Your Guide to Radiant Red Hair
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Your Guide to Radiant Red Hair

Red is the rarest hair color, which is why so many women want it. Get your most gorgeous red hair ever with these expert tips from Clairol Color Director Marie Robinson.
How do I know which shade is right for me?
Emma Stone long hairstyle

You must consider your skin tone! Pay attention to certain keywords as they will dictate the perfect hair color to complement your skin tone. "Ash/cool tones" are best for women with fair skin and/or light eyes who tend to wear silver jewelry. "Warm/golden tones" are ideal for women with olive or darker skin and dark eyes who prefer to wear gold jewelry. "Neutral tones" (hair colors with the words champagne, beige, neutral in their names) work for women who can wear either type of jewelry and are especially good for women with uneven skin tones or those who are unsure of which shade to choose.

I have dark brown/black hair. Can I go red or will it be too difficult to maintain the color?

When it comes to at-home hair color products, it's best to go only one to two shades from your current hair color for best results. If you're simply looking for auburn highlights throughout your darker hair color, then you can certainly use an at-home hair color. Nice 'n Easy has gorgeous auburn shades. If you're looking for a more dramatic change, I recommend first visiting the salon. Then you can certainly help to extend the life of your red hair color with these three simple tips:

  1. Use shampoos and conditioners specially-formulated to help protect color-treated hair and treat your hair to a weekly deep conditioner to help lock in color and replenish moisture
  2. Apply a heat-protector spray prior to using heat styling tools to help shield your hair
  3. Reduce exposure to the sun and chlorinated water

Can I get a good red from a box?

Yes! But remember you must take your current hair color into consideration as at-home hair color users should only go one to two shades from their current color for best results. Women with cool undertones should opt for a bolder red, such as a strawberry or auburn (try Nice 'N Easy in Light Auburn). Women with olive and yellow undertones look great golden and apricot hues, rather than a true red (try Nice 'N Easy in Dark Reddish Brown)

What's the difference between demi-permanent, semi-permanent, and permanent color?

When selecting the proper hair color product for your desired look, it's important to consider how much a change you're in search of. "Demi-permanent" hair color washes out in 28 shampoos and simply enhances your current color with a subtle change. I recommend demi-permanent hair color for women in search of a low-maintenance hair color regimen as it won't make a dramatic hair color change and doesn't leave a root line as your hair grows out. A "semi-permanent" hair color can also enhance existing tones as well as add other tonal colors to hair. You can still add red or cool tones to your hair with a semi-permanent. This hair color formula helps to darken your hair. It doesn't contain ammonia or peroxide, so it won't have the ability to lighten hair. "Permanent" hair colors are the most versatile and long-lasting and are available in the widest spectrum of shades. These can lighten hair by two to three levels, change color in subtle or dramatic ways, and last until hair grows out

How long should the color last?
Julianne Moore

It all depends on how porous your hair is and how much you're exposed to the elements (sun, water, etc.). If you use a non-permanent color, the color will gradually wash out after 28 shampoos. If you use a permanent hair color, you can touch up your roots between colorings with root touch-up, which will last up to three weeks.

How can I touch up my color between colorings?

A semi-permanent hair color works best for depositing red tones in your hair between colorings. If just your roots are starting to come through, try Clairol Root Touch-Up by Nice 'N Easy to help keep hair looking freshly colored until the next time you color.

How often should I wash my hair? Should I use a certain shampoo/conditioner?

Go by the feel of your hair and only shampoo as frequently as you need to. Whenever you wash your hair, it's important to make sure you're using shampoo and conditioner that are specially formulated for color-treated hair. If you frequently use heat styling tools, make sure to use heat protection sprays and styling products as heat can also take a toll on your color over time.

I've heard red hair color fades faster than others. How can I prevent that?

Red hair color fades the fastest because it contains smaller color molecules than other shades and therefore, slips from the hair follicles more quickly. Exposure to environmental elements including the sun and chlorine water can contribute to overall hair color fade as well, so make sure you cover your hair when exposed to high UV rays and wear a swimming cap when swimming.

What can I do so my color doesn't turn brassy?

Avoid shades that are too light for you; extreme color changes make you more susceptible to brassiness. Avoid products that have chamomile as an ingredient and always be careful when exposed to extreme elements such as sun and chlorine.

What are your favorite red-hair care products?

Color-retentive products are gentle on the hair and their moisturizing properties help prevent fading by sealing the color molecule into the porous hair cuticle. I recommend using Clairol Shimmer Light shampoo and conditioner

What should I do if I go red and don't like it?

Red is the most difficult color to keep. It's more likely to fade out, leaving you with a more golden or brassy color if it's not maintained. To avoid damage, let your red color fade and then apply a color that is in the cool family to eliminate any remaining red tones. If you can't wait for the red to naturally fade and correct, I suggest seeing a professional to remove it.