We quizzed Eva Scrivo, L'Oréal Professionnel Ambassador, celebrity colorist, and redhead herself, all about her insider secrets for firey locks.
1. Use shampoo with citric acid before coloring
"Citric acid removes the residue and build-up on the hair from products, pollution, and previous color," says Scrivo. "It prepares strands for a successful coloring process." Look for it in the shampoo's ingredients.
2. Get a clarifying treatment at the salon
Without a pre-wash, freshly dyed red hair can end up dull at the roots and brassy at the ends. To avoid an uneven look, Scrivo says to ask your colorist for a clarifying treatment first.
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3. Prolong color with sulfate-free and mild surfactant products
"The molecular structure [of red hair] is slightly larger, so [dye] does rinse out of the hair more quickly," explains Scrivo. Solve this problem with a shampoo and conditioner that is sulfate-free and contains mild-surfactants, like L'Oréal Professionnel Series Vitamino Color Shampoo.
4. Stay away from deep treatments
Scrivo recommends using lightweight conditioners and avoiding masks post-color. "When you're using heavy products or leaving formulas in overnight, it removes color molecules out of the hair," she adds.
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5. Take cooler showers
According to Scrivo, hot water is a key factor in diminishing red dye. So the next time you hop in the shower, reduce the temperature to warm instead of scalding hot.
6. Boost brightness with a color-depositing shampoo
Certain shampoos can amp up your scarlet strands between trips to the salon. "It keeps your hair bright and vibrant," notes Scrivo. "If you just want to keep a little bit of red in your hair, mix it with your favorite shampoo." Try L'Oréal Colorist Collection Artec Shampoo in Red Clover.
7. Protect against UV damage
Scrivo suggests looking for styling products with SPF, such as Kérastase Soleil Shimmering Protective Mist. Leave-in products like this do double-duty by protecting locks from chlorine and salt water, as well as the sun.
8. Use hot tools with caution
Before using a blow-dryer, curling iron, or straightener, slather hair with an anti-thermal product. "They're activated by heat, and they form a protective layer on top of the hair," says Scrivo. Apply a small amount your mane and evenly distribute it with a brush. She also recommends styling your tresses in sections, using clips to separate. "Many of us end up going over the same area twice, and that's really what dehydrates the hair and fades the color."
9. Play to your complexion
Redheads can be divided into two categories: warm-tones and cool-tones. "I am a cool-toned redhead, so my hair is red," explains Scrivo. "But it's not an orange-based red, it's actually a violet-based red," Reds of the cooler variety should opt for blues, plums, and ruby reds when choosing makeup, and warmer reds can wear yellows, oranges, and pinks.
10. Add shine with a finishing spray
Scrivo says she frequently uses L'Oréal Professionnel Perfect Shimmer to draw even more attention to her gorgeous locks. "It is somewhat of a finishing spray that looks beautiful on reds and adds a certain reflection to [the color]," says Scrivo.