SHOULD YOU GO RED? Hair color experts help you decide if right if red hair is right for you!

Q. Who is a good candidate for red hair?
“Because of the broad range of red shades—from deep shimmering mahogany to medium copper auburn to light strawberry blonde, with an infinite array of selections in between—most women can wear some shade of red haircolor, either placed as highlights or a full-head application,” says Maria Cerminara, AVP Marketing and Creative Services for L’Orèal Technique.

Colorist and educator Stacey Jones, who is also the Senior Brand Manager for Ion Color Brilliance, offers these tips. “While almost any skin tone can be vamped up with red, cooler skin tones look best in deep, cool reds and warmer skin tones can wear shades from rich auburn to strawberry blonde.”

Danny LaPointe, colorist and Artistic Director of Clairol Professional, adds, “Red hair looks most natural on women who were red as a child or who have parents who are redheads. In terms of eye color and skin tones, LaPointe says, “Red is most attractive on people with green or blue eyes and cool or creamy skin tones. Women with darker skin tones should choose a deeper, cooler red shade. For lighter skin tones, choose a lighter and warmer red shade.” And, LaPointe adds this caution, “If red is new to you, start slowly with a shade that is near your natural level and see how it wears.”

Q. What is the best way to care for color-treated red hair?
“It’s important to understand that haircolor requires expert hair care,” says L’Oreal Technique’s Maria Cerminara. “Color-treated hair needs protection from UV and environmental damage, heat styling implements and minerals in water. All of these aggressors attack haircolor and cause fading. Red, blonde or brown, all color-treated hair should be maintained using a color protecting shampoo and conditioner.”

“Using a shampoo formulated for color-treated hair is a definite must!” says Stacey Jones from Ion Color Brilliance. “Up to 45% of color loss is attributed to shampooing. Be sure the shampoo has a pH factor below 5.5 to mimic hair’s natural acidity. Always use cool water when rinsing, this helps to close the cuticle layers, thus keeping the color vibrant and deep within the hair strand. Hot water opens the layers of the hair and can contribute to color loss.”

Do reds fade faster than other haircolor? “Because red hair molecules are small, they tend to shampoo out or fade more quickly than other haircolors,” says Clairol’s Danny LaPointe. “So it is particularly important to use shampoos and conditioners that are formulated for color-treated hair. Use a color-refreshing shampoo in the same tonal family as the shade you’ve chosen.”

What about touchups? Carin Freidag, a professional colorist and Customer Marketing Manager for P&G Professional—makers of both Clairol Professional and Wella American Classics— recommends, “Recolor every four weeks to keep your red haircolor vibrant. In between, you may want to refresh your color with a glaze. Ask your colorist about this process.”

Q. What are some of the best products for maintaining red?
No one has ever said that red haircolor is low maintenance, but there is a lot of help available. Using products formulated to protect or enhance your haircolor will improve the look, the feel and the condition of your hair, as well as the longevity of your haircolor.

> Seal: Ion Color Solutions
Color Defense After Color Sealing Treatment

< Protect: Ion Color Solutions
Color Defense Leave-In Protector

>Treat: L’Orèal Nature’s Therapy
Mega Moisture Treatment

< Refresh: Clairol Shimmer Lights
Brunette & Red Formula

> Quantum Reds Daily Color
Replenishing Shampoo
and Conditioner

< Lusterize: Ion Color Defense Protective Glossing Polish

Rich Red from Ion Color Brilliance

Intense red from Clairol Premium Creme

Burnished red from Miss Clairol