Today January 5, 2024



Want to keep your red hair vibrant and hydrated? These products can help, and they’re expert approved


Set your color up for success with these stylist-approved finds.

There's nothing quite like that feeling of walking out of the salon with freshly-colored locks and knowing you look fabulous. More often than not, however, that celebration is short-lived and it seems like the color begins to fade before you're ready to say goodbye, especially if you've gone red.

"The term 'redhead' is such a large umbrella for many characteristics and hair traits, but finding the right products comes down to three things: understanding your texture, color and your desired level of UV protection," New York-based hairstylist Ryan Raybuck told us.

If you're tired of lackluster color and want to make your reds look ravishing for as long as possible, it all starts with curating the right wash day routine. To help guide your search, Shop TODAY sought out the assistance of top hairstylists to uncover the best shampoos, conditioners and masks to prolong the life of your new 'do.

What makes red hair different from other dyed hair? | How do you keep red hair looking vibrant? | Best products for red hair, according to stylists | How we chose | Meet the experts

What makes red hair different from other dyed hair?

According to Lorena M. Valdes, a colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, color retention and shine maintenance are the biggest concerns for redheads.

"Red hair can be tricky since the red molecules are larger than other color molecules," explained Jessica Page, founder of Blondies Co. salon in Utah. "Red fades because the color molecules don’t penetrate the cortex as well." The cortex is the middle layer of hair shaft that holds the bulk of your color, according to trichology-based hair brand Philip Kingsley.

"The color is the hardest to achieve and it tends to fade the most quickly," echoed celebrity hairstylist Jennifer Korab.

How do you keep red hair looking vibrant?

Lauren Baxter, a New York City-based hairstylist and bridal specialist, knows firsthand that being a redhead comes with a lot of maintenance, especially if your hair is color-treated. "I find that the color does fade quickly with washing and sun exposure," she said. "That is why it is very helpful to use a color-protecting shampoo or a color-enhancing shampoo and conditioner to extend the life of color between salon appointments."

Page acknowledged that color fading is inevitable but added that "the best remedy is to keep your hair hydrated and healthy."

Best products for red hair, according to stylists

Moroccanoil Mini Color-Depositing Mask

Color enhancing: Yes

Baxter loves this mini mask in copper for lighter reds and bordeaux for darker reds. "It's nourishing and conditioning for color-treated hair without the sulfates. It's a great way to condition while giving the hair a little boost of color!" she told us.

SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Moisturizing Shampoo

Color enhancing: No

If you’re not a big fan of color-depositing masks or conditioners, you should focus on maintaining the color by keeping it hydrated with a moisturizing formula like this shampoo.

“SheaMoisture is a well-rounded product that provides moisture and shine for anyone with curly red hair while using gentle cleansers to avoid buildup and fading,” Valdes said. According to the brand, this budget-friendly pick is made with fair trade shea butter, argan oil and sea kelp. It’s designed to lock in moisture and treat damaged locks.

Kristin Ess Color-Depositing Conditioner

Color enhancing: Yes

Baxter swears by this color-depositing conditioner that can boost hues or add a bit of temporary color. "Apply it on wet or dry hair for a more intense result if color has faded," she instructed.

This cruelty-free affordable find is perfect in shade terracotta for darker reds and is free of parabens, sulfates, ammonia and phthalates. The semi-permanent direct dye also has a deeply hydrating formula that softens strands with ease. Baxter emphasized the importance of wearing gloves when using color-depositing products like this one because the pigment can stain your hands.

Joico Color Infuse Red Shampoo / Joico Color Infuse Red Conditioner

Color enhancing: Yes

Raybuck recommends this duo that boasts static control, shine boosting and results that last up to 12 washes. "It's great for a light color refresh and a smooth, natural finish," the mane maven said.

Redken Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo / Redken Color Extend Magnetics Conditioner

Color enhancing: No

Korab enjoys this shampoo and conditioner duo to help fend off the color faux pas and said it can help keep color looking vibrant. Plus the products are sulfate-free, which helps further maintain color consistency.

Moroccanoil Hydrating Shampoo

Color enhancing: No

“This shampoo is a perfect blend of hydration, shine and body without weighing the hair down,” Valdes said. “It’s made for a variety of hair textures and types.”

She noted the hydrating product is perfect for keeping reds looking nice and rich. “The key ingredient is algae — which is used to help dryness — which will keep your red looking shiny,” she added.

Unite 7Seconds Shampoo / Unite 7Seconds Conditioner

Color enhancing: No

Page, a licensed hairstylist, educator and instructor, enjoys this shampoo and conditioner duo designed to add shine, soften strands and hydrate. "It provides weightless moisture and thermal and UV protection, which aids in fighting color fading," she said. "I recommend alternating washing the hair with a hydrating shampoo and conditioner and a color-depositing shampoo or conditioner."

Davines Alchemic Shampoo for Natural and Colored Hair

Color enhancing: Yes

"This is a great shampoo because it is color enhancing for red tones," Baxter said. The powerful formula is ideal for cool red and copper hues and also enhances shine. As an added bonus, the shampoo is formulated with vitamin B to help protect and hydrate strands, and it's free of silicones and parabens.

Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil

Color enhancing: No

After shampooing and conditioning with color-shielding products, it's time to lock in the protection. Raybuck recommends finishing your routine with this leave-in treatment. "It ensures that you're always protecting your lovely locks from harmful and drying UV rays to keep your precious color from fading," he advised.

The water-resistant mist is described by the brand as an invisible shield that saves strands from the sun's harsh rays with the help of key ingredients like wintergreen and cinnamon bark oils.

Gingerful Henna and Rose Shampoo, Conditioner and Mask Bundle

Color enhancing: Yes

Raybuck is a big fan of UK-based hair company Gingerful. "This nourishing set is formulated with ginger carrot henna and rose for long-lasting shine, moisture and brilliance," he explained. The stylist recommends using the accompanying mask once a week for optimal results and enjoys the products' vegan, cruelty-free formula.

How we chose

We chose a variety of hair products approved by hairstylists and colorists, and they offer a wide range of color-protective and hydrating benefits. Some are also formulated to help enhance red hair color with use.

Meet the experts

Ryan Raybuck is a hairstylist based in New York.

Lorena M. Valdes is a color specialist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, Illinois, where she began working in 2014.

Jessica Page is the owner of Blondies Co., a Utah-based hair salon. She specializes in blonde hair coloring and extensions.

Jennifer Korab is a hairstylist who's worked with celebrities in the past, and she's the owner of Renaissance Salon & Spa in Tinton Falls, New Jersey.

Lauren Baxter is a hairstylist and bridal hair specialist at Nunzio Saviano Salon in New York City.