How to Stop Highlights From Fading: 6 Tested Methods For Maintaining The Color

How to stop highlights from fading
Photo: Juli Kosolapova on Unsplash |

You have spent a lot of time and money getting that perfect hair color done or the exact shade of the highhlights. So it is not a surprise you look for diverse ways on how to stop your beautiful blonde highlights from fading. Good news – some tips and tricks can help you maintain your color for longer than you thought.

When it comes to your hair color or the shade of your highlights, anything counts. From the shampoo, you are applying to your hair to water you use for rinsing off. These proven tricks can help you maintain the shade of your hair, especially in the summer.

Reasons Why Your Hair Highlights Fade

Everything can affect the lifespan of hair color, especially the process of dyeing and the products you are using.

1. Insufficient Processing Time

One of the most common reasons your hair color and highlights are fading is the insufficient processing time. This means that you didn’t give time for hair dye to process on your hair. Follow the instructions and give dye time to process into the hair cuticle.

This step is extremely important, especially if you have blonde or grey hair and want to dye it darker.

2. Hair’s Condition

The overall condition of your hair can really affect how long your hair color will stay. So, before dyeing, you need to determine your hair’s health.

If you have split ends or noticed that your hair becomes dry, lacking moisture and proteins, you should have a treatment before doing highlights. Healthier the hair – better the results.

3. Effects of Hard Water

You wouldn’t believe how bad hard water can be for the hair and the color of your highlights. Since most of us use hard water at home, this is something you should really think about.

The elements in hard water like magnesium and calcium are problematic since they create a build-up on the hair. That said, due to that, build-up color can’t penetrate into the cuticle, and you get bad results as well as a short lifespan of highlight shade.

4. Shampooing Hair Too Soon

When you do balayage or highlights, it is good to avoid shampooing your hair for at least 24 hours. This is how you will prolong the fresh and beautiful color of your hair highlights and stop them from fading too fast.

Preventing highlights from fading
Photo: Alina Kovalchuk on Unsplash

5. Using SLS-based Products

Sodium Lauryl Sulfates are usually found in shampoos. However, this is also one of the ingredients you should avoid. Try using shampoos and conditioners that are SLS-free, pH balanced, suitable for your hair and color. That is how you can enhance and prolong the shade of your highlights.

6. Not Getting Enough UV Protection

Not only your moisturizer but also your shampoo or leave-in conditioner should have SPF and UV protection. UV rays can seriously damage not only your hair cuticle but also your highlight and dye shades.

Aside from using products with UV protection, don’t hesitate to wear a hat.

7. Using Hot Stylers Too Much

Using hot styling tools daily requires you to take even better care of your hair. Whether you are using iron, curling wands, or blow dryers, you need to use specific products with thermal protection.

8. Color Infrequently

Infrequent hair coloring can affect the general look of your shade. So make sure to book your hair appointments on time. Don’t wait too long between two series of dyeing or highlights.

How to Stop Highlights from Fading

Stopping highlights from fading
Stopping highlights from fading

You are now probably aware of all those things that can make your highlights look dull and fade quickly. Let’s see how you can treat those problems, and once for all, learn how to stop highlights from fading.

1. Stop Using Hot Water for Rinsing Off

Using hot water in the shower might be relaxing, but trust us – it is not good for neither skin nor hair. It can leave your hair dry and brittle-like.

You will do your hair and hair color good if you avoid warm water in the shower. Especially if you have just done your highlights. Turn down the temperature and finish up showering using lukewarm or even cold water.

2. Use Suitable Hair Products

You should probably know that hair products target different concerns and problems. That is why you have a shampoo or conditioner for dry, oily, normal hair. The same applies to colored ones.

Use suitable products that will keep the color of your highlights bright and vivid. Go for sulfate-free products that can nourish the hair and keep the color. If your highlights are blonde, look for purple shampoo, specially designed for managing light hair colors.

3. Use Coconut Oils as SPF

Coconut oil has natural SPF. Since it is only 6, it is definitely not enough for your body, but it can serve well for your hair. You can be sure this product will do double work – providing you with enough moisture and protection from UV rays.

Photo: Adam Winger on Unsplash

4. Get Some Hair Masks

Treating your hair with suitable shampoo and conditioner is just a part of a routine you need to develop. You should make time and space for some hair masks too. They are great for keeping your color vivid and for supplying your hair with ingredients that hydrate and protect.

5. Try Vinegar Rinse

Vinegar is certainly one of the products you have in your kitchen. You would be happy to know that you can use it as a rinse. Apple cider vinegar should close your cuticle and give your hair and highlights shine.

Make a mixture of cold water and apple cider vinegar and use it once a week as a cool rinse at the end of your showering.

6. Air Dry Your Hair

Whenever you can, try air-drying your hair instead of using a blow dryer. Not only your hair cuticle but also your hair color will be thankful.

If you are worried about how your hair will look after air drying, add a spray into your hair routine. Many texture sprays can make your hair looks like you have just got back from the beach.


Perhaps you wondered why your hair highlights looked dull after a week or two and how to stop highlights from fading. That’s one of the common questions about hair highlights.

This article hopefully helped you see the reasons and some easy ways to prevent that. These methods are simple, yet the results will be shortly visible, and your hair will be thankful.

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