It’s officially turning colder outside, which means pumpkin spice lattes and cozy sweaters, but just because the sun isn’t as strong during these months, doesn’t mean that your hair is completely safe from damage. There are numerous other factors like cold air, wind and increased dryness that zap the life right out of tresses and cause your beautiful color to fade.
“Take a look through your entire hair care regimen, that’s my number one recommendation,” advises celebrity haircolorist/styllist Marco Pelusi. “Check with your hairstylist to make sure your products are compatible for your color, and for the best condition possible for your hair.”
Here, Pelusi shares his top five tips for preserving hair color in fall and winter:
1. Don’t over-shampoo.
First, how often do you shampoo? You may have already reduced this over time. Most women, and some men, as they get more gray and color their hair, will reduce the amount of times per week that they shampoo. Less cleansing helps, because it results in less release of hair color, and less drying of the hair during the fall and winter months.
Another important question is: what shampoo are you using? Even if your shampoo has one ingredient that can contribute to color fading, it’s worth addressing. Look for shampoos specifically created to protect hair color and to keep your hair in top condition.
2. Use the right styling products.
During the colder fall and winter months, we want to nourish our hair as much as possible in order to preserve its color and condition. Even a simple thing like hairspray with ingredients that are incompatible can be a problem. Sadly, even some ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ ingredients, if incompatible with hair color, can strip the color and possibly dry hair out.
It’s very important to take a look through your entire regimen to see what might be contributing to color fading and dryness. Mineral oils, too much of the wrong type of alcohol, and some (not all) silicones are top examples of ingredients in shampoos and styling products that can possibly dull or strip the color and moisture from hair.
3. Protect your hair from the sun.
Another thing to consider, even in the colder months: our time in the sun. The sun is the number one offender to hair color fading. How much time do you spend in the sun? Hats are very important when outside, even in the winter. People who participate in outdoor fall and winter sports must wear hats to avoid color fading from the sun. Additionally, it’s important to protect your hair from the elements as much as you can! Even cold wind can wreak havoc on hair and color. Stay out of the sun and wind, or cover up.
4. Follow proper swimming protocol.
Another big one is swimming—chlorine will strip color and dry out the hair. Do you do any indoor swimming during the fall and winter? If you’re swimming, it’s important to at least wet the hair before getting into a pool so that the chemicals can have a chance to rinse off of the hair rather than be absorbed into it.
It’s also preferable to add conditioner to the hair before swimming, as this may help block any of the chemicals as well. The hair is like a sponge; whatever is introduced to it first, it will absorb. This is true for chlorine, as well as for the styling products as mentioned above.
5. Condition often.
Another vital note is to condition the hair often. You can’t do it enough. Even if you have amazingly beautiful hair, it’s possible that you need to condition it more. So generally, it’s once a week for half an hour with a deep conditioner.
Shampoo the hair, rinse thoroughly, towel blot the hair to remove excess moisture, apply the conditioner, wrap hair in a plastic cap or towel, and add heat or steam in a shower, tub, sauna or spa. You can’t condition enough, it’s always a good thing—especially as it gets colder!
Explore the products tab here on Marco’s website, and follow him on Instagram: @marcopelusi