In October, I rocked up to my hairdresser with a photo of Emma Stone and all the optimism of a woman who, thanks to balayage, hadn’t had to deal with regrowth in three years. Red hair fades quickly? Sure, but I’ll stay on top of it. I’ll get rinses, I’ll dodge sulfates, just whack in the dye and pass me that 2012 issues of Glamour!
Reader, I did not stay on top of it.
My carefree balayage years had faded the memory of what it’s actually like to keep red hair looking vibrant. Almost before I knew it, I’d rinsed my dye job down the drain. My first month back in Camp Ginger went very mousy very quickly.
My third month has been a lot better. I’ve had my roots topped up (that can’t be avoided, unfortunately) and I’m delaying the dreaded fade with a few cheap and cheerful products. Enter the arsenal:
The stakes are high with intense rinses, but you can get great results. These colour bombs impart a heavy wash of colour and shine. They’re very similar to the gloss treatments you can get in some salons, only the in-salon option is far less budget-friendly.
Start small – a few minutes of these treatments can make a big difference. I recommend doing a patch test and not leaving it in for too long on your first application.
When my colour is on its last legs, I marinate in Nutri Color Creme for about ten minutes. It’s truly transformative.
They work, but they’re more subtle than dedicated colour treatments – a good place to start if you want longevity but are afraid of getting your hands dirty.
If you don’t want to add colour for fear of altering tone, just get a more gentle shampoo. Sulfate-free formulations will cleanse hair without stripping as much colour.
L’Oréal Elvive Color Low Shampoo is a really mild, conditioning wash. It’s great for freshening up smoking-area or post-gym hair, but beware – excessive use can lead to build-up. One Low Shampoo wash a week should be enough for most hair types.
The less you wash dyed hair, the less it will fade. Unfortunately, walking around with bedhead that smells like yesterday’s cooked breakfast is even less socially acceptable than a faded dye job. To combat grease, you’ll need the right dry shampoo.
I love dry shampoo, but the most popular brands leave me cold. They’re too heavy, too white and not as effective as I’d like. I’ve enjoyed some luxury brands but would never spend big of dry shampoo with my own money. Enter Colab Dry Shampoo.
It’s super lightweight, almost invisible and properly adds life to lank hair. It really is the next best thing to washing.