6 Tips On Achieving And Maintaining Bright Red Hair

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6 Tips On Achieving And Maintaining Bright Red Hair

Hello all! This post is about something I have quite a bit of experience with: how to maintain your hair when you’ve dyed it a bright, vibrant red. I’ve had red hair since I was seventeen, so that’s over five years now. Lord. Anyway, let’s forget my sudden where-did-half-a-decade-of-my-life-go crisis, and instead share with you my tips on how to keep your hair (any colour really, not just red) vibrant for as long as possible.

Let’s start with how difficult red hair is achieve. It’s not just a case of picking a dye and pasting it onto your head, with instant Ariel locks. I had a lot of trial and error with my hair when I tried to get to this colour, a lot of the time accidentally switching between plum and ginger, because THE SHADES ON THE BOX HARDLY EVER TURN OUT THAT COLOUR ON YOUR HEAD. Unless it’s Manic Panic or La Riche Directions, do yourself a favour and don’t trust the colour on the box. 99% of the time, it’ll turn out a lot darker than you expected, unfortunately I’ve had to learn this from experience.

Salon Supplies Dyes

I buy my own dye and developer from a salon supplies now, so I know exactly what to expect when I put the dye on my hair. I use 20 vol developer with my colour, so that it’s steadily lifting my hair every time I dye it, without having to ruin it with bleach and a higher percentage of developer. When I’m feeling lazy though, I’ll pick up a Schwarzkopf Live XXL dye in the brightest red they have, usually ‘Real Red’ or ‘Scandalous Scarlet’, and it does the trick!

While red hair is quite hard to get, it’s even more difficult to keep. In scientific terms, red hair dye doesn’t act like other dyes. The molecules in red dye are bigger than those in other dyes. Instead of penetrating the hair shaft like the majority, they sit on the outer layer of the hair. So it rinses out a lot more and a lot quicker when the hair is washed. Like all fashion colours, bright red isn’t designed to stay in your hair for very long. But with the tips I’m about to share, hopefully you’ll be able to extend the length of time that your hair colour stays rich and vibrant!

Avoid heat.

That means the sun, heated hair tools, and even hot water when washing. Heat causes your colour to fade even faster, so cover your hair with a hat when it’s really sunny/warm out, lose the straighteners every once in a while, and wash your hair with cool water. Your colour will thank you for it later!

Wash your hair less.

A lot of people are going to hate this one… But the difference that washing my hair only once or twice a week has made is unreal. It’s in incredible condition, it grows faster, and obviously, the red stays for longer! At this point, I only dye my hair every two months, and that’s mostly because the roots are growing out. It’s vibrant pretty much 100% of the time! It can get a little rusty looking after a while, but with the blonde ombré, I like it. For people with oily roots like me, dry shampoo will be your best friend. I love the cherry one by Batiste, and the Paradise Island one by Boots, mostly because it’s the only dry shampoo I’ve found that doesn’t stain my hair white, which is amazing.

Use sulfate-free hair products.

Sulfates are the devil in terms of damaging your hair and stripping colour out. Get products that are sulfate-free and designed to combat colour-loss, they’re even better!

Put gel dyes in your shampoo and conditioner.

This is such a genius idea! You can add a gel-based dye to your bottle of shampoo and/or conditioner, and use it whenever you wash your hair. That way, even though you’re washing your hair and losing colour, you’re pumping back in with the gel dye. Shazam, hair magic! I recommend Crazy ColourN Rage, or La Riche Directions.

Revlon Colour Bombs.

These are great for giving your hair an extra boost when it’s looking a bit sad. The Revlon Colour Bombs are dye-based conditioners. You apply them before rinsing your hair. Leave it for 10 – 20 minutes, and rinse. Pow, that freshly-coloured feeling is back with a vengeance! I mix the copper and red ones together to stop my hair from being too pink/orange.

Keep your hair in good condition.

Damaged hair won’t hold colour well. Here’s what you need to do to maintain healthy hair: use quality dyes and products, get hair trims every two months, don’t-over bleach it, avoid heat and too much washing, and use a hair mask at least once a week. If you can achieve all this, your hair should be in good enough condition to hold colour, even a bright red, for a long time!

What are your tips for maintaining fashion colours?

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  1. July 21, 2015 / 9:49 PM

    I wish I read this when I was 18 and had red hair for 3 years! Your hair looks gorgeous. I was really rubbish at maintaining it and the roots felt I could never tie it back because of the roots!

    Have you tried the henna shampoo/conditioner? I always used to find this maintained my red when it felt a bit dull I used to use the Boots Botanics Red Henna one but they discontinued it, sob.

    Blogger & The Geek

    • July 21, 2015 / 9:52 PM

      Awh thanks so much! I use the Revlon colour bombs when mine’a faded! Although I have had an ombré for nearly a year now, so I can’t use them as much or they’ll turn the rest of my hair pink! Thanks for your words of wisdom! ☺️

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