Keep that lighter, brighter, sun-kissed hue long after the season ends.

By Kate Sandoval Box
August 27, 2019
Simona Pilolla / EyeEm/Getty Images

Even if you don’t color your hair, your strands are at their lightest right now, after a few months of outdoor runs, boot camps in the park, and weekends at the pool or beach. “Most of my clients love the way their hair looks at this time of year. The highlights brighten their face and add a lot of interesting dimension,” says Amy Mrkulic, a colorist in New York City.

What often happens, however, is that the color begins to look too brassy over time. “We all have warm, reddish undertones in our natural hair color,” Mrkulic says. “They are like a den of hibernating bears. You don’t want to wake them up, because once you do, they’re hard to control.”

Luckily, these key maintenance tricks ensure that your streaks—whether you got them at the salon or in the great outdoors—stay bright, shiny, healthy, and gorgeous. (Related: The Products You Need to Buy for Amazing Hair All Summer Long)

1. Wash less—a lot less.

“You want to treat your hair like a dark, expensive, delicate shirt. That means washing it sparingly, gently, and in superlow heat so it won’t fade,” says Devin Rahal, a hair colorist in New York City.

Ideally, you’ll clean your hair only once a week with a shampoo that’s formulated for color-treated hair, like Color Wow Color Security Shampoo (Buy It, $23, dermstore.com). But if you are active or have fine hair or an oily scalp, then you probably need to shampoo more often.

Rahal suggests alternating with a gentle sulfate-free cleansing conditioner like Nexxus Color Assure Cleansing Conditioner (Buy it, $12, amazon.com), which is both a shampoo and a conditioner. “Also, I can’t stress it enough: Keep your shower temperature tepid to help prevent fading,” Rahal says. (Related: Exactly How to Wash Your Hair to Prevent Breakage)

2. Use a blue or purple mask.

To prevent red or orange undertones and hydrate strands, Rahal suggests applying a blue- or purple-tinted moisturizing mask evenly over your hair and then letting it sit for five to 10 minutes. A blue mask, like Matrix Total Results Brass Off (Buy it, $24, ulta.com), neutralizes the orange tones in brown hair. A purple mask, like Kérastase Blond Absolu Masque Ultra-Violet purple hair mask (Buy it, $59, kerastase-usa.com) counteracts the yellow tones in blonde or gray hair. “Start the treatment eight washes after a color appointment, then continue to do it once every other week,” Rahal says.

3. Use a vinegar rinse to boost shine.

Mrkulic recommends a cider vinegar rinse for more glossiness. After shampoo, pour a mixture of half vinegar, half water through your hair, and let it sit for five minutes. Then rinse. (Related: How to Get Shiny Hair)

Shape Magazine, September 2019 issue
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