Experts Weigh In: Here’s How to Maintain Red Hair

Written by Mane Addicts

From strawberry blonde to cool copper, one thing is clear: it’s a redhead’s world, we’re just living in it. And if our latest Mane Muse feature with Madelaine Petsch is any indication, we’re very happy residents of Planet Red. But whether you were blessed with a naturally red hair color that needs a zhuzh or want a total hair color overhaul, a gorgeous ginger-tinted tone isn’t all fun and games. Actually maintaining a redhead hue takes a well-crafted care routine. That’s why we spoke to seasoned colorists Cherin Choi and Adriana Pinto to find out how to make your salon-fresh shade last as long as possible. Ahead, read our expert’s top tips on how to maintain a red hair color!

About the Experts

Cherin Choi is a bicoastal hair artist.

Adriana Pinto is a Los Angeles-based hair colorist.

How to Maintain Red Hair

Wait to wash after coloring

“After coloring, it’s essential not to wash your hair for two days” Pinto explains. ”This will allow the color to set Into your hair.”

Wash With Cooler Water

“Red hair is high maintenance but oh so fun,” Choi says. “Red doesn’t fully fade but becomes less vibrant with each wash.” That’s why she recommends a regimen of shampooing with colder-temperature water.

The perils of hot water washing are well established. As Pinto explains, ”it opens the cuticle of your hair and can release a bit of color.” Frequently washing with hot water will make your gorgeous ginger shade fade faster—that’s just science. This simple tip can extend the life of your red hair color significantly.

Minimal Shampooing Should Do the Trick

In a similar vein, avoid over-washing. While we’re all well aware of the pitfalls of over-washing your mane in general (dryness being one of them), it’s even more important to avoid too-frequent shampooing when you’re rocking a red hair color. Choi recommends “minimal shampooing” to avoid any unnecessary color wash-out and to keep your processed tresses in tip-top shape.

Invest in the Right Shampoo

“Most important, investing in good shampoo is super important,” Pinto says. ”Do not use drugstore shampoo!” High-quality color care is so important, especially when it comes to maintaining a super stand-out shade like a copper or a firetruck red. Color-safe shampoos are a must (and you can find our redhead-approved picks below).

Use a Color Depositing Conditioner or Mask

Color upkeep is all about fighting fade—and color-depositing products can help with that. Regular conditioning with a color-depositing conditioner or a red hair mask is a must. Products suited to ”red conditioning will definitely keep looking good,” Choi says.

Use a Detox Shampoo Prior to Your Color Appointment

When you’re going all in on a vibrant red shade, you want to make the most of your salon appointments. To get the best red results, Pinto recommends using a detox shampoo. “When you are going to have your red redone will ensure any minerals, hard water chemicals are removed will allow you to get the most vibrant red,” she explains. Her personal favorite? Ouai Detox Shampoo.

Best Products to Maintain a Red Hair Color

1. Davines Alchemic Red Conditioner

Intensify and illuminate red shades with Davines coveted color conditioner. Choi recommends Davines’ iconic conditioner for “at home easy touch-ups.”

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2. Mr. Smith Pigments

Extend your shade with a gentle color-depositing product from Mr. Smith’s Pigments line. Formulated with almond, lavender, and orange peel oil, Pigments actually calms the scalp and fortifies your strands in the process.

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3. Shrine Drop It Red

Shrine’s Drop It products are another one of Choi’s go-to at-home color boosting cures for redheads. This semi-permanent dye solution is totally customizable, so you can extend your red in a low-stress way.

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4. Milbon Sophistone Color Balancing Copper

The perfect red hair shampoo coming right up. “Using it once a week will keep your copper/cinnamon/fire reds vibrant,” Pinto says. That’s a glowing review we can’t pass up.

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5. Aveda Color Control Conditioner

Natural hair care is the name of the game over at Aveda. This conditioner is an excellent silicone-free option for fighting fade—an absolute dream product for maintaining red hair colors.

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6. Kevin Murphy Everlasting Color Wash

This sulphate-free wash is super gentle and ideal for washing your color-enhanced locks. This shampoo also helps fight hard water minerals to keep your mane soft and your shade stunning.

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7. Oribe Shampoo for Beautiful Color

Redheads, rejoice! Another color-protectant hair wash we can’t get enough of. Oribe’s shampoo intensely moisturizes to protect your strands and preserve your color.

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Thinking of going red or updating your fiery hue? HERE is a rundown of every red hair color trend!