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Feminspire | April 20, 2014

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The Wear and Care of Bright Red Hair

The Wear and Care of Bright Red Hair

Between my real hair and extensions I’ve worn in the past, I have had every single color of the rainbow in my hair at some point in my life. I started dying my hair at the tender age of thirteen: my first experience was bright turquoise tips at the end of my naturally dark brunette strands.  I am now twenty years old and still in love with changing my hair color. It’s become a part of my regular beauty routine and I believe my best personality traits shine through my hair: fiery, stubborn, outgoing and eccentric.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that with a personality like that, I picked red as my signature hair color.

Here’s the best way I can describe red: it’s that one friend you have who can be unsure or flaky with most social interactions and activities, but she still has a good heart and never fully abandons or leaves you. Red hair washes out and fades incredibly quickly, but if you ever want to strip out the color entirely with bleach or cover it forever with a darker dye, well, I wish you luck. Although the color fades rapidly, it has a very strong stain to it and is difficult to remove. Red hair is probably the biggest commitment you will ever make in life, besides marriage or paying your student loans back in a timely fashion, but I find the color to be worth it.

Red can work for anyone of any race as long as the wearer purchases the correct shade to complement their skin tone. I have olive skin with very yellow undertones (thanks, Sicilian-Italian mother and Puerto Rican father!), which doesn’t show well in photos but is clear as day in real life and natural light. As a result, I don’t normally use warmer dyes, such as orange-reds, for fear that I will look too sickly. My go-to dye is a shade of blue-red: L’Oreal Hicolor Highlights in Magenta. The L’Oreal Hi-color brand is actually made for people with darker hair who do not want to bleach their strands to get to red; it comes with a built-in lightener. They carry both warm and cool reds to satisfy a large and varying mix of customers.

Once the actual process of dying my hair is over, I feel great. My hair not only looks fantastic in the sun but is also bright and colorful enough to satisfy my picky nature. And then the hard part arises: maintaining the color and keeping it bright and saturated for as long as possible.  Along the way, I’ve learned some helpful tips for the aftercare of red:

1.     Don’t use drug store box dyes under any circumstances whatsoever. There’s no guarantee they will cover your hair evenly and are very unhealthy for your hair. Always buy dye from license beauty supply stores, and never be afraid to ask the clerk for help and recommendations.

2.     Wait at least two days after a dye session to wash out your hair. This gives the red particles time to lock into your strands.

3.     Try to wash your hair every other day, and only rinse it out with cold water whenever you do need to wash it.

4.     Use shampoo and conditioner made for color-treated hair! It’s even better to use sulfate-free shampoo to keep your color lasting longer.

5.     Veggie dyes like Manic Panic and Punky Colours aren’t just for scene kids; you can use these in between your regular chemical dye sessions to pump up the fading color in your ends!

As you can see, red hair is a lot of maintenance and a lot of hard work. However, it’s such a great shade and I absolutely love putting the time and effort into keeping it at its best. Blondes may have more fun, but redheads shine the brightest!

What fun colors have you tried in your hair? Have you ever tried red? Share with us in the comments!

Written by Nikki Mancuso

  • http://www.facebook.com/mbirdsall90 Michael Birdsall

    omg wait are those two pictures both you?!?! you’re eyes!!!! they change so beautifully!

    • http://twitter.com/nikki_jeanette nikki minaj »

      hahaha, i wish the first photo’s eyes were my real eyes. i wear colored contacts a lot. but thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/xxotterly Tina Marie Cotto

    A recommendation would be to use Quantum Riveting Reds shampoo and conditioner! I found that it works amazingly!

    It deposits colour as opposed to ones that would slowly strip the colour from your hair!

    Once again, a great article, Nikki!

    • http://www.facebook.com/alisse.desrosiers Alisse Marie

      Is this good for natural-looking reds, too? I dye my hair strawberry blonde but it fades so fast.

      • http://www.facebook.com/xxotterly Tina Marie Cotto

        I wouldn’t suggest it too much just for the fact that the shampoo and conditioner are pure red in colour, so it might make your hair redder, or a orangey tint to it.

  • Kiana

    I’ve always wanted red hair. Every time I see someone with red hair, I sigh with envy. I don’t have the time or patience to deal with color treated hair but maybe sometime in the future I’ll indulge myself in a bit of red :)

  • Sully

    Your hair is so vibrant, I love it! I’ve never dyed my hair so drastically, I imagine it must involve a lot of upkeep of the roots.

    • http://twitter.com/nikki_jeanette nikki minaj »

      ohhh believe me, it is. most people can get away with dying their hair every 6 weeks. i have to do it every 4 weeks because my hair grows like a weed, which is only a good thing whenever i get a bad hair cut :P haha.

  • http://www.facebook.com/katieoh Katie Oldaker

    the best shampoo i’ve come across is tressa watercolors in fluid fire! it just sticks so wonderfully in between colorings. every time i use it, people ask if i’ve re-colored.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1652820064 Jessica Frost

    Oh do I ever miss my red hair! I’ve been thinking of going back recently. This post may have convinced me!

  • Sahra

    My life. I used to have to get my hair done every 6-8 weeks religiously (when I could afford it) and was always told to rinse with cold water but I can’t bear to do it. I have a couple more tricks to getting it to last; is only washing like once every two weeks (pssst dry shampoo in between Ofcourse!) also, pouring some manic panic type dye into the conditioner you use will help keep it fresh too!

    • http://www.facebook.com/longingfortheflowers Hannah Kubon

      Hah exactly! I dyed mine once a month. Such a hassle to keep up with but so worth it.

  • http://twitter.com/teah Teah Abdullah

    Rihanna looks like she’s cleaning her teeth.

    And I do like your hair, Nikki!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisaa.woodie.9 Lisa A Woodie

    I wash my hair every 3 days. I don’t go to school, and I don’t work. I’m 16 so i stay home most the time. I’ve had my color for 3 months and it’s barely faded! I love my color! But when I do wash my hair, i use the cheap Suave shampoos. The expensive ones tend to drag down your hair and it sucks..

  • http://www.facebook.com/longingfortheflowers Hannah Kubon

    Is the L’Oreal Hicolor Highlights in Magenta the dye you used in the photos seen above? I used to have neon red hair and I’ve been looking for a more toned down version since I love my red hair so much :) I love the color in the photos so I’d love to match it if that’s the brand I need to buy.

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