CLEO's Editorial Assistant Blaire McAllister decided to go red after years of being a blonde. She shares her top 10 tips to help keep red locks sleek, shiny and colour-fast.
I recently dyed my hair red after years of being a blonde and I've had a blast with my new look. It's funny how you change one thing and then decide everything else needs a revamp too.
I started wearing darker eye makeup (a friend telling me my look was more "badass" may have had something to do with that) and found myself exhausting all the black clothing in my wardrobe because I was scared to clash colours with my locks.
Eventually I learnt to just have fun a bit of turquoise eyeliner here, a mustard top there and you realise there are colours that look great with a red 'do. The best thing about the darker colour was its vibrancy and the shine. My hair has never looked so healthy!
The downside? Red is the fastest fading hair colour watching red dye pour down the drain has become the norm for me.
But on this journey I've learnt a thing or two about looking after red hair. Here are my tips on how to prolong the life of your colour and prevent colour fade in-between salon visits.
1. Wash it less
If you're a wash-your-hair-every-day sort of person like me, training it out of that habit can be torture. I use Fudge Dry Shampoo on day two (and three if I can last that long) to help absorb any oiliness. It also adds body bonus!
2. Put a stop to oily hair
Oily hair starts with an oily scalp make sure to condition only the ends of your hair where it's needed the most. Conditioner at the roots will make it look lank and greasy. Touch it as little as possible to prevent transferring oil from your fingertips to your strands (I find tying it up out of the way helps) and I also wash my hairbrush with hot water and soap each time I use it so I'm not brushing yesterday's product and hair oil through my hair from root to tip.
3. Use a colour friendly shampoo
Using a shampoo specially formulated for coloured hair is a must for red heads. I like this KMS Colour Vitality shampoo, as it seals in colour to make it last up to three times longer. It restores radiance and preserves the colour's vibrancy.
4. Give your hair a colour boost
Once a week I use the De Lorenzo Cherry Red Shampoo. It's seems stronger than other colour shampoos because it is deep red in colour and if I leave it in for a few minutes, it seems to inject colour and life to my locks. So much so, when I first started using it (a week or two after I'd had it coloured) I had people asking me if I'd had it coloured again!
5. Never brush wet hair
Hair is easily damaged when wet and damaged hair won't hold your colour as well. Use your fingers or a wide tooth comb to detangle your locks and eliminate the stretching and breaking of strands. I keep this VIA comb in my shower to comb conditioner and treatment masks through my hair.
6. Stay away from heat
Heat will fade the colour, so wash it in water as cold as you can stand and try not to use appliances like hair dryers or straighteners if you can avoid it. When you do need to use these appliances, I recommend using KMS Shine and Shield . It infuses shine and protects from heat simply spray on towel dried hair and style as usual.
7. Use styling products for coloured hair
If you need to use products to help style your hair each day, you'll be glad to know there are some out there specially formulated for coloured hair. WELLA Professionals Brilliance Leave-in Mousse for Coloured Hair melts into coloured hair, yet is perfectly lightweight.
8. Repair it
Hair dyes can be harsh and leave hair stressed, dull and chemically damaged. The Sebastian Penetraitt Deep Strengthening and Repair Masque strengthens hair damaged from past chemical treatments.
9. Nourish it
Keep your hair healthy by making sure it gets the nourishment it needs. The Matrix Biolage Color Bloom Mask nourishes the hair while sealing the cuticle, brightens, renews, and makes hair soft and silky without parabens, silicones or synthetics. It also has a UV filter.
10. Keep shining
The best thing about darker or red tones in your hair is its ability to shine. The second signs of damage appear the colour will lose its effect. Hair oils are popular with consumers now because they instantly make hair softer, smoother and easy to manage. The Joico K-PAK Colour Therapy Restorative Styling Oil strengthens, protects and repairs hair and I love the way my hair feels manageable and glossy straight after I've applied it.