Although I’ve worked in beauty for years, I’ve never fallen subject to the pressure this industry can have on you when it comes to dying your hair. My natural hair color is red, and I’m a proud redhead. Red hair naturally occurs between one to two percent of the population, making it the rarest hair color (aside from my grandmother, I’m the only one in my immediate family with red hair). For this reason, I love my natural hair and don’t ever plan on dyeing it. I’m reminded of this sentiment when holidays like National Love Your Red Hair Day roll around.
My Hair Journey
This holiday, which falls annually on November 5th, was started by Stephanie and Adrienne Vendetti after noticing a rise in online bullying occurring towards redheads. As a kid, I never noticed a ton of bullying, but when it did, it almost always referenced my hair—cue “carrot top” comments. It never bothered me, however, because my red hair is personally one of my favorite features and is tied to some fun facts that remind me why it’s so special.
Did you know having red hair is potentially good for the body? Research shows that red hair can absorb more vitamin D, which is essential for good bone health. (On the flip side, we’re also more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, so I have to bundle up in winter!)
Additionally, red hair has symbolized strong emotions like power, love, and feistiness, and a 2014 study found that redheads were featured in about 30% of all TV commercials in the US. Why? Red hair sells. This is loud and clear given the current red hair color trend happening in the beauty world. Ginger, auburn, and fiery shades are more popular than ever.
How I Care for My Red Hair
My hair is thick and fine, which means that although my individual strands are quite thin, I have a lot of hair on my head. It’s pretty difficult for my hair to hold styles—curls fall out within minutes when I use a curling iron—and if I air dry my hair, it’s both flat and frizzy, which is my least favorite combination.
My healthy redhead routine starts at the scalp, so I tend to reach for oils, like the Kérastase Initialiste Advanced Scalp & Hair Serum, to apply the night before I’m due to wash my hair. When I begin my wash routine—which I typically do every other day—I like to do a pre-wash hair mask once a week to keep my hair vibrant and avoid damage. I’m partial to products that consider my environment, like L’Oreal Professionnel’s Metal Detox line. These products are designed to detoxify hair and neutralize metals trapped inside the hair fiber to protect the vibrancy of your hair color while maintaining the softness—a redhead’s dream to keep color bright!
When using the shampoo, I lather, rinse twice, and use a scalp massager to work the product into my roots. I try to avoid heavier shampoos, conditioners, and leave-in treatments, as those can weigh down my hair and make it appear greasy. With conditioner, I want something that gives my hair volume and detangles my hair, so a product like Shu Uemura Art of Hair’s Cleansing Oil Conditioner is key.
I usually let my hair air dry to about 80% before hitting it with heat. Before I grab my blow dryer, I’ll reach for something that protects my hair from heat damage, and lately, I’ve been loving Redken’s All Soft Moisture Restore Leave-In Treatment. It’s an all-in-one go-to product that I can use to tamp down frizz, add some shine, and protect my hair from heat damage when I blow dry it. During the winter months, my hair gets extremely dry, so I like to grab some hair oil for extra protection—I’m partial to Kérastase Elixir Ultime L’Huile Hair Oil because I can use it before, during, or after I blow dry my hair. This product combo keeps my red locks a healthy glow that really makes them pop.
Lastly, I LOVE dry shampoo to keep my hair from getting too oily in between washes. Currently, my holy grail hair product is Redken’s Deep Clean Dry Shampoo since it instantly absorbs into my hair. I can quickly spray it on, throw my hair up into a claw clip, and head out the door in seconds. And just like that, my red hair instantly becomes my greatest super power.
Interested in more professional products to keep your red hair healthy and vibrant? Shop Hair.com for everything you need to get your new routine started.