When to Wash Your Hair After Blond Highlights

It is important to condition your locks after highlighting.

Photo: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Gorgeous blond highlights can bring your layers to life and freshen up your entire ‘do. Keeping that golden hue a week after leaving the salon, however, is an entirely different story. Luckily, the secret to maintaining your highlights is as simple as introducing the right shampoo and conditioning products into your hair care routine. Knowing when and how to wash your newly colored locks is the key to keeping brassiness at bay.

After Your Color

It is common for hair to feel rough and dry in the first few days following your highlights. However tempting it may be, don’t wash your hair for at least 24 hours after you’ve had your locks highlighted. Leaving your tresses unwashed allows for the pigmentation to fully settle in your hair. If you can hold out until 48 hours, that’s even better. When you do wash your hair, blot it dry with a towel rather than rubbing your locks; this will help the cuticles to close and stop your highlights from becoming dull and porous, according to "Allure" magazine. If you are doing DIY highlights, it is important to deep condition immediately after washing and shampooing off the bleach. Use a conditioner specially formulated for dry, damaged colored hair to restore the moisture and shine that bleaching can zap. Specialist products contain intensive moisturizers that don’t strip away color.

Switch to Purple

Switch your regular shampoo and conditioner for one that contains purple pigmentation. It may sound crazy, but purple is the opposite end of the color spectrum to yellow and helps to keep your blond looking more beachy than brassy. Alternate using a shampoo formulated for colored hair with one that contains purple pigmentation each time you wash. "Marie Claire" magazine recommends avoiding washing hair daily. Try every other day instead to keep your color looking fresher for longer.

Between Touch-ups

After a couple of weeks, your color may start to look significantly faded compared to when you first had it done in the salon. Build-up from products, particularly those that contain silicone properties such as hairspray, can leave a veil on your hair, causing it to look dull. Once you notice your color beginning to fade it’s time get rid of that residue. Wash your locks with a clarifying shampoo designed to remove product build-up once a week or so to keep on top of build-up. If your color still looks dull, apply a toning shampoo to your locks to instantly revive color and remove tinges of yellow.

Wash Wisely

You're halfway there with the right products, but wash wisely to keep blond highlights looking gorgeous. Try limiting the amount you wash your hair to no more than three times per week; this will allow you to hold on to your color for longer. Always wash your locks with warm water rather than hot to keep your golden locks from drying out and becoming damaged. Close up your cuticles after shampooing by rinsing your tresses with a drop of vinegar added to a cup of cold water. Color-treated locks crave moisture, so it’s also important to regularly treat thirsty tresses to a conditioning treatment post washing.

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