Hair Full of Secrets: How I maintain my red hair

Hair, Tips

I’m constantly being asked what I do to maintain the redness in my hair since red tends to fade quickly. I admit, it’s a huge pain in the butt & think about giving it up, but I also love it too much. I’ve had my red hair for somewhere around 3-4 years and have it retouched every three months.

Over the years, I’ve picked up a few tips that allow me to hold the vibrancy. In fact, even when I’m cringing at how badly my roots have grown out, people are still asking me if I’ve recently gotten my hair retouched. (I know how much of an exaggeration that sounds like, but I promise you, it’s not.)

So without further ado, here is a list of everything I do to keep up with it. Even if you have no plans of ever going red, some of these are also really great for healthy hair in general & may be worth a peek!

  1. Invest in a red shampoo.

    The one I use is a brand called Tressa and its the Watercolors Color Maintenance and Enhancement Shampoo in the shade “Fluid Fire”. Having this is truly key because it redeposits color back into my hair & its sulfate free. My hair dresser recommends only using it every few washes otherwise it can be a bit drying. Lately, I’ve been mixing a dime sized amount in with my regular shampoo and I haven’t had any problems. The downside is that even though I LOVE this product, it dyes my nails if I’m wearing regular nail polish. No bueno. (If you have gel on your nails then you’re totally fine.) This brand also offers other shades to either intensify or neutralize certain tones, so even if your hair is a different color, there might be something for you.

  2. Use a sulfate free shampoo/conditioner.

    (Or any other hair care product) Though sulfate is used to get rid of oil build up, it also strips color. A good way to tell if its sulfate-free if it isn’t blatantly listed on the bottle, is to look at the ingredients list. If it says Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), then put it back on the shelf. The one I’ve been using is by Loreal Ever Creme. I love it because it has a very milky and creamy formula, perfect to keep my scalp moisturized.

    Sulfate is also known to cause scalp irritation, and dry hair since sulfate is specifically added to get rid of build up. Some of that build up is good for your hair because it also has some of your hair’s natural oils.

  3. Don’t wash it every day.

    I know it sounds gross if you’re not used to it, but it’s actually healthier. It ties into that whole natural hair oils point that I mentioned earlier. I try to go at least 2-3 days without a wet wash, and use a dry shampoo in between to keep it refreshed. Dry shampoo is one of those things where you have to buy a few before you find one that works for you. So, if you’ve tried one and hated it, keep looking and don’t give up. In fact, I found a list of the best dry shampoos here that may help.  I’ve personally been loving the Big Sexy Hair Dry Shampoo. It has a light but pleasant scent and doesn’t give you that annoying white cast that many dry shampoos leave you with. It also does an amazing job at absorbing oils and re adding volume back to my hair.

  4. Wash it in cold water.

    This is the hardest one of them all because I hate showering with cold water! Cold water doesn’t make your hair bleed as much, and it prevents that extra frizz and retains moisture & shine. I’ve noticed that back when I used hot water, there was no way I’d be able to leave the house with my natural hair because it was too wild, but now its a lot tamer. Even if you’re not dealing with hair dye bleeding, starting off with hot water and then switching it to a cooler temp when you’re on your last rinse will still give you the benefits mentioned above.

  5. Lower the temp on your iron.

    I have a lot of really thick hair. I’ve been guilty of turning up my flat iron or wand ridiculously high in hopes of getting my hair done faster. (Doesn’t work.) This can be difficult depending on how stubborn your hair is but its worth experimenting with. You wanna find the lowest temp that still does the job but isn’t a blazing 400 degrees. High heat not only causes a lot of fading, its super damaging to your hair & causes a lot of breakages. No thanks!


    Even though I complain about how much work it is, it’s really not that bad. My hair has never been healthier despite the dyeing and heat that is constantly being put through. And for those of you who are always saying they want to go red but they’re too scared, do it! Stepping out of your comfort zone is fun! & I hope that when you do it, that these tips help you as much as they have for me. 🙂

Also, if you’re in the Bay Area, I get my hair done in Hayward at Vintage Alley by Cindee. 🙂

I’ll link their Facebook page here in case you need the deets. 🙂


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