Anyone who has had salon color done knows that it is a major (but oh so worth it) investment. To protect everything that you put into your hair, color safe after care products are highly recommended. According to color expert Tawny Pierce, director of education for ENJOY Professional Hair Care, using sulfate-free and pH balanced products are a must to keep salon color fresh.
In describing the importance of a pH-balanced product, Pierce explains that your hair is naturally in the pH 4.5-5.5 range. Most hair care products on the market are pH 7 or greater. This higher pH raises the cuticle layer and causes hair color to fade, shampoo after shampoo. In addition to fading, it can also leave hair feeling dry and brittle.
Using a sulfate-free product means that the cleansing agents are not stronger than needed for healthy cleansing of hair and skin. Sulfates, the informal name for a group of cleansing ingredients called alkyl sulfates, are typically used as an inexpensive detergent or degreaser in some personal care products. They have been found to dry out skin and hair and even cause irritation for some people.
Pierce also mentions the importance of proper conditioning to keep hair health in check. In addition to a daily rinse-out conditioner and a weekly deep treatment, use leave-in conditioner and mist in thermal products for protecting strands from styling tools, as well as envirnmental elements. Even with this layer of protection, she also advises to promptly rinse hair after swimming to help remove chlorine from pools, salt water from the beach and other residue from the environment. It is, afterall, all about your color!