The Journey and Struggles of a (Dyed) Redhead

Red hair, it’s something that naturally occurs in my family. I grew up with a red tint to my hair and last year I finally decided to go ahead and dye it red after being blonde for two years. Of course, I didn’t go a natural red, I went a bright color. Now it isn’t quite Ariel from The Little Mermaid, but more Sharna from Dancing With The Stars. Something I learned very quickly is how much maintenance red hair takes. I think mine isn’t quite as extreme just because of how much red my hair has naturally, but still it takes a lot to keep it up. I dyed my hair in the very beginning of October of 2015, and I think I’ve had to redo the color about five times since then and it’s only September of 2016, with my blonde hair it was only every three or so months. Before dying your hair red, seriously decide if you can handle the commitment it takes. If, seriously if, you have any Irish or Scottish in your family there is a chance it’s a little less commitment or if your hair is lighter, lighter hair just adapts to the shade you dye it since it’s a nice base. Now personally, even with my natural hair it’s not super dark so even if that would have been my starting point I’m not sure I would have struggled to get to the red I wanted. But, if you have dark hair you’re more than likely going to have to bleach your hair so once again, really think about the commitment and damage you’ll be doing to your hair. Is it worth it? Also I suggest if you have dark hair get it professionally done, especially if it’s being bleached. Dying your hair and keeping it looking good can be very time consuming especially with such a bright color as red, so let’s talk about the process I do to keep my red hair vibrant for as long as possible.

  • Pick a good dye. I use one by Garnier. Everybody’s hair is different so find a hair dye that works with your hair type. I used an oil one once and it lasted like only two weeks before it washed out completely and we had to dye it again. So definitely try different ones until you find the perfect fit for you.
  • Get red hair shampoo. My personal favorite is by John Frieda though I haven’t seen it in awhile, I do know Ulta has one in their brand. But seriously, this step is so important in keeping your hair vibrant. Not only does it help protect the color but there’s also some hair products that you put on in the shower that’ll actually put color back into your hair without the hair dye process. Now I wash my hair as little as possible, if it’s not greasy I don’t wash it, so I do think that helps my color stay a little bit longer as well.
  • Avoid heat. Now this is a concept that anybody will tell you, but with red hair I don’t know, I think it’s a must personally . With my blonde hair, I could tell a difference, but with red hair I can tell a huge difference between when I use heat and when I don’t. Let your hair breathe and air-dry it. If you want waves, french braid it before bed and sleep on them, I do this all the time. 

    Now, I’ll say it a million times, everybody’s hair is different, but this is what works for me. We are currently in the beginning of September and I haven’t dyed my hair since May and it has stayed nice and vibrant except for the roots, and I have done all of these three things the entire time. Also, I’m not a professional so find out what your stylist would suggest you do, but this is what I have learned throughout having red hair for about a year now. I hope this helps you on your red headed journey and you enjoy being compared to Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow because of your hair as much as I have.

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