This girl is on fire – why red is the hottest hair hue right now

From Kendall Jenner to Sydney Sweeney, seemingly everyone is seeing red this spring, opting for warm copper hues, strawberry blondes and deeper merlot shades

In all its glorious iterations, from copper to scarlet, red is set to be a key colour for hair this spring. Tying in perfectly with the warm tones we’re seeing in fashion, and providing the perfect pop of contrast against your summery white T-shirts and floral dresses, red is so versatile and about to become a Very Big Deal in hair.

But with so many iterations, how can you find the right shade for you?

“From a professional point of view, reds would usually fall into two categories – warm and cool,” Jason Hogan, master colourist at Josh Wood Atelier in London explains. “However the true spectrum of red hair is vast and, like a fingerprint, unique and custom to an individual.”

When choosing a red to suit your complexion it’s all in the veins:

  • If your veins are green then you have a warm skin tone. Think shades of cinnamon, copper and ruby.
  • If your veins are blue or purple then you have a cool skin tone. Berry, burgundy and crimson will work beautifully.
  • If you cannot tell the difference, it is very likely that you are neutral. Lucky you, you can flirt with both sides!

“Within these categories, if you have darker skin stick to deeper more saturated shades, and if you have light skin then softer, sheer shades will be more flattering,” Jason adds.

Once you’re ready to get all fired up, you’ll need to come up with a plan with your colourist to get you to your desired shade.

“When transitioning to red, it’s not dependant on whether your hair is currently black or blonde, it’s the desired end result,” Jason advises. “Black hair can transition to a rich auburn in a single process in salon – however if that black wants to be a pale strawberry/rose blonde, it is going to be a journey. Blondes going red can be tricky; getting that balance of pigment to make the colour look vibrant, but still respecting the clients natural features and not making it look so fake. Each has its own hurdles.”

Veronica Wysocka, advocate colourist alongside Jason at Josh Wood Atelier, stresses that clear communication on what you’re aiming to achieve is also important. “If you’re looking for something very specific make sure you show your hairdresser a lot of reference pictures,” she advises. “Instagram is the best course for all of the hair colours ideas. One person’s strawberry blonde is not the same as someone else’s, or Kendall’s red that you like so much might look something completely different on you. Make sure you do a proper brainstorm with your colourist and see what your options are.”

We can’t stress enough the importance of both homecare and quick top ups between appointments to keep your hair looking vibrant rather than smouldering ashes. “Reds are notoriously fickle by nature and fade or lose vibrancy quickly, they need to be glossed regularly to keep it fresh and the tone in check. Clients should realistically be in the salon every four weeks for little tweaks,” says Jason.

“Most of the colours required are achieved with using toners. My top tip for maintaining the longevity of these colours is to use sulphate-free shampoo. There are many shampoos available that are specific to certain hair colours to help add a glow and maintain your desired shade,” Katie Allan, owner of MAYFIVE in London adds. “My biggest tip that many people often forget, is to rinse hair in cool water rather than piping hot or warm water. Warm water will open the cuticle and let colour molecules escape!”

There you have it! Are you ready to trial red hair, and rise like a phoenix from the ashes? You can book in with Katie’s team at MAYFIVE here, or Jason and Veronica at Josh Wood Atelier here.

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