To go red or not to go red – that is the question. Redheads create a seductive, fiery mystique, yet there are a few things to consider before reaching for that bottle.
Aside from selecting the proper shades or choosing the best red to go with your skin tone, it’s wise to know that red hair has a few quirks that you may want to consider before taking the plunge.
Getting started with red hair
You should know up front that red is not a “try it and see” color. Red is a vibrant and dominant color that has a tendency to linger.
Even if you are able to get most of the red subdued, there will still be evidence of a red in the underlying pigment for some time unless you go considerably darker to cover it (and even then it can still play peek-a-boo in certain light!)
The science behind red hair dye
Since red hair color molecules are usually larger in molecular structure than their counterparts, it can take an application or two to get it to really ‘take’ to the hair. This is especially true in the case of ‘stains’ and semi/demi permanent applications. So if you choose to baby-step into a red hair color, be patient for the first few attempts.
To get better saturation and vibrancy, a higher strength developer will do the trick, so if you do opt for the permanent or more vibrant reds, a stronger product is warranted. However, this uses peroxide to remove more of your natural hair color to allow for greater penetration of your new shade.
This will give you a more noticeable regrowth and also greatly increase the fadage potential for some hair fabric. By opening the cuticle of the hair to allow for reds to come in, it also leaves the door cracked for the reds to leave sooner.
Thinking of going for an extreme red?
For those of you who go for the primary or ‘red-reds’ (fire engine class), these colors are often achieved by products you find in novelty shops and boutiques and are for the more extreme hair color fans. The warning here is that some of these products create the shockingly red colors by using a textile dye as opposed to a professional hair color.
They are meant to stay in the fabric for a long, long time.
They are nearly impossible to remove without major (and expensive) salon treatments, and they make it difficult for future colors to take to the hair. If you buy one of these hair colors at a local boutique that plays the loud music, sells t-shirts and spiked dog collars, we urge you to re-read this paragraph before dumping the product on your head!
A (brief) word of warning…
Here is the truth behind red hair dye. Red pigment lingers even after the initial luster starts to diminish, however the dye will leave its evidence behind for some time.
Red dyes fade to their bases which are often less flattering and completely different than the original shade chosen.
That is why you see some people with pink or orange hair – they didn’t choose it initially, they simply chose not to maintain their original color. If you are also a fan of the sun, use a lot of hot tools and blow-dryers, or use low-quality hair care products, you will put the red fadage into hyper-drive.
Now I didn’t say that to discourage you, I just want to stress the point that red hair dye require TLC. Hope lies in the fact that red hair colors are not difficult to refresh with color washes, color-complementary shampoos, and color sealers.
As I mentioned – reds are beautiful, brilliant, and eye-catching. They have a sexy allure all their own. They just require attention specific to the shade and will be quick to show the world if the wearer is neglectful.