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Which Hair Color Lasts the Longest?

The time has come for you to take the plunge into the hair coloring world but you’re not sure where to begin. If you’re considering a new hair color, it’s important to know what your options are.

Coloring your hair takes time and money, if you want to get the most bang for your buck and don’t want to spend hours in the salon, it’s important to know what hair color will last the longest.

We will also fill you in on what hair color fades the fastest and go over what factors can determine how long hair color will last for you.

Let’s get into it.

What Hair Color Lasts the Longest?

which hair color last the longest

We won’t keep you guessing, brown is going to be the color that lasts on your hair for the longest period of time!

The type of dye, such as permanent or semi-permanent, also influences the duration of the color. Permanent dyes generally provide the most enduring results.

The longevity of hair color also depends on the shades of the color. Dark shades of hair color tend to last the longest.

Pigments used in darker hair colors can penetrate the hair shaft deeper. Thats why dark brown hair color last longer than light brown.

Hair color is not a one size fits all endeavor and brown won’t let you down in giving you a customizable color that suits your skin tone and eye color perfectly.

Can you believe that becoming a gorgeous brunette will also save you from being in the salon every two weeks!? It really is a win-win!

Why Does Brown Hair Color Last the Longest?

We have to get a little bit technical to answer this one but we promise not to bore you!

Brown hair dye has smaller dye molecules than lighter colors. The smaller dye molecules are able to penetrate deeper into the hair strand and because they are deeper in the hair they can stay there for longer.

Another reason why brown hair color lasts longer is that your hair will not need to be bleached before applying brown hair dye. Bleach roughs up the hair’s cuticle and allows hair color to escape more quickly.

Not using bleach also keeps the hair healthier and healthy hair will hold on to hair dye much easier than damaged hair.

Options for Brown Hair Color

Now that we know that brown hair color lasts you the longest let’s check out some of your options when choosing the perfect brown for you!

Warm Browns

warm brown hair color longevity
Warm Brown Hair

Think chocolate or golden when it comes to warm brown hair color. Warm brown hair color looks great on those who have warm undertones. Brown or green eyes and warm brown hair color are  winning combos we love.

Ashy Browns

Ashy Brown Hair
Ashy Brown Hair

Cool browns like the mushroom brunette trend, have become very popular in the last few years. Ashy browns look amazing on those with cool undertones. Ashy brown hair color really makes blue eyes pop!

Neutral Browns

Neutral Brown Hair
Neutral Brown Hair

Neutral brown hair color has both warm and cool tones, giving it a beige-y hue. It works on both cool and warm undertones and looks great with any eye color. Look for shades like sand when choosing a neutral brown.

What Hair Color Fades the Fastest?

what hair color fades fastest - red

We can’t talk about the hair color that will last you the longest without discussing which hair color will fade the fastest.

The hair color that fades the fastest is red. The reason that red hair color fades the fastest is because its color molecule is larger than the molecules found in brown hair color so it can’t penetrate as deeply into the hair strand.

The red molecules “fall out” faster as you wash and wear, causing red to fade in just a couple of weeks. This is also the reason the burgundy color fades too quickly from hair.

We still love red hair color! But it is important to know that red hair will require more maintenance than brown hair color aka more time in the salon and more money spent.

If this works with your lifestyle then red could be a great hair color option for you!

Other Factors that Cause Hair Color to Fade

reasons why hair color fades fast

We now know that the hair color you choose can determine how long your hair color will last, but there are a few other factors that can cause hair color to fade more quickly no matter what shade you choose.

We’ll go over what those factors are so you can make sure your hair color lasts you as long as possible!

Washing too often

Washing every day can cause hair color to fade quickly, try to cut back to at least every other day to maximize your time between salon visits.

Not using color safe hair products

Using products that are not color-safe or specifically for colored hair, can strip the hair of color and shorten the time your hair color stays vibrant. Make sure to use shampoo and conditioner that say color safe or for colored hair on the label!

Not using a heat protectant

Hot tools, like your curling and flat iron, can also strip your hair color. Using a heat protectant before heat styling will create a barrier between your hair and your hot tool that will prevent color from fading.

Basically, if you take great hair of your hair, you can be sure your hair color will give you maximum staying power and look great for longer!

Key things to remember:

  • Brown hair color will last you the longest!
  • There are many different shades of brown hair color, it’s easy to find the perfect shade for you!
  • Red hair color fades the fastest, be ready for more frequent maintenance if you choose red!
  • Factors like washing too much or not using a heat protectant can speed up fading with any hair color so take great care of your hair for best results!

Photo of author

Alice Rawling

Alice Rawling is the chief editor of HairdoHairstyle. She's a hair stylist with over eight years of experience in LA. She has been featured in prestigious beauty magazines and online publications like Brides, Business Insider, Hairstyle Camp, BuzzFeed, Bustle, etc.