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March 12, 2022
People have been running from red for years now, whether that be for interiors, pre-filtered images, or hair colour. Last year reached a crescendo with just about everyone being drawn to icier blondes, cooler browns and for the more daring, silvery pewters and an array of blues.
But now the pendulum of fashion has swung, and copper red hair is the next big trend with celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Sydney Sweeney leading the way. Tik-Tok has nearly 90 million views for #copperhair. One of my daughters surprised me by going copper recently. She’s naturally dark but had the front tinted platinum blonde for a year or two. She follows key influencers through Instagram so gave me the early heads-up on this style shift.
Fashions come and go but redheads haven’t had an easy time in recent history. I speak from experience as one of three children out of six born with red hair from a blonde Greek mother and jet-black English father. Grandparent genes featured heavily it seems.
Boys had it worse, but we all got to experience the social persecution of a minority group, the teasing and the micro-aggressions. I’m not suggesting we need a ‘Red Heads Matter’ movement, yet it was only later in life that I learnt to fully love and appreciate my natural hair colour and that was helped by seeing my contemporaries turn grey. Respect for individuality now has shifted attitudes thankfully, but I’ve always loved seeing women with red hair – there maybe something primaeval in its allure.
As to the fashion shift, perhaps it was the popularity of shows like Game of Thrones and The Last Kingdom, which delved into European medieval history and were replete with glamorous redheads. Perhaps that mass travel and globalisation are breeding out natural blondes and redheads with the more dominant dark-hair genes - elevating redheads from amusing oddity to sought-after rarity. And then the last ten years have seen an explosion in hair colour, such that the desire for extreme rainbow colours has waned and reds still satisfy the vibrancy sought, but within the natural pallet. And then it only takes a few famous heads to create a shift.
Can red suit anyone?
There’s a wide spectrum of reds from warm golds, through to deep coppers, chestnut browns and onto the more bluey reds like burgundy and plum. Most people could access a colour along that spectrum to suit, and if you have a blonde base colour, it’s usually quite easy to experiment with non-permanent colours. Skin tone and eye colour will affect choice but then it depends whether you’re looking for natural-believable or a more extreme statement. Either can work, some will require you to strut with a more confident attitude.
Whatever the tone, you certainly won’t go unnoticed. And it can elevate energy levels as the colour red is naturally stimulatory.
How to try out red hair
If you’re starting with a virgin (uncoloured) base which is darker that the tone you want, then you’ll need to use a permanent tint. If your base colour is lighter than the tone you want, then you could experiment with temporary colours that wash out eventually.
If it has to be permanent and you’re really not sure, just tint a thick weft underneath behind the ear. This will give a good indication. If there’s a wig store nearby you could try some on. Or if you have redhead friends, you could get really close for selfies with you own hair scraped back out of the way.
How to care for reds
Red tint fades more quickly than other colours so protective products are essential to stop the colour being washed down the sink too quickly. There are many products that claim to seal colour in.
But essentially, the condition of the hair is the most important factor and keeping the hair shaft strong and complete will stop the colour leeching out. We’ve not come across anything that works better than regular LifeSaver Pre-wash Treatments combined with UV Protective Shampoo and Conditioner.
For those that like a leave-in conditioner the LifeSaver UV Leave-in Treatment is brilliant too. This will dramatically stop colour fade at the ends while keeping hair naturally thicker and frizz-free.
Coloured shampoos or colour glosses can help keep vibrancy. In between root tints avoid applying products that require mixing, as these will have some peroxide in. They will solve the problem short term but make the lengths more porous so colour will fade quicker. This is a bigger problem on longer hair as the tips may be 3 to 4 years old. Some manufacturers call these semi-permanent, but only the colour is temporary, the effect on the hairshaft is permanent. So stick to ready-mixed products between root tints.
Michael Van Clarke
September 30, 2023
September 29, 2023
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