So, You Dyed Your Hair Red – Here's How to Keep Your Color Bright

Screenshot these tips before heading to the salon.

So, You Dyed Your Hair Red – Here's How to Care For It
Photo: Getty Images/ Amanda Lauro

Red hair might be one of the current top hair color trends, but there's something you should know before you book an appointment with your colorist to dye your hair a rich red velvet shade like Zendaya or a warm copper like Sydney Sweeney. Red hair fades quicker than any other color.

"Dyed red hair is prone to fade and is high-maintenance, requiring a lot of upkeep," says Arsen Gurgov, celebrity hairstylist and founder of Arsen Gurgov Salon in New York City. "The red hair molecule is larger than most other hair color molecules including blonde and brunette hues, so the dye has difficulty penetrating the hair shaft. Instead, it sits on the surface of the hair allowing it to wash out faster."

The good news is that if you're willing to put in the extra effort, it's possible to keep your new red hair vibrant. Abiding by a few haircare commandments will help your color stay fresh. We tapped the colorists behind the best celebrity red hair transformations to break down the most important rules to follow when you go red.

1. Don't Over-Wash Your Hair

"The biggest cause of red hair fading and getting brassy is over-shampooing," says Gurgov. After you've dyed your hair, the colorist recommends waiting three days until you shampoo to prevent the color from fading.

If you need to refresh your hair before wash day, Jenna Perry, the celebrity hair colorist behind Kendall Jenner and Maude Apatow's copper strands and founder of Jenna Perry Hair Studio in New York City, recommends using a dry shampoo. "I like to use and recommend dry shampoo to keep the hair color looking fresh and clean," the colorist says. "The Living Proof Perfect Hair Day is my favorite."

When you do wash your hair, turn your shower temperature down. Gurgov tells us that hot water opens up the hair cuticle, which allows the red color to slip out.

2. Use A Color-Depositing Shampoo and Conditioner

Treat hair with a color-depositing shampoo and conditioner in-between salon appointments to minimize any existing brassiness and nourish your color-treated hair. "You must have either a copper shampoo or conditioner," Nikki Lee, celebrity colorist behind Sydney Sweeney's red hair transformation and co-founder of Nine Zero One Salon in Los Angeles. "My favorite is the Garnier Nutrisse Color Revivers. They're colored mask, so your hair is getting treated while also refreshing your color."

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3. Use The Right Styling Products

Next to over-washing your hair, all three colorists agree that using too much heat leads to premature fading. If you do need to use heat on your hair, Perry recommends using tools that perform without using extreme temperatures. "Less is more when it comes to styling your red hair," she says. "And when styling/drying, I recommend the Dyson hairdryers because the settings don't get so hot and you know you're not over-drying your hair." The Dyson Super Sonic is a classic blow dryer, while the Air Wrap is a multi-use styler with different attachments for various hair textures and looks.

As for styling products, Gurgov recommends sticking with clear formulas to minimize discoloration. If any of your go-to looks require using a hot tool or two, the stylist says to have them set on a low to medium setting, and to always prep hair with a heat protectant spray. We're fans of Oribe's Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray.

4. Make Regular Visits to The Salon

In reality, there's only so much you can do at home to keep red hair looking as fresh as it does when you leave the salon. "If your hair is dyed red, you should be prepared to visit the salon every four weeks to maintain the vibrancy of the color," says Gurgov. "Most people mistakenly think they can wait longer in-between appointments."

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