How to keep rainbow hair colour looking fresh – not faded

Posted by
Ava Welsing-Kitcher
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Bright, bold hair colours are a surefire way to turn heads and keep life lively, but can require more commitment than most relationships when it comes to upkeep. Keep your colour just how you like it with these at-home tips and recommendations.     

If you’ve ever shelled out to have a rich turquoise ombre done by a professional only to watch it fade to murky green within a fortnight, you’re not alone. Everyone struggles to maintain hair colour, whether it’s rainbow or subtle – but the key lies in what you do with it after you’ve exited the salon.

Whether you’re brave enough to dye your hair at home, or rely on the pros for their expertise, colour will still fade unless you take precautions – and we’re not just talking about avoiding swimming pools. Granted, box dyes and temporary colour conditioners and masks are likely to leach from the hair faster than salon jobs, but the right approach to aftercare will definitely change everything. 

Even if you’re opting for that pastel, purposefully washed-out look, it still requires top-ups and care. We asked Declan Haworth, Colour Director at the ultra-cool Blue Tit London, how to become a bit of a colour master yourself to ensure those beautiful hues don’t go to waste.  

Go sulphate-free

“I always get clients returning to the salon three months after their dye job, complaining that their colour isn’t as vibrant as it was when it was freshly done,” says Declan. “After I grill them on what they’ve been washing their hair with (often cheap, soapy shampoo and not-so-great conditioner), I always point them in the direction of some great quality salon-approved products with colour protection.

“O-Way Colour Up Colour Protection Hair Bath contains no sulphates (which strip hair of both colour and moisture – avoid!) or other harsh chemicals, but still cleanses and nourishes.” Stylist also loves Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day Shampoo for its all-round shine, care and colour shielding powers, and Hairstory’s cult New Wash cleansing conditioner for drier hair textures.

O-Way Colour Up Colour Protection Hair Bath


Hairstory New Wash Detergent Free Shampoo

New Wash Sulfate Free Shampoo

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Shampoo


Try a colour mask

Smoothing bright orange dollops into your strands may be intimidating to both you and your bathmat, but colour-depositing masks and conditioners are one of the most effective ways to supercharge your hair with nutrients while topping up the vibrant hue – even if your hair’s virgin. Amp up your current colour with a matching mask, or have fun layering different shades for ultimate uniqueness. 

Oway Hmelt Mask 


Lime Crime Unicorn Hair

Bleach London Super Cool Colour 


Avoid heat

“Washing your hair in very hot water will cause the colour to fade very quickly – and the same goes for straighteners, curlers and hair dryers,” says Declan. “Heat can exacerbate the damage done by bleaching and colouring anyway, so use tepid water for your hair and try to air dry or use low heat as much as possible for a few weeks afterwards.

“The same goes for the summer months; we all love to sunbathe, but it will dehydrate your hair and make your colour fade like that! Try and cover your hair whenever you have prolonged exposure to the sun, or try a hair SPF to shield it.”

L’Oreal Professionel Solar Sublime Protection Conditioning Spray


Ultrasun UV Hair Protector




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Ava Welsing-Kitcher

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