A Hairdresser Reveals His Expert Tips For Making Your Cut & Colour Last Longer

By Lucy Slight
Insider styling tips for brunettes, blondes and redheads between salon visits. Collage / Julia Gessler

Those of us who tried DIY during Covid know that taking to your locks with a pair of scissors is not the solution to unruly hair. But as New Zealand is now officially in a recession, you might be thinking about getting creative with your coiffure again ... Before you do anything rash, we asked a hair stylist to share a few of his best tips for extending your time between cut-and-colour appointments. So put the scissors and the box dye down for a moment and read on.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder and when it comes to your hairstylist that statement without a doubt rings true. When times are tough, appointments like those with your hair salon may get pushed out by weeks or even months in order to make ends meet elsewhere, and if you’re currently in this camp you may be wondering how to keep your hair looking fresh in the meantime.

We went directly to the source, asking Oscar&Co salon’s head stylist and Redken ambassador Gene “Ed” Edwards for his expert tips on how to maintain healthy, vibrant locks for longer. While he would prefer you saw your stylist in times of need, Ed also gets that many of us are under pressure right now and certain sacrifices must be made.

How to extend a salon colour for brunettes and redheads

One no-cost solution for getting more life out of dyed hair is to simply wash it less often. Both permanent and semi-permanent colours are susceptible to fading every time you shampoo, so to protect your locks during washing, be sure to cleanse and condition with products suited to your hair type and think about adding an extra day or two between washes.

“Investing in a stunning hair colour also means investing in maintaining its health with top-quality shampoo, conditioner, and treatments designed specifically for the colour system used on your hair,” says Ed.

He recommends those with rich brunette or copper-red hair try the Redken Color Extend Magnetics system which enhances shine and vibrancy. These hair colours can also benefit from colour depositing shampoos and conditioners which add a little extra pigment to the hair to keep your salon hue looking fresh and toned.

“If your roots begin to show, some professional tips include wearing your hair styled more across your face to frame it and conceal regrowth, or trying a zigzag parting to hide any imperfections,” he adds.

Tips for keeping blondes brighter for longer

One of the key areas for blondes to focus on is the health of the hair, as healthy hair is more adept at retaining colour. Bond repairing products (such as Redken’s Acidic Bonding Concentrate, L’Oreal Paris Elvive Bond Repair and the full Olaplex range) are formulated to rebuild the hair’s structure from the inside out, which helps all hair colours to stay looking fresh and bright in between salon visits.

If you always reach for purple shampoo to refresh your highlights, Ed warns that these are only really suited to cooler blondes. “Today’s blonde colours tend to be warmer, creamier tones,” says Ed. “When they fade, I advise against using silver or purple shampoo unless your colour is an icy or ashy blonde as it can make your blonde appear muddy and sometimes darker.”

Pureology Nanoworks Gold shampoo and conditioner is designed for restoring health and vibrancy to colour-treated hair, including blondes, and is a great non-purple option. If your blonde is feeling super lacklustre, visit your salon for a toner touch-up, which is a fraction of the cost of a full lightening service

A buildup of pollutants, metals and minerals can also lead to colour fade, brassiness, yellowing and dullness in blonde hair.

“A chelating treatment can break up these metals and minerals for removal,” says Ed, who recommends Redken’s High Bright system, which includes a pre-shampoo spray treatment. Other options include L’Oreal Professionnel Metal Detox and K18 Peptide Prep.

Getting more life out of your haircut

To keep your haircut in optimal shape, managing split ends is key, and regular trims by your stylist will cut any frays straight off and prevent splitting further up the hair shaft.

If you want to push your haircuts out further than usual, products such as Oribe Split End Seal, Redken Extreme Length Sealer and ghd Rehab Advanced Split End Therapy can be used after washing hair to hold split ends together until your next trim.

Trims tend to cost less than full re-styles and if you have a fringe that’s getting in the way, many salons will trim the bangs of existing clients for free or at a minimal cost.

“It’s better to call your salon than use the kitchen scissors,” advises Ed, who adds that while there are ways to push out your professional hair services, it’s important to still support your favourite salon and hair stylist in a cost-of-living crisis.

“Even if larger, more expensive services are less frequent, your hairdresser would appreciate your patronage for smaller services like in-salon treatments and maintenance toners,” he says.

“Also, supporting them by purchasing your hair products directly from them can make a significant difference.”

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