Keeping Unnaturally Red Hair Vibrant with Nexxus Color Assure | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

15 September, 2014

Keeping Unnaturally Red Hair Vibrant with Nexxus Color Assure


I have a not-so-secret secret to share with you: I dyed my hair bright red again a few weeks ago. I didn't document the experience because it came out a little different than I expected (hellooooo Ronald McDonald meets a carrot) and needed a bit of after-care to not look ridiculous, but I look semi-normal now! Hooray! This post isn't about dyeing hair though, it's about maintaining dyed hair. If any of you reading have ever dyed your hair bright red before, you know that it is the MOST impossible color to maintain. Washing your hair less often helps, but eventually you're going to need to wash it if you don't want to look greasy. Society and their demands, man.

I recently had an opportunity to try out the Nexxus Color Assure haircare system, an oil-infused line that promises "2X longer color protection and vibrancy." I agreed to test the products for at least three weeks, and naturally I couldn't wait to see how they fared against my newly-found Ronald-ness.

Nexxus Color Assure system product line

There are four products/steps in this system. I'll go through them in the order of use for clarity.

STEP ONE: Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer

Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer

The first step in Nexxus' Color Assure system is a primer you use before you wash your hair. Say whaaaa? I had never used anything quite like this before, so naturally I was very interested to see how it worked. Basically, the primer works by repelling water and protecting hair while you're in the shower—it contains almond oil, coconut oil, argan oil and silicone to protect and coat hair. Despite that heavy-sounding list of ingredients, the formula is actually quite light. Not that you'll be wearing it on your hair for long, mind you, but it's not cumbersome. To use the primer, apply a few pumps (2-7 should do it, depending on the length) to the ends of your hair and work your way up towards the root. You want to use enough so your hair looks silky but not greasy or saturated-looking. After that, wash your hair as normal. Couldn't be easier!

This product is interesting because it really does seem to coat the hair shaft and repel water. The downside of that is that you're never going to get your hair squeaky-clean feeling, but I think squeaky clean hair usually = color stripping so that's not a bad thing. If you're careful not to use too much product your hair will still feel soft and lovely after you shampoo, not limp and greasy. I say this as someone who has fine-ish hair. The trick is to use the right amount for your hair! Start with a couple of pumps and then add more if you need it.

STEP TWO and THREE: Nexxus Color Assure Vibrancy Retention Shampoo & Conditioner

Nexxus Color Assure Vibrancy Retention Shampoo and Conditioner

Obviously one needs to wash their hair once in while, and the wrong shampoo can make or break your color. Nexxuse Color Assure Vibrancy Retention Shampoo & Conditioner are sulfate-free, which is ideal for maintaining color. The shampoo lathers up fairly well and makes hair feel soft and cleansed, but doesn't give a "squeaky-clean" feeling if that makes sense. I've already said what I think about "squeaky-clean" so naturally I'm not too upset about that. The conditioner is hydrating but not too heavy, making it ideal for a variety of hair types.

One thing I noticed about the shampoo ... when I've dyed my hair bright red and washed it in the past, the color bleeds SO MUCH in the shower that it looks like I'm pouring red Kool-Aid down the drain. With the Nexxus Color Assure shampoo, there was the sliiiiightest tinge of pinkness in my lather as I washed, but no crime scene-esque residue. Very good.

STEP FOUR: Nexxus Color Assure Glossing Tonic

Nexxus Color Assure Glossing Tonic

This is a fine oil mist that you apply after your hair is nice and clean. The idea is that it adds a final touch of protection, shine, and frizz-reduction. As someone with fine-ish hair, I appreciate how light this formula is ... sometimes oil treatments can make my hair look sort of limp and greasy, but a few sprays of this and it just looks tame and shiny. Good!

OK, now for the moment of truth ... here are my "before and after" results after using the system for three weeks:

Full disclosure: I only washed my hair 3X per week during this trial period, because that's what I normally do. You may have different results if you wash your hair daily. But despite that, I was INSANELY impressed with how well my color held up. Seriously, I was not expecting it to be this good. I feel like a tiny bit of the vibrancy has been lost in the "after" picture, but my hair still looks pretty red. Other than my wonderfully brown roots growing in, of course. Nothing one can do about that.

For me, the star of the show is the Pre-Wash Primer. The water-repelling thing takes a bit of getting used to, especially as you first figure out how much your hair needs, but my hair doesn't feel unclean or anything after I wash it now that I have the hang of it. I will say that one would probably want to use a clarifying shampoo eventually to get rid of any build-up, but I feel that way when I'm using normal conditioners and hydrating masks a lot so that's not exactly a problem.

Other thoughts: This line smells nice. It doesn't have one distinct note to my nose, but sort of a general, pleasant "salon" smell if you know what I mean. I like it.

Overall, I was very pleased with my Nexxus Color Assure experience. Would use after dyeing my hair again. Hopefully less Ronald McDonald-y next time. For more info, visit the Nexxus website or get in touch with them on Twitter. I hear that's what all the cool kids are doing these days. And if you have color-treated hair, do consider giving these a try! You can find Nexxus at a variety of mass retailers, drugstores, and grocery stores nationwide.

Have you ever dyed your hair red? What do you do to maintain color-treated hair?

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Nexxus through Condé Nast. While I was compensated for my time, any opinions expressed above are honest and my own. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy. #ColorAssure


  1. I have been using the Pre-Wash Primer for almost 6 months now. I haven't noticed a huge difference in the prevention of fading but I also didn't take before and after pictures. Also, my red was a different red than yours. I wish I did what you did so I could really see if it works. I agree that your hair doesn't feel AS clean when using it and I def put too much oil so you have to be careful. I'm glad this worked for you too. I'm almost finished with the bottle so I'm trying to decide if I should buy it again or just stop dying my hair and try to go back to brown.

  2. The sad truth is that red is going to fade at least SOMEWHAT no matter what you do. Total bummer. If you do end up getting it again, definitely take comparison pics! Mine has faded a little bit, but it wasn't as much as I thought once I looked at the pictures side-by-side. And yeah, the first time I used it I put on WAY too much of the primer and my hair felt gross, haha. 3-4 pumps is enough for my hair even though the bottle says 5-7.

    What kind of shampoo are you using with the Pre-Wash Primer? Harsh shampoos or shampoos containing sulfates could also strip the color faster.

  3. ugh tell me about hair was more vibrant red with dark undertones. So the shades are different than yours. I use about 3-4 now too but even using hair looks oily before I go in the shower. I use Redken Color Assure Shampoo and Conditioner but I don't feel like my hair feels clean when I use it. Esp the conditioner so I have also been using the Organix Argan Oil Conditioner or a hair mask. I'm thining of trying the L'Oreal color shampoo and conditioner when I run out.

  4. Oh yeah, I can relate to the red dye going straight...well, down the drain. I do love having red hair, but I feel like it only looks good for the first few weeks. If I ever do decide to dye my hair red again, I'll remember to try this line of products!

  5. I do think the kind of red you use and what's underneath makes a difference. Like when I used to bleach my hair and do really bright red on top, the color would run like crazy. If I put my wet hair on my pillow it would leave a stain. Not ideal! I still use extra conditioning treatments sometimes ... this conditioner is good for daily use but it's not like a super-thick deep treatment.

  6. I do wish red lasted longer. I read something once that said the actual molecules of red dye are larger and that's why they rinse out more easily, but I don't know how true that is. It's a pain to maintain in any case!

  7. Ugh that happened to my pillowcase! I might give it a try. But after your review, I really want to take pictures before my first wash and then a couple weeks later then a month later.

  8. Sarah @ bitsandboxes.comSeptember 15, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    I'm all about red! I once (on accident) dyed my hair some kind of fire engine red. I mean, you couldn't lose me anywhere it was that red. Horrors. Now I've toned it down but I do wish that red stuck around longer. I'm lucky because I've already got red tones in my hair but still it fades. I love the color of yours and I don't think it's too Ronald McDonald. Now I want to dye mine brighter red. I just went darker for fall.

  9. It's always such a relief when the clown color finally oxidizes into a cooler-toned red. I went strawberry blonde so now I have no visible roots :)

  10. I actually had to do a bit of touching up to make it look not-completely-terrible. More Ronald, less carrot.

  11. Fire engine red isn't SO bad. It's when it gets tinged with bits of orange that you really start to look insane, haha. It's probably too soon if you just dyed it, but you should go bight red next time! Why not? :)

  12. I hate washing my hair for the first few weeks after I color it (red, of course). Soooo much color goes down the drain. I started using the Color Assure shampoo and conditioner a few weeks ago, but my color is pretty faded at this point, so I haven't seen much of a difference. I hope using them after I color my hair (which needs to be done asap, although I'll probably not bother to do it for another few weeks because I'm lazy) will keep the color in. I'm really interested in the pre-wash primer. I should probably pick that up.

  13. I noticed a bigger difference using the primer first. The shampoo and conditioner are decent enough on their own, but I feel like there was less color loss with the primer. (Sometimes I get lazy and don't use it first, hence the observation.)