Long Red Hair: How to Take Care of It

All Things Hair | 04 October 2016

Because red hair needs extra TLC.

All of a sudden red hair is the hottest trend to hit the scene, as beautiful as it is, it’s also the hardest to maintain. And when you have long hair, the fading is even more noticeable since it can cause your ends to become dry and brittle, while also losing color rapidly. So, if you’re thinking about dying your long hair to match the changing autumn leaves, or have recently become a redhead yourself, keep reading to get in the know about how to ensure that your fiery long red hair won’t fade quite as fast.

5 TLC Tips for Long Red Hair

Tips for Long Red Hair
Photo credit: Matthew Hunt, Cogent Video & Media

First and foremost it’s important to understand why red hair fades so quickly. Long story short, as the largest dye molecule out there, red hair molecules have a certain tendency to seep out of the cuticle at a faster rate than any other color each time you wash your hair. So, since faster fading is pretty much inevitable, it’s important to know what you can to make your long red hair last as long as possible. We’ve got you covered.

1. Wait to wash.

It’s very important to wait as long as possible to wash your hair after getting it dyed. As soon as you wash your hair, your cuticle will begin to open up, which allows the red dye to slip out. If you’re wondering how long “as long as possible” really is, ideally it’s best to wait at least three days before washing your hair. To bridge the gap between washing, it’s super important to invest in a quality dry shampoo, like the Dove Style + Care Volume and Fullness Dry Shampoo, which can help revive and refresh your hair.

2. Ask you stylist to layer your color. 

Layering color is when a single process is applied to your hair, followed by a gloss, and then a cool rinse to close the cuticle to prevent any red dye molecule loss. Every stylist applies hair dyes in different ways, so just talk to your stylist about what he/she thinks is best and ask them how they feel about layering.

3. Keep an eye out for sulfates.

When reading the labels on your hair products, it’s important to take note of the long list of tongue-twisting ingredients. Among those ingredients it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll find sulfates. Sulfates are the ingredients known for creating the deep clean in shampoos, and while they’re great for washing out dirt and build-up, they also wash out color. That said, if you’re looking to make your long red hair keep its sheen for as long as possible, it’s important to opt for antioxidant-rich products that tout having low sulfate levels or are sulfate-free altogether.

4. Watch how you handle your wet hair.

When your hair is wet it’s more prone to breakage, which means it’s especially important to take special care of how you dry long hair. Instead of twisting and bundling your long tresses up into a towel, simply pat your hair dry and drape your towel over your head. The draped towel, despite not being snugly fitted around your noggin, will be able to absorb excess water and help your hair dry at a faster rate without risking split ends.

5. Touch-ups are a given.

Just like waxes and lash extensions, in order to maintain your red hair, you’ll need to schedule regular touch-up sessions with your stylist. Typically, red hair will begin to noticeably fade around the eight week mark, so aim to hop in the salon chair every two months to best take care of your tresses.

Do you feel like you have a better knowledge of how to care for your freshly dyed red hair, but are yearning for more? Check out our article how to make your red hair dye last.

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