When a Hollywood director wants to cast a femme fatale in his movie, what is the first thing he asks for? A redhead! Think Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in The Avengers, Joan (Christina Hendricks) in Mad Men, or the sultriest flame locked lass of them all: Jessica Rabbit. Redheads exude confidence and sexiness. Everyone knows you don’t mess with a redhead.
The thing is, according to Wikipedia only 1-2% of the population has naturally red hair, which means that certainly almost all the redheads you know are harbouring a little secret. Thankfully, you too can have a secret and find the perfect red hue in a bottle or tube. Follow our guide to find the perfect red and enhance your natural beauty, turning heads wherever you go.
Finding the perfect red starts with your skin tone. Do you have a cool or warm skin tone? Or maybe you are neutral, which is a bit of both. One easy trick to figuring out your skin tone is to look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. Bluish veins mean you most likely have a cool skin tone. Green veins mean you lean toward warm tones. If you see both colours, you could be neutral, and suit all tones of red. A natural pink or olive skin is a sign of cool tones, whereas yellow or golden tones indicate a warm skin tone.
Once you have worked out your skin tone, you can now decide which tones of red will work for you. Matching tones, for example a cool toned red on cool toned skin, will flatter your natural features. Clashing tones will make your hair stand out against your skin, and is perfect if you are going for an eye-catching or vibrant look. Darker skin tones should stick with cooler blue-reds as orange undertones can look too harsh against dark skin.
Cool reds have violet undertones and you can recognise them with names such as auburn, burgundy or true red. Warm reds have orange undertones and shade names like copper, amber and russet. If your hair is naturally medium brown or darker, you should opt for a red that is two shades lighter than the starting colour, otherwise it will end up overpowering the red. Keep in mind, the more extreme the change from your natural colour, the harder it will be to maintain the result. Red colour fades, fast!
As anyone who has coloured their hair red knows, the upkeep can be a challenge. Going red is not for the faint hearted, there is a lot of maintenance involved. One of the best things you can do to maintain your red colour is wash your hair as infrequently as possible. Try to limit shampooing to twice a week and use a dry shampoo in between. Pick up a red toned shampoo and conditioner to use when you do wash your hair, as this will also help prolong the life of the colour. Avoid anti-dandruff shampoos as these can be harsh and will fade your colour faster.
Depending on your natural hair colour, you may need to touch up the colour as often as every two weeks. If you get your hair professionally dyed, you can ask for a take-home pack of colour so you can do it yourself at the two-week mark, and then return to the salon after four weeks.
Make sure you protect your hair when you are outside with styling products containing UV filters and wear a hat if you are spending a day outdoors. Coat your hair with a rich hair mask if you are going swimming in a chlorinated pool or the ocean.
There is no doubt that red hair requires a lot of time and energy, but there is no better feeling than walking down the street with your red locks catching the sun and the eye of those around you. There is a perfect red out there for everyone, and if you take the time to figure out which one is right for you, you might end up surprising yourself with a renewed spring in your step and an extra boost of confidence.
Have you ever coloured your hair red?