BEAUTY: Maintaining dyed red hair

For the last couple of months I’ve been a red head. A fake red head but none the less, very red. I went from a brown to blonde ombre to bright red in two steps. 

Freshly dyed – super red hair

First I bleached the lot with a home dye kit. Needless to say this did not bring out a gorgeous blonde bombshell, rather a yellow reminiscent of an egg yolk. So in a spur of the moment/mild panic, I bought a bright red to cover.

It was the brightest I’d ever been, but it looked fab. But although lush to look at once first dyed, it fades fast. Three weeks later I had a red/orange with a peachy ombre tip. Pretty, but not ideal. So I re-dyed in red again and its still looking rather good two weeks later.

Red Hair
About a week and a half after the first red dye

 So here’s some hints and tips for maintaining dyed red hair.

  • Wash your hair less – this will reduce the rate of the dye washing out. If you can leave it three days – do! And for those in between days, try some dry shampoo. Batiste even have a special formulation for red heads which will give your roots a colour boost. 
  • Wash with warm, not hot water. Hot water heats the pigments making them more likely to come away from your hair and wash away. 
  • Use a colour protection shampoo and condition. These, by definition, should help maintain your hair colour. I use L’oreal Elvive Colour Protect (bright red bottle) which lathers nicely and seems to be keeping my hair colour well. 
  • Wash a temporary red hair colour into your hair every few weeks to keep your hair bright. These are less intensive than permanent hair colourants but will give you a little boost for a couple of weeks.

Remember, red hair is one of the hardest colours to maintain in hair. It is likely to turn orange without lots of maintenance. 

And a professional hair colour is going to last longer than a home dye kit.

Have you ever dyed your hair a bright colour? 

What are your tips for keeping it looking fresh and new? 

*photos from my Instagram and Twitter



  1. Anonymous
    March 10, 2014 / 12:12 pm

    I had bright red hair in 2009, and I wish I had read these tips back in time this is such a great, insightful post. My red hair faded very quickly from red, to orange to a horrible auburn-orange-brown colour. *sadface*

    • Rachel Bradford
      March 14, 2014 / 7:19 am

      Thank you – I am still finding that it is fading, but only at the ends, and its giving me a red ombre – right on trend! But alot slower than when I've previosuly gone red!

  2. Abby
    March 13, 2014 / 7:41 am

    Great tips! Protecting your hair colour is a must especially if you spent a great deal of money for that. Also, it is important to wait at least 48 hours before you wash it post-colour to give it some time to be absorbed into your hair cuticle.

    • Rachel Bradford
      March 14, 2014 / 7:20 am

      Yes that is very true, I try to leave mine as long as physically possible between dye and the first wash. Usually over a weekend spent blogging in my PJ's. No-one can see my unwashed hair then!! Ha ha x

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