So you've taken the plunge and dyed your hair the perfect mermaid or unicorn shade. Now what to do to maintain this standout electric color? First, accept that it will involve upkeep, especially in the summertime – of all the seasons, I've found that summer sun, sand and chlorine are all major culprits when it comes to drying out different hair textures and colors, much less vibrant mermaid-esque strands.
No worries, though; we've got you covered when it comes to easy ways to maintain any and every bright and candy-colored hue.
Step 1: Use the right haircare products.
Chances are you've had to bleach out your tresses to pull off your cascading mermaid hair, so minimize further damage by using the right products. For example, hair masques and oils, even your own personal DIY beauty treatment (i.e., argan, coconut, macadamia and even castor oils) will saturate dry strands with moisture. Run them through your ends for at least half an hour before you wash hair for maximum damage control. Not convinced on the DIY front? Try a mask like Matrix Biolage Colorlast.
Be sure to use color-safe (i.e. sulfate-free) shampoos and conditioners. You can also try color-depositing conditioners, such as those offered by Overtone Haircare. Just don't use products like these as a substitute every time you condition your hair, as any product that deposits color also tends to dry out already-fragile strands.
Step 2: Don't wash your hair as much.
Seriously. Resist the temptation. Repeat after us... Dry shampoo is your friend. So are wide-brim hats and scarves. If it's been a couple days and your roots have taken on an oily sheen, this can easily be disguised with one of these on-point trends – and even better, you'll get major summer style points.
Step 3: Wash with cold water.
When you do wash your hair, be sure to wash with cold, cool, or lukewarm water, depending on what temperature you can handle. Trust us, it might be a struggle, but it'll be worth it when that vivid color doesn't fade as quickly as it would have otherwise.
Step 4: Embrace the fade.
Depending on the particular shade you've dyed your hair, even faded color could turn out to look better than you expect, taking you from an electric mermaid to a pastel unicorn a la My Little Pony, for instance. Our rule-of-thumb for this kind of crazy-colored hair maintenance is that the brighter you go, the longer the color tends to last. You can count on pastel shades like pale pink, lilac or mint to fade out quickly – as in, within two to three washes, if you're lucky. On the other hand, sea-blues and greens are happy to stick around longer.
In a way, its unpredictable nature is part of what makes mermaid hair fun to experiment with. After all, what's stopping you from trying out a rainbow of different colors? Chances are, fading out from something like a hot fuchsia pink to a light salmon tone will be a refreshing change anyway; and once one color totally washes out, think of it as a chance to try another. So feel free to embrace the fade, and enjoy your expertly maintained mermaid shade while it lasts!