When It Comes To Maintaining Red Hair, #TheStruggleIsReal
There’s no doubt that you love your red hair, but keeping it vibrant and maintaining that perfect shade is often a struggle. Natural redheads get light in the summer because the sun quickly bleaches their hair while red coloring readily fades and washes out. This is because red dyes are the largest molecules so they don’t penetrate the strand as deeply, meaning they rinse out faster than any other color you might choose.
So how can you stay on trend and preserve those warm, coppery tones? Preserve your pigment with proper hair and color care!
Red pigments are sensitive to light so do your best to protect your hair against harsh sunlight. You may have heard that shampoos and conditioners containing UV protection will preserve your color but that’s not always the case. Products used in the shower will mostly wash out when you rinse, leaving you will little protection. Post-shower products applied to damp hair get diluted by the excess water clinging to your strands, and are later destroyed once you apply heat while styling. Post-shower products applied to dry hair are harder to evenly coat, leaving significant sections of hair unprotected despite your best effort.
Instead of relying on UV protection products, protect your color by avoiding midday sun when possible, wearing a wide-brimmed hat, or styling your hair in a top knot or bun to limit the amount of exposed hair.
Regardless of your color, heat is the worst thing for your hair. Give your hair a break and alternate days that you use hot styling tools and days you air-dry. (Looking for tips on how to air-dry your hair? Check here!)
If you can’t bare to skip the hot styling tools, use a heat protectant like Goldwell Style Sign Sleek Perfection (available right in our salon!) and turn down the temperature on your curling iron or straightener. Excessive heat can actually strip the color out of your hair in a single styling session.
In “Pool Hair Don’t Care…But You Should” we discussed the negative effect of chlorine on hair and ways to protect your locks against chlorinated water. If you’ve recently dyed your hair red, avoid the pool (or wear a swim cap to avoid direct contact with the water) for at least two weeks to prevent the chlorine from stripping your hair of its pigment. When you do take a dip, wet your hair first and apply a leave-in condition to coat your strands and create a barrier between your hair and the water. After exiting the pool for the day, immediately wash your hair to clean away any lingering chlorine.
The easiest way to extend your hair color is to wash your hair less! Instead, opt for a dry shampoo to soak up excess oil between shampoos. Aim to wash your hair only 3 or 4 times per week, and use cold water (and less water) to help care for your color and prevent less pigment from rinsing out.
The reason hair stylists recommend using cold water is because cold water prevents your cuticles from opening. Many beauty experts recommend washing your face with cold water for just this reason. You can actually get shampoos like Goldwell Dual Senses Color or Color Extra Rich Shampoo and Conditioner that have the same pH level as hair and skin. Usually, a 4.5 to 5.5. By matching pH levels, it keeps the cuticle closed to prevent your color molecules from washing down the drain. Your shampoo will vary depending on your hair type and texture, so consult with your stylist about which shampoo is best for your needs. You can also opt for shampoos labeled “nourishing”, “sulfate-free”, or “for color treated hair”, or shampoos that contain anti-oxidants which can help keep your color vibrant.
Color depositing shampoos and conditioners are great for boosting color brilliance between salon visits. These products naturally deposit color without the need for additional lighteners. But unlike blondes and brunettes who have dozens of options for color shampoos, finding a red shampoo can be hard. Unless you’re a natural redhead, your shade is probably a custom color created for you. Why settle for a generic red shampoo that will alter your shade? Instead, use Pure Blends Color Depositing Shampoo in your custom mixed shade, 1-2 times a week for salon fresh color.
Fun Fact: Well-moisturized hair holds its color better.
Conditioning your hair replenishes lost moisture, prevents dryness, and keeps your hair looking shiny and healthy. The healthier your hair is, the better your color looks! Try a daily leave-in conditioner to smooth and add shine, and work in a weekly deep conditioning to moisturize, hydrate, and repair your color treated locks.
Visit LJ Hair Design
At some point, you’ll have to admit defeat. There is only so much you can do to keep your color vibrant. As your hair color fades, schedule an appointment at LJ Hair Design to refresh it. Most dyed redheads will want to touch up their color every 4 to 5 weeks. Plus, clearing away dead or split ends will improve the overall health and appearance of your hair!
Call today to book your appointment!