How to Maintain Color-Treated African-American Hair

Actress Eva Marcille Pigford knows how to keep her color vibrant and fresh.

Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

To maintain rich, vivid color, keep your hair hydrated and healthy. African-American hair tends to be quite dry. So you may have to give some of your favorite hair-styling products the boot, but it's all for a good cause. Dryness and certain products are the major culprits of color problems, so make some changes to keep your new hue from fading.


Seal your color after dyeing your hair by using a rich conditioner immediately afterward. This applies whether you head to the salon or take on the task yourself.


Switch from your regular shampoo and conditioner to color-protectant versions with natural ingredients. Look for ones specifically formulated for your hair type, whether that's curly, dry or damaged. Also, for African-American hair, use a gentle shampoo and avoid any with chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate.


Shampoo no more than two or three times a week and only use a small amount of product when you do. Just enough shampoo to coat around your scalp and build up a bit of a lather is all you need. The soap goes down through the rest of your hair when you rinse your hair, which will get rid of grime and oil without doing major damage to your color.


Condition after each shampoo and work the opposite way you did with the shampoo; start from the ends and work your way up to the roots. The ends of your hair get the most dry and damaged, so this is where you need to focus the product. Massage your scalp with your fingertips and let the conditioner soak into your hair. Sing a song or two in the shower before rinsing it out.


Use a deep-conditioning or hot oil treatment on your mane once a week. This helps keep your color shiny and beautiful and gives you some relaxation time in the bargain. Leave it on for about 20 minutes before rinsing out.


Stay out of pools and hot tubs. The chemicals in the water will not only strip your hair and make your color fade, but they also actually alter the shade of your tresses altogether. If you can't help but take a dip in the pool or hot tub, coat your hair with olive or jojoba oil and tie it back first.


Use an all-over gloss or glaze on your hair to revitalize and replenish it. A gloss or glaze adds a ton of shine to African-American hair, so your color can really shine through.

Tips & Tricks


The sun is also drying and damaging and strips hair of color and shine. Wear a hat when you go into the sun and definitely when you're planning to spend a big chunk of time outside.


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