How to Keep Red Hair Color from Fading

Last Updated on December 16, 2022 by Gaga

Although your red-colored hair can look stunning, red is the second hardest hair color to maintain, next to blue. Before taking the plunge, you need to understand that red is a high-maintenance color that is highly prone to fading. It takes time and effort to keep it looking fresh and vibrant.

If you get your hair dyed at the salon, the color will last longer than when you use home dye kits. Still, it may take only a month for red hair color to become noticeably less intense. Sometimes, the unwanted fading process can start soon after the hair has been dyed, making it seem like investing in the dye job was just a waste of money. Red pigments fade over time regardless of what brand of hair dye you use.

a pensive redhead woman sitting at a table with a notebook in a coffee shop

You may be asking if there is a miracle product that will help you achieve the perfect shade of red and help to keep it vibrant for longer. The answer, fortunately, is YES. This product is a protein filler and it is effective, safe, and inexpensive.

How Protein Fillers Can Help You to Achieve Marvelous Color Results?

Two kinds of protein fillers can greatly benefit individuals who dye their hair red.

1. Neutral Protein Filler by Colorful Products

Neutral Protein Filler helps to even out your hair’s porosity to ensure even color absorption. It repairs protein bonds damaged by over-processing and protects the hair against chemical damage.

The Neutral Protein Filler can be used before coloring to even out hair’s porosity and help the dye go in evenly. It fills in porous strands, making hair stronger and more receptive to dyes. It also strengthens and repairs the cuticles, enabling hair to hold color better and longer. The product should be applied to damp hair and allowed to sit for 20 minutes. The color is then applied without washing out the filler from the hair.

This magic ingredient can be added to a hair color mixture to help seal color within the cortex and get a more uniform shade of red. It helps over-processed hair to take color more evenly and more permanently. The color will blend nicely, while your hair looks fuller, shinier, and much healthier.

Happy redhead girl using laptop in cafe

2. Red Colorful Protein Filler

In addition to all benefits provided by using a Neutral Protein Filler, Red Protein Filler can also be used to refresh the color between coloring sessions. To revive fading hair color and extend the time between coloring, apply the Red Protein Filler to your wet hair. Massage the product into your hair, leave it on for 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

The Red Protein Filler also can be used as an additive when you apply red color over previously bleached hair. When added to hair dye the Red Colorful Protein Filler ensures a more even and longer-lasting shade of red.  The product reduces bleeding during washing, slows color fading, and makes hair fuller and less prone to frizz.

After you’ve achieved your desired shade of red, there are a few more tips on how to maintain your favorite color fresh and vibrant and minimize fading to ensure its longevity.  

How to Maintain Dyed Red Hair   

How to Wash Dyed Red Hair

After getting your hair dyed, avoid washing it for at least 48 hours to ensure that the cuticles stay closed. Dye molecules diffuse out of the hair when the hair is exposed to water. Water itself can take away the pigment because hair dyes are mostly water-soluble. The absence of water allows the cuticles to stay in place, so they can hold the color longer.

Wash your dyed red hair no more than twice a week. The more you wash your hair, the faster the color washes away. When you take a shower and don’t want to shampoo, be sure to pull the hair up into a bun or wear a shower cap to keep your locks dry.

Avoid using hot water when washing your hair, and make sure to use cool water for the final rinse. Hot water slightly opens the cuticles, allowing the color molecules to slip out. On the contrary, cold water seals the cuticles, keeping the dye molecules locked in.

A smiling redhead woman with cup of coffee talking on smartphone

What Shampoos and Conditioners to Use for Red-Colored Hair

Ordinary shampoos and conditioners often contain harsh cleansing agents which cause hair color to fade prematurely. Only use shampoos and conditioners labeled as “sulfate-free” since these formulas are gentler on your hair and won’t strip the hair’s natural oils or color pigments.

There is a wide range of shampoos and conditioners formulated for color-treated hair, and some of those products are specifically designed for red-colored hair. Best shampoos for red-colored hair contain antioxidants, anti-fading agents, and UV protectors which help keep your red hair vibrant for longer.

Making Red Hair Redder: Color Depositing Shampoos

One of the easiest ways to refresh the color and keep red shades vibrant is to use a color-depositing shampoo. A color-infused shampoo is formulated to deposit temporary color onto the hair shaft with each wash. This adds vibrancy back into your color and prolongs the time between your trips to the salon. You might want to wear gloves to protect your skin and nails from stains.

The popular brands of red color depositing shampoos include John Frieda Red Boosting Shampoo, Joico Color Infuse Red Shampoo, and Celeb Luxury Viral Colorwash.

Red-enhancing conditioners work the same way as color-depositing shampoos, instantly refreshing the vibrancy of red tones every time you condition your hair.

attractive redhaired woman in eyeglasses with newspaper

Tips for Better Color Retention

  1. High heat can also cause red hair color to fade fast. If you must use heat styling tools, make sure to apply a thermal protectant first.
  2. Protect your hair when going out in the sun, because prolonged sun exposure can damage dyed hair and cause the color to fade. Stay out of the midday sun and wear a hat to cover your head. Use a UV protectant spray on your hair if you plan on spending time outside.
  3. When swimming, never forget to put on a swimming cap. The chlorine in pool water strips red hair dye, so don’t even think about entering a pool for the first two weeks after the coloring service.
  4. Get a gloss hair treatment approximately one week after a coloring service. A cellophane treatment adds shine and refreshes permanent color between color appointments.
  5. Add Hydrolysed Silk Protein to your conditioner in concentrations up to 5% to reduce color fading. Also, use hair care and styling products that are enriched with silk proteins.
  6. Consider using a leave-in spray for color-treated hair. This multi-tasking hair treatment helps even out porosity, locks color pigments into the hair, and protects the color from harmful UV rays.
a thoughtful redhead woman sitting at table in cafe

About the author

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Gaga is a blogger and founder of the Softer Hair website. She often says that insomnia is to blame for her first blogging attempts. Being the night owl, she hated the morning alarm. She left her office job and returned to what she loved most - writing.