How to Take Care of Naturally Red Hair

How to Take Care of Naturally Red Hair

Fun fact: redheads make up only three percent of the world's population—which means, while blondes have more fun, and brunettes get all the husbands, redheads are often forgotten.

The fact is, naturally red hair needs just as much TLC (tender love and care) to keep its color vibrant—it can naturally fade, especially in the sun—and it's often dryer than other hair types.

In an attempt to bridge the color gap, we've rounded up some expert tips on how to maintain healthy natural red hair for all the fiery females out there:

Everyday Maintenance

Because red hair tends to be naturally dryer, the key to taking care of it is to add moisture.

"Natural red hair tends to be heavy... sometimes natural red hair tends to be coarse as well," says celebrity hairstylist Patrick Melville, of the Patrick Melville Salon in New York.

For an everyday routine Melville says to avoid shampooing your hair too often.

"Clean and rinse hair with a conditioner if necessary, while only shampooing every three days," Melville advises. "Do a weekly deep conditioning treatment on your hair which will help keep the red pigments and luster in your hair."

Color Care

"In order to keep naturally red hair looking vibrant, you need to protect it from the elements," says Joel Warren, celebrity colorist and co-founder of Warren-Tricomi Salons.

"This means using products with UVA/UVB protection whenever you can't keep the hair completely shielded from the sun (either by avoiding it all together or wearing a hat/scarf over the hair) to keep the hair from fading."

Warren also debunks the myth that redheads will lose their natural color forever if they choose to dye it.

"You can absolutely get your naturally red color back if you decide to dye it," Warren says. "Although it will be easier and quicker to get the original color back if you go lighter, you will be able to achieve the original shade either way, because the good thing about red is that when you take color out of hair, it often becomes red anyway."

Who knew!

Redhead-specific products

How to Take Care of Naturally Red Hair
Everything for Redheads "Red Hair Colour Fade Prevention Starter Kit", $24 (15 GBP)Mother and daughter duo Jen and Jessica Shailes began making their own haircare line Everything For Redheads because they were fed up with the few redhead-specific products available. Their website not only sells products for natural red hair, it also provides a forum for discussion on what it means to be red—song lyrics about about redheads, jokes about gingers, and blog posts about everything from the mutant gene that causes red hair to why redheads really need to avoid the sun.

Homemade Treatments

If you want to get really crazy, Melville had some easy-to-make homemade recipes for enhancing your color.

"You could also try pouring cranberry juice on your hair," Melville suggests. "Cover your hair with a shower cap for 15 to 20 minutes. This will enhance the natural hair color."

To make your color pop even more, he also suggests applying one tablespoon of beet juice to three cups of water and letting your locks soak in it. 

Note: try at your own risk!