How you can keep those luscious locks from losing their lustre
Redhead or brunette? Claire Spreadbury reveals how to make your colour last longer this season
Oh, how we love autumn. The hues of the season are so stylish, and they suit almost everybody. Much like the colours on the catwalk, hair is becoming warmer and more lustrous, too.
But if you opt for a full head of gorgeously-rich red or deep chocolate, how can you ensure your colour lasts? We asked the experts for their top tips...
Shampoo with care
"When your hair is freshly coloured, avoid shampooing for 72 hours to allow the cuticle to recover, as this will prevent initial fading," says celebrity stylist and colourist Edward James.
"If you have a very oily scalp, consider using a co-wash and ditch the shampoo at least a couple of times a week.
"Shampoos cleanse hair more and result in colour molecules being cleansed away.
"You could also consider getting a water softener, as this will prevent a build up of minerals from dulling your hair. And avoid very hot water, as this will speed up colour fade."
"In the colder autumn months, we tend to blast our hair dry more frequently than letting it air dry, which will increase colour fade; brunettes will tend to go more brassy; blondes more yellow and reds and coppers more dull," continues James.
"Try investing in an ionic hairdryer, which emits negatively-charged ions that break down water molecules faster, and allow your hair to more easily absorb moisture.
"The ions also flatten the hair cuticle which adds shine, but also prevents your colour from fading over time."
"Use a sulphate-free colour shampoo and conditioner," advises colour specialist Christel Lundqvist, founder and director of Stil Salon.
"It seems like a simple aftercare tip, but it's crucial to be able to prolong vibrant coloured hair, as every time you wash your hair, colour will fade.
"The gentle shampoo will cleanse the hair with a minimum fade effect and the conditioner will seal the cuticle locking pigments in."
Try Smith England guardian colour shield shampoo and conditioner, £8 each, Sainsbury's.
Refresh more and dry-shampoo less
"Lengthen times between shampooing to keep your hair looking vivid for longer," says James.
"Although dry shampoo is still a massive life saver for many, it tends to have the downside of making hair feel drier, as it essentially absorbs oil and creates more friction between hair strands - with the result being 'fresher' looking hair that is also more dehydrated.
"Using a scalp and hair reviver, rather than a dry shampoo, is the way to go, particularly if you want to reduce how much you wash your hair to prevent colour fade. A hair and scalp refresher revives and refreshes second-day styles and also reduces frizz.
"Aveda rinseless refresh, £24, is a new product which helps tame frizz. Micellar technology refreshes the scalp and it's very lightweight, so perfect for finer hair.
"Oribe also has the Cote d'Azur hair refresher (£22, SpaceNK.com), which is designed to refresh second-day hair by neutralising odour and adding condition."
Give your colour a boost
Keeping hair vibrant when it may be damaged from summer sun can be a challenge says Tom Smith, colour director at Billi Currie: "The condition of the hair must be restored in order for the colour molecules to remain stable.
"A great way of keeping your autumnal tones 'salon fresh' while conditioning your hair at the same time, is a custom-mixed pigmented conditioner.
"Evo Fab Pro have a fantastic system that allows me to personalise the pigment mix to any shade.
"You can use this in place of your regular conditioner at home every time you wash your hair (or every few washes as needed), just leave it on for a minimum of three minutes and it will leave your hair soft and super-shiny, while topping up the pigments that fade away."
You can also buy ready-made colour boosting conditioners, too. Try Evo fabulouso colour intensifying conditioner, £25, or Moroccanoil color depositing mask, £28.95, both available on LookFantastic.com
Overcome dehydration from central heating
"Just like our skin, hair becomes dehydrated and this is made worse with artificial central heating," notes James.
"To overcome the drying effects, it's worth using a weekly hair treatment on your hair. I'm a huge fan of Philip Kingsley's hair elasticizer treatment." (Try the new Elasticizer Therapies balancing rose & lychee deep conditioning treatment, £21.50.)
James adds: "In addition to treatments, make sure you seal your hair in the autumn. Use a couple of drops of hair oil or a leave-in moisture treatment.
"Aveda dry remedy daily moisturising oil , £22, smells beautiful and leaves your hair feeling soft. I normally advise applying to damp hair, as it's more easily absorbed.
"Oribe super shine moisture cream (£20-£50, SpaceNK.com) is also incredible and can be used on wet or dry hair, and does not leave it feeling greasy."
Reduce heat styling
"Minimal styling and heat usage will also help prolong vivid colour," says Lundqvist. "Heated equipment, like tongs and hairdryers, can create colour fade due to over-styling.
"If the hair gets damaged by heat, it won't be able to hold on to the colour naturally, due to the structure and cuticle being damaged, so colour will fade very quickly.
"Using less heated equipment means healthier hair and longer-lasting colour."