As much as I love the look of caramel balayage on my hair, color care is a full-time job that I'm not ready to commit to. I learned this the hard way after trying the look at a swanky salon. Sure, I fell hard for my new color the minute I stepped out of the salon chair, but after a few weeks went by, my very limited knowledge of maintaining bleached strands left me with dry, brassy chunks. Considering that touch-ups are expensive and time-consuming, I've gone the route of concealing my now-overgrown highlights in the comfort of my own home in as little as 20 minutes.
I do this by using DpHue's Gloss+, a genius semi-permanent color that acts as a hair tint and a conditioner. For those of you who feel intimidated by at-home hair dye kits, let me preface with the facts that 1) I've never dyed my hair at home before finding this impressive pick, and 2) it's way simpler to use than most dye kits. Think of this product as more of a color conditioner: I simply apply the formula on the areas of clean, damp hair that I want to tint, let it sit for up to 20 minutes (or as little as three, depending on your desired color intensity), and rinse out. Et voilà, salon-worthy color at a fraction of the time and the cost (a bottle goes for $37).
To maintain my semi-permanent color, I touch up with Gloss+ for a full 20 minutes once every three weeks, which is also within the range of reapplication that Lorena M. Valdes, a hair colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, suggests. "You should apply Gloss+ about every three to six weeks, but you should know that after every wash and hot tool, the semi-permanent color will fade a little," she says. I'll admit that I have noticed minimal color fading after each wash, but it's nothing that a weekly five-minute touch-up in the shower won't fix.
Valdes also notes that swimming, sun exposure, skipping heat protectant, and not using a color-locking shampoo are all factors that could significantly fade your color, regardless of whether or not you're reaching for DpHue's hair color or going for a professional treatment at a salon — so keep these factors in mind.