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Redheads: 6 Tips For The Perfect Spray Tan

Redheads have the most gorgeous skin on the planet (yes, the word ‘arguably’ was purposely left out of that sentence!). But, with colder months on the horizon, nothing makes a woman feel more beautiful than a natural looking spray tan. The main stereotype of spray tan’s is that orangey, fake skin look. Unfortunately, those stigmas have given the industry a bad look; but we can guarantee a natural-looking glow if you follow the below steps.

We consulted with Gale Richards. She owns and operates a Mobile Spray Tanning Business specializing in custom airbrush spray tans. “Redheads with fair have to know that some tanning solutions give the skin a red tone, instead of a bronzed glow,” says Gale. “My tips will help you refrain from this as well as benefit from a gorgeous tan!”

1. Search for salons that have certified tanning technicians:

“When researching spray tanning salons, seek a tanning technician who is approachable and present themselves as professional, friendly and discreet. Do they offer custom solution options based on individual skins types. Make sure to ask a lot of questions and tell them you’re a redhead with fair skin!”

2. Tips for Fair Skinned Redheads:

“Not all tanning solutions are created equal; look for salons that offer custom options. The main ingredient in the solution that causes color development is DHA, Dihydroxyacetone. This is a colorless sugar that interacts with the proteins and amino acids in the outer layer of the skin to produce a golden brown color. Some solutions also contain bronzers; discuss solution options with your tanning technician. Your tanning technician should analyze their clients skin tone & type and choose a solution accordingly.”

“Remember, fair skin types are typically more prone to pull red from certain solutions. A solution with less DHA is a better choice for fair skinned individuals. Lower DHA solutions are also good for for fair-skinned clients who do not want a stark contrast from their original skin tone; this will also allow for a more subtle ‘fade process’. If more depth of color is desired, a second coat may be applied once the initial coat is dry. Most clients do not see breakouts after receiving their spray tan; however individual skin types vary therefore it is best to discuss concerns with your tanning technician prior to your appointment.”

3. Exfoliate The Day Before Your Spray Tan:

“Concentrating on areas such as your ankles, knees and elbows. Exfoliation will help retain your tan and assist with the tan fading,” says Gale. “If you wax, make sure you wax at least 24 hours before your appointment for best tanning results. Be sure to get your manicure & pedicure BEFORE you get your custom spray tan.”

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4. Avoid Wearing Deodorant During Your Spray Tan:

“Do not wear deodorant or else it can create a barrier to the tan application.”

5. Important Post Tanning Tips:

“Be sure to wear dark loose clothing. Your spray tan may need a minimum of 8-10 hours to develop. Check with your tanning technician to confirm as some solutions may differ.”

6. Maintaining Your Tan:

“Your tan should last 7-10 days but the keys to maintaining it is to moisturize daily using a good quality lotion free of petroleums, mineral oil or parabens. Avoid harsh soaps and scrubs as these may shorten the life of the tan. Remember that even though you have a beautiful healthy glow, your skin is not protected from the sun, you must wear SPF,” Gale concludes.


There is no arguing that sunscreen is a must for redheads every single day of the year. Keep your skin safe and Rock it like a Redhead! 

Photo Credit: Getty Images