Nothing in life is permanent, not even permanent hair colour.

Sure there’s nothing you can do to prevent the inevitable grow out but you CAN take a few extra precautions to keep your hair from fading fast.

Red hair, in particular, is quicker to fade than blondes and brunettes. Why? Well, it’s simple really. Red molecules are smaller than blonde and brunette tones, therefore it’s harder for them to penetrate the hair cuticle.

For those who don’t need the bottle and are naturally blessed with a fiery red mane à la Taylor Tomasi-Hill, your hair is made up predominantly of pheomelanin – the same form of melanin that imparts a pink to red hue in your lips. Cool, huh?

To keep your red hair from fading – natural or not – here’s a few simple steps to follow:

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Before you dye your hair red, wash with a clarifying shampoo one day before. The stronger detergents will remove excess product build-up, so colour penetrates deeper and lasts longer. When selecting the right hair colour, look for options. Garnier Olia in Intense Copper is powered by oil, not ammonia, so it hydrates hair instead of stripping it. Yeah, we’d call that winning.


If you’ve coloured your hair at home, don’t wash your hair for at least 48 hours after rinsing the dye. We know, we know – it’ll be hard not to but this will allow the red colour molecules time to really set in. And, at the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious here, when it does come to shampooing, unless you are one of the  1–2% of the world’s population who are ginger by genetics, then a colour-safe shampoo is an absolute must.


The sun’s ultraviolet rays break down the pigment in your strands, lightening coloured hair by as much as four whole shades. Sucks, right? Darker hair is more resistant (lucky for some!) but for red heads, hair is more prone to sun-induced fading. The solution? Invest in a colour protection spray and apply on sunny days.


This summer is going to be a scorcher but when going to the beach, think twice and protect your head. Salt water raises the cuticle, which let your hair’s pigment escape. If you’re a regular ocean-goer, repeated exposure to salt water can also lighten up your colour so use a leave-in conditioner the morning of (it will coat the hair and form a barrier) and rinse with fresh water as soon as you can after exiting the waves. The longer you wait, the more potential for colour damage so don’t muck around on this one.


The disinfectant that kills bacteria in your pool can kill your colour too. You’ve probably heard of chlorine turning blonde hair green and grey into yellow but it can also make red hair less vibrant. Before you take a dip, wet your hair with fresh water — it will soak up less chlorine since it’s already saturated. And, without sounding like a broken record, be sure to rinse your hair in the shower after you get out.


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