How To Care For Your Red Hair

Rachel McAdams red hair

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Rachel McAdams traded in her blonde locks for recently dyed red strands.

Red hair is taking Hollywood by storm — Rachel McAdamsDianna Agron and Megan Fox have all opted for the bright hue recently, and who can blame them? The color is bold, and it works on anyone. The trick is finding the right shade for your skin tone. However, we do have two reservations about taking the plunge: the commitment and maintenance that comes with it. Here are some tricks to make the transition easier from celebrity stylist and Matrix Artistic Director Ammon Carver.

How To Care For Your Hair
Dying your hair any color is stressful on strands, but red needs even more TLC. “If your hair is dark, chances are you’ll need to lighten your hair before you color it, which can be a bit more damaging on your hair,” Carver says. “Minimize the stress by using moisturizing, repairing and hydrating products.” Matrix Total Results Color Care Miracle Treat 12 Lotion Spray ($16, matrix.com) is rich in antioxidant sunflower oil to condition the hair, smooth the cuticle and protect the color.

“If your hair is light, you’ll likely need what is called a filler, a preliminary deposit of color on your hair that will enable it to hold the final red tone,” says Carver. This kind of commitment requires regular touch-ups. (I touch up my copper strands every five weeks because of fading). To prolong a salon visit, use a root touch-up like Oscar Blandi Pronto Colore Root Touch-Up & Highlighting Pen in Warm Reddish Brown ($23, ulta.com). The pen allows you to paint in natural-looking color in seconds.

How To Make Your Color Last Longer
Ammon’s advice on making the vibrant hue last: “Use cool water when washing your hair, skip days between washes and always, always, always use a color safe shampoo and conditioning system. This is more important with reds, as the key to rocking the shade is keeping it vibrant.”

Keep color from fading with color protecting shampoo like b•leve b•colorful shampoo ($5.99, b-leve.com), which enhances color and protects against sun damage with its blend of sunflower extract and white tea. Add shine and moisture by scheduling a glaze or even doing one at home weekly, such as Oscar Blandi At-Home Salon Glaze ($27, blandiproducts.com).

Read more: Can You Pull Off Red Hair?

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