Home Australia The Seven Tricks to Get Rid of Gray and Make Salon Color Last Longer, by Royal Hairstylist RICHARD WARD

The Seven Tricks to Get Rid of Gray and Make Salon Color Last Longer, by Royal Hairstylist RICHARD WARD

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You have to think about how much maintenance you're willing to accept when dying your hair, says Richard Ward

The sun is out, the birds are chirping… and those gray hairs shine like a halo in the bright spring light, sending many of us running to the living room.

But monthly visits to keep our roots in check aren’t cheap; So how can we lengthen the time between visits? From cold showers to mascara for our roots, celebrity hairdresser Richard Ward, whose clients include the Princess of Wales, shares his advice.


Are you toying with the idea of ​​becoming a fiery redhead? Be careful. “Artificial red tones fade much faster,” says Richard. This is because the molecules that make up the red pigment are larger than other color molecules, so they cannot penetrate as deeply and as a result, it is easier to remove. If you’re going much darker than your natural shade, you can also expect it to fade.

For blondes, the duration of the color will depend on how the color is achieved. ‘If you’ve used bleach, you’re less likely to see your color fade, as it lifts the pigment and doesn’t necessarily tone. But over time, it can discolor or become duller and is more prone to damage,” says Richard.

You have to think about how much maintenance you’re willing to accept when dying your hair, says Richard Ward


Choose a hair coloring technique that fits your lifestyle and budget.

“You have to think about how much maintenance you are willing to accept,” says Richard. ‘For example, if you have very dark hair and you opt for blonde highlights, you will see that it grows back quickly. If you don’t have the money or time for regular salon visits, you may want to consider another approach.’

For low-maintenance looks, she recommends techniques like balayage, where color fades naturally from the mid-lengths to the ends. ‘It’s great for customers as there’s no obvious new growth, but not so great for the salon even!’


While some suggest ditching the shampoo and just using conditioner on your hair, Richard recommends investing in a high-quality shampoo, explaining that “when it comes to shampoo, I think you get what you pay for.” More expensive products tend to have fewer stripping ingredients, such as sodium laureth sulfate, which are bad for color.


Many people believe that doing a Wim Hof ​​(showering with cold water) is the best way to make hair color last. Cold water keeps the hair cuticles closed and therefore prevents the color from fading too soon. If shivering in a cold shower doesn’t appeal to you, try warm water. Water quality also has a great impact on our hair. Some tap water contains iron, rust, copper and even lead, which accumulates in our hair.

While you can buy bottles of distilled, purified, or decalcified water (which doesn’t contain any of the contaminants you’ll find in tap water), purchasing a water filter might be an easier option, like a Brita for your shower.

“Water filters that remove calcium, chlorine and other minerals that can discolor hair are a very good idea,” says Richard.


“Whenever you can, avoid using heat styling,” says Richard. ‘If you have curly or frizzy hair, you will need to apply heat, but use a heat protectant spray and the lowest heat you can. If you can get away with a hairstyle that doesn’t require tools, like heatless curling irons that you sleep with, that will help your color last longer.’

He also recommends avoiding using too much product.

“It’s best to use a volumizing spray that you use only on the roots, rather than something like a mousse that goes to the mid-lengths and ends and can dull the hair,” she says. “And in all products, less is more.”


Whether it’s the sun, which lightens darker tones, chlorine, which can turn blonde hair green, or salt water, which can dry and discolor hair, vacations can compromise hair color.

“If you are going to be out in the sun, use a UV protection spray and a hat,” Richard recommends. And, if you’re a regular swimmer, use a protective treatment, such as the Philip Kingsley Swimcap, and a swimming cap. I always notice when people swim regularly: chlorine is a nightmare for their hair.’


“Color sticks, root touch-up products, pens, and sprays can help you monitor root growth between visits,” says Richard. “And color highlights revitalize darker tones, while if your hair is turning brassy, ​​a toner is a good solution to get you through.”

As told to Claire Coleman

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