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Hair + Beauty

Why Does Red Hair Fade? How To Keep Red Hair Vibrant

Disclaimer: Just because your natural color has faded, it doesn’t make you any less of a redhead

Updated: October 30th, 2023

Throughout life, it’s common to see our red hair change shades. For blondes and brunettes, this change often comes in the form of white or grey hairs appearing at the root. For natural redheads, the change can be a little bit different. You may notice white or grey hairs popping through, but the most common change comes in the vibrancy of red hair usually referred to as “fading”. Deep auburn reds might fade to a strawberry blonde. Strawberry blondes might completely turn blonde.

What causes this fading of the natural red hair? Let’s get into it:

1. Simply put: natural red hair fades with age 

Our H2BAR co-founders, Stephanie and Adrienne, were quoted on this very topic in a 2020 Huffington Post article. Also, in the article came some information from Carlina Ortega of Rita Hazan Salon in New York City. Ortega explained that “natural redheads and blondes are born with hair whose cells produce a pigment called pheomelanin. As we age, we produce more eumelanin, which leads to hair darkening.“

Stephanie experienced this herself. She told the Huffington Post, “When I hit my mid-20s, I noticed my red hair was becoming dark and brassy. I started having strangers ask me if my hair was red or brown. It made me SO upset. I wanted to scream, ‘I am a redhead!’”

The loss of pheomelanin isn’t the only thing to blame for fading red hair as we age. Later in life, most redheads go through something called Achromotrichia. This is when the hair follicles stop producing pigment while on the way to white or grey. This can cause the hair to have an overall lighter copper look or even a warm blonde appearance.

2. Sun exposure can contribute to fading red hair

Another thing that can impact the vibrancy of natural red hair is too much sun exposure. The UV rays produced by the sun can permanently damage our hair follicles, just like they damage our skin. If you’re in the sun a lot without your hair covered or protected, it may lead to fading and loss of vibrancy. This can be combated by covering the hair with a hat or using hair sunscreen.

3. Dyed red hair fades easily too

For redheads ‘by choice’, or redheads who are touching up their fading natural red hair, you have to worry about fading as well, but for different reasons. Dyed red hair fades the fastest of any color, so more frequent touch-ups are necessary. However, you can help to minimize fading by washing your hair less, using color-safe hair products, using less heat on your hair, keeping it protected from the sun, and keeping it away from harsh chemicals like chlorine.

Kendall Jenner recently commented about her dyed red hair saying she really misses it but the upkeep was too much for her.

4. What to do if your red hair is fading 

Regardless of why your red hair is fading, you might want some of that vibrancy back. Of course, you can have your hair dyed, but you can also use color-depositing shampoos, glazes, and glosses to help bring back your red. If you do decide to embrace your fading red hair, that’s fine too! Red hair is gorgeous in all its forms and just because your natural color has faded doesn’t make you any less of a redhead.

If you are looking for a redhead-approved gloss, look no further!

Finally Glossy® Shine & Luminosity Shampoo for Redheads

It took many years to custom-make the Finally Glossy® formula and we’re so excited for redheads to enjoy it. We’re thrilled to release another clean redhead beauty product. It is paraben-free, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, petroleum-free, mineral-oil, and vegan. It also contains no perfume, is free of gluten and is silicone-free, phthalate-free, formaldehyde-free and cocamidopropyl betaine-free. This clean formula is formulated with Vitamin B3, olive oil, coconut oil and green tea.

redhead shampoo


Looking for the perfect hair towel to go with your new shampoo? Look no further!

How to be a Redhead Soft Microfiber Hair Towel

When drying your hair opt to use a microfiber towel! Introducing the How to be a Redhead Soft Microfiber Hair Towel for Redheads. Because wet hair is at its most vulnerable, this custom microfiber towel gently and carefully absorbs moisture from your red hair and dries it quickly, all while protecting it from stretching and breakage. This design is uniquely shaped to wrap all of your hair securely (no matter the length), with an elastic strap to comfortably keep things in place. Your hair journey starts here, redheads.

Rock it like a Redhead!


READ: Does Plucking Gray or White Hairs Actually Make More Grow Back?

READ: The 6 Best Redhead-Approved Hair Products for Shine and Luster

Rock it like a Redhead!