6 Products Keeping People Convinced I’m a Genuine Redhead

Ruby Feneley tries the copper hair trend

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I share a secret with Gisele Bündchen, Natalia Dyer, Kendall Jenner, Emma Chamberlain, Gigi Hadid and now Jennifer Coolidge. We’ve all been swept up in the copper hair colour trend

We are all, of course, already in good company. Currently, the hashtag copper hair has 809 million views on TikTok. Call it the Little Mermaid effect, but we’ve gotten hooked on russet, red, auburn, and copper colours over the last 12 months.

What’s So Special About Copper? 

There is some evidence that the colour red increases attraction, or at least attention. We love a study, but there’s another good reason the main characters in movies from “The Menu” to “The Batman” have red hair, and that’s because it’s rare. Naturally occurring red hair requires both parents to carry the MC1R genetic mutation. Even then, the chance of redheaded offspring is only 25 percent. 

According to the National Library of Medicine, between just 1 and 2 percent of the population is a born natural redhead. The rest of us are reaching for Manic Panic, or having our locks tended to by celebrity hairstylists.

I’ve been red, copper, and neon orange several times in my life and loved the experience every time. I have Irish-Scottish heritage, lands where a lot of the 1 and 2 percent of the natural redhead population hails from, so red hair warms up my pale complexion and makes my blue eyes pop. Indeed, when I don’t have 3cm of brunette regrowth, most people assume I’m a natural carrot top.

But, life with copper hair is not all smooth sailing. 

In her infinite wisdom, Jennifer Coolidge had her copper-haired moment in a wig. But, like Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Emma Chamberlain, I’ve experienced the trials and tribulations of maintaining copper colour, which mutates with every wash, fades quickly, and loses shine easily. Unlike my celebrity copper-haired peers, I’m not tailed by a team of hairstylists, so I make my own solutions between appointments.

After 12 months of copper-hued hair, I’m sharing the six products that keep my locks looking naturally glossy, even when I’ve missed two hair appointments.

Your Copper-Hair Besties:

1. Copper Hair-Friendly Shampoo

Best products copper hair colour maintenance Color Wow, Color Security Shampoo
Color Wow, Color Security Shampoo ($53) Image Credit: Color Wow

Sulfate-free, the Color Wow, Color Security Shampoo ($53) is perfect for copper-coloured hair, which is generally pre-lightened and porous. Refreshingly sudsy, the formula contains no “stay behind” ingredients like silicon, thickeners, and conditioning agents. Ingredients like this can clog hair follicles, dulling colour and shine, so having a shampoo that skips them is a must.

2. Copper Hair-Friendly Conditioner

 Color Wow, Color Security Conditioner Normal to Thick is perfect for maintaining copper hair colour
Color Wow, Color Security Conditioner for Normal to Thick Hair ($53) Image Credit: Colour Wow

Again, Color Wow, Color Security Conditioner ($53) skips traditional thickening and conditioning agents that can interact with lighter hair colours to dull shiny or oxidising pigments. Instead, this conditioner contains a shielding complex that coats strands, seals cuticles, and leaves hair glossy.

3. Copper Colour Friendly Pre-Heat Treatment

Maintaining shine on lightened, coloured hair can be tricky, we love Fekkai Brilliant Gloss Multi-Tasker
Fekkai, Brilliant Gloss Multi-Tasker ($67), Image Credit: Fekkai

When I introduced this detangler into my hair routine, I received a disconcerting number of compliments. More than a simple detangler, the Fekkai, Brilliant Gloss Multi-Tasker ($67) is a pre-heat styling treatment that leaves my hair luminous, frizz-free, and weightless.

4. Secret Copper Booster

Christophe Robin Shade Variation Mask Chic Copper will provide a colour boost between appointments
Christophe Robin, Shade Variation Care Nutritive Mask with Temporary Coloring ($67) Image Credit: Christophe Robin

I apply this colour-boosting treatment to dry hair once a week, pre-shampoo and conditioner for about ten minutes. While no treatment mask will conceal roots (that’s coming up next), the Christophe Robin, Shade Variation Care Nutritive Mask with Temporary Coloring In “Chic Copper” ($67) treatment deposits copper pigments, boosting faded colour. Enriched with buriti oil and almond butter, it’s perfect for chemically treated hair that’s heat styled frequently. Since I’ve gone red, I’ve never been without this mask.

5. For Root Touch Up Emergencies:

For root touch ups, I love L'Oréal Magic Retouch Temporary Root Concealer Spray
L’Oreal Paris, Magic Retouch Temporary Root Concealer Spray in “Auburn” ($15) Image Credit: L’Oréal

I’d describe myself as naturally ash-brunette, so when regrowth comes through, it makes a stark contrast against my delightfully artificial copper-coloured locks. I have a low tolerance for this, so I rely on ingenious root touch-up sprays to conceal my artifice. L’Oreal Paris, Magic Retouch Temporary Root Concealer Spray in “Auburn” ($15) is an under $20 chemist and supermarket option that never lets me down. Win.

6. For Playing Safe When Heat Styling

Copper hair is generally lightened making it porous and heat damage can make it hard to maintain. The Cloude Nine Wide Plate Pro allows for temperature adjustment, keeping colour treated hair safe
Cloud Nine, The Wide Iron Pro ($499) Image Credit: Cloud Nine

I wash my hair every second day, which means I heat style every second day — and the Cloud Nine, Wide Iron Pro ($499) has been a game changer for my coarse, colour-treated locks. Thanks to its multiple heat settings, I can adjust temperature and reduce colour-unfriendly heat damage. The “floating” ceramic plates move with my hair, not against it, reducing friction and breakage. These wide plates also cut down on styling time. I wholeheartedly recommend it if you have long, thick, colour-treated hair.

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