How do I keep my newly dyed red hair vibrant?

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I have naturally blonde hair which I have been highlighting for a number of years. Recently I have been having an all over semi-permanent colour similar to the peachy blonde that Fearne Cotton is sporting, this is more golden than my natural colour which is a light ash.

Yesterday I had a dramatic change to a bright, deep auburn/red, think Florence and the Machine. I loved it, it was done at a very good salon using Wella colour. The problem is after just one wash the colour is completely different! So much has washed out that it's now just a run of the mill red, the intense red/orange tone has all but gone :(! The roots are still fairly good but my mid-length to ends is much lighter.

I can't afford to have it done again before my usual 12 weeks; can I use a home colour to keep it looking its best? What do you recommend?

Thanks for your help,

Gemma, Sheffield

Putting a red/orange over blonde hair will fade rapidly as blonde hair like fearne cotton has no pigment in it, and is probably porous so the colour will fade out rapidly as there is nothing for it to hold onto.  I would go back to the salon and ask them to put a toner on it, may last longer – they should have told you that this would happen at the initial consultation. Don't mess around with home hair dye as it will end up looking worse.

Lucy Holbrook, Colour Director at Daniel Galvin, London 

Red colours are notorious for fading because of the nature of the pigments. They fade even quicker when the colour is applied over blonde hair. The reason why it is brighter at the root area and dull at the ends is because that hair on the ends is older and is more porous. This can be through colouring, heat styling and general wear and tear.

The best thing I can recommend to keep a red looking great is use a true semi permanent colour like L'Oreal Chromative, they come in red and copper shades and last around 6 to 8 shampoos and contain no ammonia or peroxide. You can apply these at home every week or two to keep it looking vibrant and shiny.

John Clark at Brooks+Brooks, London 

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