just-washed hair and allow it to develop for 10 minutes. After it’s rinsed, it lends a sheer tint that revives your salon color. It won’t cover grays, but it will enhance the mid-lengths and ends, so locks appear fresher overall.
AIR-DRY HAIR WITH THE RIGHT PRODUCTS
Heat fades color fast, whether it comes from the sun or your go-to styling tools. That’s why, where possible, Wella recommends air-drying hair to avoid those high temperatures. By working a light oil through lengths, like Oil Reflection Luminous Smoothing Oil, you can keep strands frizz-free and smooth while they dry naturally. (Bonus: the luxurious formula will bump up hydration too.) Then opt for a low-tension style to tuck strands out of the way. A nape-hugging bun or braid is fast, easy, and results in the most flattering movement (think effortless waves and volume) once hair is dry.