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Strategically placed streaks of brilliant blond color add instant shine to your luscious locks. They can lighten your hair to fit a summery mood, or brighten your look in bleak and dreary winter. But before long, the highlights will begin to fade into a dull or brassy color. Although you might not be able to stop this unfortunate fading, you can certainly slow it.
When highlights are added to your luscious locks, your hair undergoes a chemical process that ultimately changes the structure of the strands. As the chemical reactions occur, the strands become more porous. As a result, they are better able to absorb water and hair dye. Although this is beneficial during the highlighting process, the strands remain porous even after your salon visit. Now, as water enters your hair strands more easily, it often takes tiny molecules of hair dye with it as it leaves. When too many molecules leave your strands, your hair color begins to fade.
Care & Maintenance
When your strands are streaked with sunny blond highlights, you’ll want to be a bit more cautious about your daily care and maintenance routine. If possible, only shampoo your hair every two or three days. On your off days, use a dry shampoo to eliminate excess oil and add instant volume. Use shampoo and conditioner made specifically for color-treated hair. Make sure you avoid products that contain sulfates, phosphates and parabens -- these harsh chemicals often lead to faded color. Although you should condition hair daily, use a deep conditioner once per week to prevent your highlighted hair from becoming dry and damaged.
The sun’s ultraviolet rays are extremely damaging to hair strands -- particularly strands that are already delicate from highlighting dye. Prevent your locks from fading or drying by slathering a UV protectant hair product on your strands before sitting in the sun. Or use your fashion sense and accessorize with a wide-brimmed sun hat or colorful silk scarf wrapped around your strands. When styling your hair at home, mist with heat protectant before using a hair dryer, flatiron or curling iron -- the high heat can cause the strands to break or dry, making your highlights look less than fabulous.
Managing your beauty routine can be time-consuming and expensive -- especially if you’re trying to maintain a head full of highlights. As your highlights fade and your roots grow out, you’ll need a trip back to the salon to re-beautify your blond strands. But a few simple techniques can help extend the life of your highlights -- and save you some cash for at least a few short weeks. Rub a few drops of lemongrass oil onto towel-dried hair for instant shine and moisture. Or boil several bags of chamomile tea with two cups of water in a nonmetal saucepan. Once it is cool, rinse your highlighted strands with the chamomile mixture to revitalize.