There’s one hair colour that is dominating this season, and I’m seeing it everywhere. The red hair trend has been gaining momentum for a while (remember when Gigi Hadid and Zendaya’s copper transformations started it all?), but it has now become the number-one hair-colour trend. I’ve seen it on the fashion set and the runways, and a number of celebrities have dipped their toes in the trend. It started off as subtle tones, but as the look continues to snowball, the pigments are getting stronger.
Right now, red hair’s comeback feels quite refreshing. Every time I speak with hair stylists, they say that for a long time, their clients asked for cooler, ashier tones, but now, demand is picking up again for those warmer-toned shades of red—the likes of which were very popular in the noughties. “Our brunette clients are starting to gravitate towards richer tones for added warmth, and we’re seeing the return of glossy, blended colours rather than strips of colour like money pieces,” says Paul Percival, Redken session artist, founder of Percy & Reed and all-round hair expert.
“The first step to finding the right colour is understanding what undertone you have,” says Cliphair stylist Lynn Chambers. “Your undertone is not the same as your skin tone or colour, and it won’t change with age or the sun. It can make a huge difference when it comes to what hair colour will suit you, particularly when it comes to red.” So how can you work out your undertone? “If the veins in your arm look greenish in natural light, you have warm undertones. If they’re purple or blue, you have cool undertones, and if you can’t tell (or they’re a mix of both), you’re probably neutral,” says Chambers.
If you have cool undertones, lighter or pink-toned reds will work best. “The colour will bring out the pinkness in your cheeks to create a natural blush, and as cool undertones often have flecks of blue or grey in their eyes, it will bring out the brightness there, too,” says Chambers. “A light auburn or a strawberry blonde will look great on fair skin, or a luxurious plum or cherry red is perfect for darker skin tones,” she says.
If you have a warm complexion, then opt for copper or golden-toned red. “Coppery colours will bring out the warmth in your skin and brighten your complexion. Multi-dimensional highlights or a soft balayage with hints of creamy blonde will be perfect all year round,” says Chambers. “Try a mahogany or deep cinnamon with darker roots, or a natural-looking ginger red.”
Neutral undertones, however, are the most versatile. “Neutral undertones have the most options when it comes to red hair because they’ll suit pretty much anything from a blue- or purple-toned red to the brightest neon orange,” says Chambers. “As with all shades, you want as much dimension as possible to avoid the colour looking flat, so go for something that will bring out a little warmth and brightness.”
Ahead, you’ll find the 21 best red-hair looks I’ve found to suit every skin undertone, and they’ll convince you to make that hair appointment pronto.
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