Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Red Hair Vibrant

Updated on November 2, 2019
Alyssa Nichol profile image

Alyssa is a wife, mom, and coffee enthusiast who loves sharing her favorite lifestyle tips with the world.

Vibrant red hair.
Vibrant red hair.

Red is one of the hardest colors to have because it is the quickest color to fade. You are lucky if you can get your gorgeous, vibrant red to last two and a half weeks before it fades into a dull, mousey brown that doesn’t flatter anyone.

Many hair stylists I’ve come into contact with shy away from reds because of it. When I was ready to go from blonde to red, I had to persuade my hair stylist at the time that it would look good. It took me two visits to get her to dye my hair red. Once she did, it looked amazing, but it faded quickly.

Spending a ton of money each month on my hair just wasn’t in my budget. I decided to venture out on my own and find the perfect red that I could maintain myself: One that wouldn’t fade into that dreary brown and wouldn’t break the bank. It took a couple months, but I finally found it.

How to Maintain Dyed Red Hair on a Budget

Here are my secrets for achieving the perfect red hair and keeping it vibrant and beautiful:

  1. Find the best shade for you
  2. Use the right products
  3. Avoid washing your hair
  4. Stay hydrated
  5. Make sure you have styling protection and variation

Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Color Ultra Intense Red for Darker Hair in Light Intense Auburn - R3
Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Color Ultra Intense Red for Darker Hair in Light Intense Auburn - R3

1. Find the Right Shade for You

When I was 18, I went to my hair stylist and she helped me create a beautiful, bright red shade with hints of purple. It was gorgeous! We created the color together and it was customized for my skin. If you are going to a salon, talk to your hair stylist. They will help you choose the right red for your skin tone. You might even customize a color that is unique and perfect for you!

If you like doing your own hair or are looking to save money, browse through the hair section next time you are at the store. There are so many beautiful shades available and boxed hair dye has really improved in the last few years. You can get online or download an app to “try” a color out and see if you might like it. It took me three different tries to find my perfect red shade.

Why My Color Works for Me

I use Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Color Ultra Intense Red for Darker Hair. My natural color is not dark; it is a dirty blonde. The color on the box is the closest I have found to that original red shade from when I was 18. I have gotten more compliments with this color than I ever did when I had my hair professionally done. Many people are surprised when I tell them that it is not my natural hair color. I have maintained this color for the past five years. It is inexpensive and it doesn’t fade like other reds. Even when I allow my roots to grow out a little, the red is still pretty and vibrant.

2. Don't Wash Your Hair

The quickest way to ruin your red is by washing your hair every day. At most, wash your hair every other day. If you can extend the time between washes that will really help keep your color looking beautiful, no matter if you get your hair done professionally or you do it yourself.

Try a Dry Shampoo

Purchase a dry shampoo that is formulated for colored hair and use it to combat greasiness. You don’t have to spend a ton of money. There are plenty of inexpensive options that are just as good as salon brands. I really like TRESemme Fresh Start Volumizing Dry Shampoo. It’s inexpensive, smells great, and doesn’t leave a gray residue. You just spray it through your roots, leave it sit for a few minutes, then comb or brush through your hair. It refreshes your hair and doesn’t strip your color.

TRESemme Color Revitalize Shampoo
TRESemme Color Revitalize Shampoo

3. Use the Right Products

Always use shampoo and conditioner that is formulated for colored hair. There are many options available and you don’t have to spend a ton of money for quality products. I have a few favorites that I rotate through:

  • I love TRESemme Color Revitalize Shampoo and Conditioner. They will keep your red looking vibrant.
  • I also love the Suave Professionals line. They have a variety of shampoos and conditioners that are comparable to more pricey brands, for less.
  • John Frieda also has a Radiant Red line that is amazing, but a little more expensive, and sometimes it can be hard to find in the store.

4. Hydrate

No matter what color or length your hair is, hydration is so important! Hydrated hair is healthy, shiny, silky, and beautiful. The above conditioners are great and will keep your hair hydrated. I have really long hair and recently tried Garnier Whole Blends Color Care Conditioner with Argan oil and Cranberry Extracts. It has really made a difference in my hair. It’s softer, silkier, shinier, and my red has never looked better! It also smells amazing!

Try Hair Masks and Leave-In Conditioners

If your hair is really dry, you might want to try a deep conditioning hair mask. There are a variety of brands that offer these. In addition, you will want to look for shampoos and conditioners with humectants to really hydrate thirsty strands.

I also love using a leave-in conditioner from time to time after getting out of the shower. It really helps de-tangle wet hair and leaves strands silky soft. Note: It may make your hair greasy if you use a conditioner in the shower and the spray after. My favorite right now is Not Your Mother’s Brand Way to Grow Leave-In Conditioner. I received a trial size complimentary from Not Your Mother’s and Influenster to test out in August. I really liked it!

Garnier Whole Blends Color Care Conditioner Argan Oil and Cranberry Extracts.
Garnier Whole Blends Color Care Conditioner Argan Oil and Cranberry Extracts.
Not Your Mother's Way to Grow Leave-In Conditioner.
Not Your Mother's Way to Grow Leave-In Conditioner.

5. Styling Protection and Variation

If you use a straightener or curling rod, you know how important it is to use a heat protecting spray. It’s even more important when you have colored hair. The heat will penetrate your strands and fade your color fast if you don’t have protection. I’ve been using Beyond the Zone Pro Formula Smooth Criminal Thermo Protect Spray. It was given to me by a family member to try and I really like it! It keeps my hair smooth and shiny when I use my curling rod and protects my color from the high heat setting.

It’s best to give your hair a break from all the heat if you can. Air dry whenever possible. Try a cute braid or a ponytail variation.

Beyond the Zone Smooth Criminal Thermo Protect Spray
Beyond the Zone Smooth Criminal Thermo Protect Spray

Those are my secrets for beautiful, rich, vibrant red hair. Give them a try and be ready for the best hair you've ever had!

I will leave you with some fun, inspiring quotes about red hair.

"Redheads. For those brave enough to play with fire." -CHI

"The sun on a brunette's hair looks red. The sun on a redhead's hair looks like heaven on Earth." - anonymous

Red hair- the crown you never take off.

Red hair is more than just a color, it's a lifestyle.

My red hair.
My red hair.
My vibrant red hair.
My vibrant red hair.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2016 Alyssa


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      • Alyssa Nichol profile imageAUTHOR


        10 months ago from Ohio

        Thank you, Debarati. :)

      • debarati sarkar profile image

        debarati sarkar 

        10 months ago from India

        You look amazing dear

      • Alyssa Nichol profile imageAUTHOR


        12 months ago from Ohio

        You're welcome! I'm glad you found these tips helpful. :)

      • profile image

        Shannon Austin 

        12 months ago

        Extremely helpful! Even though my hair is much, much shorter, the struggle to maintain a vibrant red is real! Thank you!

      • Alyssa Nichol profile imageAUTHOR


        3 years ago from Ohio

        Thank you!

      • profile image


        3 years ago

        Wow!How vibrant and beautiful!


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