Red Hair: make it long, healthy, with shine

I love my hair and I always have.  You can read more about that in my past blog post, My Hair is Not My Beauty. I love it so much I spend a crazy amount of time and money on it for upkeep.  This post focuses on the products I use to dye it as well as the products I use to style it.

Hair Dye:

OK, real talk. If we could all afford to go to the hair salon every 4-6 weeks to get our hair dyed, I know we would.  I LOVE going to the salon.  Dropping $200 every 4-6 weeks is not in my budget but if it is in yours, more power to you!  For this reason I try and ask as many questions about hair dying when at the salon for my cut.  I have learned that boxed color from the drug store is not that great. Basically, you should try and avoid it. My ultimate solution? Salon quality dye for at home use.

DISCLAIMER: ALWAYS consult a professional before dying your own hair. If you are in the market to go bleach blond, NEVER do it on your own.  Please. You will kill your hair.  I’ve done it.  Don’t be me.

Products I use:

DeveloperDeveloper- Oreor 30 Volume Creme Developer

The developer is what allows the color of your natural hair to lift so the new color can deposit into the hair shaft. I use 30 because, as my hair guru said, it is a great lift for red hair when you have a medium ash blond hair color naturally. They usually come in 20, 30, and 40.  I used straight 40 with blond to do my own ombre, and it turned my ends into a gum like texture and frayed them beyond repair.  This is why I plead with you to go to the salon for bleaching.  It has to be timed so perfectly and they have products to save your hair.

I got every creative and decided to mix two colors from the same brand.  This gave an orange copper red tone.  Again, be prepared to cut off all your hair if this doesn’t work.  In my case it works great!

Intense Copper Hair Dye CreamColor: L’Oreal- HiColor Red HiLights Copper Permanent Creme Hair Color

This is a cream based intense orange red.  I like this for adding lighter tones to my color and also I am convinced that when my hair fades, this is why it looks like a strawberry blond color.



Intense Copper Hair DyeMega Reds MR1 Light Intense Red Copper Permanent Hair Color

This is a liquid base that has more cherry tone to it, which makes it very bright when I first dye it. It fades well, but if not applied all over, can be obvious where the dye was placed and where it wasn’t.

To help avoid this, make sure to “glaze” all  hair with dye. You do this by running water through the hair and the dye for a bit and letting it sit for 5-10min resting on all parts, before washing it all out.

When dying hair, be sure to wear gloves, use a mixing bowl or two,  and a tint brush. Also, since you are doing this at home, and it’s best not to get dye all over yourself, a cape is a good investment. I also cover my surface under where my supplies are with an old towel.  This makes clean up and furniture/floor protection guaranteed.

Once you are happy with your color, how do you keep it nice between dyeing? Proper hair care products are essential.

Hair Care Products:

Products can be very costly and it is hard to find good products that wont break your budget. My hair no longer tolerates products like Suave, Tresume, and has never ever been able to handle Pantene. [BTW, Pantene is literally one ingredient away from mop and glow, don’t use it!]

Aveeda was my go to hair care product line. Now I am 100% converted to R+Co. This brand is mid-cost, less expensive branch of Oribe. If I could afford Oribe ($300 for a shampoo and conditioner liter set?! Who can afford this?!) I would get it exclusively. However, R+Co is just as great and has made my hair so happy!  I mix and match between the BelAir Smoothing Shampoo and the Gemstone Color Shampoo. Then for conditioners I mix it up between the BelAir Smoothing conditioner and the Atlantis Moisturizing Conditioner.

High Dive from R+CoThese are best paired with High Dive Moisture Hair Creme. This product keeps your hair so soft and smooth after styling.  I feel like it was a gift from the hair gods. I also love the hair spray (which smells DIVINE!) and prep spray.  I recommend mixing and matching as you see fit!  They also have mouse, gel, texture sprays and dry shampoo.





Initialiste from Kerastase Kerastase Initialiste serum was recommended to be my by my hair Guru after I chopped my hair to my chin and wanted it to grow quickly. And boy did it work. My hair is not past my shoulders after a year and a half, is silky, and healthy. She recommends it for men and women both who think their hair is thinning as well. I’m a believer!





Dry shampoo I wash my hair every two to three days if I can.   Batiste Dry Shampoo  helps my roots not look greasy.  Beware, using too much dry shampoo is not good for your hair. Be very picky about the product you use.  If you want to be sure you know what you are using on your hair, you can make your own.




That wraps it up for what I use for my own hair.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.  Have a fabulous hair day!