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Your stylist: Keeping your red-hot hair color from fading

May 23, 2011 |  8:00 am


Resident Image stylist and market editor Melissa Magsaysay soothes your sartorial woes in the weekly Your Stylist blog column:

ScarlettCA3IMTPQCAJTBOOQCAD83TBBCA0PZ926CADYH28KCATUNR86CANUX37ECADI30HTCAO22IWICAB5TNEACACAVPL0CAI2GZN4CARBVSSGCA1S1KW9CAY6NV4KCA6ARHTSCA1LYTWRCAPW5DJXCA5A7QPI In this installment of Your Stylist, we address the blazing hot trend in hair color this season. Various shades of red are certainly the hue du jour with celebrities from Scarlett Johansson to Blake Lively  coating their signature blond tresses with some ginger-tinged dye. Longtime redheads Christina Hendricks, Florence Welch and Karen Elson seem to stand out even more for their locks recently with an  almost angelic glow of gorgeous color surrounding their faces. Mulberryyannisvlamosgorunway

But as trendy and eye-catching as red hair can be, it’s a serious thing to maintain in order to get the color to stay rich and vibrant for more than a couple weeks at a time.

Color specialist Vanessa Spaeth of the Andy Lecompte salon in West Hollywood gives us her expert advice about going red and staying that way and why the crimson color is so tricky to keep up.

In addition to a favorite conditioner of Spaeth’s that she mentions below, Ojon has a couple of interesting items for maintaining red. One is a color protecting cream that smooths out hair and claims to help color last up to 40 washes ($24 at Sephora) and the other is the Damage Reverse smoothing glaze for red hair, which deep conditions, controls frizz and contains Japanese astaxanthin algae, which is a red color and helps to reinforce the red in the hair ($26 at Sephora).

In your salon, have you seen a recent increase of women wanting to go red?

Blakelivelydominique Yes, red has been much more common lately. It started as far back as last fall. The Models in the Mulberry SS11 show were wearing crimson wigs that had my fashionista clients in a frenzy. It seemed as if the fear of red was slowly being washed away. I personally, have always loved the bold, mysterious and sultry statement red hair makes. I recently added more rich tones to Christina Hendricks’ hair.

Now that women have become more open to the idea, it has allowed me to become more creative. I like to add a subtle hue of apricot or strawberry to my blondes who are looking for a more modern non-committal change, similar to Blake Lively’s new hair color.

Red seems like the hardest color to keep up. Would you say this is true? Why is that? Is there something in the formulation?

Typically, red has always been stubborn and almost impossible to keep up. It's the hardest to keep in, and the most difficult to completely get out. This is due to the large size of the red molecule, making it more difficult to bond to the cortex of the hair. However, with the technology we have today (in hair color and hair care), as well as some personal Hendricksjayclendenin   'tricks,' there are ways to help.

What would you recommend people who have gone red do to maintain a vibrant shade and avoid fading?

It's important that your colorist is consistent with the kind of toners and glosses they use during the coloring process. These help keep the vibrancy, shine and luster that red so commonly loses. I also recommend certain shampoos and conditioners for my redhead clients, all depending on their shade of red, vibrancy and hair texture.

What specific products or home remedies would you recommend for people to keep up their red Karenelsonpascal color?

I love the Davines colored shampoo and conditioner to help extend the life, but it is very important to use the proper shade. At times, it may be too much, so I’ll prescribe just the shampoo or just the conditioner paired with a protective match. 

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photos, from top: Florence Welch at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on Feb. 13. (Photo By Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Scarlett Johansson attends the 2011 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton on April 30. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)

A model on the Mulberry SS11 runway/Yannis Vlamos/

Blake Lively attends the Chanel Collection Croisiere Show 2011-12 at the Hotel du Cap on May 9 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by Dominique Charriau/Getty Images)

Christina Hendricks at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 16 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. (Photo By Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Karen Elson attends the CHANEL dinner hosted in honor of Blake Lively during Paris Fashion Week on March 5. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)