Many naturalistas choose to debut new hair colors during the fall since summer is winding down, and we are now focusing on hair growth. We're more likely to experiment with protective styles, try out that new deep conditioner we've had our eye on, and bust out all of the fall and winter fashion. I'm all for changing things up with color, but it's important to be realistic about the maintenance your new color will require, especially during those colder months.

There are so many factors that go into how color changes during its lifetime, and the elements play a large role in those changes. I learned my lesson when I went to Jamaica earlier this summer in June. I knew I would experience some fading, but I didn't expect for my hair to fade back to blonde - yikes! Here are some ideas as to how the elements fade color and what can be done to prevent it.

Girl in Black Shirt with Brown Curly Hair

The Sun

The sun is a key element in fading color. Much like our skin, if we do not use products with UV protection we are leaving our strands exposed to the harsh rays of the sun, which can severely damage our hair. Colored hair tends to be drier than usual and exposure to the sun for multiple hours can further dry the hair out. The solution? Use color protecting products, as well as products that have UV protection to not only prevent color fading, but to also keeps strands hydrated and soft. If possible, you should also consider using a scarf or hat for added protection. You can never be too prepared!

Wind

Everyone enjoys a good crisp fall breeze, but are we prepared for the color fading that comes with it? Much like washing your hair, high winds and drier temperatures can be especially damaging if your hair isn't properly prepped for the day. Before heading out, you should lightly mist your hair down and apply a moisturizer to your strands and ends. The moisturizer creates a barrier between your hair and wind, preventing color from fading quickly and adding a layer of protection. You can never have enough moisture in the fall and winter months, so think of this as the perfect time to try out some new products you've had your eye on. You can also choose to use a heavier product during this time.

Washing Your Hair

Regular hair washing can cause color to fade, especially if you aren't using products that are safe for color treated hair or products that help to deposit color. It's important to know what kinds of products are safe for color treated hair, which includes sulfate free shampoos. On top of using products that are safe for color treated hair, you may want to invest in color depositing products that do just that - deposit color back into the hair. These products help restore vibrancy and increase the lifespan of your color. It may seem like a lot, but I like to wash my hair with a conditioning cleanser or sulfate free shampoo, then I go in with my color depositing shampoo and conditioner. I like to leave the shampoo in for 3-5 minutes, then I apply the color depositing conditioner to my hair in sections to really work it into my hair. After I've fully saturated my hair with the conditioner, I leave it on for the duration of my shower until I am ready to rinse my hair. Then, I'll rinse with lukewarm to cold water to prevent color from escaping. I'm currently using the Joico Color Infuse Red Shampoo and Conditioner.

A post shared by Ashley Hall (@curlsfothegirls) on

A post shared by Ashley Hall (@curlsfothegirls) on

A post shared by Ashley Hall (@curlsfothegirls) on

Not only do the products you use play a part in the lifespan of your color, but the temperature of the water also plays a part in color fading. Washing hair in water that is too hot causes the cuticle to expand, allowing the color to escape from the hair. This can result in a less vibrant color and drier strands. I suggest washing hair in warm water to loosen buildup and dirt, then rinsing the hair with lukewarm to cold water to seal the cuticle to prevent any more color from escaping.

Girl with Brown Hair

There are so many variables to consider when coloring your hair. Natural colors tend to be easier to care for, rather than blonde shades, which require a ton of moisture and artificial red shades, which easily fade. Nonetheless, I suggest consulting with your stylist to find a color that will not only fit your lifestyle, but will also allow you to live your best life.

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