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/ August 7, 2014

Tips + Hacks For Healthy Hair | Even Color-Treated + Heat Styled Hair

Can you color your hair and heat style it and still have healthy hair? Yes. It takes a little more work, but you can absolutely have healthy hair. This post goes into my exact routine and tips for keeping my hair healthy.

Hair feels different after coloring because dyes change the structure of your hair.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, most people find that after coloring their hair it has more volume and actually holds style better. Here is my full routine for keeping my hair healthy.

I’ve been coloring my hair for 20 years now and heat styling it even longer and using these tips, my hair has never felt or looked healthier.


1 | Protect Your Ends: Before you wash your hair, put an oil on the bottom 1″. Some oils can strip color, but I like a little almond oil on the ends. The oil helps prevents them from getting too dried out with shampoo. It is important to keep the oil application on the ends only, or else the oil will weigh your hair down.

shop hair oil | almond oil . jojoba oil

2 | Moisture vs Keratin: switch between moisture and keratin (protein) shampoos and conditioners.  Most people who color their hair need a mixture of both. I wash and condition two times in a row with a moisturizing combination, then the 3rd time I wash, I use a keratin combo. This helps me get a good balance of hydration and keratin (protein) in my hair.

related post |Best Shampoos + Conditioners for Color Treated Hair

3 | Scalp Scrubber: a scalp scrubber can help loosen up any products that have reached your scalp, like dry shampoo, root touch up powder or spray, or hair sprays. It also gives a nice circulation boost to your scalp.

How to Use Scalp Scrubber: Place the scrubber down into your hair until it touches your scalp, then rotate in gentle circles, (important) lift the scrubber up and move to another spot on your scalp. I try to be careful not to comb it through my hair, as hair is more delicate while wet.

shop scalp scrubber | amazon

4 | Frequency of Washing: wash hair 2-3 times per week to keep scalp healthy. I find that if I don’t wash my hair enough, my scalp can get really itchy. Washing it too much dries it out. So try to find a nice balance that works for you that makes your scalp happy.

5 | How Much Dry Shampoo to Use: I like to dry shampoo only once in between washes.  The day after I wash my hair, I dry shampoo to prevent my scalp from getting too oily over the next few days. I find that applying it before my hair gets too oily has really helped me.

I will dry shampoo either in in the morning or at night. If I do the morning, I’ll leave it for about five minutes or more, then blow dry at the scalp really quickly to help that dry shampoo become one with my hair. If I apply the dry shampoo at night, it really absorbs nicely while I’m sleeping.

Dry Shampoo Pick: I prefer the Living Proof dry shampoo, because it actually cleans my scalp (no 3rd day scalp itch), vs only absorbing oils. This makes me feel like it’s better for my overall scalp health.

shop Living Proof Dry Shampoo | sephora . ulta beauty . living proof . amazon


6 | Oil In Ends: when coloring your hair, run oil through your ends, like with the shampoo above. Similar to how the oil protects the ends of your hair from the drying effects of the shampoo, the oil will prevent the more dry and porous ends of your hair from getting more damage from permanent color.

7 | Vary Developer Levels: a lovely hair stylist let me know (in a really kind and generous way) to switch to using Level 10 on body of hair.  Keep Level 20 for the roots, but level 10 on the rest of my hair that doesn’t need to be “lifted” as much. This has really improved the health of the body of my hair.

8 | Gentle Permanent Color Brands: Experiment with color brands. As much as I LOVE the color results with Wella Color Charm, I do feel like it can be a bit drying. I’ve been playing around with a few different brands to see if I can find a formula that gives a great Strawberry Blonde color, lasts as well as the Color Charm, and keeps my hair feeling healthy. And that’s easy to find when you aren’t a licensed stylist. It’s hard, but I am trying my best searching!

9 | Stretch Time in Between Color: Root touch up products can really help stretch the time in between coloring. I find that I can get up an an extra month out of my color by using root cover up, which is 1: really cost effective compared to coloring and 2: gives me hair an extended break from permanent hair coloring.

related post | Testing The Best Root Touch Up Products

10 | Refresh with a Color Depositing Conditioner: It took me forever to find a color depositing conditioner that I was 100% happy with. I hesitated for months to buy the Christophe Robin mask in Chic Copper because it felt a little pricey at $53, but then someone emailed me about it again, with a picture of their own amazing results.

It’s truly the perfect color refreshing product. The color is natural, the most beautiful Strawberry Blonde shade. I’d previously tried so many color depositing products that left my hair either too red or a weird splotchy burgundy.

It also keeps my hair in great condition, the ingredients are very high quality and hydrating. I use a silver dollar size amount to make sure that it’s evenly distributed throughout my hair. I have been using this weekly now for the past six months and have only used a 1/3 of the 8.33oz tub!

I can’t say enough nice things about this mask. It’s really helped me starch out the time in between coloring by keeping my Strawberry Blonde looking fresh. They have five different shades available.

shop Christophe Robin Chic Copper Mask | saks 5th ave . sephora


11 | Prime Your Hair: Using a hair primer before heat styling has become a staple in my routine. A heat protectant will help shield hair against heat, but a hair primer helps hair hold the style you have created (straight or curly) so that you have to do fewer hair touch ups.

My hair is on the frizzier side, so this helps me not have to restraighten the hair around my face or around my neck for my 2nd or 3rd day hair. Fewer heat touch ups = healthier hair for me.

Primers have become a little harder to find, as I think people kind of don’t know what they are for (I was confused before trying one) but once you use one there is no going back!

I hunt down the (now discontinued) Living Proof Prime on ebay. I think next I will try this one from Shu Uemura or the Sephora Collection one to see how they compare.

shop Hair Primer | ebay . shu uemura . sephora collection

12  | Avoid Metal Heat Styling Tools: as much as possible try to use non-metal heat styling tools like a blow dryer and round brush, the dyson airwrap (avoid the Bryson round brush attachment which is metal), and hot rollers.  If you have to or want to use a metal heat tool like a curling or flat iron, use ceramic and a heat protect spray. Ceramic tools are more gentle on hair vs tourmaline tools.

shop metal free hair tools | dyson airwrap (qvcsephoraulta beauty) . conair hot rollers . blow dryer . round brush

13  | My FAVORITE Hair Oil: Honestly, I tried so many hair oils, and Agave Oil brand is the best. It’s the only one that adds shine and smooths my hair, but also restores damaged ends. I use agave oil on ends before blow-drying and shine spray to refresh and add shine after dry shampoo.

shop Agave Oil | amazon

14 | Sleep With Hair Up: sleep with your hair in a loose bun, loose ponytail or loose braids.  It reduces the amount your ends rub against your pillow and you’ll have less breakage.


15|  Turn the Ends of Your Hair into a Paintbrush: for everyday, I will use only a small drop of oil before blow drying my hair to keep it light.  But when my ends are super dry and damaged, like after coloring my hair or using too many hot tools, I need more. 

I hold all my ends together at the bottom so the ends of my hair look like a paint brush.  Then I put oil into the palm of my hands and swirl the ends of my hair around until the oil is absorbed.  I use Agave Oil.  At first it will look like it’s going to be too heavy, but then the dry ends soak up all the oil and return to feeling and looking normal. It’s kind of wild.

I do this when my hair is really dry and damaged at the bottom, usually a week or two before I get a trim.


This post contains my affiliate links and I really appreciate when you use them.  It costs you nothing extra to shop using them, your prices stay the same.  They helps support the blog and make future posts possible.  Thank you!



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  1. Is that Oribe shampoo in the pic with the Living Proof Full? I cannot read the bottle and don’t see which one it is in the comments. Thx. 🙂

    • Hi, good eye, yes that is the Oribe Color Preserving Shampoo. I will make sure to label under the pic – Thank you! 🙂

  2. Hi Molly!
    Just wanted to say that I LOVE your blog! The first post I ever saw from you was the strawberry blonde journey part 2 and thought it looked absolutely beautiful on you that I had to try it out.
    The roots spray that you mentioned here, is it useful for people that don’t have grey roots? I have a dirty blonde/very lgiht brown natural under the red and would love to use it between colouring.
    Keep up the amazing blog, you go girl! 😉

    • Thank you so much, that’s really nice of you to say and I’m glad you like the blog! How did your color turn out? I’m all grey, so I checked the Sephora website and the Rita Hazan description says it only covers greys, not new growth. But maybe try in the next time you are at a Sephora or Ulta? It’s worth a shot!