Ah, redheads. They’re rare, they’re spirited, and for better or worse, everyone seems to have an opinion about them. If you’re not in the 2% of the world’s population that naturally rocks the red, then you may have wondered if you could (and should) pull off a copper coif. Well chances are, you can, and in doing so you might just fall in love with the inner vixen that your new red hair brings out in you.
However, red is a little trickier than other hues. It needs more attention and upkeep to stay looking polished, and you have to be a little more thoughtful when choosing your red to make sure it will accompany your skin tone nicely. The same shade of red will look completely different on people with light, medium, or olive skin tones. So choose wisely, you want your red to complement, not clash, with your complexion.
A light skin tone is often best paired with a lighter, warmer tone of red. A nice light strawberry blonde is a great choice. If you’re already a fair-skinned blonde, then just weaving in some strawberry color into your natural hair is a perfect way to introduce yourself to the world of red without taking too big of a leap.
With a medium skin tone, consider a corresponding medium red tone for your hair. Make sure the red isn’t too dark though, as this will cause your skin to appear washed out. I like to go one shade darker than your natural hair color and incorporate an auburn tone. Or better yet, I love to use a color panel technique that creates a real subtle, yet striking, flow of color through the hair.
If you have a warm skin tone then you have the most options for trying out different hues of red, so then it comes down to preference and just how much you want to stand out. If you’re feeling vivacious, you can get a little more punch by introducing a cooler tone of red, or keep it subtle with a warmer tone of red for those who want a change, but don’t want to live in the spotlight.
If you have an olive skin tone, you’ll look best with a cooler, richer shade of red. The cool red will appear darker and have a little more depth when paired with a warm complexion. Even if you have a naturally dark shade of hair, you can look fabulous by going a level deeper and weaving in a cool shade of red. This will create a gorgeous sun-kissed appearance when the red reflects in the sunlight. This is a beautiful and fun way to play with a little red without all the commitment.
Once you’ve figured out what hue is right for you, just remember that bringing a little dose of red to your life does require some extra attention to care. The red molecule is well maintained by using a color shampoo designed to help keep the pH level of your hair in balance, and to lock in your color for longevity. Of course, if you’re out in the sun, putting a cover on your gorgeous hair is incredibly helpful to keep those UV rays from fading your color. (And you might just look extra stylish at the same time)
If you’ve already gone red and want to mix it up a little, there are certainly options to keep you looking feisty, but fresh. You can highlight throughout to break up the red hues and create more dimensional color; this will give your hair an overall brighter appearance. Another option is to ask your stylist to create a more neutral tone by applying a complimentary color that will bring richer neutral notes to the hair.
It is highly recommend that when making any substantial color change you should sit with your stylist and walk through the options to better plan your approach, time, and expectations. It may take a little extra time and care, but no one ever said being a redhead was easy, they just said it was fabulous.
So even though you may think red is only for the bold, don’t be afraid to try it, you may really surprise yourself. From subtle strawberry to fiery fuchsia, red can give you a little extra saunter in your step, a little spice in your personality, and a new, lively outlook on the future.
As a L’Oreal Professional Artist, I have worked with some truly fantastic products that can make all these changes possible. Whether you’re looking to dye, highlight, or maintain your new crimson color, I have just the right product to make you look simply stunning in your radiant red.
If you're looking for a little more inspiration, be sure to check out our 'Fiery Redheads' board on Pinterest.