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Top 5 Hair Color Killers

Updated: May 4, 2023


Culprits of Fading Hair Color

Hair color fades. It's a cold, hard fact. What you may not know is there are several things you can do to prevent premature fading and hold on to your beloved new shade for longer.



Walking out of the salon, your hair slowly blowing in the wind as the sun's rays add natural highlights to the perfect new hue. You glance for too long as you walk past each mirror in your home, admiring how your skin glows against your fabulously colored locks. A few weeks go by, your glances get shorter, your fans stop complimenting and you slowly start to notice the shade you once loved now looks lackluster.



We've all been in this unfortunate position. Hair color fading is a real issue. These top 5 hair color killers tarnish your brand new beauty investment and we're here to help you avoid this ever-so dreadful experience.



Permanent hair color will fade up to half a shade in the first eight weeks.

The Truth?

Ok, so there's not much you can do to avoid a little bit of fading but just know it happens to the best of us. It's true, all permanent hair color will fade up to a 1/2 shade no matter the brand, color, hair type, aftercare or price you paid. While we still have your attention you should brace yourself for the real kicker.



The Kicker?

Red hair and fantasy hair color fades even faster. We're really shaking you up, we know, and we're sorry. If we had it our way there would be no fading, ever. The truth is, it has more to do with the size of the color molecule vs the size of your cuticle layer and there is absolutely nothing we can do to change you on a cellular level.


What we can do about it?

It's likely the 1/2 shade is barely noticable but if your fading is really driving you nuts try going a 1/2 shade darker or investing in a glossing treatment to really lock those color molecules into place.



Lightened hair color does not fade.

The Truth?

This one is more of a myth buster, but hey, it's an issue we hear about none-the-less. When you lighten your hair it does not fade. The tone may change due to the toner rinsing away but lightening hair actually decreases the amount of pigment it has- leading to fade-proof results.


The Kicker?

Environmental factors such as minerals in your water, swimming pools and products may actually darken your strands or leave them "muddy" or brassy.


What we can do about it?

If you haven't added a toner during your appointment, try a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove any buildup or product residue. If you did tone, schedule a touch-up toner every 3-4 weeks to keep your color looking fresh.


"I love using Malibu treatments on my guests so we have a fresh, clean slate to work on." – Michele Brindza, Independant Contractor


Chlorine fades hair color fast

The Truth?

Swimming in the pool under warm summer rays while sipping your lavender lemonade sound like the ideal day? Your hair color disagrees. Swimming is fun but let's keep it real- chlorine is bleach and bleach lightens hair. To top it off and really spoil your day, the sun is another big hair color killing culprit (say that 10 times fast).


The Kicker?

Over washing your hair can fade your color as well. Why? Between the cleanser and chlorine in our tap water you'll notice your color won't keep it's vibrancy for long.


What we can do about it?

Stay inside, don't swim and don't shower. Kidding! Just keep hair washing to every other day and invest in a color-safe, gentle cleanser (like this one) to minimize fading.


Drugstore hair products will fade your hair color faster

The Truth?

"Over-the-counter" haircare is a big reason for color fadage. The products have a high level of aggressive detergents and alcohol- both of which can strip your haircolor. There's a reason behind the low cost of non-professional haircare products and it's likely the first thing you'll see on the list of ingredients. Water. Salon-quality products aren't pre-diluted with water, hense the higher price tags. Turns out your trusted hairstylist was right all along.


The Kicker?

Not only do these horrible products, ahem, we mean "products" strip away your recent investment but they also leave a layer of silicone and plastics on the hair which makes it very difficult to color and aren't water soluable.


What we can do about it?

This one is simple. Trust your stylist. Only they can tell you what's best for your hair. When they recommend the good stuff it's probably because you would benefit from the good stuff.



Trusting toners to help fading hair color

The Truth?

Oh, toners. How we all love a good toner. The color, the luxury, the shine... Have we mentioned how much we love toners? While toning your hair seems like the number one thing to combat all hair color killers, there's a downside. These lovely miracle workers fade even faster than the rest of your haircolor. Why? Drumroll! Because it's not permanent haircolor.


The Kicker?

Toners generally don't process for as long as permanent hair colors making them even more prone to quickened fading.


What we can do about it?

You can expect 3-4 weeks of hair color perfection from your toners before you really start to notice fading. The longevity of your toner is directly related to all of the things we mentioned above.


Don't get trapped in the hair color killer cycle.


Knowledge is power. Follow these steps and keep your hair color investment safe from premature fading. Try talking to you stylist about which products they recommend and whether or not going a shade darker would be right for you to keep vibrant color all season long. Book your consultation today to start finding the perfect shade!


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