While blonde and brunette hair colors typically get all of the attention, this year, red is one of the most coveted colors around. Available in shades of vibrant crimsons, natural curly red hair, deep auburns, and sunkissed red—there is a red hair color perfect for everyone.
The only caveat? The large molecule in red dye makes it harder for the color to enter the cortex (center) of the hair. Because of this, red hair tends to fade quicker than other colors. Things become even trickier when you are a curly redhead and need to think about frizz and restoring moisture into the hair. As much of a statement as curly red hair makes, it does require a bit of maintenance—color-depositing shampoo and conditioner and other products will be paramount in sealing the cuticle and keeping hair healthy.

The thing about curly red hair is, it’s totally worth the extra work. So we’ve created a foolproof red hair guide to getting and maintaining curly red hair. Keep reading to learn all of the tips and tricks you should know before opting in for a red hair color. Plus, a couple of products to keep on hand.

How To Get Curly Red Hair

Before you select that perfect red hair color for your curls, you must understand one important thing: your skin tone and undertone. Your skin’s undertone refers to the natural colors underneath the surface of your skin—which is one of the main reasons why some red shades look great on others but wash others out.

Your undertone usually falls into one of three categories: cool, neutral, and warm. Generally speaking: cool undertones have hints of blue, green, and violet in their skin, whereas warm tones appear red, orange, golden, or yellow. Neutrals are a mix between the two.

Determining your skin’s undertone can be done in two ways: investigating your veins or understanding the sun’s impact on your skin. When you look at your wrist in direct light: cool tones will show blue and purple; neutral will show blue and green, and warm will show green and olive colors. You can also determine your undertone by knowing how the sun impacts your skin. If you tan easily, you likely have warm tones. Similarly, if you sunburn easily, you probably have cooler tones.

For cool tones, you should opt for pinks, peach, gingers, cool coppers, deep reds. Neutral undertones can work with any shade of red. We love burgundy, violet, and warm flecks of toffee. Likewise, for warm tones, you can choose coppers and bright reds.

Once you have determined the perfect complimentary red, it’s time to select your dying method to becoming a curly redhead: box dye or salon dye in permanent, semi-permanent, or temporary. Permanent hair dye is mixed with an oxidizer (often hydrogen peroxide) and ammonia and can be very strong. For this reason, we also suggest heading to the salon for permanent hair color.

Semi-permanent and temporary hair color allows your natural curly red hair color to shine with a bit of a twist. The nice thing is they don’t have to be mixed like permanent dyes and last for about six weeks before fading occurs. However, since they fade with shampoo and sun exposure, they need to be reapplied frequently.

In terms of selecting box hair dye or a professional, in-office treatment at your local salon — the choice is yours. However, we should warn you that the two differ greatly in formulas. Where box dyes are pre-made formulas for all hair types, salon hair color is custom made for each client. Box dyes contain a set amount of chemicals that can be too harsh for certain hair types, leading to over-processed or damaged hair.

How To Take Care Of Curly Red Hair?

Regardless of the route you choose (box dye, temporary dye, professional dye) to get curly red hair, caring for curly red hair is just as important as the initial dying step.

Because red hair is more prone to fading, it’s important to invest in good products. You might be asking: what products should I use for curly red hair? For starters, a sulfate-free shampoo that is safe to use on colored hair, like Monoi Repairing Sulfate Free Shampoo, will clean your strands without stripping the color. Be sure to invest in a deeply hydrating conditioner, like our Monoi Repairing Conditioner. This product will help to repair, renew and strengthen dry, damaged, and frizzy hair.

One of the best ways to preserve your hair color is to cut back on the number of times you wash your hair during the week. If you just can’t part with your frequent wash routine, however, consider swapping your shampoo for a co-wash like our Hair Milk Cleansing Conditioner.

Locking in moisture is the name of the game with curly red hair, and the easiest way to achieve that is with a deep moisturizing conditioner or treatment like our Coco Créme Curl Quenching Deep Moisture Mask. This hair treatment leaves hair stronger, shinier, and touchably softer. If you need more oomph to your curls in between wash days, we also recommend trying out a hair oil, like this Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Pure Hair Oil.

The Best Red Hair Colors For Curly Hair

Now that you know what undertone you are, and what hair dye method to choose, and how to care for your red curly hair, you’re probably wondering: what color works best for a curly redhead?

Cinnamon Brown
Ideal for those that are a bit too nervous about going full red, cinnamon brown is the perfect starter red. The rich brown with cinnamon fits the widest range of complexions and skin tones.

Burnt Honey Red
A gorgeous red with heavy orange tints, burnt honey red keeps hydrated with a conditioning hair mask like Monoi Repairing Hair Mask to add hydration and shine—while preventing the vibrant red from fading.

Pumpkin Spice Ginger
Match your hair color to the holiday drink of the moment—pumpkin spice. Great for anyone with warm undertones, the traditional ginger has an upgrade this year with its more neutral orange tones.

Red Hot
Red hot red is a true statement, red. This iconic glossy red is known to turn heads.

Sunset Red
Mix the season’s iconic copper and warm brunette hues to create this sunset red. It is the perfect combination of depth and vibrancy, great for all skin tones.

Eggplant Red
Leaning more on the violet side, this one is sure to slay the red hair game. Great for darker complexions, maintain this color with a purple shampoo and conditioner.

Now that you know all the tips and tricks to become a curly redhead, read on to find out more ways to Care For Color-Treated Hair.

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