The single most common question that I get asked is…how do you get your hair so vibrant red? The answer usually surprises most when I respond that I do it myself and I don’t need to bleach it first. Most assume I must have blonde or light brown hair which couldn’t be anything further from the truth. It all boils down to finding the right products that work with your hair and establishing a healthy maintenance regime to keep it vibrant between colourings. First and foremost, I am NOT a hairdresser nor have ANY professional training on the matter; this is simply how I managed to find affordable alternatives to visiting the salon every 6-8 weeks due to financial limitations.
This is not the first time I am writing about my hair regime, but I wanted to provide an update on the products I currently use along with some tried & tested red hair upkeep tips. The original article is a great beginner’s guide on what you need to start dying your hair at home, read it here: https://pinuppersuasion.com/2013/07/15/becoming-a-redhead-bombshell-on-a-budget/
Now that you’ve read that, let’s discuss what colour mixture I found to be the most vibrant yet without having to pre-lighten first even if you have medium to dark brown hair like me. After all this time, I still love the L’Oreal HiColor red collection available at Sally’s and find it doesn’t leave my hair dry or damaged. Instead of mixing the HiColor red hot with the HiColor Red HiLights, I now use two boxes of the pure HiColor Red HiLights. Yes, this is meant to be for highlights only but it works great for all over colour if you are seeking a WOW vibrant red! This colour is not for the faint of heart…it is a really fiery red. The mixture recommends a 20 cream developer; this is where you should consult with a professional on what your hair needs specifically as not everyone can handle the same intensity. I currently use a 30 developer on my roots (to lighten) and 10 developer on my ends, as the colour just needs to be re-deposited…not lightened like the root. I leave this on for 45 minutes, although the instructions say 30 minutes. Again, I can’t emphasize enough to start off by following the product guidelines before causing any damage to your hair. I’ve been dying mine for several years now and I took my time before making any changes to the recommended process.
Anyone that has had red hair will know, it fades the quickest out of all colours and goes down the drain every you wash your hair. The trick is, STOP WASHING YOUR HAIR!!! Yes, you heard me right…wash your hair as little as possible, once or twice a week tops! Believe it or not, I used to be that person who washed their hair daily and could not go a day without as it would get super oily. The thing is, the more you wash your hair, the more oils your scalp produces. Crazy right? When you do wash your hair, try to find a quality colour conserve shampoo with no sulfate like the Redken Color Extend Magnetics Sulfate-Free Hair Color Shampoo. This is what I use, it does take a double lather to remove the oily build up after a weeks’ time. I omit using any conditioner as I find it makes my hair get greasy that much quicker.
After the first couple of washes (ie: weeks) from colouring, I always notice my ends start to fade first since they are the most processed. This is where I use the Revlon Professional Nutri Color Creme 600 Fire Red as filler in-between dying. Let me say, this product is not the cheapest but is worth every penny! This cream works as a stain and conditions as well. The longer you leave it on in the shower, the better it takes. Note, since this is a highly pigmented stain…you must wear gloves. It will mark any surface so be careful when applying. The Revlon Colour Ball is what carries me through until the next colour and keeps it looking vibrant week after week. But be sure to wash all the filler out before your next application otherwise the dyes won’t adhere nearly as well.
These are the best care products that I found to be most beneficial in maintaining a vibrant red hair. I have tried many along the way and all the others have failed in comparison. There are surely many more great ones available and I’m always open to trying something different…what have you found to work best for colour treated red hair?