5 Tips For Keeping Red Hair Bright

How To Keep Red Hair BrightWe get lots of questions about Katie's gorgeous red hair. Today I invited her to share her tips for keeping red hair bright. If you've had red hair before you've probably noticed that it can fade very quickly. It can take a lot of maintenance. Follow these tips to make your color last longer… 

1. Healthy hair.  Keep your hair as healthy as possible.  Coloring hair causes damage, so being kind to your hair is important.  Skip the blow dryer when you can, or try no-heat curls instead of firing up the hot curling iron. 

5 tips for keeping red hair bright2. Wash less.  Wash your locks as little as possible.  Every washing will strip your hair of color, so try to keep the washing to 2-3 times a week.

5 tips for keeping red hair bright 3. Sulfate-free products.  Hair products with sulfates will fade your color faster, so look for the "sulfate-free" label on the bottles you buy.

5 tips for keeping red hair bright   4. Invisible dry shampoo.  Now that you are washing your hair less, you might need dry shampoo to help absorb that excess oil on the days in between washing.  Invest in an "invisible" dry shampoo.  You will avoid the white, powdery mess in your hair and your color will shine through brighter.

5 tips for keeping red hair bright    5. Less sun.  The sun can do a lot of damage to hair, especially color treated hair.  Always wear a scarf or hat to protect those lovely locks from further damage due to the sun. xoxo. Katie

  • If you want brighter red for dark hair, use a Loreal Hicolor in whatever red tone you’d like.

  • Along with the after care, its really important to use a good quality professional dye. My favorite is Joico 7RX with copper intensifier.

  • Red is in! These photos are great! I love your choice in models, they are truly beautiful red heads. It can be hard to find products that don’t damage the vibrancy of red hair. I found an organic root stimulator that keeps my hair looking great and feeling like silk. The product I use consists of olive oil, and smells pretty good!

  • On march break,i got peekaboo streaks all over my head… in BLUE!!! My hairdresser used MANIC PANIC and it faded on the forth day… we had to switch to a different brand name… ICE CREAM. And it worked great! So, if you have ever dyed your hair that color,it fades quickly,and mine faded to a yucky green color. My mom tried to dye it back to brown. it didnt work cuz the people stripped my hair. We went to a different hairstylest, and she got it back.(yay!)
    LESSON: Listen to your mom when she says DON’T DYE YOUR WHOLE HEAD BLUE(gald that I listened) and 2. USE EXTENTIONS WHEN YOU WANT PEEKABOO STREAKS… they stay in longer, and after a few appoinments of getting those little guys re dyed, youll agree.

    Dousnt mean i wont dye my hair red….

  • Almost everyone can go red, what’s most important is finding the right shade of red. If you want to go red, I suggest not trying it on your own. Get a professional consultation.

  • I’m a natural blonde that dyes my hair red. I do all of these and eventually it seems the color “takes” after repetitive dying of red so it doesn’t wash out as easy. At first, I was discouraged bc it looked like a bloody massacre with my first wash.
    What are your thoughts on red deposit shampoos or glazes? I’ve heard mixed reviews on them.

  • hi!! I want to know which brand and color does katie use; thanks!! love ur blog!

  • I want to get a perm, here is a photo of my friend’s hair, and I want it this type of curly:


    but i also want to dye it red again, should i perm it first? or dye it first?

  • I was wondering if you would mind if I posted your sweet remarks about your hair stylist on your FAQ on our website? We are a site for consumers to leave reviews for their stylists. You can check it out at www.mybestfriendshair.com

  • I like these red hairstyle. I like the color and the style. I always keep long hair. Because it will show my amazing tempter.

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  • I really want to know what dye she uses. I have naturally dark blonde hair, and I’ve been dying it red for the last six months. I want to achieve the pretty light “orange” red that she has, but every time I dye I get a deep red, that is obviously fake. I’ve had it done professionally, and I just did it at home yesterday. Yesterdays turned out pretty bad: same deep red, except now I have orange roots. HELP!

  • Hi, what brand of dry shampoo does katie use. I can’t find invisible.
    Thank you

  • I have had bright copper hair for about 3 years and have 2 more tips to add!

    1. You can use a gentle colouring conditioner or shampoo to keep your hair bright between dyeing! The best I have found is Vitelity’s Espresso colour conditioner in Copper, but I also find DeLorenzo’s Novafusion colour Shampoo works a treat (you can get “fire red” or “copper” colours). You can use these products every second or third wash.

    2. If you can stand it, wash and rinse your hair with lukewarm or cold water. Really hot showers wash the colour out of your hair super fast. Try this on freshly dyed hair and see how much colour goes down the drain compared with a hot shower – the difference is huge!

  • Can you recommend a good “invisible” dry shampoo? I have dark hair, and every kind I’ve tried is little bit white…

  • I have natural dark brown hair, is there anyway to achieve this color without bleaching my hair first?

  • Great tips ! I also have red hair, and one tip I know to sustain the colour longer is to wash with cool water instead of warm.

  • Never thought that red hair would look so good. I really think I should color my hair red to. 😉

  • Any recommendations fer an invisible dry shampoo brand? I have never used s dry shampoo and am curious as to what brands might work better than others.

  • if I only knew then what I know now! Thank you these are great tips!

  • But if you cover your hair with a hat every day, nobody will actually see how amazing it is!

  • well i know someone (or some two) i need to send this onto immediately! xo.

  • I love love love her hair!!

    I miss my red hair, or just colored hair in general. Another tip is for when you do wash dyed hair (especially red) use cold water, the hotter water strip it as well. I still use my sulfate free shampoo just because I love it. These are great tips for those who are having a hard time keeping their color.


  • I’ve always heard about dry shampoo but never knew which one to get. Could you recommend one?

  • So beautiful!
    I have red hair…wash it every day, blow dry it every day..hmmm oh dear!

  • I used to have red hair 🙂

    Now I have blue highlights… love love love


  • For those wanting to dye their hair red — I have fairly dark brown hair and my stylist doesn’t bleach it before turning it into a nice bright red.

    I love Katie’s hair! I’ve been coloring mine red for years and have learned to do the same things she recommends. If you’re looking for a shampoo, I recommend Pureology. It’s expensive (you can get it at Ulta) but if you’re going to go through the trouble and expense of coloring your hair, it’s worth it to pay a bit more to make the color and shine last and keep it healthy.

    As a side benefit, it’s a vegan shampoo. Of all the brands I tried, this one was the only one that made a real obvious difference.

  • I wish I could pull of red hair. I looked like a crazy person the only time I tried it, but I was also in high school and wasn’t big on hair care, so maybe trying it again would be different. Thanks!

  • You have such lovely hair! 🙂

    /Linn @ http://morningdiaries.blogg.se/

  • My hair has a boring color, i would love to have a hair like yours!


  • I’ve had dyed red hair for the last 20 years, and a tip I learned a few years ago is to put a tiny bit of Manic Panic Vampire Red in my conditioner to keep it fresh. Mind you, I have darker auburn red, but it definitely keeps it vibrant. I would not recommend for lighter red hair unless you like an almost cartoonish fake red. (which can be cool depending on your tastes!) Make sure you keep gloves in your shower if you do this!

  • a huge one:

    if possible, wash your hair in cold water

    not always the most pleasant but now that its the summer its a good time to try it.

    makes a HUGE difference

  • What hair dye does she use? And what is her natural hair color? It is exactly the color that I have been searching for!

  • Helpful tips! I have light red hair already, but I found using Lush’s red henna makes it so much shinier and healthier.. plus makes the colour SO vibrant!

  • Seconding Sydney’s comment– I’ve been dyeing my hair red since I was a teenager. My hair is very damage-prone, so I used the wash-out stuff for years to minimize that, or to just brighten the color. (When I was in my 20s, it went naturally more auburn, but now that I’m in my early 30s, it’s gone more brownish again.) The henna does last longer, and it basically dyes and deep-conditions my hair at the same time! I also use the Lush stuff, and just leave it in over night with a shower cap over my head to keep from ruining my pillow. Takes awhile to wash out, but it really works!

  • Nice tips. I’m dying my hair with blue sometime in the future, but I’m guessing the same tips apply 🙂


  • Great tips, i dye my hair red in autumn and find it fades so quick.


  • Those apple sunglasses are hilarious & they make you look child-like

  • Thanks so much I have just re dyed my hair purple as it’s didn’t stay bright very long and my silver started to shine through. (fine in the length but not good at the roots). would Katie be able to share how often she ned to re dye? Thanks

  • Ohh love the tips, I was not aware of any of those. I’m planning to paint my hair as well, but just in a darker tone than that one. Her hair is really gorgeous

  • Invisible dry shampoo. Now that you are washing your hair less, you might need dry shampoo to help absorb that excess oil on the days in between washing. Invest in an “invisible” dry shampoo. You will avoid the white, powdery mess in your hair and your color will shine through brighter.

  • Washing your hair less is definitely key with red hair. What I do too is mix a very gentle dye in with my conditioner when it needs a boost. Wrapping your hair in a dark coloured towel I’ve heard helps preserve colour, although I’m not really sure how.

  • I use henna too. My natural hair color is dark ash blonde. It dyes it RED. I get so many compliments on it and it never fades.

  • If you want red hair without having to worry about color fade, try henna! I’ve been dying my hair a nice rich red with henna for almost three years now. It’s completely natural; it’s made from only one plant. My hair used to be a damaged mess from being stripped, bleached, dyed every color under the rainbow, and heat styling. That was all water under the bridge after I started using henna once a month. It completely revived my hair! it’s the healthiest, shiniest, and thickest its been since I was little. Women in the middle east in B.C. used to use it as a spa treatment because of it’s conditioing properties!

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  • Annnnnnd now I might need to dye my hair red. There is something so stunning about red hair-it just makes every look, the perfect accessory for life:) Thanks for the tips!


  • Her hair is SO gorgeous!!!


  • wow.. cool. i love the idea.. 🙂 http://lovesimplegreen.blogspot.com/

  • i’ve always wanted to try red/auburn hair but i’m afraid of dying mine (virgin hair alert, yes i haven’t tried dying even once!). i have black hair. i so envy Katie’s hair color!


  • I put dye into my conditioner to help brighten the color every wash!

  • I’m just repeating the same question as many of the other girls. What is the name of her gorgeous color? Its so hard to pick the right color! xoxo

  • Your hair always looks flawless! Love this!


  • Christine, here’s a tutorial-

    Shannon, these tips will work for anyone who dyes their hair and wants to keep the color longer. Not sure about natural ways to keep hair light when it isn’t dyed, though. 🙂


  • But what color is the hair exactly? DYING to color mine that same color!

  • She has such beautiful hair! I am going to have to share this with my cousin because she has trouble with this 🙂 Wonderful post, thanks!

  • Great tips! Anyone thinking about going red needs to read these and to know that red is VERY hard to maintain — it takes time, commitment and $$$!! I have been red for 12 years…but it takes a visit to my colorist every 3 weeks to keep the color fresh!

  • As a redhead, I know just how tough it can be to hold onto my hair color. Dry shampoo has been my saving grace as well. Redheaded bloggers unite!


  • I love the tips, but I was wondering what “invisible” dry shampoos you’ve found…I don’t dye my hair, but I do have super curly dark hair, and the dry shampoo always shows, and I can’t brush it through…do you have suggestions?

    love the blog!

  • Katie’s hair is absolutely gorgeous. (:

  • Wow, this makes me want to go red! Your hair is GORGEOUS!


  • Awesome! I know I wash my hair too much because it gets so oily…

  • Thanks for the tips! I don’t have red hair but if I ever dye it I will remember the tips!
    Your such a beautiful model Katie!


  • Great tips! And I LOVE that blue dress! SO CUTE!


  • I have naturally reddish hair, but I brighten it up with henna hair color. It doesn’t damage my hair, the color comes out a beautiful bright copper, it lasts for several weeks without fading like other hair color I’ve used, and I never get that harsh regrowth line. I use the stuff from Lush. It’s a little messy, but SO worth it! http://www.lushusa.com/Caca-Rouge-Mama/00671,en_US,pd.html?start=1&cgid=henna-hair-dyes

  • There is also a product with color concentrate in it to freshen up the color in between retouches… Try Aveda’s Madder Root Shampoo and Conditioner. You can use it once or twice a week depending on the intensity of your red locks. Shampoo, rinse, condition and do the rest of your routine (shave, wash your body, etc) then rinse! Helped me keep my red hair looking fresh without damage.

  • Love this post! I have naturally red hair, but have been thinking about brightening it up/going a little darker red. What brand of color does Katie use?


  • I’m with Alison, my hair is naturally red…but I’d love to know how to style my hair like in the last pic pretty please. Christine x

  • As a natural redhead, I just gotta say to us natural reds out there that summer is here! Our reds will get brighter now 🙂

  • @Shannon, I’d imagine these tips work for anyone who dyes their hair, and even anyone who has damage-prone hair, like ultrafine or very long hair.

  • I used to have hair that color… if I only knew then what I know now! Thank you these are great tips!

  • i love her hair – mine are red too, but not as bright as hers. i dont want to bleach it, but when i see this pictures i am thinking about it again 😉

    greetings from austria, becci

  • I love Katies’ red hair! I stopped coloring my hair red a while ago because the color was washed out after 2-3 weeks. I think, I will give it another try, following Katies’ tips.


  • Allison- here’s a tutorial…. http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/06/how-to-style-a-summertime-twist.html

  • Perfect timing! I’m going back red tomorrow, after 3 years of being brown, so any tips on keeping the red bright are helpful.

  • What hair dye does Katie use and what colour was her hair to start with? I have recently dyed my hair red and I am wondering if I can get it a little brighter on my brown locks without bleach.

  • does this only work for red hair? cause i have a naturally really blonde hair and its starting to fade into brown

  • This is brilliant, I have red hair and can confirm, these tips really do work!

  • Interesting. As someone with naturally red(ish) hair, I never really thought about people who had to work to keep it that way! Lol. If I ever decide to accentuate my natural color with some dye, I’ll definitely keep this in mind!

  • Just curious. What make/brand/colour dye does Katie use? Been wanting to dye my hair red for ages but can’t find the right one. Thanks so much!

  • This is almost related (I have naturally red hair!) but I want to know how to style my hair like the very last picture. Beautiful!

  • I’ve just coloured my hair red for the first time recently (last week!) and was thinking about how to keep the colour in tip-top shape, so this is great! Thanks!xo

  • Oh I love these tips! I recently started dying my hair red and the color keeps fading pretty quickly. Going to give these tips a try! Thanks Katie & Elsie! 🙂

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