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How To Keep Red Hair Color From Fading

Hair Color How-Tos: Keeping Reds Vibrant

Red: while gorgeous, it's one of those hair colors that's difficult to keep vibrant. It can be a sassy, fiery shade of cherry, or a subtle, natural strawberry blonde. Whatever the case, one thing's for sure. While the smaller color molecules of red dye enter the hair rather easily, they also exit the hair quite rapidly.

The most surefire way to keep red bright is to wash your hair less often. But, there are more things you can do to keep your reds refreshing. Get started when you


  • Go pro: When it comes to red, there are so many variations and tones of color. Plus, box color isn't as strong as professional color, so it's best to leave it to the experts. That, or use professional color only like you'd find at Sally Beauty Supply.
  • Sun protection: Besides water, one of hair color's worst enemies is the sun. Protect from fading by covering your hair with a scarf, hat, or even sun protecting product like Aveda Color Conserve Sun Protector ($14).
  • Wait and wash: After coloring your hair, wait 24-48 hours to help lock it in further. Trust me. It works.
  • Cold water: Warm water opens up the cuticle. Cold water helps seal it. Help prevent red color from slipping out by washing it in cold water instead.
  • Safety first: It probably goes without saying that color-safe shampoo is a must for color-treated hair. For red hair, however, it's an absolute must. Try Redken Color Extend Shampoo ($13) and Redken Color Extend Conditioner ($15).
  • Glazed over: A glaze will keep your red looking shiny and fresh in between colorings. John Frieda's Luminous Color Glaze in Deeper, Richer Red ($8.50) might just do the trick.
  • Depositing shampoo: Once or twice a week, try a color depositing shampoo and conditioner to keep the vibrancy alive, like L'Oreal's ARTec Professionnel Color Depositing Shampoos ($17 each) and Conditioners ($19 each) in Cherry Bark, Orange Marigold, and Red Clover.
  • DIY: Use ingredients from nature to enhance your hair color. Apply a 50/50 mixture of carrot and beet juice on damp hair. Let it sit for an hour out in the sun.
  • Get real: Be realistic about red. If you are going from a light blond to an auburn, it may take a few trips to the salon to get the true, rich red pigment you desire.


Join The Conversation
MadaboutMarilyn MadaboutMarilyn 7 years
If you have red hair and want to keep your color vibrant, try coloursplash hair refresher by Lavender Hill hair Color. it is made by a genius hair colorist who does Kelly Rutherford's hair. She also has an ebook that is a godsend if you dye your hair called Excuse Me... Your Roots Are Showing. I buy the color refresher off of her website or on Amazon you can get it there too. The great thing is that it doesn't damage your hair. Her blog has a ton on info too. To Fabulous hair! :)
Nadia24gv Nadia24gv 7 years
I want to dye my hair red but they are either too orange or too crayola red. I need to find a good mix of the two.
Little-Pepper Little-Pepper 8 years
my hair is auburn but sometimes I color my hair to get a deeper shade, and as it fades, you can't really tell too much, so i can do it every 8 weeks or so, have been doing so for over 2 years and tried a lot of brands... however, be aware of this horrible hair color perfect10 in red shades... do not use it!! it was the only one that destroyed my hair a while ago! the color was icky, then it started coming off (after 1-2washes) and left my hair orange/red/light in pieces, my roots were dark red and the rest was orange carrot. redheads- stay away from that hair color!!
lindssaurussss lindssaurussss 8 years
this is great advice. i plan on dying my hair red soon.
ModernGraceKelly ModernGraceKelly 8 years
I was a redhead for years.. It's naturally auburn. How I'd love to have Isla's long red hair.... She's so cute. It has to be that shade, anything lighter would wash me out.
TammyO TammyO 8 years
I wish I had naturally red hair. :sigh:
emalove emalove 8 years
Hottpink, yes Burt's Bees works very well! It is a fabulous eco-friendly shampoo. It's not heavy at all either. Very lightweight, and surprisingly, it lathers quite well.
rachelbojangles rachelbojangles 8 years
I'm a fake redhead and I do almost all those tips. The Redken, JF glaze, and the depostiting shampoos really do work. My red stays looking great 5 weeks after I get it it done.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I used to be a red head at one point but I've always preferred darker brunette locks on myself. I always think of Orphan Annie when I think red, hahahahaha.
hottpink hottpink 8 years
emalove - I have considered trying the Burt's Color Keeper as my daily shampoo and conditioner. Does it work very well and is it very "heavy"?
emalove emalove 8 years
I use Burt's Bees Color Keeper shampoo and conditioner, and I love that John Freida red glaze! I use it every couple of weeks or so.
hottpink hottpink 8 years
I have red hair and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the L'Oreal's color depositing shampoo! It has saved my red color and extends the time by about 2 weeks. I use the Cherry Bark. Red fades so quickly but I love it so much!! Thanks Bella for this post!
eowynnie eowynnie 8 years
Oh man, do I envy redheads! One of my best friends growing up had gorgeous red hair and I was so jealous! Mine is boring and black. -___-
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
So pretty!!
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