A rigorous exercise or sports routine can wreak havoc on your hair color. We asked two color queens, Marie Robinson, Clairol color director and owner of Marie Robinson Salon in New York City and Teca Lewellyn, Procter & Gamble beauty scientist in Cincinnati, to share their tricks for keeping your hue in as great shape as your physique.
- Time wisely. Schedule your workouts for the time of day you like to shower—whether it's morning or evening—so you don't have to wash your hair twice in one day, which can degrade color over time.
- Be protective. Before diving into the pool, wet your hair. Getting it wet with regular water will help prevent some of the chlorine from getting into your hair. Studies have shown that color-treated hair is more susceptible to cuticle damage from chlorine, probably because it's more porous. Also try applying a coat of conditioner to your wet strands before putting on your swim cap for extra defense.
- Made in the shade. If you aren't able to avoid running during peak hours or stay in the shade, grab a hat or bandana to keep locks under cover. SPF-type protection for hair is still a work in progress, since strands function very differently from skin.
- Feel the heat. If you reach for a blowdryer, flat iron or curling iron after your workouts, spritz on a heat-protecting mist before styling, as high temps can sap hair color as well. Colored hair is already at a disadvantage against hot tools because the invisible protective F-layer is removed in the coloring process.
- Get a boost. If your hue starts to look "blah" between appointments or colorings, pick up a box of demi-permanent color like Natural Instincts in a shade that matches your current one: It will act like a pro gloss treatment to refresh and adjust the tone of your hair color— and the antioxidants in the formula will help keep your hue true.