Thinking of going with rainbow hair this summer? I totally approve.

As someone who has been rocking alternatively colored hair since the 90s (thanks Glints and Manic Panic!), there’s a lot I’ve learned about maintaining your bright hair color for maximum longevity.

Before you take a dive into the rainbow, know that most fashion colors are not permanent. By nature, these bright dyes are semi-permanent. And to achieve a bright look, you should know that you’ll likely have to bleach your hair up to a platinum first.

If you have naturally dark hair (as I do) this isn’t a one step process. When I went back to the bleach after my last pregnancy in 2014, it took three processes spread over 18 weeks to get from brunette to pale blonde. It’s technically achievable in one sitting (as Kim Kardashian famously went from black to blonde hair overnight), but definitely more healthy for your hair to take lightening up in shades over time.

If you’re already naturally blonde, you’re ahead of the game. However, if you have a lot of color already on your hair, it’s best to have a conversation with your colorist about what results are realistic. Lightening color-treated hair with bleach can be unpredictable, so choose a colorist carefully.

Ok! So you’ve decided to go with some mermaid hair for summer, now — how to keep it looking great…

First, if you wash your hair daily, just stop. Nothing will make your color fade faster than shampooing. There’s lots of great dry shampoos available. On the cheap side, I’ve had great results with Suave (no kidding!). Batiste is the biggest high-end name in the dry shampoo game, and they make sprays for both light and dark hair (sometimes, dry shampoos can make dark hair look ashy). My current favorite is Captain Blankenship’s Mermaid Dry Shampoo, which is a powder you can shake on and then rub into the hair.

When you do have to shampoo (and I try to keep a week between shampoos), you’ll want to wash your hair with the coldest water you can stand, and use a sulfate-free and silicone-free shampoo. I currently use L’Oreal’s EverPure 6-in-1 Cleansing Balm, which you can get at any grocery store.

You should also take care to dry your hair quickly after washing. Many dyes can run, even weeks after application, so to keep that color on your hair instead of rubbing off on a towel or pillowcase, make the time to properly dry.

If you heat style, and most of us do, use a heat protectant spray. If you are doing rainbow hair color right, you’ve got some bleached strands to take extra care of.

Finally, you’ve got to learn to rock a swim cap for the summer. Dorky, I know. But I know you all aren’t spending upwards of $200 on your hair to just lose the color after a few dips in a chlorinated or salt-water pool. Swim cap. Trust. Or just stay above water.

And that’s it! Rock your rainbow hair ladies! Here's some of my colors from over the years!