Fade To Grey (or how not to)

Anyone reading this who’s in their forties will probably remember that great Visage song from the 80s, although I doubt Steve Strange was thinking about his hair colour at the time. Come to think of it, neither was I. But, 30 years on, that’s definitely changed and covering up those grey roots is a tedious monthly ritual (to be covered in a post soon).

hair colour

The problem most of us face in between colouring sessions is how to keep that hair colour looking vibrant, so I’d like to share some of the best products I’ve found, after a lot (L.O.T.) of testing.

The first things I definitely recommend are a good shampoo and conditioner, specifically for colour-treated hair. There are two brands I’m happy to recommend which have both worked very well on my hair (currently dyed dark brown – shade 4.15 to be exact).

I have read many articles which are adamant that these products are just a marketing gimmick, and are no better at preserving your colour than the standard versions. Based completely on my own experience, I disagree, as I have used non-colour specific products and watched my colour run down the plughole as I’ve rinsed.

Perhaps it depends on the brand; maybe any product from a good quality brand would work well, whereas even the colour-specific products from a cheaper brand may not work so well. But, if there is a colour option to be had, whatever the brand, surely there’s no harm in choosing it anyway as the cost is usually the same.

phyto colour products

Anyway, back to recommendations. My favourites are definitely Phyto’s Phytocitrus Colour Protect Radiance Shampoo £12.50/200ml and Phytobaume Express Conditioner £14.50/150ml. After several bottles and tubes of these over the last few months, I’m very happy to report my colour lasts well between each treatment. Their lightweight formulations don’t weigh my hair down or encourage greasy roots, but do leave it soft and tangle-free. Oh, and they smell orange-y and gorgeous. While they’re not the cheapest range, they are good value for money. The conditioner in particular lasts for ages – even with my long hair – as you really don’t need much.


If you don’t get on with these I would recommend trying Kerastase’s Chroma Captive shampoo £17.50/250ml and conditioner £20.50/200ml. Again, these are lightweight formulations so don’t weigh your hair down. They don’t have the great smell of the Phyto products and I don’t feel my hair was left quite as tangle-free and shiny (and they are more expensive), but my colour definitely lasted well.

Try www.lookfantastic.com and www.allbeauty.com and even www.amazon.co.uk for good deals on Phyto and Kerastase.

After shampooing and conditioning, be sure to protect your hair from the heat from your hairdryer and straighteners if you use them. There are some great, well-priced, heat-activated products, and look out for any which filter UV rays as these will help to preserve your colour even more by protecting it from the sun. I currently love L’Oreal’s Studio Line Hot & Straight – a bargain at £3.79/200ml from Boots and most supermarkets.

What’s the best products you’ve used to make your colour last? Please leave a comment and let us all know!

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