While I’m often asked how I maintain my bangs, I’m also asked how I maintain the intensity of my black. I’ve been dying my hair black for about a year and a half. Initially I found colour fade-out to be a serious problem but along the way I’ve learned a thing or two about maintaining my colour. Keep in mind that my hair is naturally dark and thick – these tips on maintaining hair colour intensity are obviously subjective so finding the products that work best for your hair colour and type may vary from what I what I say here, but certainly these are great starter tips if nothing else.

SLS & sulfate-free shampoo


Yes To Nourishing Shampoo | $9.99 CAD

While I’ve tried colour shampoos, I’ve found the best type of shampoo for maintaining my hair colour is SLS & sulfate-free shampoo as these chemicals typically strip your hair of not only essential nutrients but colour as well. I don’t quite understand why so many ‘colour-safe’ shampoos use these chemicals, in my experience they have only worked to fade my hair colour rather than help maintain it. I’m currently using Yes To’s Nourishing Shampoo, I also use their conditioner in my hair wash regimen.

Colour treatment mask


Inebrya Ice Cream Colour Mask | $11.99 CAD

I’ve been using Inebrya Ice Cream Colour Mask for the past few months and I’m totally in love! It smells like ice cream (not surprisingly) and it lasts forever. I purchased this tub in August 2014 and I’ve got about a quarter left. I use close to half a palm-full once a week and it leaves my hair feeling soft and well-conditioned.

Quality hair dye


Wella Colour Charm | $7.19 CAD

Salon Care (16 fl. oz.) | $4.59 CAD

I’ve had my hair dyed black professionally and I’ve also used box dye. I certainly love my stylist but as we know having your hair professionally dyed can be costly. While box dye is a far cheaper option, it’s simply too ‘harsh’ to use on my hair every 6 to 8 weeks. Box dye is a one-size-fits-all, I don’t require as strong of a lift as a blonde, let’s say, so why would I process my hair more than is necessary? I use Wella Colour Charm in 1N (the blackest black you can get) and Salon Care Creme Developer in Gentle Lift. I purchase both of these products from Sally Beauty Supply. I dye my roots every 6-8 weeks and allow it to emulsify for about 5 minutes. The only time I really dye my hair fully is in the summer as sun exposure typically fades hair faster.

Additional tips

Wash in cool water (and as infrequently as possible)

Washing your hair in cool water is not only better for maintaining hair colour, it’s also better for maintaining overall hair health as warm or hot water is drying. When I can’t resist a hot shower, I’ll simply dampen and rinse my hair in cool water and immediately turn up the temperature for body-washing. I also only wash my hair every 3 days, or about 2 times per week. Baby powder is my ultimate weapon to combat greasy roots after the 2 day mark.

Cover up (avec hats)

In the summer you can almost always find me in hats! Problem is, they don’t work well for my bangs at all. Nonetheless, while I adore the sun it is definitely the ultimate enemy for my hair colour throughout the warmer months.

What are some ways you maintain the intensity of your hair colour?