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May 23, 2011

Your Summer Hair Color Survival Guide

woman with blond hair

Photo Credit: Ralph Mecke

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Overexposure to water and sun can translate to major fading for colored hair during the summer months. Here, six tips to keep your color vibrant all season long:

USE PROTECTION. Create a barrier between hair and the elements by coating strands. "Wet your hair first, and then apply conditioner before taking a swim," says Ott. "This will act as a buffer so your hair won't absorb chlorine." Oils like Couture Color Pequi Oil Treatment ($32) will also do the trick.

CLEANSE CAREFULLY. Aveda's Color Conserve shampoo and conditioner ($15 each) are gentle on dyed strands, while Kérastase's new Chroma Sensitive Cleansing Balm ($42) is a sulfate-free, low-foam formula that helps fight fading. If you notice fade-out, try a color-depositing shampoo and conditioner.

TRY A GLOSS. "A gloss helps touch you up in between appointments and protects color," says Ott. "It will also extend the life of your color a bit."

ADD SHINE. A weekly hydrating mask is essential for colored hair. Bosley's Professional Strength Moisture Masque ($39), Marie Robinson's Colorist Cure ($75), and Bumble and Bumble's Creme de Coco Masque ($26) all restore shine and quench dry, brittle strands.

COOL IT DOWN. "When you're taking a shower, just do one quick shock of cool water at the end to really keep in color and shine," says Friedman.

PREVENT BUILDUP. Chlorine, salt, and products can quickly wear out their welcome on your scalp. "A clarifying shampoo is essential during the summer," says Hunter. "But only use it when you really notice buildup [probably once a month] because it not only draws out the bad stuff, it takes out color as well."

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