There are few things more disheartening than watching the gorgeous chocolate shade you just dyed your hair fade to a dry, brassy mess. It seems like it happens overnight, and that often means you can't make it to a salon (or a box of hair color) in time. Prevention is your best option, but no one's perfect, so I've prepared real-world tips that you can use at home to keep your color now and fix brassiness later. For my solutions, read on.

Prevent:

  • Keep it moisturized. VO5 Hot-Oil Treatments ($4) are so inexpensive, and they really do leave your hair in much better shape.
  • Use a UV protectant spray. If you've gone really dark but your base color is lighter, this can help prevent sun-induced fading. L'Oreal's EverPure UV Protect Spray ($9) is nice and lightweight, so your hair won't get gunked up. Midrange browns might not benefit from this too much, though, since there aren't as many color molecules for the sun to break down.
  • Dial your styling routine down. Too many products and daily blow-drying will fade your color in no time, so give it the day off twice a week. Use a little leave-in conditioner like TIGI Bedhead's Ego Boost ($14.50) and give yourself a classic chignon or french twist. You'll look great and be doing your hair a big favor.

Correct:

  • Use a shampoo with purple tones, like Lush's DaddyO ($8.75), which smells like those French lavender pastilles patisseries always carry. For an explanation of why this works, read our interview with hair guru Paul Cucinello.
  • Give yourself a glaze, like John Frieda's Brilliant Brunette ($10). Glazes push new color molecules into the outer layer of your hair shaft, plumping up your hair so it feels softer and renewing the color a little. For the fastest results, coat your dry hair in it, cover with Saran wrap, and wait 20 minutes. The heat from your scalp accelerates the color and you'll get more dramatic results.