Most of us love going to the hair salon or at least how we feel when we leave the hair salon. That pep in our step is all-encompassing as we walk out feeling like we can take on the world because "Damn, I look good!"

Whether you're rocking red hair or balayage highlights, your hair color will only continue to look great at week two, month two or month six by what you're using at home to maintain that color. Professional hair color isn’t cheap, so a hair care routine that helps combat color fade is imperative to protect your wallet.

Even if you opt for at-home hair color, you want to make sure it goes the distance. Going as long as possible between shampoos and protecting your hair from UV damage are great places to start. Here are more tips on ways to take care of your color treated hair.

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use a Color safe shampoo

We’ve all been there. Sit in the salon chair for three hours only to have that fabulous, hard-earned color fade in a matter of weeks? Not ok.

The first issue here probably lies in how you shampoo. As in, how soon you wash your hair after your color job, how often you shampoo regularly, and what type of shampoo you use.

After getting your fresh color, it’s best to wait at least 48 hours before shampooing hair. When applying permanent color, the hair cuticle is opened up, allowing the color to penetrate to the inside of the hair shaft. But an open cuticle means the strands are more easily damaged. Waiting a couple of days for the cuticle to close will help to preserve color and moisture in the hair. And the less you wash your hair, the longer your color will last. So, try going two or three days between washings on a regular basis.

Now, which is the best shampoo for color treated hair? Choose a color safe shampoo that is free from sulfates. Sulfates are added to shampoos to give them that foaming action but are thought to cause hair color to fade. Look for sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) on product labels. These ingredients also have links to carcinogenic contaminants.

Oway Color Protection Hair Bath

This color-protection shampoo by Oway is energized with active ingredients, Organic Gojo Berries revitalize the hair fiber while slowing down hair aging, and Biodynamic Red Grapevine keeps the hair color bright and soft.

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Davines Minu Shampoo

Minu shampoo helps you maintain luminous color using Salina Capers, a good source of quercetin, a protective amino acid, and color-protecting Polysorbate Freephenols.

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Briogeo Super Moisture Shampoo

Briogeo's Don't Despair, Repair! Super Moisture Shampoo is designed to restore moisture and strengthen damaged hair.

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How To Protect Your Hair Color At Home

Color safe shampoo and conditioner is the way to go when looking to preserve your hair color. If you think only shampoos have color damaging ingredients, know that it’s just as important to use a conditioner designed for color treated hair.

Providing optimal moisture and not allowing strands to dry out is the name of the game in maintaining brilliant looking hair color. Choose one made with essential fatty and amino acids to increase color retention and extend the life of your hair color. Oway Color Protective Conditioner does this and keeps your mane looking smooth and healthy.

watch the heat

Too much heated styling can also damage your color. Heat opens up the hair cuticle, causing hair color to escape the strands.

If nixing your hair dryer or flat iron sounds completely unacceptable, know this. There are hot tools that come with temperature nozzles. Babyliss Curling Irons have adjustable heat settings to deliver waves and curls without damaging your ‘do.

If you’re addicted to your hot tool, we get it. But any time you can air dry your hair, it saves strands from heat damage and color loss.

Use Heat protectant spray

Before you get started with your hot tools, there’s one more super important product you need in your hair color kit. And that’s a heat protectant spray.

Wondering if heat protection products are actually necessary? Think of them as an added layer of defense between your delicate strands and your favorite heated styling tool. Take Oway Thermo Detangling Spray, for instance. This powerful blend guards against heat damage up to 437°F and protects against humidity and UV damage. An absolute must have.

Use it before blow drying, curling, straightening, or going out under the sun to preserve your color.

Best Clean Heat Protection Sprays

Briogeo Damage Defense Leave-In Treatment

Boost your hair's natural moisture and protect it from damage with this easy-to-use lightweight leave-in conditioner treatment that visibly seals up to 100% of split ends after two uses.

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evolvh smart start leave in conditioner

A do-it-all leave-in conditioner that not only nourishes and detangles, but adds strength and eliminates frizz.

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Kavella All in One Mist

Has a refreshing and hydrating texture that detangles, helps keep your tresses healthy, soft, and shiny, and protects them from breakage.

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Innersense Hair Love Prep Spray

This no-hold lightweight spray protects your hair from heat damage prior to blowdry or hot tool work.

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weekly hair mask

Your hair color hair care regimen must include a moisturizing hair mask. Maintaining proper moisture levels in the hair will ward off damage and color fade. Choose a hair mask designed for your hair type and use it weekly to maintain shine and depth of color.

Think of it as self care time. Apply your hair hair mask of choice, put your feet up, and catch some relaxation. Even better, put on a head wrap after application and sleep on it, allowing all of that goodness to soak into strands overnight.

Use a Color-Depositing Shampoo and Conditioner

Color depositing hair products are used for one of two purposes: 1) to keep a hair color vibrant and rich (say chocolate or red hair), or 2) to cancel out unwanted tones (purple shampoo and blue shampoo combat yellow and orange tones, respectively).

Using a color depositing shampoo and conditioner once per week will help maintain that hair color or toner longer. Davines Alchemic lines range from shampoos to maintain copper red hair to tobacco to keep your black hair color rich.

If you're a brunette or black haired beauty who wants to keep your highlights from turning brassy, then go for Kavella's Blue Shampoo, the cleanest blue shampoo on the market. If you want to keep those blonde highlights cool (no one wants yellow hair...eek!), then go for a purple shampoo, like Oway Silver Steel Hair Bath and a purple hair mask, like Original Mineral Conquer Blonde Silver Hair Masque.

A few extra products and hair tricks will make your hair color investment pay off big time. Whether you see your colorist every 6-8 weeks for a trim and touch-up or go in for an at-home color once in a while, these tips will produce resilient color you can be proud of.

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All North Authentic products are free of: Sulfates, parabens, EDTA, 1,4 Dioxian, and many more all provided in our Hair Crimes List. While we work with our brands to become even more conscious, we identify additional "Free Of" ingredients on every product page.

Shop "Free Of" ingredient preferences using our Filters. You can also take the North Authentic Hair Quiz to get your personalized hair care prescription of the best products for your hair curl type.