Why Won't My Hair Hold Color?

The Frustration of Fading

Do you find yourself constantly coloring your hair, only for the vibrant hues to disappear within a week? It can be frustrating to invest time and money into achieving the perfect shade, only to have it fade away quickly. There are several reasons why your hair may not be holding color, and understanding them can help you achieve longer-lasting results.

The Impact of Hair Porosity

One of the biggest factors that can impact how long your hair holds color is its porosity. Porosity refers to how easily your hair absorbs and retains moisture, and it can vary based on your hair type, texture, and history of chemical treatments. If your hair has high porosity, it may be more prone to color fading since it absorbs pigment more easily, but it also releases it more quickly.

On the other hand, if your hair has low porosity, it may resist color absorption and require more processing time to achieve the desired results. This can also make it more prone to dryness and breakage, which can further compromise its ability to hold color.

The Role of pH Balance

Another key factor that can impact how well your hair holds color is its pH balance. Hair is naturally slightly acidic, with a pH range of 4.5-5.5, and this acidity helps to seal the cuticle layer and lock in moisture. When the pH balance is disrupted, either by harsh shampoos, styling products, or chemical treatments, the cuticle can open up and allow color molecules to escape.

To maintain optimal pH balance, it’s important to use hair products that are formulated for your hair type and avoid over-processing or using heat tools excessively. You can also try incorporating a vinegar rinse into your hair care routine, as the acidic properties of vinegar can help to restore pH balance and improve color retention.

The Impact of Heat and Sun Exposure

Heat and sun exposure can also play a role in how well your hair holds color. When your hair is exposed to high temperatures, such as from blow dryers, flat irons, or hot tools, it can cause moisture loss and weaken the hair structure. This can make it more prone to color fading, as the pigments may not be able to penetrate the hair shaft as deeply.

Sun exposure can have a similar effect, as UV rays can break down the hair’s proteins and cause it to become more porous. This can lead to color fading and even hair damage if left unchecked. To protect your hair from heat and sun damage, try using a heat protectant spray before styling and wearing a hat or scarf when spending time outdoors.

The Importance of Proper Care

Finally, one of the most important factors in achieving long-lasting hair color is proper care. This includes using gentle shampoos and conditioners that are formulated for color-treated hair, avoiding excessive heat styling, and minimizing exposure to harsh chemicals and environmental factors.

You should also try to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, as this can have a positive impact on your hair’s overall health and ability to retain color. Incorporating foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients, such as leafy greens, nuts, and lean protein, can help to nourish your hair from the inside out.


If you’re struggling with hair color that won’t stay put, it can be helpful to take a closer look at your hair’s porosity, pH balance, and exposure to heat and sun. By making some simple changes to your hair care routine and adopting healthy habits, you can help your hair to hold color longer and stay vibrant and beautiful.