At Home Maintenance for Red Hair Color
If you’ve ever colored your hair any shade of red, you probably know how hard it is to keep it as red as the day it was colored. There is a good reason that red hair color doesn’t adhere to the hair as well as other colors. Scientists have been able to shrink hair color molecules enough that they are able to enter the cortex of the hair shaft easily. The cortex of the hair shaft is the outermost layer of the hair. Permanent color molecules enter even further into the hair shaft. These small molecules ensure the color gets to where it needs to be and stay there.
With that being said, the molecule for red hair color has yet to be able to be reduced in size. Therefore, the red color molecule can’t enter the hair shaft the way other hair color molecules can. This molecule can slide into to the outermost layer of the hair shaft but is removed rather quickly with shampooing. At home maintenance is key in preserving the life of your hair color.
So what can you do if you decide to go red? Here are a few pointers to help keep your hue true:
Shampoo and Conditioner
It would behoove you to invest in a professional brand of shampoo and conditioner. Some of us prefer our good old Suave from the local dollar store, but if you are going to color your hair red then you must stay out of the hair care aisle at your local drugstore or dollar store.
The professional brands are guaranteed to do what they say they do. If they say they will protect and prolong your color then they will or your money back. They are more expensive but they are much more concentrated than your drugstore brands- which are incredibly watered down and are loaded with unnecessary chemicals that can damage chemically-treated hair.
Never buy a professional hair care product from a grocery store or drug store. They are usually more expensive than if you bought it from a salon and they do not come with the guarantee. These products can be diluted or altered in other ways. If you are going to pay more for a professional brand wouldn’t you want it to be authentic and guaranteed?
Another trick is to try to shampoo and condition in cooler water. This keeps the cuticle (the outermost layer of the hair) closed as much as possible, in order to hold those color molecules in the hair shaft.
Give It A Break
Try to lay off the heat styling as much as possible. Heat applied to the hair after any color service damages the cuticle little by little, opening it each time. With the cuticle opening so much it gets very weak and can’t hold color anymore. This is why people’s color fades so much on the ends, the ends tend to be more damaged than the rest of the hair. If this happens to you it may be time for a trim.
Keep in mind the growth rate of your hair. Most people need a touch up in about six to eight weeks. If it’s been over a month and your color is faded you are due for color anyway on your re-growth. If possible get your color done by a professional! Talk to your stylist if you are concerned about fading and maybe a new formulation would help to hold your color better. Most important is at home maintenance. Let your stylist create a great hair color for you, the rest is up to you!