It’s no secret that salon visits are an investment, especially if hair dye is involved. And, while we hope this is a one-time situation, if you get your hair done at a salon, chances are you’ll be returning to that salon at least every six weeks for a touch-up. Even the most permanent hair color requires a refresh, thanks to obvious factors like root growth, as well as aggressors like tap water, Sun exposure, and products that may cause the color to fade. So if you’re looking for something that can keep your hair color looking fresh between visits, without the salon prices, you’ve come to the right place.
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We spoke with top hair color experts to find out how to best maintain hair color between salon visits, whether you need a root touch-up or root-to-highlight tinting. And, ultimately, the answer is in the formula – the pharmacy formula, to be exact. From glosses and glazes to color-depositing sprays and the hairdressers’ best-kept shampoo secret, we’re sharing eight drugstore expert-approved hair color products that’ll keep you going until your next hairdresser appointment.
The best drugstore hair color products to hold you over until your next salon visit
Head & Shoulders Classic Dandruff Shampoo — $18.00
“Head & Shoulders is a salon pro’s little secret to help keep your scalp healthy and your hair silky, even if you don’t have scalp issues like dandruff,” says Cody Renegara celebrity hairstylist who has worked with Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz and Madison Watkins.
When the hair is dry and dull, the color may also appear faded, even though it is not. Using a product like Head & Shoulders shampoo, which is safe for color strands and formulated without parabens, can give hair a dose of deep nourishment, creating a silkier, softer texture that, in turn, makes the color more vibrant and rich. .
Paul Mitchell, Color Protecting Daily Shampoo — $15.00
Paul Mitchell is a hair care brand that dominated salons throughout the 80s and 90s and, according to Renegar, is still trusted by colorists and hair professionals, especially as a drugstore formula, because the brand has proven to meet many hair care needs and questions and generally enjoys an affordable price.
“Color Protectant Daily Shampoo is good for preserving your hair color and keeping your hair hydrated and smooth,” he explains. This shampoo is specially formulated for color-treated hair and is designed to protect strands from sun damage and hair color from fading over time. Its nourishing formula also helps keep the dull, discolored look of dry stands at bay, which can also make color last longer.
L’Oreal, Magic Root Cover-Up — $10.00
Renegar says you can also trust L’Oreal drugstore hair care products that are the best value. He recommends Magic Root Cover-Up because it’s “a handy way to hide the whites and grays between services.”
While there are other drugstore root touch up products you can choose from, this one is the best as it comes in a great range of colors which makes it much easier to match your hair color , is washable so you don’t have to worry about messing up your hair color between salon visits, and is easy to use (it’s basically a tinted hairspray).
Wella, color freshness mask — $27.00
A color-depositing hair mask is also a great way to go, and Ghanima Abdullah, a cosmetologist at good hairstyles recommends Wella Color Fresh Mask for a drugstore formula that will keep you going between salon visits.
“It’s basically a hair mask, it conditions, softens and adds shine and color,” she explains, noting that it comes in several different colors and fades after a week or two, which makes it a good temporary solution. In addition to keeping color looking fresh, the mask is also excellent for toning up a balayage look or highlights and is also recommended as a weekly at-home hair treatment for copper prevention.
John Frieda, Glaze Shine Luminous Hair Gloss – $19.00
While the John Frieda Luminous Glaze Shine Hair Gloss only comes in light and brown colors, Abdullah swears by it between salon visits, as it “does a terrific job of adding 3D-quality shine,” which can create the illusion of a richer appearance. color (especially if your hair tends to become dull and dry).
The best thing about this product is that although it is a treatment, you can use it as part of your hair care routine every time you rinse, be it daily or weekly, to ensure you extend the life of your salon-quality locks until your next visit.
Redken, Shades EQ Hair Color – $16.00
The Redken Shades EQ Hair Color Gloss is actually a salon product that you can use at home. “Because it’s a demi-permanent, you can actually change your hair color with it, if you go darker,” says Abdullah. “It’s also great for toning down unwanted colors,” she adds.
This drugstore color-saving product doesn’t leave a color line, so it has nothing to do with canned dye or other risky home color products. Plus, it lasts about a month, so it’s a great choice for someone who can’t get into the salon for a few weeks and needs a more durable solution.
IGK Color, color deposit mask – $29.00
IGK Color Deposition Mask is another nourishing formula recommended by Abdullah. “It’s a very hydrating mask and has the widest color range with 18 shades ranging from brown to hot pink,” she notes.
This color deposit product can help hair color stay fresh, especially if your hair is dyed fun and funky shades like purple, pink, and blue. That said, it’s not meant to cover grays, so it’s best to use a root touch-up spray (like the L’Oréal Magic Root Cover-Up) if this applies to you.
dp Hue Color Enhancing Shine + Deep Conditioning Treatment — $37.00
The dp Hue Color Boosting Gloss + Deep Conditioning Treatment is a semi-permanent gloss with 11 natural color shades. “You can easily match your existing color and just add more pigment with this line,” says Abdullah, noting that it’s another go-to choice between salon visits.
The product is formulated for natural and color-treated hair and, despite its coloring properties, does not damage the hair, so it can be used as often as you wash and condition your hair. On top of that, the deep conditioning treatment provides plenty of shine, which can bring strands back to life, especially if you haven’t been to the salon in a while and you’re running late.
Drugstore products to avoid
When it comes to drugstore products that preserve color, Renegar says there are also a few things to avoid, no matter how tempting. This includes box dyes, which can have lasting effects on strands and even ruin your hairdresser’s job because once they’re in, they’re in (I didn’t listen to that advice and I spent three years growing box tincture—trust me, it’s not worth it). “Once the hair dye has been applied to our hair, it stays there until it grows out or gets cut,” says Renegar. “It’s almost impossible to restore it to its original color, at least not without a high cost.”
If you have to go for a more DIY tinting route, Renegar says to stick with glosses or glazes, like the dp Hue Color Boosting Gloss + Deep Conditioning Treatment, Redken Shades EQ Brilliant Hair ColorAnd John Frieda Luminous Glaze Shine Hair Glosswhich Abdullah also encourages in relation to box tincture.
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