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Huffington Post: Gina Rivera on Summer Care for Hair Color

Amelia Fulgentes

Let’s just suppose for a moment that those aren’t your natural highlights.

We all color, right? And we’re all going lighter for summer. What we don’t all do is take care of that color.

Think of it as an investment. Hair coloring can be pretty expensive and it can take a lot of time to do right, at a salon or DIY at home. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of that investment, to keep that color looking great as long as you can:

• Wear a hat when you’re outside, even when you’re in the water. Look for them at your local sports store. If you’re just goofing around in a pool, a ball cap is perfect, but you can also get them now for everything from kayaking to surfing. These will protect your skin and your hair from damaging, fading rays.

• Don’t want a hat? Try some of the hair products now that have sunscreen built in.

• Healthy hair is beautiful hair. Going light can be hard on your lovely locks, requiring some harsh chemicals to make it happen. After you color, go with some protein-rich deep conditioners each day for a few days and then continue with a nourishing, quality conditioner after you regularly shampoo.

• Use a professional shampoo and conditioner for color treated hair, and definitely NOT a clarifying shampoo. You could end up watching that lovely color go swirling down the shower drain.

• Have some fun. No worries. Play with temporary colors. You can find sprays, rubs and bars that will all give you a bright splash of vibrant color and then disappear after body surfing or a shower, just in time for work Monday morning.

It is summer. Life is supposed to be fun. Don’t sacrifice too much of that summer excitement for hair color. Sure, if you’re a bridesmaid at a resort wedding you may want to avoid the pool but most of us need to jump in. That’ll be the best thing for our souls.

If you haven’t gone for that big summer color change yet, here is another recommendation: get your hair in great shape BEFORE you sit down for that appointment. Use a cleansing shampoo, or make a cream of water and baking soda, a couple days ahead and follow with a high quality conditioner. And remember, do NOT use a cleansing shampoo after you color, particularly if you’ve gone darker.

Love change!