Dyeing your hair can be a fun way to change up your look to match your mood or the season—a light, sunkissed hue for summer or a darker, sultry color for colder days, for instance. Or, let's say you just went through a breakup and want to drastically transform your hair with rainbow hues.
Whatever the case may be, we know that achieving the ideal tone requires hair dye that is full of chemicals. And coloring your hair too often can cause it to become dry, brittle, and prone to breakage, compromising the overall health of your strands. So, the question is: How often can you dye your hair while avoiding these issues?
To get the answer, we speed-dialed Justin Anderson, a celebrity colorist and co-founder of haircare brand dpHUE, who’s colored the tresses of the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Margot Robbie. In other words, we're in good hands, so let’s get to it.
How often can you dye your hair?
"I always recommend going as long as possible to keep the integrity of your hair," Anderson says. As a general rule of thumb, he recommends dying your hair only every four to six weeks. That said, the ideal frequency to dye your hair while keeping it healthy will depend on your natural color, texture, and hair type, as well as how you care for and maintain your strands in between dye jobs. Anderson adds that factors such as pollution, how often you shampoo, and how much your hair is exposed to the sun will also affect how long your hair color lasts. For best results, he recommends checking with your colorist.
Moreover, Anderson advises opting to get your hair professional colored at a salon versus using drugstore box dyes. "I always think it is best to talk with a professional first and let them know exactly what you are looking to do with your hair," he says. "They're the experts and will help you find the best solution, while maintaining the overall health of your hair."
There is, however, one caveat one instance where Anderson does green light the DIY approach: covering up grays. For this, he says, you can use an at-home root touch-up kit for maintenance in between salon visits.
3 ways to make your hair color last longer
1. Avoid over-shampooing
Anderson says that overusing hair products, such as shampoo, can strip the hair of its natural oils, leaving it more prone to dryness and breakage. For that reason, he advises seeing how long you can go without a wash.
"You almost have to train your hair and scalp to go as long as possible [without shampooing]," Anderson says. "Over time, you will notice your hair becomes less oily, and you won't need to shampoo as much." If you get sweaty and really need a wash, Anderson suggests swapping your shampoo with an apple cider vinegar hair rinse, which will clean your strands without stripping the color.
2. Incorporate scalp scrubs
Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp which is why incorporating a scalp exfoliator into your routine once a week is a must. "Find one with ingredients that scrub the surface of your scalp—for example, salt, which will physically exfoliate dead skin cells and purify the scalp," Anderson says.
Also, he adds that apple cider vinegar in a scrub is an ingredient that can help keep your scalp's pH balanced and unclog hair follicles, which are both important for hair health and growth.
Finally, Anderson cautions to stay away from scalp scrubs with harsh chemical exfoliates or sulfates as they can dull your hair color.
3. Use color-revitalizing products
Incorporating products specifically designed to lengthen your hair color's lifespan in between salon visits is also recommended. In particular, Anderson suggests using toning shampoos and conditioners as they will help keep brassiness at bay in blonde and caramel tones. He also advises incorporating a color-boosting gloss to keep your hair dye job looking vibrant and shiny. (Yes, please!) And, he adds, a clear, lightweight hair oil can help replenish moisture in color-treated hair and help prevent split ends.
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