Mad About Hue: Color Fade

There’s nothing more disappointing for a colorist or their client than when color fades. And keeping hues vibrant and bright can be a constant grind. But with our experts’ advice, making color last doesn’t have to be such a chore.


“Before any color job, start off by giving the client a light clarifying shampoo, but make sure you don’t stimulate the scalp too much. I like Tressa Professional Clarifying Shampoo. First, apply Tressa Professional Porosity Equalizer (PEQ) before every service to ensure even porosity throughout the hair. Make sure your color formulation, mixing ratio and timing are correct. Then rinse hair with cool water, and seal with a cuticle sealer like Tressa Professional Clarifying Rinse.”—Shannon Tully, Tressa Professional Educator

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Color-Specific Care

“To extend the life of colored tresses, using color-specific treatments both helps and protects. For blondes, using the Kadus Color Vibrancy Post-Color Treatment will stabilize color and seal the cuticle to lock in color pigments. For brunettes, I recommendthe Kadus Color Vibrancy Intensive Mask to keep locks silky and shiny. For redheads, I encourage applying the Kadus Glaze It service to maintain vibrancy and add tonality.” Caroline Kim, Top Artist for Kadus Professional

Client Education 

“Clients often invest hundreds of dollars on their hair color, and then use a drug store shampoo and expect professional quality results. By teaching your clients how important aftercare is, not only are you protecting their investment, you’re also protecting your walking business card. And it doesn’t end with the shampoo. Styling and finishing products with color-preserving ingredients like ColorProof IronMaster Color & Heat Protecting Setting Spray shield and prolong hair color at every step of the regimen, so make sure to introduce these into your client’s product rotation.”—Nicole Nixon, Director of Education for ColorProof Evolved Color Care

Perceived Color Care

“Dealing with perceived color fading requires a little different approach. I find this situation most often with reds. As time goes on, their initial vibrant red shade tends to brown out, which can look like fading to clients. To address this issue, I’ll cleanse the canvas with a gentle decolorizing ‘shampoo’—a mixture of shampoo, conditioner, lightener and water—to remove any color build up and give the hair a fresh start. I love Goldwell Silklift Gentle as the lightener for this because it’s ammonia-free and gentle to the hair.”—Rosa Hawkins, Di Rosa Haircare New York and Goldwell Guest Artist 

Pro Tip: Encourage clients to use dry shampoo in lieu of washing their hair, to help prolong color.