Maintaining Red Hair: Products That Work

So you know what products didn’t work in my quest to preserve my faux-red hair. Now a few goodies: the methylisothiazolinone-free (MI-free) products that DID work!


Products for red hair that worked: Pureology Pure Volume Shampoo and Conditioner, Aveda Madder Root Conditioner, EverStyle Volume Mousse


1. Pureology Pure Volume Shampoo and Conditioner

I have fine hair, but a lot of it, so I tend to opt for products that are volume-boosting. I lucked out that Pureology’s Pure Volume Shampoo and Conditioner are not only sulfate-free and gentle on colored hair, they are also methylisothiazolinone-free, which is not the case with all Pureology products. Pureology offers an entire range of sulfate-free, color-preserving products, so if you don’t need extra volume, I’m sure there are some other formulations that will work for you.

2. Aveda Madder Root Color Conditioner

After so many failed attempts using color-depositing products for red hair, I am elated to report that Aveda’s Madder Root Color Conditioner not only works, it works in literally one use (I left it on for about three-to-four minutes in the shower). This conditioner is more orangey than red, so if you’re a cherry-red redhead, I’m not sure it will deposit the color you are seeking. But for anyone in the coppery/cinnamon red families, it’s a nice boost.

It’s also not a really heavy conditioner and doesn’t weigh hair down, which is super because if you don’t put this on roots to ends, you will end up with uneven color. It’s that powerful in the color-depositing department!

I would liked to have been able to go for the color-deposit double whammy and also use the Aveda Madder Root Shampoo, but it contains methylisothiazolinone. Mmm-hmm. So much for the “art and science of pure flower and plant essences.” You get the “pure plant essence” with a helping of nasty preservative too. See why I am so frustrated! You can’t trust anything. Y’all read the labels. Always.

3. EverStyle Volume Boosting Mousse

Ever since I discovered my beloved Living Proof Full Thickening Cream was loaded with methylisothiazolinone, I’ve been on the hunt for a styling product that will give me the same kind of volume, frizz control, and everything. That stuff was so good, it was the biggest loss to me when I had to go MI-free. Cue the violin.

L’Oreal’s EverStyle Volume Mousse is a close second to Living Proof. Well, not a second, maybe a third. You’ll still get that mousse-crunchiness I hate if you air-dry. But that can be avoided by simply combing/brushing during dry time. Other than that, this mousse does give lots of volume, and since it’s alcohol-free, it doesn’t strip color. Plus, it’s well under 10 bucks, and when you’re already spending $18 to $30 on shampoos and conditioners, it beats the hell out of an additional $26 for Living Proof.

So those are some of the color-preserving products that worked for me. What are your secret weapons?



  1. I love the Pureology line (the new formula) and I used it for months. I used the Volume shampoo with the Hydrate conditioner and it was the perfect combo for my long hair, which tends to get oily at the roots and dry from mid to ends.

    Love Kate

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