Best Ways To Maintain Coloured Tresses

Hair colour is an identity. When you change it, your personality shifts too. While going bold and bright sounds like a great idea, tresses often morph from sleek, mermaid perfection, to fifty shades of bleaugh after a couple of weeks.

What you gain in adventure, you lose in lustre, texture, and general hair health. And if you’re going pastel, you’ll also be facing an uphill battle of managing both bleach-related damage and preserving the fast-fading cotton candy hue.

We asked two of ZULA’s in-house serial hair experimenters, Chevonne and Leah, for advice that could only come from numerous trials and tribulations. Here’s how you can get your dyed hair to feel like a virgin again. Somewhat.

Prep your hair before colouring

To achieve the vibrant tones you desire, particularly platinum and pastel shades, you’ll need a near-white canvas to colour over. While bleaching is inevitable, minimising the potential damage is.

Start prepping your hair a week or two before your colour service by avoiding heat-powered tools, treating your hair to nourishing oils, and skipping hair products entirely on the day of colouring.

Leah suggests, “Don’t shampoo a day before you dye your hair. Day-old hair is supposed to be the best for colouring, so that’s what I usually do. Also, I’m lazy.”

Lather up wisely

1. Shampoos for coloured hair

You don’t want to walk out of the salon looking very Mother of Dragons-esque, only to wake up a few days later to find your silky silver has developed into a dull brass mess.

A way to prevent this is with some yellow-eliminating colour correction in the form of purple shampoo.

Catwalk by TIGI Fashionista Violet Shampoo (S$21.70, available from Lazada)

Recommended by Leah, TIGI’s violet-depositing shampoo has pearl extract and rice milk which leave hair shiny and luxurious, while the lilac tones whip your blonde back into shape.

Purple shampoo can be used to maintain other vivid hair colours too, but if you prefer one that’s designed for your hair colour, a purple shampoo won’t be necessary.

Missdear Shampoo Range (~S$30, available from Carousell)

Chevonne, on the other hand, swears by Missdear’s shampoo line. Each shampoo is labelled according to hair colour and is designed to extend the life of the dye and prevent warm tones from appearing. “You will see a difference in just one wash,” she assures.

2. How often to shampoo

How regularly you shampoo your locks will make a huge difference too. Red, silver, and other ash-toned shades fade the fastest. While Leah suggests skipping the suds an extra day or two if you’re sporting one of these hues, Chevonne still shampoos daily to prevent oil clogs on her scalp (thanks, year-round humidity).

One thing both Chevonne and Leah can agree on is using a colour-safe shampoo to cleanse, paying attention to the roots of your hair.

To reduce friction which may strip the colour, gently massage the crown and let the excess lather flow through the length of your hair. You can opt to condition your hair first before shampooing to prevent colour loss too, like Chevonne does.

3. Check the temperature

A hot shower feels lovely, but heat opens hair cuticles which allows pigments to escape easily. Instead, shower with cold/room temperature water. You should also spend less than a minute rinsing to prevent colour from running.

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Treat yo’ hair to some aftercare

It’s tempting to frequently head down to the salon for root touch-ups, but you’ll notice that moisture loss and dryness are common after-effects of dyed hair.

Instead of making multiple trips to the salon, Chevonne says to “replace hair dyes with coloured shampoos and treatment masks as a long-term solution, and avoid anti-dandruff shampoos.”

L’Oreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Treatment (S$23.90)

Chevonne and Leah are both partial to L’Oreal’s Extraordinary Oil. It’s a lightweight treatment that contains sunflower seed oil, coconut oil, and vitamin E to nourish and restore moisture levels, leaving hair soft and shiny without feeling too greasy or heavy.

If you’re a member of the unicorn hair society and your tresses are screaming for dear life at this point, then it’s time to bring out the big guns. Mi the Salon’s Korean Gloss Anti-Frizz Treatment is recommended by Chevonne for stronger, shinier, fuller locks.


The treatment deposits minerals which fill in hollow portions of hair fibres to strengthen overall health, making it ideal for brittle, bleached hair. It’s versatile, so if you require additional treatments, you can follow up according to your needs.

An alternative to leave-on and salon treatments would be to condition your hair with products that deposit colour; that way, each shower adds, instead of fades, colour with every wash.

From left to right: Brown, Ash, Pink

Liese Prettia Hair Colour Supplements (S$17.90 each)

Liese’s has a series of Hair Colour Supplements which do just that. They promise to restore colour vibrancy while suppressing yellow tones, all while protecting your hair with nourishing ingredients.

Know when to take a break from colouring

If you’re one to hop from one vibrant shade to the next, remember to give you hair time off from the salon. When you allow your hair to recuperate, it’s able to handle the next colour treatment better.

Constant bleaching and colouring makes matters worse, something Chevonne and Leah have learned the hard way. Chevonne says, “My hair turned into hay after bleaching multiple times, so I chopped it off.”

For Leah, “There was a period I changed my hair colour every two months and it reached a point that I had extreme hair breakage and hair loss. I panicked and stopped dyeing my hair for a while after that.”

If your hair feels incredibly dry and brittle, or if you’ve started to experience scalp issues like unbearable itching or soreness, it’s time to cease the colour experimentation and load up on treatments.

How To Care For Coloured Hair

While the effort that goes into maintaining coloured hair means you’ll never truly have an #iwokeuplikethis moment, it’s worth keeping your hair looking healthy and vibrant long after your salon appointment.

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