Faded Colour Hair

Vibrant Colour Fading Away?

Fight faded hair colour with a maintenance regimen to protect and prolong your colour for longer between salon visits.

How to fix faded colour hair

The wrong products, excessive washing, mineral build-up from water, UV rays and heat from hot styling tools cause leeching hair colour.

The solution to colour loss? Revive your hair colour by treating your hair gently. Use specialised colour treatment products and hair colour refreshers.

For in-depth information about what causes faded dyed hair, see our faded colour FAQ below.

Faded Colour Hair FAQ


The chemicals in hair colour make hair porous and fragile. After colouring, your hair is extra vulnerable to the wrong hair products and to external elements.

The question we’re most often asked is, Why is my hair colour fading? These are the main causes of faded hair colour.

Excessive washing is the number one cause of colour fade. Every time you wash your hair, colour molecules literally flush out and disappear down the drain.

If you wash your hair every day, colour is being washed out on a daily basis. Try washing your hair every other day or even every three days.

If you have oily hair, use dry shampoo in between washes to keep your hair looking and feeling clean.

Minerals in water and strong detergents in shampoo also cause colour fade. It’s important to wash your hair with a colour-safe or sulphate-free shampoo.

Hot and hard water also cause colour fade and pigments in the hair to turn brassy or yellow. Turn down the heat when rinsing your hair. If you live in an area with hard water, consider installing a showerhead filter. It will remove damaging minerals, metals and chlorine from the tap water.

Heat styling is another colour-loss culprit. Hot tools fry already fragile hair, damage the cuticles and speed up the fading process by destroying the molecules in hair colour.

Use a heat-protection treatment every time you style your hair. This includes blow drying, straightening and curling.

Invest in a styler that has multiple heat settings. Always choose the coldest temperature.

During the summer, time spent in the sun’s harmful UV rays and in chlorinated swimming pools take a toll on hair colour. Always cover colour-treated hair with a hat and invest in hair products with SPF. Rinse hair with clean water after taking a dip.

Summer is the time to up the frequency of intensive treatments. Reach for an ultra-nourishing hair mask at least once a week to prolong your vibrant colour.

If you’re spending the day outdoors, apply a leave-in mist or treatment to seal cuticles and lock in colour.

If you’re using styling products with alcohol as one of the main ingredients, your hair colour may be fading with each use. Alcohol has a drying effect that increases porosity and makes your coloured hair more fragile and prone to fading.

Check that your favourite wax, serum or setting spray has a low alcohol content or, even better, no alcohol at all.


To stop water from washing away your colour, wash it less often. Opt for two to three times a week, depending on how oily your hair is and how often you exercise.

Space out your washes to every second day, rather than washing it for two consecutive days. Refresh oily roots with dry shampoo in between washes.

Don’t wet or rinse your hair with very hot water. Use cool water instead. Invest in a showerhead filter if you live in an area with hard water.

If you’re unsure how to maintain colour-treated hair, the answer is simple. Treat your hair gently and use the corrective maintenance products and protective measures.

Colour-protective shampoo and conditioner are essential for dyed hair. In addition, using heat protection and hair masks will extend the life of hair colour.

Colour shampoos are formulated to revive, refresh and revitalise hair colour, effectively extending the lifespan of the colour.

If you start to see your vibrant red hair colour – or any colour – start to fade and wash out, try one of our colour shampoos which are specially formulated to maintain and enhance the vibrancy of red hair.

If you’re wondering how to refresh faded hair colour without using dye, colour depositing products are the answer. What is a hair colour refresher? It’s a shampoo or conditioner that deposits colour onto pre-coloured hair.

Colour-deposit conditioners and shampoos add more colour the longer the product is left on. They provide intense conditioning, strengthening and rebuilding of bonds while depositing colour.

You can use them to tone, adjust, refine and personalise your colour and to make your hair colour vibrant. They allow you to revive hair colour at home to prevent washout and fade.

Depositing products work well with rainbow and pastel hair dyes. Choose a product suited to your hair colour. Use it frequently to keep your colour looking vibrant for longer.

Colour-depositing shampoo and colour-depositing conditioner work very well to liven up, refresh and revitalise faded hair colour.

However, if only small sections of your hair are fading, you can liven it up with colour spray or hair chalk.

You can touch up regrowth or grey roots with root cover products, such as colour sticks, hair mascara and touch-up spray. 


The real question is, How long should permanent hair colour last? Permanent hair colour should last between four to six weeks. When your roots start to show, you need a colour retouch.

This timeframe applies if you take good care of your hair and use colour-protecting shampoo and conditioner. If you live in an area with hard water, swim frequently or don’t have a good maintenance plan, permanent hair colour can start fading within a week.

Premature fading can be avoided with a colour-safe, three-step hair-care regimen.

Hair colours fade differently and colours go through distinct pigment changes. Blonde hair tends to go yellow, brunette goes grey, black turns purple, and reds and pinks simply fade.

Red – Coloured red hair fades faster than any colour. Other dyed hair colours appear to change to a different hue, but red hair has a real hair-fade phenomenon. The colour simply grows lighter and appears dull and lifeless.

Blonde – Blonde hair turns yellow or brassy. Yellow-blonde hair happens when highlighting or bleaching doesn’t remove underlying darker pigment. As the lighter blonde tones fade, warm tones are revealed.

Brunette – Warm browns fade to reveal a reddish undertone. Ash brown hair turns greyish.

Black – Black dye contains blue pigment that fades quickly due to washing and sun exposure. When the blue fades out, the hair colour becomes brassy or reddish brown as the orange tones remain.

Pastel and rainbow colours – Fashionable rainbow and pastel colours look stunning, but can lose vibrancy quickly without proper care. Pink hair dye lightens faster than most colours. All rainbow and pastel colours eventually return to the pre-lightened blonde they cover.

Red dye molecules are larger than other colour molecules. They can’t penetrate the hair cortex very deeply, so they wash out easily. For the same reason, pink hair fades quickly.

Healthy hair holds and locks in colour for longer. If your hair is going through a dry, damaged phase, reconsider red or pink dyed hair.

Also think twice about going for bright, bold locks during the summer months. Faded dyed red hair can be a direct result of increased UV exposure and time spent in the sun.

To stop red hair dye fade, invest a little more time and money in your maintenance regimen. Depending on your hair colour, red and pink colour processing sometimes requires pre-lightening, which is harsh on the hair.

A month before colouring, strengthen your hair with specialised hair treatments such as follicle energiser, repair serum or hair tonic. Wash your hair less frequently and cut back on heat styling.

Allow your hair to dry naturally after washing and conditioning. Leave-in treatments and masks will prepare and strengthen your hair for a longer-lasting red colour treatment.