My Hair FAQ’s & How To Maintain Vibrant Red Hair
My Red Hair (excuse the lack of smile, but this picture shows the color very well)
I get quite a few questions regarding my hair. I decided that a blog post devoted to my hair could possibly be helpful to those of you out there who want to go red or are having trouble maintaining it. Red hair has quite a learning curve and it did take me more than one dye job to learn what works for me. I’ve been keeping this color for about two years now and I am never going back! Read on for more!
Why Red is So Hard to Maintain
As I have learned firsthand, the red color molecules are larger than other colors thus making it very difficult to keep vibrant without fading. The first time I went from bleaching my hair with blonde highlights to red, I lost the color within a few weeks. At this time I was washing my hair everyday and didn’t pay attention to choice of shampoo. My colorist helped me with this problem by teaching me the ‘tricks’ to use in order to maintain the color. The rest, as they say, is history. Despite how much of a pain the color is to maintain, it’s totally worth it (for me). I get so many compliments on the color as well as the fact that I love the way it looks on me. So, if you’re thinking of going red, I encourage you to do it, but be ready to put more working into your upkeep routine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What color do you use to dye your hair? Do you do it yourself?
A: This is a tricky question. I do get my hair professionally dyed at an Aveda Salon. My red is an aveda permanent red, always has been. I do brighten my hair midway through the dye cycle (about 6-8 weeks long) with a semi-permanent dye in Manic Panic. The color I use is Vampire Red.
Q: Do you Bleach your hair before putting the red dye in?
A: Nope! I’m afraid to bleach it.
Q: How do you apply the Manic Panic and how long does it last?
A: I apply the Manic Panic using a bowl and tint brush. The top half of my hair is red and the bottom half is black, so I only update the top part. The Manic Panic gets me through until my root touch up in the salon, it sort of blends the roots in with the rest of the hair. The color fades to a brighter red, almost fuchsia but it just looks red over the permanent color. The bottle tells you to leave the manic panic on for 30 minutes but I leave it on for about three hours.
Q: If I just use manic panic on my brown hair, will it be the same color as yours?
A: No, if my hair wasn’t dyed red permanently, the manic panic would barely show. On top of the permanent red, however, it brightens is up quite a bit.
Q: Can I get the same color from a box?
A: I’m not sure about that. I always leave tough stuff like this in the hands of professionals.
Q: What else do you do (besides the manic panic) to maintain the color?
A: I had to stop washing my hair everyday! I was my hair about 3 times a week or less to keep the red longer. I also wait as long as I can before showering directly after getting the color placed. I wear a shower cap on the days I don’t wash my hair as well as the days I do. If it’s a day I’m not washing my hair, the shower cap stays on for the entire shower; if I’m shampooing that day, I leave the cap on until the very end of the shower and shampoo and condition last. The less water touches your hair, the better! On days I don’t shampoo, I will use a dry shampoo if my hair is oily that day. I know it sounds gross for someone with oily hair (like me) to go that long without shampooing, but your scalp adjusts after the first week (or two) and you will no longer produce as much oil.
Q: What Shampoo do you use?
A: I alternate between a few that I love: John Frieda Radiant Red, Aveda Madder Root, Biolage Color Care, Riveting Reds (from sally beauty), and Organix Sulfate Free. The riveting reds and the madder root shampoo are color depositing and the rest are not. A color depositing shampoo is great because it actually puts the red back into your hair. I do like color depositing shampoos but I am just as satisfied with the color protecting shampoos comparatively. I also enjoy getting a good deal on shampoo, so I will often use the Suave versions of Aveda/Biolage shampoos.
Q: What is your natural color?
A: I’m naturally a dark brunette. The fact that my hair is red proves that you can go red from dark without bleaching.
Q: Any other tips?
A: Shield your hair from the UV rays if at all possible! I use a uv protectant spray for my hair during the summer to shield it from the harmful rays.