Why Is My Hair Turning Red? Reasons and Prevention Tips

Medically reviewed by Dr. Bilal Khan M.B.B.S.
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated

Are you noticing a reddish hue to your hair that wasn't there before? If you're asking, "Why is my hair turning red?", you're not alone. There are a few reasons why this might happen, from sun exposure to dietary deficiencies. Let's delve into the potential causes and solutions for your hair's new reddish tinge.

Why is my hair turning red?

Hair turning red naturally can be due to several factors. Sun exposure, hard water build-up, diet, and even certain deficiencies such as Vitamin B12 could be responsible for this color shift. Age, genetics, medications, stress, and diet can also induce changes in hair color, potentially leading to a red hue (source, source).

Exploring The Causes

Sun exposure can alter your hair's color, causing it to take on a red tone. UV rays from the sun cause all colors to fade, leading to the emergence of natural hair pigments, including red tones (source).

Hard water, which contains high levels of minerals, can cause build-up on your hair, leading to color changes including a red tint. Additionally, a diet lacking essential nutrients can impact hair health and color, possibly leading to a reddish shade (source).

Vitamin B12 deficiency is another potential cause. This vital vitamin is needed for healthy hair, and its deficiency could result in hair turning red (source).

Managing Red Tones in Hair

If your hair is turning red, several strategies can help manage this change. For example, if hard water is the culprit, consider using a shower filter to reduce mineral build-up. If you suspect a vitamin deficiency, consult a healthcare provider for advice and possible supplementation.

Furthermore, a hair toning shampoo can be used to neutralize brassy undertones, potentially stemming the reddish hue. This pigmented solution can alter the existing hair color, bringing it closer to your desired shade (source).


Witnessing your hair turn red can be surprising, but understanding the potential causes can help you manage this change. Whether it's tweaking your hair care routine, adjusting your diet, or using color-correcting hair products, you can take control of your hair's color. Remember, always consult a professional if you're unsure about the cause or if the red hue persists despite your efforts.

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Dr. Bilal Khan M.B.B.S. graduated from the Jinnah Sindh University in Karachi. He'll take the official medical licensing program in the US (USMLE) in September 2023. Bilal has a passion for research and has extensively fact-check and medically review articles under his name to make sure you have the most accurate information.