Start maintaining your color immediately after your color service by using a color sealant, such as Ion Color Defense After Color Sealing Treatment, to lock in color and shine and re-balance your hair's pH. To continue protecting your hair color, use the sealing treatment after every shampoo, too.

Prevent fading and keep hair soft and shiny using hair care products that are specially formulated for color treated hair. Check out the complete line of Ion Color Defense products.

Condition color-treated hair to maintain a healthy look and feel.

Visit your salon every six to eight weeks for a retouch to keep your color vibrant.

Refresh color between salon visits with a color-enhancing shampoo or a temporary color rinse. Try Quantum Reds, Browns and Glistening Golds or Roux Fanci-Full Temporary Color Rinse. To touch up roots, try HairMarker Temporary Liquid Hair Color or Claudia Stevens Root Touch-Up Hair Color.

Learn the basics of hair coloring before you visit your salon.

Whether you're considering a radical change from brunette to blonde, or you're just looking for a subtle shift from mousy brown to warm brunette, you'll get the best results from a professional color service.

Before coloring, consider the different types of hair color available:

temporary color
Includes rinses, color mousses, hair color crayons, mascaras and sprays. Temporary color does not penetrate the cortex, but coats the outside of the hair shaft and washes out in one to three shampoos. It's perfect for last-minute touch-ups and safe for relaxed hair or permanently straightened hair.

semi-permanent color
Ideal for trying a new hair color shade, semi-permanent color lasts through four or five shampoos. Used straight from the bottle, it contains no ammonia or peroxide, so it is mild enough to be used on fragile, permed or relaxed hair. It blends or covers gray (if hair is less than 25% gray); adds richness to natural hair color; gives highlights and shine, but does not lighten hair color.

demi-permanent color
Also known as long-lasting semi-permanent hair color, demi-permanent color penetrates the hair shaft and deposits color, but cannot lighten hair color. It uses a dedicated developer so the color lasts almost as long as permanent color—up to 30 shampoos. Demi-permanent color produces natural-looking results and blends up to 75% gray.

permanent color
Permanent color penetrates the hair shaft, giving hair new permanent color that gradually grows out. Perfect for 100% gray coverage or for dramatically changing hair color, permanent hair color may be a single process, in which new, darker color is applied to the natural color; or double process, in which the natural color is pre-lightened before new color is applied.

Accent hair color with highlights that can be applied with several techniques. Natural color is pre-lightened (lifted) from selected strands of hair and permanent color is applied to those areas. This can be a two-step, or, with some newer products, a one-step process. Lowlights, or darker shades, are sometimes applied to give more depth to a lighter hair color.

How do you choose the perfect shade? For the most natural look, select a shade that's close to your childhood hair color. If you're looking for a change, let your colorist guide you to the shade or mix of shades that best suits your complexion and your personality.

Best results come from skillful application. A salon hair color service uses professional hair color and is done by a trained professional who understands both the artistry and the chemistry involved. To learn more about professional hair color, visit