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How to Keep Red Hair Bright and Avoid Fading

Red hair gives you spunk with a heavy dose of class at the same time. It’s a Hollywood dream color. But if you dye your hair this color, it doesn’t like to stick. And if you had red hair as a youth, it fades to brown as you gain years. You’ll be lucky to have an auburn color at 30. Why is that?

Why Does Red Hair Fade?

Reasons Why Red Hair Fade

Red hair starts to fade in the 20s then fades intensely during the 30s and 40s as part of the prelude to getting gray hairs. As you age, the hair follicles stop producing the same level of pheomelanin that gives you bright red hair.

Without so much pheomelanin and more of something called eumelanin, your hair eventually fades to a brownish color. For those who have colored hair, the story is different.

Red hair dye molecules are bigger than those of other colors. It’s hard for them to penetrate into the hair shaft, and even more difficult for them to stick once they are there.

So the red color molecules in color-treated hair wash out easily. That means your red will only last about half the time of a different color dye job.

How to Keep Red Hair from Fading

Luckily, there are a host of hair products that have red hair dye deposits in them to keep your hair color fresh. There are shampoos and conditioners for both warm-toned and cool-toned redheads.

Take advantage of them, as they will help keep your color-treatment fresh. Glosses and hair masks for redheads can help too.

If you’re naturally red, you can choose the same options. But you also need products with UV blockers, as the sun can fade you quickly. If you’re looking for something natural to keep your red hair bright, try henna treatments.

They’re a little messy to apply but can give you beautifully warm red highlights–and it’s the abundance of highlights that make red hair so beautiful, right?

Quote: If you’re naturally red, you need products with UV blockers.

Henna to Keep Natural Red Hair from Fading

Henna to Keep Natural Red Hair from Fading

If you’re a natural redhead, I’d skip the other hair products and go straight for henna. After all, it’s semi-permanent when used correctly, gives highlights, doesn’t harm your hair, and makes it feel thicker and more luxurious.

And these days henna is mixed with other natural substances like marigold flower powder, cloves, and indigo to create a multitude of different shades of red and brown.

Try or Both use mixes of henna and indigo to give you stunning colors naturally, from strawberry blonde to striking red and burgundy.

Quote: These days henna is mixed with botanicals like cloves and indigo to create a multitude of different shades.

The Best Shampoos for Redheads

If you’re a dyed redhead, the first thing to know is to make sure all your hair care products are color-safe, whether they are made just for redheads or not. Then you can look for temporary color-depositing products like these:

  • John Frieda Red Boosting Shampoo
  • Tressa Color Maintenance Watercolors Shampoo
  • Inova Professional Color Deposit Shampoo
  • Celeb Luxury Viral Colorwash
  • Joico Color Infuse Red Shampoo

Whatever your shampoo choice, it’s best to use cool water instead of hot water while cleansing. Using hot water with any shampoo will cause your salon color pigments to slip out of your hair even faster, reducing the effectiveness of your color-depositing shampoo.

What About Red Hair Toners?

red hair masks to prevent red hair from fading

Red hair toners are hair masks and glosses that you can use at home in place of a toner that you would visit the salon for. So yeah, let’s save some money. At-home toners are quick and easy to use, you can usually apply them in the shower and rinse them out after a few minutes.

Most hair glosses, masks and toners use semi-permanent dye deposits, so they are a good choice if you’re mulling over going red with a permanent dye but are not quite sure. You can also mix and match shades, when available. Here are some examples:

  • Garnier Nutrisse Color Reviver hair mask in Vibrant Red or Vibrant Copper
  • Morrocanoil Color Depositing Mask in Bordeaux
  • Overtone Extreme Red Coloring Conditioner
  • Davine’s Alchemic Conditioner in Red
  • dP Gloss +Semi-Permanent Hair Color and Deep Conditioner in Strawberry

Quote: Red hair toners are hair masks you can use at home instead of visiting the salon. So yeah, let’s save some money.


Does heating fade color for redheads?

Heat styling causes significant color fading for redheads. There are various other methods to get curls besides using heat.

Using rollers or plopping your natural hair texture can also help combat the dry hair that hair dye causes. If you must use heat tools, make sure you use a thermal protectant.

How do I keep red hair permanent?

When you dye your hair red, be prepared for a heavy maintenance routine to keep your red similar to the red you walked out of the salon with.

Color-depositing shampoos and conditioners are the best way to keep your red hair semi-permanent.

How do I keep natural red hair vibrant?

Use UV-protecting sprays and try natural henna hair colors.

Does red hair always fade?


How often should red hair be dyed?

Every month.

What’s the most attractive hair color on a girl?

It depends on the skin tone, but red shades look good on everyone.

Do I need toner for red hair?


Can I use purple shampoo on red hair?

Yes, but it will only help neutralize brassiness.

What colors should redheads avoid?

Try to avoid pastel clothing as it can make your red look unbecoming or fake.

What is the rarest color of hair?


Does the sun make red hair lighter?

The sun can make red hair fade quicker.

What should I know before dying my hair red?

Red fades quicker than other color molecules, even if your maintenance includes color-depositing shampoos and toners.

What does red hair symbolize?

Red hair color symbolizes a fun-loving person who is also classy.

Why is my red hair fading so fast?

You might be washing it too frequently or maybe you’re not using maintenance products for red hair.

Try using color-safe dry shampoo on your roots so you can extend the time before your next wash. Once a week is a max for that.

What will blue shampoo do to red hair?

Blue shampoo might cancel out the red hair color.

What does green toner do to red hair?

A green toner can also neutralize your red color.

Which hair color lasts the longest?


Which hair color fades the fastest?


How do I choose the right shade of red hair?

If your skin tone is cool, choose a cool shade. If it’s warm, go for a warm shade. Those with neutral skin tones can choose any shade they wish.

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