Goodbye Fading: How To Maintain Dark Hair Colours

14 March 2023 | Tincture and Colour

Whether your hair is hazelnut brown or jet black, there’s a definite trick when it comes to knowing how to maintain dark hair colours. But it sometimes feels like dark hair can be a little overlooked when it comes to hair care blogs, with the focus more often being on looking after your blonde hair, highlights or balayage. 

But at Tierney Salons, we truly believe that ALL hair colours are worthy of a blog post or two! 

Joking aside, knowing how to prevent your hair colour from fading is an essential part of your dark hair care routine – after all, you paid good money and spent a few hours in the chair to get those glossy brunette locks. 

So here’s what you need to know when it comes to looking after dark hair colours.

How to Maintain Dark Hair

Follow these tips and you’ll be looking salon-fresh, even weeks after your appointment.

  • Don’t Wash Your Hair Right Away

When your hair is being coloured, whether it’s brown, pink, black or blonde, the technique opens your hair’s cuticle so that it can better absorb the dye. 

But just because you’ve left the salon and are sashaying down the street with your new ‘do, don’t be fooled into thinking the process is finished. 

Your cuticle actually needs time to close so that it can lock in your new colour. Therefore, wait around 72 hours before you pop your head under the shower, otherwise, you’ll find that you’ll be saying goodbye to some of the dye as it disappears down the plug hole.

  • Remember That Hair Doesn’t Like Heat

If you want to know how to prevent hair colour from fading (and we assume you do!) keep in mind that heat isn’t your hair’s friend. And we’re talking about the temperature of the water you wash and rinse your hair in and the heated tools you use to style it (sorry!)

So what do you need to build into your dark hair care routine to avoid fading? It’s pretty simple: wash your hair in cold water and ditch the hairdryer and straighteners.

Did we just hear you splutter all over your phone or laptop?! Okay, we’re going to be a little more realistic. 

Use the coolest water possible when you’re washing and conditioning your hair as hot water actually re-opens the cuticle, enabling colour to escape.

The same applies to when you’re blow drying and heat-styling your locks – use the lowest temperature setting possible. 

  • Protect Your Hair – From Everything!

Sounds a little dramatic? Maybe. But if you’re serious about wanting to know how to maintain dark hair, you need to start acting in your colour’s best interests. 

We’re not naive enough to think we’re going to convince a nation (or even the good people of Hertford!) to lay down their heated styling tools – heck, we use them too – but we are here to say that you need to get serious about adding a heat protector into your dark hair care routine.

When you apply heat to the hair, it makes contact with the cuticle. This burst of heat reacts with the pigment and can change it, fading even dark browns and blacks. Try a protector such as Davines’ MELU Hair Shield which establishes a barrier between the heat source and your hair. 

And while we’re on the subject, if you want to prevent your dark hair from fading, you need to be protecting it from the sun and those pesky UV rays too. 

The ultraviolet rays in sunlight are one of the worst offenders in the war on colour fade as they break down the chemical bonds in your hair. This not only accelerates fading but can also damage your hair, leaving it drier, duller and more brittle.

To maintain your dark hair, use a leave-in product such as Davines’ SU Milk which is enriched with UV protective filters that protect colour during exposure to the sun. Oh, and wear a hat, okay? Your scalp hates the sun too!

  • Invest In The Right Products

If you want to know how to maintain dark hair properly, one of the biggest gifts you can give your locks is access to a bathroom cabinet full of products that have been formulated to work with your hair type, goals, and colour.

That generic shampoo and conditioner may have been buy one get one free in your local supermarket, but can they prevent dark hair from fading? Have they been created with dark hair care specifically in mind? 

If yes, great – you got yourself a bargain. If not…well, you just wasted your money, sorry.

Whether you’re a natural or a cosmetic brunette, knowing how to maintain dark hair through the correct use of products is essential. Brown and black hair will love Davines’ ALCHEMIC Shampoo Chocolate and the matching conditioner which enhance colour whilst also depositing it via direct pigments.

Masks and treatments are also another way of stopping dark hair colour from fading so quickly, post-salon. The MINU Hair Mask from Davines extends the life of cosmetic colour and is even an Elle Beauty Genius Awards winner

  • Don’t Be A Stranger At Your Salon

Knowing how to maintain dark hair is knowing that regular visits to your hairdresser have an essential part to play. It can be tempting to think that brown or black hair care doesn’t need the upkeep that blonde or highlighted hair does. But the reality is, all hair, particularly cosmetically coloured hair will benefit from a trip to the salon.    

It might be stating the obvious, but when your hair is coloured, it will fade as well as inevitably grow out, leaving visible roots. 

Sure, there are things you can do at home to maintain your dark hair colour – see all of the above – but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that because your hair is black or brown, you can get away with basic dark hair care. Not if you want it to look amazing! 

Why Does Hair Colour Fade?

If you want to know how to prevent hair colour from fading so fast, the best thing you can do is to arm yourself with the right knowledge (and the right products.)

Knowing what factors contribute to faster fading will help you take a more proactive stance and help you to better maintain your lovely dark locks. We hope the pointers above will help you prevent your hair colour from fading so quickly – even if it does mean that we see a little less of your gorgeous face in our salon!

Talking of which…

Get Your Dream Dark Hair at Tierney Salons, Hertford, UK

Whether you want to explore your dark side or need some colour maintenance, come and visit the best hairdressers in Hertford (psst…that’s us). 

Our team of expert stylists and colourists know how to maintain dark hair and how to prevent hair colour from fading. In fact, Tierney Salons’ favourite, Beth, is an expert when it comes to creating incredible colours that last.

Book your appointment with Beth here. We look forward to seeing you soon!