How to stop red hair dye from fading | 14 Top Tips!

Fiery, fierce and luxurious, red hair is a mood. Red hair is a classic and features in our top hair colour ideas this year but the truth is that the red hair trend is here forever. Anyone who dyes their hair knows, it’s a hard colour to keep. So you need to know, how to stop red hair dye from fading? Read on!

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What is red hair?

Whether natural or from a bottle, red hair is a sought after colour. It’s shimmering tones can brighten up your skin and make your eyes sparkle.

What we love most about red hair is that there’s a colour for everyone. The hottest red hair colour trends right now are:

Cool colours

  • Cherry
  • Mahogany
  • Deep rose
  • Burgundy
  • Ultra Violet

Warm colours

  • Strawberry
  • Copper
  • Auburn
  • Vibrant red
  • Bright red

Check out the latest red hair looks for ideas and inspiration.

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Why does red hair dye fade quicker?

It’s true that red hair dye is the hardest to keep looking luscious for longer. The brighter your dye, the faster it will fade.

It’s all to do with the size of the red dye pigments – these are extra large molecules that slip and slide out of your hair with every wash.

If you’re going to be a ravishing red head, you’ll need to look after your hair so that you can lock in the colour for longer and stop red hair dye from fading.

How can I make my red hair colour last for longer?

Red hair needs more love than almost any other colour and will fade fast if you don’t look after it.

If you dye your hair, it’s especially important to ramp up the TLC and look after your coloured hair to keep it from drying out, fading or frizzing like mad.

Here are some of our tops tips and products to keep your red hair in great condition before and after you have it ‘done’.

How to stop red hair dye from fading – TOP TIPS!

Tip #1 Stay away from sulphates.

Sulphates are the nasty chemicals that strip your hair colour. Anti-dandruff shampoos in particular contain loads of colour-stripping chemicals.

Sulphate-free shampoos like this one from Bumble & Bumble still make your hair feel gloriously clean while being kind to your colour.

Bumble & Bumble Color Minded Shampoo

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Tip #2 Use conditioners for coloured hair.

If you have coloured hair, you need to use specially formulated conditioners that are made to be gentle on your colour and nourish and fortify your hair.

For red hair especially, we love this duo from John Frieda that will deposit red pigment back into your hair, not take it away.

John Frieda Radiant Red Shampoo and Conditioner

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Check out our guide to the best conditioners for coloured hair to find the right one for you.

Tip #3 Wash dyed red hair less often.

Shampoo is red hair colour’s worst enemy. As well as the grease and grime, it strips the pigment from your hair with every wash.

So it makes sense to wash dyed hair with shampoo less. We’re talking once or twice a week MAX.

In between, you can use dry shampoos that are great for coloured hair to keep your tresses grease-free and smelling fresh.

Tip #4 WAIT! Give it two days before your first shampoo.

Shampooing less often starts IMMEDIATELY after you have your colour done. Wait a couple of days before you wash it to give the colour plenty of time to set and those slippery red molecules to really take hold.

how to stop red hair fading insta

Tip #5 Spruce up your locks using only conditioner.

If you really can’t wait that long in between washes, consider skipping shampoo and just using a great conditioner for coloured hair.

Your hair will appreciate being topped up with moisture and you’ll be back to smelling delightful again without stripping the colour with shampoo.

You can also apply a leave-in conditioner to stop dryness in between washes too.

Tip #6 Use deep-conditioning treatments and hair masks.

Once a week, smooth your coloured locks with a deep conditioning treatment to lock in moisture and keep your colour lustre.

We love this hair mask from Redken Color Extend Magnetics Deep Attraction which is especially for colour-treated hair. Leave it on as long as you can to really soften the straw.

Redken Color Extend Magnetics Deep Attraction

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Tip #7 Always rinse your hair with cold water.

Hot water causes your hair shaft to rise which makes it lose moisture and be more prone to damage and frizz.

Giving your hair a final rinse with cold water whenever you wash or condition it will help to seal the shaft – locking moisture and red pigment in.

how to stop red hair dye fading cold rinse

Tip #8 Get regular trims.

To keep your hair in great condition, make sure you visit the hairdresser for regular trims.

Getting rid of your split ends not only makes your coloured hair look healthier, it prevents against damage to your already frazzled hair shafts.

Tip#9 Cut down on heat styling.

Straighteners, tongs, hairdryers, crimpers bad, bad, bad.

But we’re hardly going to stop using them completely. So at least try and use them LESS or on a cooler setting if your appliance has one to help look after your coloured hair.

Let your hair dry naturally whenever you can. And when you do need to glam up, make sure you apply a heat-protecting styling product like this one from colour masters Pureology.

Pureology Colour Fanatic 21 Benefits Hair Treatment Spray

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Tip #10 Top up time in between colourings.

When your natural roots start showing, help is at hand. There are plenty of root cover up sprays or powder out there that can convincingly cover your roots until you’re ready to visit your hairdresser.

COLOR WOW Root Cover Up comes as a power and brush and lasts for AGES and in a hard-to-find red colour.

COLOR WOW Root Cover Up

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Tip #11 Give your hair some nourishment.

If your red hair is feeling frazzled and losing it’s lustre, it’s time to fortify it with some lovely, problem-solving protein.

Spray it into your wet or dry roots and massage your scalp to stop your hair breaking from the root down.

And invest in the little miracle in a bottle that all the celebs go crazy for – Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector to treat and strengthen your hair between hair dyeing.

Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector

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Tip #14 Don’t forget the oil.

Giving your coloured hair a good old routine oil treatment will form a protective layer over your hair to seal in colour and moisture.

From a leave-in overnight to a quick hot oil treatment before your shower, there are a variety of ways to slick up your hair and make it silky smooth. This is a brilliant treatment that works for all types of hair, coloured or no.

Moroccan Oil Hair Treatment

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And that, dear friends, is how to stop red hair dye from fading!


  • Nicola Freeman

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during Covid for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player. Win me over with a plate of sushi anytime!