As most of you know, after more than a decade of wearing my hair long and dark brown, I finally bit the bullet and added some coppery red highlights to my hair last December. Inside, I’ve wanted to be a redhead for a while, and given that my mom is a hairdresser, you’d think I would’ve changed it up a long time ago.
But this is the funny part: I also really love being a dramatically-dark brunette. I didn’t change my color for so long because it not only worked with all colors of clothing and makeup, but also because I thoroughly enjoyed how low maintenance my single-process color was.
That said, I finally felt like I needed a little change, and hey, I’m not getting any younger. At the minimum, it was time to take my base color up a shade or two. So why not do something a little more daring, like pick RED…THE HARDEST COLOR TO MAINTAIN.
But OH MY GAH, I love it! And I really do get compliments on it all the time. And now all I do is worry about it all the time. No exaggeration.
Although only a third of my hair is highlighted red (baby steps to big red one day), I’ve already joined that never-won battle all the bottle-redheads in the world wage day in, day out: The fight against the fade.
When it comes to maintaining red hair and you’re not a natural redhead, these are your choices:
- Get the exact shade of red you want at the salon, and leave with rich, stunning and perfect red hair. Don’t wash it for like five days, praying not to see any red on your towel after you do. Those are wasted prayers, honey; it’s all futile. Within two weeks, your perfect color is at least three shades lighter.
- Or, when you visit the salon, you pick a red that’s a little too much—too bright or too cherry or too whatever—so that when it does fade, it is kind of the color you really wanted, for a little longer. Don’t wash it for like five days, praying not to see any red on your towel after you do. You know how that story ends.
- Try every color-enhancing/preserving/depositing product on the market.
- Wear a hat or a headscarf if you’re going to be in the sun longer than five minutes.
I am now acutely aware of how precious red hair is, how difficult it is, how expensive it is, and I’m not even Taylor Tomasi Hill red. Yet.
I’ve been testing a number of products over the last few months, and for my redheaded readers, I have a future post planned on what worked and what didn’t.
In the meantime, I want to know: What products, strategies, or practices do you employ to preserve your precious hair color?