Calling All Redheads: 10 Essential Hair Tips For Caring For Your Red Hair

beauty redhead girl long shiny wavy

Red hair color makes a statement—whether it’s as fiery as a chili pepper or as cool as a glass of burgundy wine. It’s exotic, vivid and bold. Let’s be real: Shy girls don’t color their hair red, because red hair color makes it impossible to disappear into the background. The first red hair color challenge is finding a shade you love. The next red hair color challenge, and possibly the biggest one, is keeping the shade you love looking as fresh and vibrant as possible, for as long as possible. Here, the 10 top hair tips for caring for your red hair—from dark red hair tips to hair care for red hair, to how to maintain dyed red hair, Matrix’s red hair color experts have you covered.

1. Take a time out before the first shampoo.

Matrix pros recommend waiting 48 hours before shampooing after the red hair color is first applied. This gives your hair time to absorb the dye molecules completely and to reseal itself so that the color doesn’t slip away prematurely. That’s how to maintain ginger hair.

2. Use sulfate-free shampoos.

Sulfates and salts tend to be unkind to hair color—they strip it away too soon. So look for salt and sulfate-free shampoos. And While you’re at it, avoid formulas that contain parabens or artificial colorants. The purer the shampoo, the less it will fade your hair color.

3. Use hair masks regularly.

You’ll maintain a deep, rich red hair color tone by replacing moisture regularly and hair masks are one of the best sources of moisture for hair. Depending upon the condition of your hair, try to use a hair mask at least twice a week. If your hair is extremely dry or damaged, you can use the hair mask every time you shampoo.

4. Fix brassy hair if your red hair color is cool.

Another way to maintain red hair color? If you’ve calibrated the perfect dark red or cool burgundy hair color, the last thing you want is to see your shade turn orange or brassy. Regular use of a blue color-balancing shampoo, conditioner and hair mask will prevent brassy hair from taking over your cool hair color. A brass-busting system is also a must for any cool-toned hair color, including shades of blue, cool green and of course, cool brunettes.

5. Stay out of the sun.

UV light is notorious for fading…everything. Just look at your patio furniture cushions! How to maintain red hair? If you’re going outside to play—wear a hat!

6. Shampoo less frequently.

Shampooing hair is the quickest route to premature color fade—and with red hair color, which features extremely large dye molecules that are more difficult to keep in the hair, it’s even more of an issue. So rethink your shampoo regimen. Use a dry shampoo that is lightweight and offers a nice fragrance to keep your scalp and hair looking and feeling fresh. Consider switching out your regular shampoo for a cleansing conditioner from time to time. These formulas are low-lathering and low-detergent so they cleanse ever so gently, and they condition your hair as they do so. It’s like opting for the delicate cycle for your hair and your hair color!

7. Focus on shine.

Every hair color looks more vibrant and alive when it’s shiny—and red hair color is the most prone to high shine enhancement. Making shine a priority is how to maintain red dyed hair.Conditionyour hair every time you shampoo, apply a shine-enhancing treatment hair oil before drying your hair and refresh your hair throughout the day with a moisturizing micro-mist that will enhance shine and reduce frizz.

8. Put your hair color in the hands of a professional.

Red hair color can be tricky, so for best results, let a professional design and maintain your hue. He or she will be able to create a red hair color shade that’s flattering for your complexion and your eye color. They will know how to refresh it with the right low- or no-ammonia demi-permanent or semi-permanent hair color so that you won’t incur unnecessary hair damage from going over permanent hair color with more permanent hair color.

Also, because semi-permanent and demi-permanent hair color fades gradually over time, it prevents hair color build-up that can shift the tone of your hair color. Oh, and red hair color stains like crazy! So why not let your salon scrub their sinks and keep all of that red out of your own bathroom and off of your hands?

Next time you pop into the salon, ask your stylist about a professional-grade mask service for a quick fix.

9. Get on a regular retouch schedule to keep your hair color fresh.

It’s so easy to lose track of time, and then one day you wake up and your hair color is past its best by date. It’s possible to do some creative camouflage with many shades, but with red hair color it’s important to avoid letting retouches slide. To keep yourself on schedule, book your next appointment each time you leave the salon. Then it’s done, it’s on your schedule and you don’t have to give your hair color another thought until the next time.

10. Dial down the heat.

This goes for your thermal hair styling tools, and for the water in the shower. Regarding the former, set the temperatures on your irons and dryer as low as you can for your hair type. Regarding the latter, try to keep the water temperature in the cool-to-lukewarm range when you shampoo and condition your hair, rather than scalding hot. That’s a great way to maintain red hair dye.