how to maintain multi-coloured hair

How to Maintain Multi-Coloured Hair: 5 Ways to Keep Your Rainbow ‘Do From Fading

If you’ve scrolled through Instagram at all this summer, you’ve probably considered dyeing your hair either turquoise or multi-coloured. Thanks to celebrities like Hilary Duff and Ke$ha, and countless beauty bloggers posting selfies showing off vibrant hair, My Little Pony-chic has never been more, well, chic.

What isn’t shown on social media is the hard work and dedication it takes to channel a mermaid. Without the proper hair care regimen, colour can fade too soon, along with the potential damage from lifting your natural hair colour to get the bold hues in the first place. These two major factors can make Crayola-hued locks go from 100 to 0 real quick.

If you’re still longing to try otherworldly hair colour and willing to put in the extra time and effort to keep the look alive, we’ve compiled some essential tips with the help of Amanda Quarshie, colourist at Blyss Salon in Yorkville to consider once you’ve dipped into the dye.

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#1: Ease up on the shampoo

The easiest way to keep vibrant or multi-coloured hair looking fresh is to hold off on washing it too often. Quarshie suggests washing every three days in order to prevent premature fading and saving any physical activities where there’s lot’s of sweating involved, (like working out), to days when you plan to wash.

Another preventative measure is using the right products when cleaning your hair. “One wash you could use a colour-safe shampoo and conditioner, and the next time you wash you could use an enhancing shampoo and conditioner to bring out the colours and prevent unnecessary fading,” suggests Quarshie.

Davines Alchemic Shampoo ($74,
Davines Alchemic Conditioner ($49,

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#2: Bleach with caution

Depending on your natural hair colour, bleach may be part of the equation on your journey to vibrant hair and the step before you add any bold colour. Being realistic about your colour goals and treating your hair with respect is the best way to prevent dryness and breakage.

Quarshie likens bleaching to washing your clothes, “You wouldn’t throw your blouse in the washing machine; you would dry clean your blouse. Make sure that your colourist is being as gentle to the hair while bleaching it.” Provide protection with a moisturizing mask in-between bleaching and adding vibrant or rainbow treatment to the hair to lend a helping hand in strengthening strands, prepping it for pigment to be applied.

Living Proof Restore Mask Treatment For Dry Or Damaged Hair ($52,

#3: Build a heat barrier

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Heat is twice as hard on mermaid and rainbow hair as natural colours since it’s heavily processed to achieve the look. If you need to blow-dry your hair daily, applying a heat protectant, like a serum will ease up on the damage caused by using a dryer and any heating styling tools like flat irons. The serum will act as a shield, providing a layer between the hair and the heat being applied to it.

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Thermal Protection Serum ($16,

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#4: Sunscreen, always

Sunlight and swimming are not friends of bright hair colours as catching too many rays will speed up fading. If you can’t avoid hitting the beach, Quarshie recommends treating hair with a product that acts the same way as sunscreen does for your skin to keep your colour’s intensity, and remember to regularly reapply it throughout its direct exposure to sun.

Clarins Sunscreen Care Oil Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($35,

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#5: If you got it, flaunt it

Elevate your mermaid hair or rainbow strands with an in-salon pigment treatment to take the look next level. Quarshie uses a mix of Davines Finest Pigments in “Pearl” and “Clear” as a rinse to create an iridescent that enhances the colours and gives hair extra shine. Ask your own colourist what options they have available.

A few spritzes on wet or dry hair will give the illusion of added depth to your colour.

TreSemmé Smooth No Frizz Shine Spray ($5,