Tip No. 1: Go Clear
Don't think of getting a gloss as dyeing your hair: you're just enhancing what you've naturally got. "A gloss or glaze will keep your color looking rich and your strands shiny if done every six weeks," says Christine Thompson, cofounder and master colorist at Spoke and Weal. "You can do a clear gloss to make your color more vibrant."
Tip No. 2: Cut Down on How Often You Wash
"To make any hair color look better, shampoo less," says Thompson. Product buildup will make your natural color look dull, and excess washing will make your salon color fade faster. You don't need to wash your hair every day—your hair will look all the better if you don't.
Tip No. 3: Use Color-Safe Products
"Always, always use color-safe shampoo. It's not a gimmick," says Thompson. "Our guests invest in their color, and a small bottle of color-conserve shampoo makes a huge difference in maintaining the color they pay for. Just be sure to consult your colorist before buying a shampoo that claims to be color-enhancing—it might muck up your custom color."
Tip No. 4: Keep Your Hair in Good Shape
"Healthy hair translates color most effectively," says Thompson. Protein-rich shampoos, conditioners, and masks can help to maintain the integrity of your hair, so treat it well and it will look better than ever.
Tip No. 5: Protect, Protect, Protect
"Damage-protecting products can help hair to stay healthy and therefore look more vibrant," says Thompson. If you blow-dry, straighten, or curl your hair—all of which are tough on your delicate strands—then heat protectants are essential; they minimize breakage and keep your hair looking its best.
Tip No. 6: Amp Up the Shine
"Any styling product with an oil or silicon finish will make your hair shinier and more reflective, so the color will be enhanced," says Thompson. "You can also find reflective hair-care products—we love Aveda's!"
Tip No. 7: Consider Adding a Little Color
"A semi-permanent custom color gloss is a great way to enhance natural hair color," says Thompson. "There's no long-term commitment and no line of demarcation when your hair grows." No one needs to know that your blonde hair isn't naturally the color of warm honey or that your rich brunette tresses aren't actually that deeply hued. Consider this a secret way of turning up the saturation of your hair just a little bit.
Tip No. 8: Make an Investment
"Maintain your appointments," says Thompson, "A clear gloss or color-balance treatment every six weeks will keep your color looking rich." So, if you want your tresses to always look your best, pay your colorist a visit—and while you're there, pencil in your next appointment, too.