Red hair can be stunning, but it’s one of the hardest colors to maintain. One main problem is that the color fades more quickly than any other shade. It takes a great amount of work to keep the red color treated hair vibrant, shiny, and healthy.
Hair dyed red can quickly change shades, becoming a brassy shade of orange, which is far from the look you desire. The change can happen soon after the hair has been dyed, making it seem like the dye job was just a waste. If the red hair dye was applied by a professional in a salon, the color might last longer than it would if it was done using an at-home kit. Still, it takes only about a month for the color to become clearly less intense.
Red hair dye molecules are typically larger than those of other dyes, so, they can’t penetrate the hair shaft deeply, and they diffuse at a much faster rate. Fast color fading is just the way of red dyed hair, regardless of what type of dye you use. Studies have shown that the red hair samples were more damaged than natural and black colored hair in the solutions with the same chlorine concentration.
How to Keep Red Hair Color Vibrant and Beautiful
There’s good news for those who love coloring their hair red. Even though red color is especially prone to fading, with proper care, you can make your color last longer and keep your red hair looking vibrant and shiny.
First, use a clarifying shampoo in order make sure the hair is clean before applying the dye. Deep cleansing shampoos are the most effective at getting rid of leftover styling residues and hard water chemical build-up.
After getting your hair dyed, avoid washing it for at least 48 hours. Dye molecules diffuse out of the hair when the hair is exposed to water. Water itself can take away your pigment because hair dyes are mostly water soluble. Do all you can to protect it from getting wet, allowing the cuticles to stay in place, so they can hold the color longer.
Only wash your colored red hair once or twice a week, if that, and no more. The more you wash your hair, the faster the color will wash away. When you don’t shampoo, pull the hair up into a bun or wear a shower cap to keep your hair dry in the shower.
When you finally go to wash your hair, rinse it in cool water instead of hot. Hot water slightly opens the cuticles, allowing the color molecules to slip out. Meanwhile, cold water seals the cuticles, keeping the dye molecules locked in.
Shampoos and Conditioners for Red Color Treated Hair
Only use shampoos and conditioners labeled as “sulfate-free” since these formulas are gentler and clean without stripping your hair of its natural oils and dye.
There are shampoos and conditioners specifically formulated for color-treated hair, and also those made especially for colored red hair. Ordinary shampoos and conditioners not only don’t protect dyed hair, but often contain harsh cleansing agents which cause hair color to fade prematurely.
Red color protecting shampoos contain antioxidants, anti-fading agents, and UV protectors which will help keep your red hair vibrant for longer.
There are also color depositing shampoos and conditioners which deposit pigments with every hair wash to give your color vibrancy and shine in between coloring services. You need to wear gloves when using them to keep your skin and nails from staining.
More Tips to Prevent Color Fading
Even heat can have a negative impact on red hair color. If you simply must use heat styling tools, then apply a thermal protectant first.
Protect your hair when going out into the sun, because prolonged exposure to UVA and UVB rays can damage dyed hair, dry it out, and cause the color to fade. Stay out of the midday sun and wear a hat to cover your head or use a UV protectant spray on your hair.
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 dye has been applied to your hair.
Get a gloss hair treatment or cellophane color revitalizing treatment approximately one week after a coloring service. A cellophane treatment conditions hair, adds shine, and refreshes permanent color between treatments.
Use a leave-in hair treatment for color treated hair such a Pureology Color Fanatic Hair Treatment Spray with 21 Benefits. This product locks in and protects color from UV fade and helps your color stay brighter for longer. It conditions damaged hair, protects it from heat, and leaves your locks soft, shiny, and easy to untangle.
When you apply red color over previously bleached hair, add Red Red Colorful Protein Filler to your color mixture to counteract brassiness and get more even and longer lasting shade of red.
Medical disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.