On the colour maintenance scale, red hair ranks as one of the most difficult to take care of. After all, it’s a tone that relies on vibrancy – meaning dullness is non-negotiable. By nature, red tends to fade fast (yet is one of the trickiest colours to remove). So how do you maintain red hair for longer? The answer is all in these tips…
1. TRY A PERMANENT COLOUR
Red hair maintenance starts in the salon. If you really want your fiery shade to last, ask your colourist to use a permanent hair colour like Koleston Perfect. Both offer a raft of vibrant hues – from strawberry blondes to cherry reds – so you can work this season’s trending shades for longer.
However, permanent colours do ask for more commitment than demi or semi-permanent shades, as they tend to leave a stronger regrowth line near the root. This isn’t a problem if you’re working a red ombre, but if you need a shade that’s lower maintenance, opt for a semi-permanent. It fades true-to-tone, so the change is soft and gradual.
2. USE A COLOUR PROTECTING SHAMPOO FOR RED HAIR
The right shampoo is key to every colour care routine. You need a formula that protects the colour, effectively cleanses and keeps locks in glossy condition. Try a colour shampoo, which purifies the scalp while retaining the radiance of your red hue. The optimised pH level of the formula helps to close the cuticle after cleansing, which will boost your colour retention. Choose from two editions: one for coarse hair or one for fine and normal hair. All you need to do is lather up and rinse for easy at-home nourishment.
For locks that are long, damaged or frequently styled, you could also use the Colour Motion Shampoo, which is extra nourishing and infused with additional antioxidants for enhanced protection. When you massage shampoo in, focus on cleansing the scalp and the roots of the hair, and the gentle lather will take care of the mid-lengths and ends. That means there’s no need to use extra shampoo for the ends.
3. TURN THE WATER TEMPERATURE DOWN
When you’re washing your hair, be sure to turn the tap down to a lukewarm temperature. Hot water can open the hair cuticles, allowing red pigments to escape. By rinsing with cooler water, you’re not only helping to safeguards coloured strands, but you’re also being kinder to the planet by using less energy.
4. APPLY A MOISTURISING CONDITIONER
Healthy hair is shiny hair, which is why red locks need plenty of moisture. The more hydrated your hair is, the more gloss you’ll get from those copper or scarlet tones. You already know conditioner is a must, but the trick is to find the right product and technique. Try the Colour Brilliance Shampoo, which works in tandem with the shampoo to level up luster. If hair needs extra attention and feels fragile, try the colour motion mask, which boosts shine and strengthens the hair, thanks to WellaPlex bonding agent.
Then, instead of simply squeezing water out of your hair before you smooth on conditioner, grab a towel and use it to soak up moisture, so that locks are damp (not soaking wet). This way, the conditioner won’t just slide off your hair and down the plughole – it’s able to penetrate each strand much deeper, making a big difference to hydration levels.
5. MASSAGE IN A COLOUR-DEPOSITING MASK
One of the most effective ways to revive red hues is by using a colour depositing mask. These at-home treatments veil strands in a hint of a tint that’s completely foolproof for even colour newbies. It’s no replacement for professional colour, but it keeps reds looking fresh in between salon appointments.
Case in point: the Colour Fresh Mask, which pampers mid-lengths and ends with a blend of oils, while injecting locks with a tone top-up in just 10 minutes. Reach for Copper Blaze to maintain copper hair (or similarly soft reds, like ginger and auburn hair or Red for fiery shades of crimson, scarlet and cherry. If you have red brown hair you could also try applying Chocolate Touch. Simply comb through shampooed, towel-dried locks, allow to develop, then rinse and style.
6. SHIELD YOUR RED HAIR FROM THE HEAT
Few things fade a red mane faster than heat – from the sun and your styling tools. So, stock up your kit with the right protective products to lock down your shade for longer. To protect from UV rays, we recommend misting locks with INVIGO Sun UV Protection Spray, which is like SPF for hair, creating a lightweight shield that doesn’t mess with your style. In the summer, you can also play with scarves and hats to keep hair under wraps. We spotted pastel printed head scarves and neon bucket hats all over the catwalks.
Meanwhile, if you’re a slave to your straighteners or fond of a curling tong, you’ll want to be prepping strands with a fine misting of thermal image heat protection spray. Use it on damp hair before you blow-dry, and dry hair before you style. Not only does it shield from up to 220-degree heat, but it injects a dose of glossy shine, too.
7. BOOK IN FOR A GLOSSING SERVICE
Finally, go down the pro route with a glossing service in between colour appointments. It’s a quick way of topping up your tint, taking just the space of a lunch break. (Yes, seriously.) Your colourist mixes a little of your target shade with a developer and conditioning treatment, then applies the blend over the top of your existing colour. It’s then left to develop for up to 10 minutes – we told you it was quick – before hair is washed and styled. Brassiness will be banished, and your red hue will look instantly brighter.