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How red hair is different to other hair shades, and not just because of its colour

How red hair is different to other hair shades, and not just because of its colour

From just a passing glance, it’s obvious that red hair differs from other shades. It’s eye-catching, multi-tonal, and has an ability to command attention.

But other than its striking colour, red hair is different to other hair colours in many other ways.

Red hair is more fragile, and in shorter supply

Natural ginger hair strands are much more fragile than other hair types. And, while many redheads believe they have lots of hair, in general they technically have fewer strands.

In fact, it’s estimated that natural blondes have 110,000 strands on average, brunettes have 140,000, while redheads only have 90,000 strands on their heads in total. These fewer strands are usually thicker for redheads though, so the appearance can sometimes be that gingers actually look like they have more hair than other colours.

As you can imagine, this combination of fragility and thickness makes for a somewhat tricky customer.

Ginger hair is prone to frizz and coarseness

Due to the fragility and thickness of red hair strands, this often makes for coarseness and frizz aplenty, which in turn can actually make your ginger shade appear duller than it should. If you think about it, the frizz stands in the way of allowing light to reflect more easily off your hair, so it’s difficult to achieve shiny, bright red hair.

By encouraging smoothness of the follicles and strands, more light can then reflect off it, giving brighter, shinier red hair that reveals the multi-tones of your ginger shade.

Dryness is the enemy

With the above issues of frizz and fragility, many redheads turn to heat styling to try to combat the coarseness and to impose some smoothness on their ginger locks.

While heat styling is a temporary solution to reducing frizz, and indeed does smoothen the strands, what happens is it makes your red hair drier and drier each time. Everyone knows that excessive heat styling is bad for their hair, but for redheads, having already fragile and frizz-prone strands means this is a sure-fire way to cause breakage and split ends.

Moisture is your friend

What red hair craves is heaps of moisture to help encourage strength and smoothness in its follicles and strands.

But don’t mistake ‘moisture’ for ‘silicones’. Found in the majority of hair products, silicones are an artificial way of pumping something that appears to give smoothness and moisture to your hair. Granted, for a time your hair may become shinier and feel more conditioned, but over time it will become accustomed to these silicones, which can cause product build-up and eventual dullness, too.

The reason why silicones are so prevalent in haircare is because they’re often teamed up with sulfates, the foaming agent commonly used in shampoos and soaps. They’re bad news for the hair and scalp in general, and in particular for redheads, as they’re extremely drying, stripping your natural, glossy oils from your scalp and strands.

The answer?

What we’re faced with here is red hair that is crying out for something to combat its frizz, fragility, coarseness and dryness.

By cutting out both sulfates and silicones, either by going cold turkey or through gradual use, you can train your red hair to rely less on artificial ingredients. Instead, use ingredients that enhance red hair and help alleviate its weaknesses, injecting more shine, moisture and vibrancy into it.

Oh, and kick your heat styling habit, too.

About Gingerful

Created by redheads for redheads here at Ginger Parrot, Gingerful hair products are designed exactly for what red hair craves: enhancement, nourishment and protection. It’s a stare-from-across-the-room kind of haircare. For red hair that gleams so much, you need sunglasses (and sun cream).

The Henna & Rose shampoo and conditioner are both sulfate-free and silicone-free, leaving more room for ingredients that truly work for red hair: henna for enhancing red shades, carrot for a boost in shine, lavender to encourage growth and calm the scalp, and much more.

Available in the Ginger Parrot Store or at www.gingerfulhair.com

Read: Red hair care 101: easy tips to look after your ginger hair
Read: What is henna and why is it good for your red hair?

Ginger Parrot

Ginger Parrot is ready and raring to report on all things nice and gingerful, and provides an online store too, offering Ginger Parrot merchandise, clothing, hair products, gifts and more for the redhead and redhead lover community.


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