From simple hair hacks to keep colour locked in for longer to products that banish brassiness and boost tone, here's how you can eke out time between appointments and keep costs down
We’re all counting the pennies right now and making savings where we can. If your regular salon colour appointment is an expense you can’t just justify, or if you’re looking for ways to spread the cost of them out by extending your colour that little bit longer, then we’ve got your back (or should that be your roots?).
"I think all colourists understand that right now with the cost of living it will be imperative for some customers to stretch out the time between appointments,” says Marc Trinder of Trinder Hair. “And I'm pretty sure all hair colourists would agree that we would rather that our clients used great products and sensible hacks to maintain their hair and keep it looking its very best until they can come back to the salon and have it redone.”
This is why we've put together some of the best products that will help keep your colour looking fabulous for longer as well as some simple hair hacks that will refresh your look for that bit longer.
1. Switch up your parting
It sounds simple, sometimes the best hair hacks are, but by changing the position of your parting you can instantly make your hair colour look revived. "If you have highlights or balayage then your colourist will have placed the colour according to where you normally wear your parting and that's why your roots will start to show. However, by changing where you place your parting your colour will almost look like it's shifted because you will end up seeing more of your mid-lengths, where your colour is still fresh, and your roots will look less noticeable," advises Marc.
2. Colour correct
Working in the same way that colour correcting makeup does, multicoloured hair products designed to neutralise unwanted undertones can transform brassy ends. A general rule of thumb is to go for a purple-tinted product for blonde hair or a blue-tinted one for brunettes. Our purple pick is Kerastase's Blond Absolu Masque Ultra Violet Treatment , £36, while we recommend brunettes reach for Redken's Color Extend Brownlights , £20.25.
Colour depositing haircare eliminates brassiness and warmer tones, and while violet shampoos have been big news for years, blue haircare is only just having its moment - in fact, last year saw a 70 per cent increased in Google searches for blue shampoo for brunettes.
A word of caution when it comes to violet and blue products, though - only use when required. “Don’t use them straight away between salon visits, only when the brassiness starts to appear and limit to once a week or as needed,” cautions hair colourist Jack Howard.
Another product to look out for is Christophe Robin’s Shade Variation Care , £31.20. The Ash Brown shade subtly erases the red and orange tones that can emerge from light brown highlights and it also leaves hair really soft too.
3. Use a colour refreshing shampoo and conditioner
Not to be confused with the colour correcting formulas above, repigmenting shampoo and conditioner is a different kettle of fish. It makes colour deeper and fresher by depositing pigments onto the hair, reviving the intensity of your colour - it won't cover grey but it will inject vibrancy into your hair colour enough to put off that salon trip a few more days.
They are a particularly effective way to combat brassiness. “I always recommend that my blonde clients use a silver shampoo to cool any brassy tones down,” says Francesca Dixon, Senior Creative Colourist at Hari’s . Ideal for a quick at-home fix, she highlights that its benefits aren’t just restricted to blondes - it can prove useful for anyone whose areas of concern include oranges tinges, zebra stripes or yellow tones. Her go-tos are L'Oreal Professionnel Serie Expert Magnesium Silver Shampoo, £9.65, and Bleach London Silver Shampoo, £7.50, for keeping unwanted warm tones at bay.
4. Add shine with an intensive treatment
“The smoother the cuticle, the better the shine,” says Nicola Clarke, Creative Colour Director at John Frieda Salons , “It’s all about maintaining the condition of the hair and there are some fabulous products that can help.” By maximising your shine, whilst your colour won't have changed at all it will look more vibrant and radiant, which is where the best hair masks come in. One of our favourites for coloured hair that won't break the budget is L'Oreal Paris Elvive Colour Protect Hair Mask, £6.99 - leave it on for as long as you can and it will get to work on hydrating, what is often parched hair. And then use Colour Wow Pop & Lock , £19.50, on damp hair before styling which not only adds gloss but helps seal your colour in for longer.
MORE GLOSS: The best budget conditioners
5. Use a hair oil to add vibrancy
“Oils are fantastic to add vibrancy and instantly lift dull coloured hair,” says Francesca. “Add a few pumps to the palm of your hands and apply generously throughout the hair to give it extra shine (it can be used wet or dry).” For lightweight nourishment for finer hair types, Percy & Reed’s Smooth, Sealed and Sensational Volumising No Oil, £17, fits the bill very well and for thicker hair types whose hair will drink up a slightly heavier oil, Moroccanoil Original Treatment, £13.85, is pretty hard to beat.
6. Swap box dyes for touch-up tools instead
- At-home dyes are certainly an appealing option to extend time between colour appointments for many reasons. "Switching the type and brand of colour means you have to have another patch test when returning to the salon," says Marc. "It can also complicate colour matching by creating bands of different colours throughout the hair," he warns a sentiment that Fran shares “Salon colours are different to box colours,” says Fran. “Although you may think that you’re matching your hair colour to what’s on the box, it’s often wrong and can result in root glow or uneven coverage." As an alternative though, there’s a wide variety of root cover-ups now available that provide an easy and less damaging way to disguise greys or give highlights a new lease of life.
- The powder: Color Wow’s Root Cover Up , £28.50, comes in 7 shades and is super easy to brush on to roots or greys
- The pen: Rita Hazan’s Root Concealer Touch-Up Stick , £20, comes in three shades (although some retailers have five) and it's waxy texture means you can simply 'colour in' where you need some temporary colour.
- The brush: Josh Wood Blending Brush, £19, available in three shades you simply pump some product onto the brush, paint it over damp hair and blow-dry it to 'set' the colour in place for three washes.
7. Turn the heat down
We all know the benefits of cold showers hugely outweigh how uncomfortable it may feel for those few seconds or minutes. But did you also know that cold weather helps keep your colour in place for longer? So whilst we’re not advocating washing your hair entirely in freezing cold water, adding in a cold rinse right at the end will help seal your cuticles down which then helps lock your colour in.