plum and magenta ombré hair from Elle J Hair

How to Keep Your Coloured Hair Looking Its Best

When you get a colour that really works, you want to its lustre to last as long as possible. The problem is, unless you are making a conscious effort to keep your hair and your new colour looking vibrant, you will start to lose colour molecules from the time you have your first shower. 

Colour makes your hair more porous which means it retains and releases moisture more easily. Hair colours with natural oils – in other words, better quality colours – will retain more moisture and keep it looking shiny and healthy for much longer. The same applies to ammonia-free hair colour. Ammonia opens up the hair cuticles so the colour lasts longer and penetrates deeply, but it can also have an adverse, corrosive effect on your hair and some people have physical reactions to ammonia. We can have a chat about some of the alternatives to ammonia.

Red hair needs some creative flair

Red hair can be stunning and dramatic, but it also fades faster than other colours and requires more effort to minimise the effect it has on hair molecules. When your stylist is mixing the colours, they should use high definition colours that won’t have as much impact on your hair molecules and are therefore, less stressful to your hair. It’s a case of being a bit more creative, something that Elle J excels at. 

When to shampoo and what you should use

After you have had your hair coloured wait at least two days and if possible hold out for four days before you shampoo and then, only shampoo two or three times a week. Shampooing your hair too often removes its moisture and breaks down the colour. When you’re in the shower and not washing your hair , keep your hair up or under a cap to prevent it from getting wet. If you are washing your hair use a moisturising, colour protection conditioner under cool or lukewarm water. Conditioner will keep your hair looking vibrant. Make sure you massage the tips because they are the oldest parts of your hair and most susceptible to losing their colour. You may want to use shampoo occasionally but remember, shampoo and hot water are harsh and will fade your hair colour more than anything else so make it very occasional. 

Invest in salon-grade products. 

The best products for colour treated hair are colour protecting shampoos and conditioners. We’ll discuss a bit later that for keeping hair healthy after coloring, it is best to use conditioner rather than shampoo. If we’re not there to show you what products you should avoid, look for products that are sulphate free. Sulphate is salt and you can imagine what salt does to coloured hair. Salt is another big contributor to fading hair colour. 

Treat yourself to a deep moisturising treatment from the roots to the tips using a damp cloth or a comb. Wrap your hair in a towel and leave it for 30 minutes to do its magic. Rinse it in cool or lukewarm water and voila’: Soft, shiny, vibrant hair.


Khairpep is a leave in hair restoration technology that reverses the corrosive effect of colouring, bleaching, straightening and perming. Khairpep transforms your hair by penetrating the hair in the way that colours do. Instead of having a corrosive effect on the molecules in your hair, Khairpep restores elasticity, strength and protein (keratin).  We’re stockists, so ask us about it when you’re in next.

Heating tools

It should go without saying that blow dryers, curling or straightening irons and too much time near a heater or in the sun are all bad for your hair. But if you want to apply some warmth to your hair and scalp apply a hot oil treatment and let it sit in your hair until the warm oil reduces to room temperature, then rinse it out in lukewarm or cold water. Hot oil treatments are easy to apply at home and they’re great for adding and retaining moisture to your hair.

Under the heading of ‘did you know!’

Did you know that a nutrient rich, balanced diet is one of the great hair repair treatments and growth stimulants that you can invest in for the health of your hair and for colour maintenance. Well why wouldn’t it be, it’s great for everything else. Keratin is the protein that strengthens your hair. Iron rich foods feed the strength and texture of your hair and provides the foundation for growth. It may even help to invest in some iron supplements if you are concerned that your body’s supplies might be lacking. So when you go shopping next, take some solace in the knowledge that all that salad, lean meat and fish will help to keep your coloured hair looking fantastic. Elle J hair are the best hair colourists in Sydney (not just the Northern Beaches). Big statement we know. But you wouldn’t find a better informed, more passionate and nicer bunch of colourists and stylists on any side of the bridge. If you’re not from the northern beaches, we’re a great reason to come and visit. Visit us online or by phone. We’d love to see you.