Keep Your Hair Color Vibrant

Shampoo, rinse, repeat -- and fade. It never fails; your glorious, color-treated hair goes from shiny to dull after a few weeks. If you're not careful, you'll be back in your hair stylist's chair before your regular appointment, ready to plunk down a chunk of change for a redo. With a few tweaks to your haircare regimen, you can prolong that gorgeous hair color, keeping it looking vibrant and shiny longer, without frequent visits to the beauty shop.

Limit your washes, ladies. Who doesn't like drowning the day away under a warm shower for at least 10 minutes? Getting your hair wet frequently, like daily hair washings or swimming in the pool, can suck the life right out of your hair. If you want to keep color vibrant you'll have to limit the water. Try washing your hair every other day and wearing a swim cap for the pool.

Protect your hair from sun. I'm a true believer in slathering on the sunscreen. Those ugly age spots seem to run in my family and I'm determined to avoid them. Until recently, I had not considered protecting my hair. I was surprised to discover not only does your scalp need shielding from the brutal UV rays, but the sun can quickly fade color. Want to prolong your fiery-red or platinum tresses? Wear a hat while you walk along the beach or work in your yard. Rock a headwrap when you cruise in the convertible. A little bit of protection goes a long way.

Invest in color-extending products. New Color Vibrancy with Antioxidants by L'Oreal prolongs vibrancy by actually nourishing the hair. This three-part system, (Color Vibrancy Nourishing Shampoo, Color Vibrancy Nourishing Conditioner and the Color Vibrancy Dual Protect Spray) protects hair from the sun, makes it silky and keeping it vibrant. Color-extending products? That's a no-brainer!

Go easy on the styling. Don't punish your hair daily with a fading process of washing, drying and hot-accessory styling. Give your hair a few days off for good behavior! Skip the excessive styling on the weekend. Try a loose ponytail, a trendy braid or let the natural curl play, at least for a day.

Commit to conditioning. Keep your hair vibrant by conditioning your mane. Don't skip conditioning treatments. I use a leave-in conditioner on the weekends to protect my favorite shade from turning dull and lifeless.

Content by Monica Bullock.