How to maintain red and copper hair colour

Every product you need in your bathroom cabinet to maintain red and copper hair colour 

A man with red hair posing with his back to the camera
Photography by Matthew Donaldson as originally featured in Wallpaper*.
(Image credit: Matthew Donaldson)

From Pre-Raphaelite beauties to Ziggy Stardust and Angela Chase in My So-Called Life, flaming red hair has been synonymous with rebellion and a fancifully eccentric interpretation of beauty. 

Yet all the romanticism of red hair can easily be quashed by the practicality of maintaining it. Copper and red hair dye fade much faster than their blond or brown counterparts, making daily hair maintenance its own complicated science. So with that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of products for every artificial red head to keep in their bathroom cabinet, including dry shampoos to use in-between less frequent washes, colour protecting shampoos, and hydrating hair oils.

Hair expert James Forward at Hershesons also recommends using a gloss or toner in between root touch-ups to keep the colour fresh and vibrant. Either pop into the salon for a toner every two weeks, or do it yourself at home using one of the products below. 

Pre-shampoo treatment

coloured hair protection pre shampoo mask by r+co

(Image credit: press)

R + Co's Pre-Shampoo Colour Protect Masque is designed to fortify and seal in colour before washing to ensure that minimum colour is rinsed out during shampooing. In addition, it is formulated with amino acids and white oak bark to hydrate and smooth hair.

Colour preserving shampoos and conditioners

Alchemic shampoo conditioner in copper or red by Davines

Alchemic shampoo conditioner in copper or red by Davines

(Image credit: press)

Davines’ colour-enhancing shampoo and conditioner for red and copper tones is a great choice for maintaining colour vibrancy while simultaneously keeping hair hydrated and healthy. Leave the conditioner on for five minutes or more after shampooing to ensure you retain colour after washing. If you like your shades slightly brighter, ask your stylist to add a vibrant red or copper hair dye into the mixture for an added boost of colour.

Semi-permenant toner

Color + clenditioner by Keracolor

Red and copper hair colour semi-permanent toner by Keracolor

(Image credit: press)

Keracolor’s color + clenditioner is a semi-permanent colour treatment that can be used in-between salon visits to maintain colour, or applied at-home to pre-bleached hair for a new wash of colour. After shampooing, leave it on for three to 20 minutes depending on how bright you want the colour to be. It is available in copper or a vibrant tomato red.

dpHUE’s Gloss+

dpHUE Gloss+ colour protecting tint in copper

(Image credit: dpHUE)

Another colour booting gloss is  dpHUE’s Gloss+. Free from ammonia and peroxide, this semi-permanent treatment promises to last up to ten shampoos. Its deep conditioning base makes it especially well-suited to dry or damaged hair. Leave on for 3-20 minutes depending on desired colour richness.

Dry shampoo 

Detox Dry Shampoo by We Are Paradoxx 

Detox Dry Shampoo by We Are Paradoxx 

(Image credit: press)

The fade-ability of red and copper hair means that it is best to limit washes as much as possible. We Are Paradoxx’s Detox Dry Shampoo is formulated with activated charcoal and kaolin clay to remove dirt and prevent flat, greasy hair. Sprinkle the powder formula onto the roots and shake into the scalp with fingertips.

Prêt-à-Powder Très Invisible by Bumble and Bumble

Prêt-à-Powder Très Invisible by Bumble and Bumble

(Image credit: press)

Those who prefer a spray-on dry shampoo can opt for Bumble and Bumble’s Prêt-à-Powder Très Invisible dry shampoo. The sprayable formula uses French pink clay to absorb oil and protect hair from UV damage, making it particularly good for coloured hair during summer months.

Hair hydrators 

Hair Oil by Bread

bread hair oil for protecting dyed hair

(Image credit: press)

Bread is a Black-owned hair care brand whose much loved Hair Oil is particularly well-suited to curly or textured hair. Apply to damp hair to moisturise post-wash or dry hair for a boost of shine between washes. The colour-safe formula is a good way to keep hair hydrated and protected from breakage caused by colouring.

Split End Seal by Oribe 

Split End Seal colour treatment from Oribe

(Image credit: press)

Oribe’s Split End Seal colour treatment is a powerful serum that protects against the brittle texture and damaged look of frequently coloured hair. Specifically formulated for colour treated tresses, the Split End Seal will also help hair retain colour while it moisturises. And if that wasn’t enough, it smells great too.

Writer and Wallpaper* Contributing Editor

Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.