Wednesday, 28 October 2009

How To: Stop Red Hair From Fading

See that red hair over to the left? That's mine. I've had red hair since I was 16 and since the first time I dyed it (and a tiny bit of my mother's carpet), I've been battling the fade. Coloured red hair is notoriously difficult to keep fresh, fading to an orange or pinkish hue. Over the years I've gathered a number of tips on how to keep my hair bright, and while these are specifically tailored to red hair, could be equally applied to other colours to keep that just-coloured look for longer.

Minimise contact with water

I used to lie in the bath with my wet hair swirling around my shoulders under the water. One day I realised that it was contributing to the dreaded fade. Try to keep exposure to water to a minimum. If you swim, buy a swimming cap, and use it.

Use a colour conditioner

But not one of the ones you buy on the high street - apart from Aveda Madder Root, I've found none of them actually impart much colour into the hair. Make your own. All you need is a tube of semi-permanent vegetable colour (like Fudge paintbox) in your preferred shade, and a tub of conditioner. Mix a bit of the vegetable colour with a lot of the conditioner, slap it on your hair, wipe it off your skin (or it'll stain), and leave it on, under a plastic shower cap or some clingfilm, for as long as you can be bothered. Rinse thoroughly. I do this once a week.

Wash your hair in cold water

Hot water, apparently, opens the hair cuticle, allowing water to permeate. Cold water, apparently, closes the cuticle. I'm not 100% sure on the science but this definitely does work for me, with the added bonus that cold water = shine. Lots of shine.

Only wash your hair once

Washing makes your colour fade. Very few people need to wash their hair twice in one go; if you can avoid it, your colour will last longer. And you'll save money on shampoo!

Use appropriate products

Clarifying shampoo will strip your hair of colour faster than a moisturising one. Go for something fomulated for coloured hair. Never, ever use washing up liquid if you run out of shampoo - it's sometimes recommended as a way of washing unwanted colour out more quickly.

If you have curly hair, consider trying going shampoo-free entirely - my recent trials of the CG method show that using only conditioner is much kinder to my colour.


  1. I have the exact same issue! this is my first time on here and I am in LOVE, finally a great uk based blog you are covering all my faves- thank you!


  2. Thanks for your comment, and hope this helps keep your hair bright!

  3. what hair dye do you use?

    1. My hairdresser does it - she uses L'Oreal Majirouge :)


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