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Keep Your First Day Color--Everyday

Walking out of the salon, you admire your reflection in the mirrors and windows as you pass. Your roots match your ends, your color shines, and your "first-day color" is radiant. You enjoy it while it lasts, since you know it won't last very long. It seems within a few days, your roots start to show and your color starts to fade.

So what can you do to protect your precious investment? By following just a few, simple steps, you can keep your color shiny, shimmering, and radiant—all the way until your next color appointment.

1. Wash with Care. Just like tags on some of your favorite delicate clothes instruct you to "wash with care" with things like cold water, a delicate cycle, or dry cleaning only, your hair should follow similar instructions. When your stylist rinses your hair, she should be rinsing it in cool or tepid water, and hopefully, she's educating you to do the same.

Initially following your color treatment, you should wait 24 to 48 hours to wash your hair, in order for your hair to completely soak up the color. When you do wash your hair, be gentle. Hot water does the same thing to your hair as heat styling tools do: it opens the cuticle, and your hair color will get washed away. Now, you don’t need to take a cold shower, but you should be careful to rinse your hair in cool water.

Also, harsh shampoos that contain ammonia or aren't made for color-treated hair can strip your hair of color. Try using a shampoo and conditioner that are made specifically for color-treated hair, like L'oreal Nature’s Therapy Color Confidence Shampoo and Conditioner.

2. Color at Home. You can keep your color vibrant by using color-enhancing products at home. There are specially made shampoos and conditioners that brighten existing color, with a simple, wash-out deposit color. These products wash in and out, so they won’t last past your next shower, but they'll give you enough of a boost to keep your color bright and cover any roots.

You can also use temporary color in the form of sticks, powders, and sprays. These products are simple enough to use at home, and they will temporarily brighten your faded color and light up highlights. You can find these temporary colors in an assortment of shades that match any dye job.

3. Boost Your Roots. Within days of having your hair colored, you may begin to notice your roots showing through. Since your hair grows an average of ½ inch per month, you'll most likely see regrowth before your next dye job. Try gray cover and touch-up sticks to blend in your roots. It will wash out with a normal shampoo, but it should last through a regular workout or if your hair happens to get wet.

Whichever products you try at home, you can protect your investment and keep your color looking like the day you left the salon.

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