How to Stop Red Hair from Fading
Red hair may currently be one of the top hair color trends to try, but there's something you should know before you get your stylist to dye your strands a rich, coppery shade like Julianne Hough. 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 celebrity hairstylist, Arsen Gurgov and founder of the 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."
There's some good news if you're not intimidated by the extra effort of keeping your hair vibrant, though. Abiding by a few haircare commandments can help the color continue to stay bright. We had Gurgov breakdown the three most important rules to follow when you go red.
1. AVOID OVER-SHAMPOOING
"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.
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.
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2. USE THE RIGHT PRODUCTS
Getting your hair colored at the salon should be treated as an investment, and one of the most important ways to protect red hair is by using the right products for your shade. When you're washing your hair, Gurgov says to use a color-depositing shampoo to refresh your red between salon visits. One of our favorites is Joico's Color Infuse Red Shampoo ($16; ulta.com). On top of keeping red tones vibrant, it's also infused with antioxidants to stop fading from UV rays.
As for styling products, Gurgov recommends sticking with clear formulas to minimize discoloration. If any of the 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 like amika's Blockade Heat Defense Serum ($25; sephora.com).
3. VISIT THE SALON REGULARLY
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. The ideal time to get your color touched up is every four weeks. "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."