Whether you get your fiery locks from a bottle or you’re born with them, let’s face it: Redheads really have the most fun. These nine tips will help you keep your color fiercely bright and your styling choices flattering and fun.
USE A COLOR-DEPOSITING HAIR MASK
While the color alone can feel like an ambitious feat to pull off, red also requires more touch-ups than any other hair color—with typical fading after only three to four weeks. To put off expensive monthly salon visits, try a nutritive hair mask that leaves a rich copper hue. The longer you leave this particular mask on, the brighter the color is, so start small and work your way up until you reach your desired shade.
ADD A NATURAL BOOST
Or, for a more DIY solution, look no further than your pantry. Naturally strong pigments from beet juice, cranberry juice and Kool-Aid (seriously) will give you an at-home hue boost. Just apply any of those liquids to wet hair, leave for at least 20 minutes and rinse out for a prolonged red.
ADD IN A CLARIFYING SHAMPOO
While blondes and brunettes have their own special qualities, part of what makes red hair so stunning is that it’s usually made of varying shades of vibrant red and shiny gold. Every four to five washes, swap out your normal shampoo for a clarifying cleanser that will wipe away any previous product or gunk and reveal super-healthy locks that shine on their own.
LET FRECKLES SHINE THROUGH
There may have been a time in the distant past when freckles were frowned upon, but natural days are here to stay. (Plus, freckles are sort of nature’s built-in concealer.) Use a tinted moisturizer to lightly apply coverage without turning dark spots gray, and use a color-correcting palette to touch up ruddy patches.
DON’T NEGLECT THE BROWS
Another trademark of a natural red: light blonde eyebrows. Especially in such a brow-dominant time, it’s important to add a little color to your brows. If dyeing them is too much of a hassle or expense, find a pencil or powder in a shade that matches the darkest part of your hair, without going too orange. Although it might feel odd at the beginning, eyebrows can be an incredibly powerful face-framing tool.
GO BOLD WITH RED LIPS
Whoever said redheads should avoid red lipstick has clearly never seen Christina Hendricks in Mad Men. Be sure to stick to blue-toned reds, rather than orangey ones, so your lips complement rather than clash. And since you’ve got a built-in attention-grabber on your head, remember that less is more; keep your eyes neutral for a nice contrast.
REMEMBER THAT SPF IS YOUR BFF
All women should abide by this mantra, but redheads should especially heed. Lather on a moisturizer with SPF each morning and, if you know you’ll be outside for long stretches of time, be sure to reapply and cover any exposed skin, from arms and legs to your chest and back. It might seem like a hassle now, but when you’re 60 and wrinkle-free, you’ll have your day in the sun (albeit under an umbrella).
ROCK A REDHEAD-FRIENDLY WARDROBE
A seriously misinformed rumor about copper-haired ladies is that they look good in only a few colors (see: emerald green). But in reality, redheads can wear any color of the rainbow—yes, even orange and red—as long as they’re smart about the tones of the color. A good rule of thumb is to focus on what colors go well with your skin tone: So a warmer-toned redhead looks fab in burgundy wine, while a cooler-toned redhead is complemented by a light peach sorbet shade.
LET YOUR BUILT-IN ACCESSORY DO THE WORK
Although it can be fun to throw on big statement earrings or an oversize necklace, at the end of the day, your hair is the star of the show. Keep it healthy and lustrous with a leave-in conditioner and play around with fun hairstyles that highlight the many beautiful shades in your mane.