How to keep reds raging

Colour care for copper locks is just as important as it is for brunettes and blondes. We asked three hair pros to share their tips on keeping red strands in top condition

From copper to scarlet, red has been one of the trendiest colour tones in recent months, and shows no sign of stopping as the weather starts to warm up. “I am seeing loads of celebrities like Lily James and Gigi Hadid playing around with so many different types of reds and coppers. This gives more people the confidence to switch to these gorgeous tones if it’s been on their mind for a while,” says Katie Hale, head of colour at Charles Worthington Salons. “I have seen more clients ask for this trend, even since the first lockdown. I feel clients want to change their hair up even more after being unable to visit the salon. Likewise, some are starting to fall in love with what nature gave them, so many will be looking to enhance their natural red hair colour.”

While red may be one of the hottest hues of the moment, keeping copper looks in top condition can be easier said than done. “Red and copper is the quickest fading colour molecule. Although the colour may still be in the hair, it will look more ‘wishy washy’ than other colours if not maintained properly. The maintenance is HIGH,” explains Katie, who regularly colours the copper strands of Eleanor Tomlinson. “For a vivid red, it needs refreshing roughly every four weeks – that’s roots and ends. Once you go red, its more difficult to return to a lighter colour. It’s a journey, not a one day trip to the salon to revert back. So, if you’re planning on going red, make sure you’re in it for the long haul!”

Whether you opt for a complete colour overhaul, or are looking to maintain your natural tones, it’s key to assess what products you’re using. “To keep your hair in the best possible condition, it is all about the products you use at home, as well as what you are putting into your body daily,” says Simone Thomas, trichologist and salon owner. “If your hair is coloured, then I would always recommend treatments to help protect it, like the Davines Alchemic Red or Copper Conditioner. Using Olaplex No.3 will also help lock in the colour and add shine.” For those wanting to keep their auburn locks looking amazing, Simone also suggests adding a daily boost of collagen, like the Simone Thomas Wellness SkinQuencher. “This will help maintain a healthy, happy hair and scalp.”

Similarly, salon owner Adam Reed says colour protecting and enhancing shampoo and conditioners are key to keeping the hair most vibrant. “Serie Expert Vitamino Colour Protecting Shampoo and Conditioner from L’Oréal Professionnel Paris is a go-to for hair that feels lighter, brighter, more radiant, shiny and manageable. Some people will also find going an extra day between washes can really help to reduce colour fade and maintain vibrant hair.”

For those with naturally red hair colour, Katie suggests using sulphate-free shampoos as it’s more gentle on the hair, as well as regularly using hair masks. “The healthier the hair, the more vibrant the colour will be. The Kérastase Reflection range gives the ultimate colour care. As well as preserving colour pigment, which means less fading, it will add extra radiance and shine.” Katie also recommends Kérastase Touche Chromatique in Red or Copper, as this is the ideal colour reviver for mixing with a hair mask to enhance the red and copper reflects in the hair.