9 Undisputable Stylist Tips How To Keep Highlighted Hair Healthy

Medically reviewedby Dr. Amy Revene M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Wondering how to keep highlighted hair healthy?

Maintaining the vibrancy and health of your highlighted hair doesn't have to be a challenge.

In this article, we'll share essential tips and tricks to ensure your colored strands stay lustrous and strong.

How to keep highlighted hair healthy

Here are some of the top tips to keep your highlighted hair healthy:

  • Use Sulfate-Free Shampoo
  • Apply Sulfate-Free Conditioner
  • Regularly Oil Your Hair
  • Intake Proper Vitamins
  • Get a Hot Oil Treatment
  • Avoid Using Heating Tools
  • Refrain from Rough Combing
  • Sleep with a Silk Pillowcase
  • Seek Professional Hair Care

1. Use sulfate-free shampoo

highlighted hair

Since our color treated hair undergoes chemical processing, it demands special care to maintain healthy hair and prevent the hair color from fading too quickly. The chemicals in many popular shampoos can make your hair more porous, allowing your color to fade away faster. 

Using sulfates will speed up the fading of your highlighted hair, so it's best to switch from regular shampoo to one that doesn't contain sulfates.

One of the best sulfate-free shampoos is Hair Strength Shampoo, which is specifically best for colour treated hair and contains no silicones, parabens, or sulfates that harm your highlighted hair.

Also, you should not wash your hair on a daily basis; so when your hair starts to feel oily, you can also use dry shampoo to protect it from daily washing.

Hair Strength Shampoo | For Women
Hair Strength Shampoo | For Women
Aims to cleanse gently while helping to reduce excess oil and balance scalp

2. Use sulfate-free conditioner

sulfate free conditioner

Bleached hair, especially when highlighted, tends to be thirstier than unprocessed hair, requiring extra moisture to prevent dryness.

It needs additional moisture to keep the hair shaft from breaking. Hair Recovery Conditioner is the added step that helps seal and lock in your hair’s moisture.

Sulfates may strip away too much moisture, leaving the hair rough and unhealthy. They may also make the scalp dry. Aside from the possible drying effects, using sulfates may harm a person's health.

Sulfate-free conditioners are entirely safe to use. These cosmetics are suitable for all hair types and contain no harmful ingredients. Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Recovery Conditioner has a lipid-based protective film.

Hair Recovery Conditioner from Scandinavian Biolabs works with Hair Strength Shampoo to repair and protect hair strands. It provides enhanced elasticity and overall strength. It replaces the important oils that were lost during the cleansing phase, repairs damage to the hair cortex, and adds moisture to the hair strands so that they don't dry out and break.

Hair Recovery Conditioner | For Women
Hair Recovery Conditioner | For Women
Aims to improve smoothness & durability while helping to reduce breakage

3. Regular oiling

Hair is unable to maintain its own moisture levels. Sebum is a natural oil that keeps the hair healthy and hydrated. It goes down the hair shaft and is made by the hair follicles.

Our hair's natural sebum is impacted by adding highlights and needs to be moisturized. That's where oil comes in. 

Depending on the hair type and need, good hair oil can be applied in a variety of ways. Given the variety of hair oils available, it might be a good idea to experiment with them or to concentrate on the one that best suits your requirements and hair type.

All hair types, especially dry, damaged, and highlighted hair, can benefit from coconut oil. Your hair can become dry and brittle from the chemicals in hair color, but coconut oil counteracts these effects. It provides nutrients and moisture to your hair, promotes growth, repairs damage, and won't alter the color.

4. Intake of proper vitamins


Besides good shampoo, conditioner, and oiling, we need good nutrients for healthy hair. Remember what you do on the outside; it starts on the inside. 

When you eat the nutrients your body needs, your hair will recover from damage more quickly and appear more vibrantly colored.

Many vitamin supplements fulfil our hair needs. But one that does it without adding extra "substances" that you don't really need is Scandinavian Biolabs' Hair Nutrient Tablets. With only proven ingredients that work to keep your hair healthy - it consists of apple extract, horsetail extract, amino acids, B vitamins, vitamin C, and zinc.

Hair Nutrient Tablets
Hair Nutrient Tablets
Contains zinc for the maintenance of normal hair, as well as niacin and riboflavin for the maintenance of normal skin.

5. Hot oil treatment

Getting a hot oil treatment at least three days before highlighting is a good idea. Hot oil treatments nourish your hair and protect it from drying out, owing to all the chemicals in the dye.

A hot oil treatment could be helpful if your hair is dry, brittle, frizzy, colored, or prone to split ends. Your hair may benefit from the oil's cuticle-sealing effect in preventing damage. The oil can also moisturize your hair. Natural hair typically responds well to hot oil treatments.

For oily hair types, consider lighter oils like jojoba or almond oil, which are excellent for maintaining the health of colored hair without adding excess weight.

Jojoba and almond are suitable options because they can be readily absorbed. This lessens the likelihood of an oily buildup on your scalp and hair. 

6. Avoid heating tools

hair cuticle, hair air dry, hair salon

If you have colored hair, this is another important piece of advice you need to remember. To keep your bleached hair healthy and shiny, minimize the use of heat styling tools such as curling irons, straighteners, or blow dryers.

If you don't stay away from hot styling equipment, you should apply a heat-protectant spray with UV protection to your hair. Your hair will be moisturized and protected from heat damage by doing this. The spray separates heat and hair.

To decrease exposure to heat, you can also use a hairdryer or styling equipment on a lower setting. Rather than using a hairdryer or blow dryer, air dry your hair and add waves with a braiding iron.

7. Avoid rough combing

Your dyed hair can suffer damage from sources beyond heat and chemical treatments, including physical handling.

Few people know that rough towel drying and brushing or combing the hair too hard are two things that can cause hair to break.

When your hair's cuticle, which is its outermost layer, is damaged and becomes open, the hair becomes tangled. Detangling can be difficult. You've always had tangled hair or noticed tangles more easily after a color treatment.

After getting out of the shower, many of us have the habit of quickly drying our hair with whatever towel is handy.

This rough handling can lead to split ends, breakage, and faded hair color, particularly detrimental to bleached hair health. Instead, use a microfiber towel or wrap to dry your hair softly.

8. Sleep with a silk pillow

Your hair tangles, knots, splits, and breaks completely as you move!  This problem will not arise if you use a silk pillowcase.

Hair effortlessly glides over the smooth surface of a silk pillowcase, resulting in less frizz and tangling, which is essential for maintaining the health of dyed or bleached hair.

Also, unlike cotton, which is very porous and will soak up your hair's moisture while you sleep, silk won't dry out your hair.

Because silk can help hair maintain moisture from products and natural oils and decrease friction that could cause knots and breakage, experts say the advantages of a silk pillowcase are most noticeable for hair.

9.  Professional hair care

Your at-home hair care routine can preserve the beauty of your highlights, but professional hair treatment in a salon is always recommended for optimal hair health.

You will need to visit the salon again to have your highlights touched up approximately every six weeks if you enjoy them and want to retain them.

You should see a professional stylist regularly to keep your hair's health, texture, and color by putting oil on it and taking other steps.

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Immediate aftercare for highlights and color?

Highlighted hair

Even though highlighting normally causes less harm than full-head bleaching, but your lightened hair still needs extra care to keep its lustrous sheen.

Your highlights may lose their attractiveness and swiftly deteriorate due to dryness and frizz. To avoid this, you can take three simple aftercare steps:

  • Wait 48 hours before shampooing
  • Use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner
  • Use normal-temperature water for shampooing.

Wait 48 hours before shampooing

You must wait 48 hours after highlighting to protect your new color. If you wash your hair earlier than necessary, the color will quickly wash away and become dull.

Use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner

Use shampoo and conditioner without sulfates when you wash your newly highlighted hair. This will keep your hair healthy and is an important aspect of hair care.

Use normal-temperature water for shampooing

Hot water is not better for washing your hair after highlights. The hot water will open up the outer layer of the hair, which may cause it to fade and dull your new color.

Why should you keep your highlighted hair healthy?

colored hair

Hair highlights can take time to maintain while giving you a new look. Maintaining your highlights' health and well-being is crucial if you want them to look good.

You must maintain the health of your highlighted hair for a few reasons. It's crucial to keep in mind that lightening your hair can harm it. We can lose strength, moisture, and flexibility when we use bleach or a lighter to eliminate our natural hair color. This can make our hair dry, frizzy, and more likely to break.

A routine and appropriate supplies are essential to minimize the loss of these items. Use products at home that replace the level of protein and lipids in the hair to keep it strong and soft if you want to keep your hair healthy. 

You risk having faded and lifeless highlights if you don't maintain them. Finally, keeping your highlights will help your hair look its best for a longer period of time.

Does my hair need to be bleached to get highlights?

In general, yes, but it depends on the colour of the hair and the desired result. If you already have light hair and are looking for subtle highlights, chances are that you won't need to bleach your hair. However, if your hair is dark or you want a more dramatic look, bleaching is usually necessary in order to achieve the desired effect. 

Bleaching works by using either hydrogen peroxide or bleach to lighten strands of hair, allowing the color from the highlight dye to be absorbed better into the strand. Though this process can be relatively quick depending on the shade of your existing hair or desired highlight colour, it's always best to get highlights done by an experienced person since they understand how much time is needed for each step in the process. 

Additionally, there are options for achieving highlights without bleaching such as chamomile shampoo which gradually change hair's tone over time but will not give quite as dramatic a result as bleaching would.

Can colour-conditioners help maintain my highlights?

colour treated hair

Yes, colour-depositing conditioners can absolutely help maintain your highlighted hair! Not only do they work to neutralize any brassy tones in blonde highlights, but they also act as a deep conditioning treatment. This means your hair will be nourished with extra moisture, making it look and feel healthier. Furthermore, colour conditioners can help you maintain the brightness of your highlights while adding vibrancy to your strands.

These products are formulated with special pigments that deposit on the hair shaft and bind to the cuticles of each strand. This helps to preserve the original shade of the highlights for longer than shampooing alone. 

How soon can I wash my hair after getting highlights?

When it comes to washing your hair after getting highlights, it is generally recommended that you wait a minimum of 48 hours before shampooing. This waiting period is essential in order for the colour to properly set into your strands and give them a more vibrant and lasting appearance.

After all, you want your highlights to look as good as possible! During this time, try not to wet your hair excessively, as this can loosen the newly applied colour and affect its overall longevity.


The biggest lesson here is that hair that has been highlighted needs a little more TLC.

It's easy to keep your highlighted hair healthy, but you need to change your daily routine and the products you use. Sulfate-containing shampoos and conditioners should be avoided.

Your showers should be heated less frequently.

To keep your highlights healthy, use deep conditioners and proper oiling. We hope our in-depth guide to maintaining healthy highlighted hair will be helpful to you.


Can purple shampoo help maintain the color of blonde hair?

Yes, purple shampoo is an essential hair product for blonde hair as it helps neutralize brassy tones, maintaining the vibrant and fresh look of your highlights.

How can I protect my hair when using extensions on colored hair?

When using hair extensions on colored hair, it's crucial to ensure that the extensions match the color and texture of your dyed hair. Also, use a heat protectant when styling to preserve both your hair's health and the color.

Is gray hair more susceptible to damage when dyed or highlighted?

Yes, gray hair, which is typically coarser and more brittle, is more susceptible to damage when dyed or highlighted. It requires specific hair care products to maintain moisture and elasticity.

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Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.