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Last updated: March 05, 2021

3 Tips For Refreshing Red Hair Color

How To Refresh + Add Rich Dimension To Faded Red Hair Color

Looking to refresh faded reds? Try this this speedy technique for building dimensional fiery hues that last from Ulta Beauty Design Team member Leonardo Valencia (@leo.valencia). Watch the full tutorial above and keep scrolling for three tips on formulation, how to prevent fast fading and a traditional balayage placement that works for reds.


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Who Is The Ideal Client For This Technique?

This is perfect for retouch clients with faded or browned-out color. This technique will create a tonal change without having to lighten or use permanent color. It’s also great for blonde clients who want to go red.


Tip #1: Use Balayage Placement + Triangular Sections

Think about traditional balayage placement. Leo works in triangular sections with zigzag partings for FAST seamless blends. By using diagonals and elevating each section, this will prevent any harsh lines in the color application.


Take a horseshoe section at the top to create a veil that lays over the sections underneath to build dimension. Get creative with this section: Decide if you want to take weaves and alternate multiple shades OR experiment with only using the base color at the top, so the different colors underneath shine through.


How To Get A Money Piece Effect:

Leo creates a money piece with the lightest color for an extra bright pop, then he adds depth right behind the ear to frame the face.


Tap The Beaker For Leo’s Color Formulas!

how to refresh reds and prevent fading tutorial leo.valencia ulta beauty matrix socolor cult formulas
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  • Formula A (base)

    Matrix SOCOLOR Cult Semi-Permanent Hair Color Red Hot + Orange Alert

  • Formula B (alternating)

    SOCOLOR Cult Red Hot + Orange Alert

  • Formula C (alternating)

    SOCOLOR Cult Flamenco Fuchsia

  • Formula D ( money piece + alternating)

    SOCOLOR Cult Orange Alert + Lucky Duck Yellow


Tip #2: Double-Red Application Trick

Here’s a tip for vibrant, long-lasting reds: Instead of simply extending the processing time on semi colors, do TWO separate applications. Start with a demi or permanent color first. Process, rinse and dry. Go back in and double-pack the red pigment on top with the semi-permanent technique for more longevity and shine.


Here are a few tips to prevent fast fading:

  • Apply Matrix SOCOLOR Cult to dry hair 
  • 20 minutes is the sweet spot for processing
  • Finding dry spots in bigger sections? Go back, use sub-sections and heavily saturate.


Formulation Pro Tip: Mix orange with red for the most vibrant coppers. Mix fuchsia with with red for cooler tones.


Tip #3: How To Fill The Hair Before Applying Reds

When filling blonde hair for reds, use the lightest semi-permanent shade in the color scheme. For this client, Leo suggests filling with SOCOLOR Cult Orange Alert + Lucky Duck Yellow + Clear so there’s something for the red to catch onto. He fills the hair as the base color processes to speed up the application. Shampoo, skip the conditioner and dry the hair. Go back in and start with technique.


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