No, you're eyes aren't playing tricks on you. There really are more people walking around with red hair. It's become the color of the season and today, of all days, is National Love Your Red Hair Day. Turn up! As a person that has dyed their hair almost every color under the sun, I can safely say redheads have more fun. That firey color just does something to your personality, you know?
Dyed red hair, though, is the one of the—if not the—hardest colors to maintain. The first time I went red, I washed my hair too many times without the proper products and soon the Mary Jane Watson red looked like a musty mistake. No, thank you! Not again.
Now, after speaking with the red hair experts at New York City's Seagull salon, you, too, can rock red better and for longer than I did. Happy coloring.
"Don’t be afraid to go a bit brighter with your red than you may be initially intended to," Laura Connors tells me. "Bumping up the intensity of the pigment will get you a lot more mileage out of your color and it is a fun way to play around with different ginger incarnations."
Luke Kalat says, "The best way to get a long-lasting red is to actually start with a red that’s demi or semi-permanent because reds fade so much. The higher the volume of developer, the faster the color molecule falls out of the hair, leaving the hair drab and faded." Both Kalat and Connors stress the importance of using color-safe, sulfate-free shampoos sparingly. A proper color conditioner will add vibrancy and moisture. (More on that below!) Finally, Kalat suggests getting a glaze or toner in between root touchups. "This will extend your color and give you added shine," he says.
As for the products Connors and Kalat swear by? See below.
Connors says Davines' Alchemic collection is perfect for enhancing colored hair. "It's a must," she says.
Davines, Alchemic Shampoo Red, $27, available at Davines.
Don't forget to pair the shampoo with the conditioner!
Davines, Alchemic Conditioner Red, $29.50, available at Davines.
Connors also suggests using Lauren’s All-Purpose Salve. "It's my favorite way to keep chemically treated hair moisturized and shiny from the inside out. The littlest bit goes the longest way; it is organic, all natural and made locally made," she says. "Also, it's not just for your hair! You can use it anywhere on your skin that needs a 'tender touch.'"
Lauren's All-Purpose, Lauren's All-Purpose Salve, $30 (travel size) or $48 (6oz.), available at Lauren's All-Purpose.
Kalat recommends oVertone's red collection. It caters to a range of red hair types: pastel, extreme, and vibrant. "It's not just for high-impact fantasy colors," he says. "The correct lavender, purple or hot pink can enhance a beautiful, natural-looking (or even natural for that matter) head of red hair."
oVertone, Red Sampler Pack, $50, available at oVertone.