Did you know that only 1-2% of the global population has red hair?
I thought I’d start with a nice little fact before I talk to you about how you can brighten your aging red hair.
Now, if you have naturally red hair, as it lightens with age – it’s going to become more coppery red.
So, it will look more brassy or orange.
You need to remember, that naturally red hair does not grey – it simply fades as with all natural hair colors.
Now, whether you have red-dyed hair or naturally red hair, there are ways to brighten and boost the red color so that it doesn’t fade and become too orange.
So, in this post, that’s what I am going to cover! I’m going to include multiple natural ways to enhance the red color in your hair – they don’t work as well as the
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How can I make my red hair bright again? 7 quick and easy ways!
1. Use henna
Henna is a very popular natural dye that is derived from a plant.
My partner’s mother has reddish brown hair and she uses it all the time. She’s faced no hair loss and henna is known to even strengthen the hair.
Here in India, a lot of people whose hair is fading prefer to use henna because it’s natural and doesn’t damage hair.
Henna adds a nice ginger-red color to fading red hair. You can even add it to gray hair and get an orangish-red color. It looks quite natural!
Here is one Henna I recommend that has loads of good reviews.
It is completely plant-based and has 100% coverage.
2. Use hair gloss
Hair gloss is a type of hair treatment that is designed to add shine, enhance color and improve the overall appearance of hair. You can use hair gloss to revive dull or damaged hair and it’s usually applied to various hair colors.
Now, a hair gloss product typically contains color pigments and conditioning agents – this helps smooth the hair cuticles.
Most hair glosses also contain oils, proteins, and vitamins so it helps frizzy hair look more smooth and hydrated.
I highly recommend this hair gloss to enhance and brighten red hair.
So, how do you use hair gloss?
- Choose the right red hair gloss: Look for a red hair gloss specifically formulated for enhancing red tones. This hair gloss doesn’t contain ammonia and can be used in the shower. It lasts easily for 3-4 weeks and enhances red hair beautifully!
- Perform a strand test: Before applying the gloss all over your hair, I always suggest doing a strand test to be safe. Take a small section of hair that is not easily visible and apply the gloss according to the instructions. This will help you see how the color turns out and if you like the results – then only proceed!
- Apply the gloss: Always start with clean, dry hair – free of tangles. Wet hair thoroughly in the shower. Mix bottle 1 and 2 together, shake gently, and apply all over using gloves. Make sure you apply the gloss from the roots to the ends. You can also comb the gloss through your hair to apply the product evenly.
- Wait 10-20 minutes: Now how much time you need to wait depends on the results you want. If you don’t need dark red hair, you can wash it off in 10 minutes. Otherwise, wait for 20 if you require dark red hair.
- Rinse, shampoo, and condition: Once the processing time is complete, rinse your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water until the water runs clear. Follow up with a color-safe conditioner to hydrate and nourish your hair.
- Style as desired: After rinsing and conditioning, you can proceed with your regular styling routine. You should notice enhanced shine and vibrancy in your red hair color.
3. Use a color-boosting shampoo
Now if you’re looking for something super simple that works quickly, then you can just go with John Frieda’s Radiant Red Red Boosting Shampoo.
This shampoo is safe to use for all shades of red.
It simply enhances the red color you have already.
This shampoo gently washes and clarifies hair while protecting your red color and enhancing it. It’s formulated with pomegranate and vitamin E so it makes sure that your hair is soft and shiny afterward.
This particular red shampoo is used by women who have naturally red hair that’s fading as well as dyed hair. I did go through a lot of the reviews and this product does work wonders.
Check out John Frieda’s Red shampoo here.
4. Rinse your hair with hibiscus
Take a handful of hibiscus petals (make sure it’s red) and steep them in hot water for about 30 minutes.
Strain the mixture and you’re now going to get a lot of red-colored water – let this cool, you don’t want to burn your scalp.
Now, after you shampoo your hair normally, simply pour the hibiscus infusion over your hair giving it a nice rinse.
Gently massage it into your scalp and hair and then rinse with water.
The natural red pigment in the hibiscus petals is going to help intensify and enhance the red tones in your hair!
I understand that a lot of methods do involve chemicals, so I’m including some natural ways to enhance the red color.
5. Use beetroot juice
Do you remember how red your hands would get every time you played with a beetroot?
No? Just me? Okay.
Well other than tasting great and tainting everything in red, it can also be used to enhance your red hair!
Extract the juice from a beetroot by blending or juicing it.
Mix the beet juice with a carrier oil, such as coconut or olive oil, to create a mixture that can be easily applied to your hair.
Now, apply the mixture evenly from roots to ends and leave it on for at least an hour (or longer for more intensity).
I also recommend covering your hair with a plastic cap because the red color will go everywhere and I mean everywhere. So the cap is to avoid red color dripping.
Rinse thoroughly with water. And enjoy your enhanced red hair color!
6. Do a rosemary infusion rinse
Take a handful of fresh rosemary sprigs and steep them in hot water for approximately 30 minutes.
Allow the infusion to cool, then strain the liquid.
After shampooing, pour the rosemary infusion over your hair as a final rinse.
Gently massage it into your scalp and hair, and make sure it’s evenly applied to your hair. Leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse with water.
Now although rosemary isn’t going to add red color to your hair, rosemary has been known to add shine and depth to red hair, making it look more vibrant.
You have to be consistent with it and you might see some great results.
7. Do a paprika hair mask
This is going to sting if you get some in your eyes, so please be very careful and make sure your eyes are protected.
Mix a tablespoon of paprika powder with a few tablespoons of carrier oil, such as olive or jojoba oil, to create a paste.
Apply the paste to your hair, starting from the roots and working your way down. Make sure all your hair is evenly covered.
Leave the mask on for about 30 minutes, then rinse it out with water. Paprika contains red pigments that can enhance the red tones in your hair, giving it a brighter appearance.
How to keep natural red hair from fading?
Now prevention is better than cure.
All the tips I mentioned above are good for enhancing red hair. But there are ways to slow down the fading. And here they are:
1. Protect from sun damage
Sun damages and lightens hair – it causes premature greying or premature whitening.
If you are noticing that your hair is already turning more ginger and orange, it means that your red hair is fading.
And the best way to slow it down is to apply an SPF spray to your hair before you step out in the sun.
2. Use heat sparingly
You’re seeing a pattern here, aren’t you?
The sun fades hair color and so does regular heat.
Excessive heat from styling tools like blow dryers, hair straighteners, or curlers is going to damage your hair and make it look dull.
Minimize heat styling or get rid of it altogether.
And make sure you always use a good heat protectant to prevent color fading and keep your hair healthy and safe.
3. Avoid overwashing
Try to wash your hair less frequently, as frequent washing can lead to color fading.
If you can, aim for washing every 2-3 days rather than daily. On non-wash days, you can use dry shampoo to refresh your hair and absorb excess oil.
4. Wash with cool water
Hot water opens up the hair cuticles and causes the color to fade more quickly. Cool water closes the hair cuticles and seals in the color.
So, even if you wash your hair with warm water, make sure you rinse with cool water afterward.
5. Use a color-depositing shampoo
This works beautifully for naturally red hair that is fading to copper or blonde or white.
This shampoo and conditioner combo deposits red color every time you wash your hair and the color is brilliant.
The only downside to this shampoo is that it kinda dries your hair a bit, so I highly recommend using a deep conditioner or a moisturizing conditioner afterward if you have dry or damaged hair.
What color does red hair turn in old age?
So, you have to understand everyone’s undertone is different.
Even with red hair, the undertone can vary – this means that everyone’s red hair will vary as they grow older.
In some cases, red hair may gradually lighten to strawberry blonde or a softer, lighter shade of red.
And in other cases, it may transition to a more muted copper or brassy tone.
You cannot predict this unless you know the undertone of your hair color. This is why hair color specialists analyze your hair thoroughly before dying it. They understand color theory and know exactly what shade your hair will turn into when they dye it.
The exact outcome of what color red hair fades to depends on multiple factors like genetics, overall health, and environmental facts.
Does red hair lighten with age?
So, technically red hair doesn’t lighten.
Your hair stops producing as much red pigment (Pheomelanin) as before and since the red pigment is now sparser, the intensity of the red color reduces.
So, instead of the hair looking red, it may look more faded like copper red or reddish blonde.
And as it fades further or the red pigment completely stops being produced, the hair will look more silver or grey due to the complete lack of pigment.
This is otherwise called achromotrichia and I’ve discussed how red hair fades with age in this post.
Here are a few more posts you’ll find helpful:
- 7 things you need to know about red hair fading with age
- Why does red hair get darker? And how do I lighten it naturally?
- Why are Youtubers dying their hair in all sorts of colors?
- How to transition dyed strawberry blonde hair to grey?
- How to dye red-dyed hair to pink without bleach (naturally)
- What does purple shampoo do to green-dyed hair?
- 5 easy ways to temporarily hide your colored hair for an interview