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When I dyed my hair red the first time, I felt as if it was what nature intended. I have been accused of being a bit of a spitfire, so in that way, I absolutely live up to the stereotype. The red hair suits my personality. I was a terrible blonde! – Amy Adams
The day I was born, my mother called my grandmother in tears because she thought she had given birth to a little ginger monkey. Of course, she didn’t share this little tidbit of knowledge with me until well after all of my ginger baby fuzz had been replaced with honey-gold curls. So I did what any feisty teenager would do: I sold my soul to a bottle of L’oreal and corrected God’s mistake. My attitude was never suited for blonde anyway.
I’m fortunate in the fact that, for a Florida native, I’ve never been able to tan. I’m fair complected and have green eyes, so I’ve had lots of options on the red spectrum and I’ve been every shade of red–from Rihanna to the Weasleys, and in that time I’ve learned a few things about choosing the right shade of red hair for your complexion and your personality.
Before you decide to join the growing ranks of redheads, it’s important to consider a few things:
- You will be noticed. Red means danger, and nothing says beautifully dangerous like a flame-haired femme fatale. If you’d rather remain a wallflower, stick with the blonde and brunettes.
- Be prepared to spend a lot of time with your colorist. Red hair color fades faster than any other color, especially if you wash your hair more than twice a week. Even if you take immaculate care of your color, you will still be visiting the salon about two weeks sooner than if you were a blonde or a brunette.
- Expect to completely revamp your hair care routine. For longer lasting color, only shampoo two or three times a week. And NO harsh shampoos. Since you will have to have your color redone more often than if you were blonde or brunette, you will also want to keep your hair as healthy as possible, which means minimal heat styling and deep conditioning treatments at least every other week.
If you’re prepared to deal with those three things, you’re ready for the next step!
Choosing the perfect red hair color that suits your skin tone:
If you’re fair-skinned with blue or green eyes, your options for natural-looking reds are much broader than if you have a darker complexion and brown eyes.
Think Emma Stone–she has had nearly every shade of red hair on the natural palette.
When making the bold decision to try red hair for the first time, it’s usually best to choose colors based on your undertones. When you’re fair complected, but have neutral tones, you’ll want to try something in a medium auburn range. Julianne Moore is a great example. The balance of bright reds and rich browns complement her neutral undertones, while adding depth of color you can get lost in.
With fair skin and warmer undertones, lighter brown-based shades will illuminate the fairer olive undertones. Amy Adams’ subtle red almost begs you to bask in her glow.
If you have a darker skin tone and brown eyes, your best bet is to go with highlights instead of all over color. Chestnut or deep copper can add a perfect red shimmer. It’s a sneaky red that still conveys that spitfire attitude, but will take you by surprise. Both Eva Mendes and Eva Longoria’s stylists have mastered the art of subtle red.
I firmly believe that every woman should try out red hair at least once in their life. There’s something about finding that perfect shade of red that makes you feel confident in a completely different way than any other hair color. Blondes are beautiful, brunettes are brilliant, but redheads are a rare mix of both, with the added bonus of having as much attitude as we want and still be considered charming.