Posts Tagged ‘redhead’

KEEP RED HAIR FROM FADING

Post: Kristin Ess, top photo by Kristin Ess, bottom photos Kristin Ess, Angela Kohler + Tyler Jennings

MERMAID ALERT. Hands down the most frequent question I get asked when I meet people for the first time is how I keep my red hair so bright. Everyone looks at you when you’re a hair colorist as if you’re holding out on some mega-secret that’s finally going to crack the case on color fading. The truth is, there’s a whole list of secrets! There not just one magic potion to pour on your head. If there was, I would own it by now and I would share it with you right here. I’ve written about red hair color on TBD before as a blogger, but now I want to write from the perspective of a fellow redhead. I could just list off a bunch of color safe shampoos but there are plenty of color shampoo roundups online, right? Instead I’m going to give you a rundown of the things I do and things I don’t do to keep my hair the brightest! These are all tips that I know work because over the last decade I’ve been every single shade of roja and I’ve taken lots of notes. Here are my top 10 ways that I keep my un-natural (but totally natural) red hair on point…

  1. I have a custom conditioner made. You have to find a Davines salon and get a pro to make you one, but it’s worth it. HERE is a salon locator. So many conditioners out there for redheads are off on their tone. They’re either too pink or too yellow or too translucent. Trust me on this. Find a salon and let them mix your exact shade.
  2. Cool water washing isn’t a myth. In the winter time, I will even knock up the heater temp in the bathroom just so I can handle the cooler water setting. It doesn’t need to be cold, it just shouldn’t be hot. Changing my water temperature did slow the fading and made my hair more reflective in the long run.
  3. Swimming in a chlorinated pool? NO. Hair exposed for long periods of time in the sun? NEVER. Just don’t do it. Not unless you plan on getting your color done within the next couple days. No… just no. I only swim in salt water or fresh water. If I get in a chlorinated pool, I just won’t put my hair in, end of story.
  4. Spray leave-In conditioner is a must. I always use THIS ONE because I’ve tried about a hundred and there’s not another one like it. It seals, protects and shines like the top of the Chrysler Building. If I leave on a trip without it, it’s the first thing I have to locate when I land.
  5. Permanent color, then gloss. So for my own formula, I have someone apply my root color first which is a cream-based permanent color, then I put another cream-based permanent color through the ends. And THEN I go the extra mile and gloss over that while at the shampoo bowl (after my color has been rinsed). It takes about 20-25 minutes and it’s a similar process to a deep conditioning treatment. My hair used to fade like crazy when I didn’t put a gloss over the permanent color. I attribute most of my current vibrance to glossing over the regular cream-based color. You’re definitely going to get charged for that at the salon, but it’s not insanely expensive and it isn’t sold to people without a license. I prefer glossing my hair with Shades EQ which is from Redken. Ask your colorist or find a Redken salon HERE.
  6. Glosses in between colors. Again, it takes the same time as a deep conditioner so prioritize! I do my roots every 2 1/2-3 months, so I find a time right smack in the middle of my color appointments to get glossed. Again, I gloss with the same Shades EQ formula as before.
  7. I definitely keep blowdrying to a minimum. I’m not saying I skip blowdrying because my hair has strong wave/frizz and needs to be blown out, I just wash less (see next tip!). I’ve never done my own scientific study on this, but I know from experience that running hot air into my red locks on the daily is a no.
  8. Invest in a great dry shampoo. My favorites are THIS ($), THIS ($$) but mostly THIS ($$$). Once I became a dry shampoo addict, I started seeing my color fade much less. Obviously the less you’re washing, the less you’re fading.
  9. Every redhaired mermaid needs an ionic dryer. I use the Elchim 2001. I’ve used it forever and it’s my favorite all around. I won’t preach about the benefits of ionic dryers becuase I already did that recently RIGHT HERE.

In case we’ve never met or you’re just starting to follow TBD, I’m a redhead too, thanks to the powers of pigment. I’m also a hairstylist/colorist. As a professional, we have access to so many great things and I just wanted to share my personal favorites. If you have any tips or products that you’re obsessed with, I would LOVE for you to list them down below in the comments. We always love to hear what you’ve been using and how it’s working for you.

My last words of advice are… Always make sure you give red hair color a chance to stick. It took me about 4 rounds before my red stopped fading so much, mostly because I was blonde before. Don’t expect to go from lighter hair colors to red with no fading the first time, or even the second. Be realistic about it. Also, if you’re going red go through types of red (USE THIS POST IF YOU WANT!) with your colorist. It’s best to be on the same page about which red is which. Don’t be embarassed to take pictures with you! We love it.

HAIR COLOR GUIDE (REDS)

POST/GRAPHIC DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS

The best thing in the world is when a client walks into the studio and says “I think I want to go red.” It’s hard to keep from jumping up and down. First thing you have to do as a colorist is find out what kind of red your client is attracted to. And if you’re doing the color at home, you have to figure out what tones you want to have. I made this chart to show you the 4 main red families. It’s important to know because there are so many different names for red– colorists, am I right? One person’s chestnut is another person’s auburn, and one person’s copper is another person’s strawberry blonde. This guide gives you a clearer understanding and something to take with you when getting your color done or shopping for the right box to use at home. Below I’ve listed the 4 main families of red and some helpful info about each one…

  • Ginger. This is the kind of color you see on someone who is a natural redhead. Think of Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Isla Fisher, Jessica Chastain, etc… Gingers are typically a lighter shade because as this tone goes darker it leans more toward “a hint of red, which we discussed in the last color guide post. Ginger is not an intense red so the darker you go, the less you see the red. I suggest you go for this if you have fair skin and light eyes.
  • Copper/Orange. This is one of the most popular reds on earth thanks to Christina Hendricks and Taylor Tomassi Hill. Admit it! You’ve definitely wondered if you could pull of that sparkling shade of Joan. It’s vibrant and rich and reflects so much light. The good news is it can be done on almost any skin tone as long as it’s done right. A true copper will have a very “orange” tone to it so you’ll have to work hard to keep it from fading but it’s so worth it. Bright copper/orange tones are stunning. I tend to put this on the girls who love a very vintage vibe and have great style.
  • Blue Reds. Don’t let the blue part scare you. It just means this is more of a true red. Think koolaid, think red velvet cake, think Jessica Rabbit. Just like the copper/orange family, I vote you can put this one almost anyone who’s willing to try it. It looks great on any skin tone if it’s done right. I’ve put this on girls with every skin tone and I can tell you it works, but you have to have a very special attitude to pull this off. I like to discribe this as decadent, rebellious and glamourous. This color isn’t for the shy girl.
  • Purple Reds. We’re talking merlot, black cherry, plum and berries. These are my favorite for girls who have naturally dark hair and want to dip into the red family. It tends to go well with a more olive skin tone. I usually like to stay away from putting purple-reds on girls with redness or pink tones in their skin. The purple tones can bring out the redness. Purple based reds aren’t supposed to look natural! Shine and intensity is what this color is all about. When I do this on someone, I encourage them to wear their hair wavy because it really helps give it a little dimesion and keeps it from looking wig-like.

Fading: Synthetic reds (as in anything you use color to achieve) are known for fading fast.

  • Use a color shampoo. Either one that deposits color or one that is intended to keep the color longer. (Stay tuned for the color shampoo round up! I’ll spill my favorites for keeping color in place next week.)
  • Start strong. I always formulate my color so that it’s extra bright for the first week and then fades out to a perfect shade by the second week, then it holds that color for weeks to come. Try going a slightly brighter color so it settles where you want it!
  • Give it some time. With red, you have to apply it over and over and over in order for it to really stick– especially if you’re going red from a lighter color. My red faded out so much for the first year, but once I got into the second year there was a major decrease in fading. Think about it– if you put red dye on a white towel and wash it, it will be pink. When you dye it over and over it will start to keep the color more. Give it time.
  • It’s easier to keep the color in if you’re going from a darker shade to red vs. a lighter shade to red. Natural dark hair color has so much red under it already that it supports the red and keeps it from fading so fast. Lighter hair doesn’t have the same underlying red tones to support. Just know it may be a little harder. (Talk to your colorist if you want a more indepth understanding of this.)

Hope you guys have loved these color guides! If you missed any, see them here: ASHE, NEUTRALGOLD, WARM GOLD, HINT OF RED.

CRIMSON CLOVER

photo: holly blake post designed by kristin ess

You’re in the mood to change things up. You decide on red for your new hair color. You pick that vibrant coppery-red that’s doing incredible things for the girl on the box. Take it home, apply it, let it sit and hope for the best. After washing it out, you step closer to the mirror and realize it’s insanely bright at your roots. Strange tones of pink and sherbert shine though in some places and muted tones dull your hair in other places. Stop right there and call the salon. Don’t try to fix it yourself.

Most of us have had hair color mishaps once in our lives– but red is not a color to experiment with at home. If you’re craving change and want to visit the idea of being a redhead, the bottom line is you should see a professional. There are SO many different types of red out there and SO many things that can go wrong when trying to do it on yourself at home. Red is one of the most difficult colors to correct and can be a very expensive fix.

Red hair has become more popular than ever and when done right, it can be absolutely stunning. Just make sure to go about it the right way. Go in to your colorist, take pictures, talk about which red is best for you and your skin tones, and make your appointment. Simple, slightly more expensive, but stress free way of going red.

xx Kristin