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Heat Styling Color-Treated Hair: What To Know Before You Blow

woman heat styling color treated hair

So, you’re fresh out of the salon chair with a snazzy new color. We’re psyched for you! You already picked out a shampoo and conditioner to maintain your shade and scheduled a follow-up appointment with your hairstylist, so you may think you earned a gold star when it comes to hair color care. Just wait! There’s one thing you may be forgetting, even if you’re a seasoned color lover: how heat styling affects your hair color. dark brown hair or red, this stuff is important to know!
Is heat styling color-treated hair a no-no? Does heat styling fade hair color? Well, that depends on which products you’re using and exactly which color your hair is. To get the 411 on faded hair color, we called in the expert. George Papanikolas, Matrix and Biolage celebrity stylist, has all the information you need.

Shop Our Best Products For Heat Styling Color-Treated Hair From The L'Oréal Portfolio




Does heat styling fade hair color?

As with all things in the hair world, the answer to whether or not you see fading because of your addiction to the curling wand depends on your specific hair type and care routine. Certainly, artificial pigment will always require special protection to stay vibrant and heat styling without protection can cause fading—but that doesn’t mean it necessarily has to!




The Best Tips To Help Stop Untimely Hair Color Fading


Heat styling fragile hair is serious business. In fact, Papanikolas recommends cutting back on your hot tool addiction if you’re serious about keeping your color shining bright.

“Keep heat styling to a minimum...If you do need to use the tools, make sure you use a product that helps to create a barrier between the tool and your hair like Matrix Total Results So Long Damage Iron Tamer. Products like this create a barrier and help protect the hair from getting burned.“

If you’re looking at styling once or twice a week, investing in a pro-approved heat protectant can make all the difference. Papanikolas loves Matrix Total Results So Long Damage Iron Tamer, Biolage Total Results Keep Me Vivid Color Velvetizer Protectant Balm to keep your hair look rainbow radiant. 


Heat Styling Color-Treated Hair: The Pro-Approved Guide

If you lighten your hair, get highlights, or maintain a bright blonde, Papanikolas says you need to pay extra attention to the way you treat your hair to help keep fading at bay. All those chemicals create stunning color, sure, but they also mean hair that needs to be cared for gently—like an expensive cashmere or silk skirt.
“Previously highlighted or bleached hair is much more fragile and can easily burn and get split ends,” Papanikolas explains.
If your hair is color-treated but not lightened, you’re in luck! It’s easier to heat style without significant repercussions. Still, that doesn’t mean you’re totally off the hook for extra care steps if you’re styling salon-colored hair. Papanikolas is quick to reiterate one of the Ten Commandments of hairstyling: Always. Use. A. Heat. Protectant. Otherwise, you risk crispy strands, split ends, and untimely breakage…not to mention blistered strands.
Another do? Make sure your hair is all the way dry before you’re taking a tool to it. Any extra moisture in the strand will expand when the heat is applied, potentially leaving your hair damaged. Curling irons, wands, and flat irons can operate at temperatures upward of 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
“When using these tools, be sure to keep the hot tool moving throughout the blow-dry or flat iron service,” Papanikolas adds.
The idea here is that the less time the heat stays on any one section of hair, the less it can damage the strands it’s touching. You may remember when most of us switched from clamping out hair between the tongs of a curling iron—same idea! 


Now, you’re armed with all the insider tips to make heat styling color-treated hair anything but the end of your color. Go forth and curl!

Looking for a pro’s personalized advice about how to care for your hair color? Use our salon locator to find an expert near you.

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