5 Things That Make Your Color Fade

Getting the perfect color can be a wonderful self-esteem boost, but how do you fight the battle against color fade in between appointments? Figuring out why your color may be fading is the first step, so here’s 5 common reasons why color fades, and how to combat it!

#1: Harsh Shampoo

You’ve probably heard it before, and you may be sick of hearing it, but we’re going to say it again: Drugstore shampoos are NOT the same as salon professional. We repeat: you cannot maintain your color properly using a drugstore shampoo. Plenty of budget brands (who shall remain nameless) claim to be just as good as salon brands, but they are lying to you. That being said, not all salon professional shampoos are created equally. If you plan on keeping your color vibrant, you must ensure that your shampoo contains no harsh detergents. The most common culprits are Sulfates, so be on the lookout for any ingredients that end in “-sulfate”. Our favorite is any of the MoroccanOil Shampoos or Tri Hydrating Shampoo and Color Protector.

mo shampoo and conditioner

#2: Sunlight/Swimming

If you’re a blonde, the summer sun may give your color a bright boost. If you aren’t blonde, the sun can be a source for color fade. The best way to protect against the sun is simple: wear a hat! Wearing a hat not only protects your scalp and face from damage, but it also helps maintain your hair color. If covering up isn’t an option, try using a finishing product that contains SPF. If you love to swim, get your hair wet with clean water before you go underwater in the pool. By saturating you hair with clean water, you make it harder for pool chemicals to penetrate your cuticle and damage your color. Get maximum protection by adding conditioner to your wet hair and comb through. This will fill and protect your cuticle even more!

#3: Dry Hair

If your hair is dry and rough, you cuticle is probably not in great shape. Since color is deposited into the hair cuticle, a rough cuticle will allow color to fade. The best way to fight this is to condition your hair regularly. We love MoroccanOil’s conditioning treatments, but we also recommend using the Original MoroccanOil every time you shampoo your hair. This will improve your overall hair condition and create healthy, shiny color.


#4: Too Much Shampooing

You may have heard that shampooing everyday is bad for your hair, and there is a bit of truth to that. It isn’t necessary for most people to wash their hair everyday, and it can seriously strip your color (especially if you’re using the wrong shampoo-see #1). If you are used to shampooing everyday and experiencing color fade-out, it may be time to try washing every other day. Dry shampoos are a great tool to combat oiliness and hair that falls flat overnight. Try spraying it at your roots to give your style an instant refresh. Most people will have an adjustment period; if your hair is used to being washed everyday, it will naturally produce more oil to compensate. This means that you might have a few weeks of oiliness before your hair and scalp adjust to less frequent washing!

#5: Fashion Color


Bright unicorn-inspired colors will always fade more quickly than permanent color. There are a few reasons for this:

  • The vast majority of fashion colors are semi-permanent, meaning they deposit color into the cuticle without the use of a developer. This means that every time you wash your hair, some of those semi-permanent color molecules will escape your hair cuticle. That’s unavoidable unless you plan on going 6 weeks without washing your hair (not recommended).
  • Most clients need to be pre-lightened in order for these colors to be vibrant. Basically, unless you’re a natural blonde your hair will need to be lightened in order for these colors to show up. The lightening process opens the hair cuticle to remove natural pigmentation, so lightened hair often means a rougher cuticle (that’s why your hair feels more damaged after bleaching). As you know from the previous point, bright colors fade when color molecules escape the hair cuticle. Having a “roughed-up” cuticle just gives these molecules greater opportunity to escape.

So how can fading be combated in these fashion colors? Good shampoo, and good conditioning. When it comes to shampooing, only focus on getting a good lather at your scalp unless the ends of your hair are exceptionally dirty. Conditioning helps to repair your hair cuticle, so it will help it hold on to more color. If your hair isn’t the type to be deep conditioned, find a light conditioner to use in the shower and use MoroccanOil’s Original Treatment wet or dry. Unfortunately these colors will just need to be touched up more frequently, so plan on coming in no longer than every 4 weeks for maintenance.