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"The more moisturized your hair is, the better it holds color," says Washington, D.C.-based celebrity colorist Ian McCabe. He suggests using any gym session as a time to treat your strands to an extra dose of moisture: smooth coconut oil onto hair's ends and braid it before exercising. "The heat from working out will help lock in the moisture," he explains.
2. Add a filter.
Yes, an Instagram filter can make your hair look better in photos, but that's not what we're talking about. Installing a filter in your shower helps remove mineral sediments (the saboteurs that make blonde hair dull and brunette strands brassy) from the water, says Sharon Dorram, a hair color expert at Sally Hershberger salon in New York City. Try a simple version like the Paragon Water Systems Shower Water Filter (, homedepot.com), which removes chlorine, soap build up, and heavy metals before they can mess with your hue.
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3. Raid the pantry.
For apple cider vinegar, that is. Once a month, mix one part apple cider vinegar with three parts water, and use the mixture to rinse your strands after your regular shampoo and conditioner routine. The rinse will freshen highlights and boost shine by removing the dulling mineral buildup that's accumulated on the hair shaft, explains Dorram.
4. Turn down the heat.
As good as piping-hot showers feel, you've probably heard that they're a recipe for dry, rough skin. And failing to turn down the temps dashes your chances of great-looking color, too. "Super-hot water opens the cuticle and washes away the dye," says Amelia Trammell, a colorist at the Bumble and bumble Downtown Salon in New York City.
5. Get a touch-up between appointments.
It's possible to extend your color for a few weeks without getting a full-on color treatment. The secret? Asking for a few highlights that frame your face or for your colorist to lighten the roots at your hairline by one to two shades, Dorram says. She calls it the "pick-me-up" that'll keep your hair looking flawless until your next regular appointment.
6. Add a topcoat.
Maintain color and boost shine between sessions by scheduling a glossing treatment at your salon. Trammell likens the treatment to the topcoat you get during a manicure. "It adds a shiny coat and locks the color in," she explains. Plus, it'll neutralize any brassiness and seal the hair's cuticle so it reflects light and looks fresh. Try the treatment as often as once a month, says Trammell. But for best results, don't opt for an at-home gloss—it can mess with the work your colorist has done, she says.
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7. Embrace hat hair.
Now that summer's almost color here, it's especially important to protect your color from UV rays, which will fade your shade in the same way they lighten your patio furniture's cushions. Roxie Darling, a colorist at Hairstory Studio in New York City, suggests wearing a hat or scarf when outdoors to keep your color bright.
8. Use sunscreen.
On your hair? That's right. You can beef up your defense against UV rays with a conditioning product that has built-in UV protection, McCabe says. We like Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer (, sephora.com); it protects and smooths hair without leaving it greasy.
9. Brush it up.
A quality brush plays a key part in keeping hair healthy and your color looking its best. Look for one with a mix of boar bristles and nylon fibers, which will protect your hair (and its color) by distributing the scalp's natural oils over the entire shaft, explains Darling. Try the Denman Medium Grooming Brush Natural Bristle & Nylon Pins (, sallybeauty.com). (Find the best brush for your hair type here.)
10. Don't DIY.
As tempting as it may be to reach for a drugstore root touch-up kit, leave it on the shelf—since the pigments aren't tailored to your existing color, they can completely botch your look, stresses Alyson Pemoulié, a senior colorist at Whittemore House Salon in New York City. Instead, cover roots in a pinch with a wash-out spray, like Rita Hazan Root Concealer for Gray Coverage (, sephora.com) or Root Vanish by Kazumi (, amazon.com).
11. Ask for a hand.
For color that grows out seamlessly (meaning it'll look good even if you can't make it back to the salon for a couple months), ask for hand-painted highlights, also known as the balayage technique, suggest Pemoulié and McCabe. "Once they started getting hand-painted color, clients who were previously getting foils every eight weeks are now able to go 10-12 weeks between appointments," says Pemoulié.
12. Skip a shampoo.
If there's one thing just about every colorist will agree on, it's that washing your hair frequently does more harm than good. The detergents meant to get grime off your scalp cause color to fade faster. To put off shampooing without suffering a greasy look, invest in a great dry shampoo; Pemoulié's favorite is Oribe Dry Texturizing Hair Spray (, neimanmarcus.com) and apply it along your hairline or part before styling.
13. Style strategically.
Creative styling can help you get away with unwashed hair. Put some dry shampoo at the root—Trammell uses Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-Powder (, sephora.com)—then backcomb it slightly before whisking it up into a half-up topknot. "Nobody will ever know you're going on day five without washing," she says.
14. Personalize your products.
When you do wash your hair, Darling suggests using a hydrating cleansing cream, but not before bringing it to your colorist and asking him or her to tint it for you. This will help you properly sustain your exact shade with each and every wash, she says.
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15. Pump up your conditioner.
Jojoba oil is closest to the oil the scalp naturally produces, McCabe says. Make a quick mask by adding a drop or two to your regular conditioner to amp up hair's moisture level and color retention power.
Tags: hairbeauty tipsbeauty treatmentsanti-aging
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