So this edition of Tips & Tricks is based off questions I’ve gotten in various places online, as well as in person. How do I maintain my red hair so well?
Now, I know there are tons of posts/videos on how to maintain dyed hair, but most of the time it is focused on more non-traditional colors and darker reds aren’t ever talked about. Well, here’s one about that spectrum because it does take work.
So let’s start off with a bit of my history with red. I’ve been dying my hair red since I was about 13. My natural hair is super super light blond and 13 year olds can be mean. I was getting teased for my natural hair color and being called dumb or a bimbo and people questioned how I made it into honors classes (it was because I was smart dammit!) So I went to my mom and she told me she had the perfect solution for this. Off to Walmart we go and I’m told to pick out any color I want except black. I pick out this plum/red color and that’s kind of been my signature color since that point. I have done fun colors, black, and even natural for short stints, but I always go back to my dark cool toned red. I don’t do it myself anymore and I trust my stylist Courtney at Shine to do it for me. She knows my color and always does a great job. As much as I like seeing her, I need to extend time between dye appointments because they get expensive. Here’s how I do it!
The goal of extending color is to avoid the dreaded fade. This is how red fades out in my hair:
While it’s a pretty color, it sure the hell isn’t red.
Here’s what we want:
That’s an awesome red and just as awesome as my lipstick! (Jeffree Star Redrum)
You may notice I have black chunks in my hair. They’re just in the front and it takes voodoo and magic to get black out of hair, so don’t worry about that part.
On to the actual tips now. The first thing I always tell people that ask how do I maintain my red is that I use something called Overtone. It’s a deep conditioning treatment that deposits semi-perm dye. Too expensive for you or you want more control over color with something similar? Mix manic panic with regular conditioner and use it as a deep treatment every couple of weeks. It works exactly the same, except you have to do the mixing. Worth noting, since the color is semi-perm, it will fade after a few weeks, which is why you should do it every couple of weeks at least.
The next part is pretty simple stuff. It won’t keep it as bright for as long if you do the overtone treatments, but it will make it last longer. Don’t wash your hair every day. If you can, go 2-3 days between washes. If you can go longer, go for it! I personally can’t. In between use dry shampoo.
When you wash your hair, try to find a shampoo and conditioner that is sulfate free. You want shampoos that are gentle and won’t strip everything out. You don’t need one specifically for colored hair, but it doesn’t hurt. When you rinse your hair, use as cold of water you can stand. The heat strips color out and contributes to the fade.
For styling, try and avoid heat if you can, but if you can’t, use a heat protection product. Another thing is if you can get a spray or something that helps block sun for your hair, go for it. The best thing is if you’re outside for a long time, just wear a hat. It’s better for your hair and your skin.
If you use oils or anything else in your hair, just make sure they’re not super harsh and you should be fine.
Now, how long will the hair color last? Well, not years, but it should extend time between dye appointments for sure by a few weeks at a minimum.
Hope these tips help! Do you have any tips you use to extend your color that works for you?