After years of traditional blonde highlights and a variety of brunette shades, you’re finally interested in trying a fantasy hair color! From vivid shades to cotton candy pastels, there’s no shortage of on-trend fantasy hair colors that have people running to their nearest salon, photos in hand, ready to take on a new statement shade.
While the idea of leaving the salon with the perfect fantasy hue sounds appealing, veterans of daring shades know the struggle of keeping up with high-maintenance hues. Azriel Arce, Matrix art and brand ambassador, is here to break down all there is to know about how to make your fantasy hair color last longer. Whether you’re starting out with dark brown hair or ash blonde strands, you’re going to want to keep reading.
Why are fantasy hair colors so hard to maintain?
Unlike permanent hair color, fantasy shades are often semi-permanent. The color sits on top of your mane rather than penetrating the hair shaft for a long-lasting hue.
"They’re hard to maintain because the direct dyes have a large dye molecule that sits on the cuticle...so it can lose its vibrancy quickly,” Arce says.
Fantasy hair care may seem challenging, but don’t panic. If you’re still hoping to try a fantasy shade, Arce breaks down the top three tips you should follow to keep your color from looking lackluster for as long as possible.
How To Keep Fantasy Hair Colors Vibrant
Avoid rinsing with hot water.
Stepping into a steaming hot shower after a long day is undoubtedly one of life’s greatest luxuries. However, it’s no secret that hot water can have some pretty negative effects on your strands. In addition to causing major frizz and dryness, Arce says hot water can be a major factor in fantasy shades fading quickly.
“Rinse your hair with temperature cool to keep color from fading,” Arce says.
Soaking your hair with cold water doesn’t sound too appealing—we know. If you aren’t ready to go from steaming hot to full-on cold right away, try a slightly cooler temperature each time you shower.
Be consistent with salon visits.
Even with the utmost care and a killer product routine, fantasy hair colors will eventually dull down. To keep your color looking its absolute best, Arce advises maintaining regular salon appointments. For fantasy shades, we recommend heading to the salon every four weeks for touch-ups.
Invest in salon quality products.
Once you dream up your fantasy hair color and your colorist helps you achieve it, it’s up to you to maintain your new hue. After all, your colorist can’t do all of the work. You’ll need a lineup of color-protecting products to help you out between salon touch-ups.
Wondering what products you’ll need for maintaining fantasy hair color? Keep scrolling for seven of our top product picks you need to invest in.
Our Favorite Products For Maintaining Fantasy Hair Colors From The L'Oréal Portfolio
Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Shampoo
When you revamp your fantasy hair care routine, start at the very beginning by swapping out your regular shampoo for a color-protecting formula. We recommend the Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Shampoo. Specifically formulated for high-maintenance hair colors, this shampoo gently cleanses to maintain the vibrancy of fast-fading hair colors.
Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Shampoo, $14.00 MSRP
Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Conditioner
You’ll always achieve the best results when you pair a shampoo with it’s matching conditioner. That’s why we recommend following the Total Results Keep Me Vivid Shampoo with the Total Results Keep Me Vivid Conditioner. This acidic conditioner formula deeply nourishes color-treated hair.
Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Conditioner, $14.00 MSRP
L'Oréal Professionnel Vitamino Color A-OX 10-In-1 Leave-In Spray
In-salon hair treatments are great, but what if we told you about a convenient, at-home leave-in treatment that can enhance any hair color in just one step? That’s right—we’re talking about the L'Oréal Professionnel Vitamino Color A-OX 10-In-1 Leave-In Spray. The product boasts 10 benefits for color-treated hair including heat protection up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, adding softness, boosting shine, and helping reduce to look of frizz.
L'Oréal Professionnel Vitamino Color A-OX 10-In-1 Leave-In Spray, available in salon
Biolage ColorLast Deep Treatment Pack Hair Mask
Take your fantasy color care on-the-go with the Biolage ColorLast Deep Treatment Pack Hair Mask. This resealable, travel-friendly hair mask maintains and restores color-treated hair for shiny, vibrant results.
Biolage ColorLast Deep Treatment Pack Hair Mask, $15.00 MSRP
Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Color Lamination Spray
Apply a few spritzes of the Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Color Lamination Spray a few times a week post-appointment to prolong your color with enhanced shine.
Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Color Lamination Spray, $25.00 MSRP
Pureology Style + Protect Refresh & Go Dry Shampoo
We all love the look and feel of our strands after a fresh shampoo and conditioning. However, Arce warns that overdoing it on the shampoo can seriously strip your color. To cut down on over-washing, invest in a dry shampoo like the Pureology Style + Protect Refresh & Go Dry Shampoo. This dry shampoo, formulated with rice starch and the brand’s exclusive AntiFade Complex, helps absorb oil and protect color-treated hair.
Pureology Style + Protect Refresh & Go Dry Shampoo, $28.00 MSRP
Redken Iron Shape 11 Thermal Holding Spray
It’s no secret that frequent heat styling can strip the vibrancy of fantasy hair colors. When you decide to heat style your hair, you’ll need a heat protectant like the Redken Iron Shape 11 Thermal Holding Spray. This lightweight, thermal heat protection hairspray is perfect for use with flat irons and curling irons up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit to protect your hair, add shine and reduce frizz.
Redken Iron Shape 11 Thermal Holding Spray, $19.50 MSRP
Looking for more personalized hair care advice? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.