Red Hair Colour Ideas And Looks
Looking for some solid red hair colour ideas to help match your red hair shades to your new look? Garnier can help, click now to read more.
Interested in knowing what your favourite shade will look like on you? Don’t forget to use our Virtual Try-On feature to see what shade best suits you. Find out more on our Virtual Try-On homepage at the end of this article, or by clicking on one of our products with the 'Try It On' icon.
The secret of being a successful redhead The One Show presenter Angela Scanlon was born to be red, but even she admits she "struggled to get a colour that felt natural, that felt real, that wasn't obviously dyed". Until she discovered Garnier Nutrisse.
But first, let's go back to the beginning; what is the secret of red hair, what is its enduring appeal and which shade should you choose?
Come on you Reds
You have to admit it, redheads do get lots of attention. That's partly because red hair is so rare and rare is precious. We always remember the redheads in our lives and there's nothing like a shock of red hair for grabbing a crowd’s attention.
Historians point out that Queen Elizabeth I, at a time when wig-wearing was the norm for ladies of high standing, could have chosen any hair colour she wanted, but she defied convention and chose the red hair she inherited from her father, Henry VIII. In combination with her virginal, snow white skin, she created, arguably, the most iconic image of female strength in history.
How can we ignore the stunning sirens of Hollywood's golden era – magnificent red-blooded and redheaded women like Rita Hayworth, Bette Davis, Katherine Hepburn and Ann Margret. Think of Judy Garland's Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Julia Roberts as feisty lawyer Erin Brokovich, Cynthia Nixon as Miranda in Sex and the City; they are all unforgettable redheads. And it was surely no accident that Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell) defined Girl Power for the millennial generation, or that Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) is the woman who steals Ross Poldark's heart.
Red is anything but dead; in fact, it's ridiculously trendy. Officially sexy, professional colourists are inundated with women wishing to replicate Jessica Chastain's Celtic copper, Emma Stone's astonishing auburn or Isla Fisher's ravishing rust.
And yet, here's the thing; not all of those women were, or are, natural reds (at least, not as red as they appear to be). But they, and the people around them, understand the power of image making, after all, red symbolises power, energy, passion, courage; it's a pretty cool colour.
So, can you do red like Angela? Of course, you can; everyone can do red with the right red hair colour ideas.
Which Red Hair Shades Do I Choose?
It's the question everyone asks, regardless of colour. Do I go for something bold or something more natural? Choosing hair colour is never easy; whether you are a home-dye expert or a virgin queen, there are a lot of red hair colour ideas to consider and matching your red hair shades to your new look will largely depend on your natural skin tones, original hair colour and the effect you are going for.
The Garnier shade finder is a great place to start your quest, providing a simple questionnaire to help you find the right red for you, but there are some basic tips every girl should know:
Know your Skin Tone
The key to home hair dyeing is working with your skin tone, not against it. If you have pale skin, red hair can be a great natural look for you, giving you that ultra-fashionable Celtic goddess vibe. It's certainly easier to find a red if your skin is porcelain or pale pink. Even pale complexions vary though, with some featuring warm hues like pink and others cooler in tone with yellows.
In fact, it's the 'temperature' of your skin tone that matters most – that is, whether you have 'cool' or 'warm' skin. Cool skin tones are not necessarily pale – you can have ebony skin and still have cool undertones – they simply have undertones of pink, red, blue and violet. Warm-toned skin, by contrast, has yellow, peach or golden undertones.
To help you decide which one you are – cool or warm – try the classic jewellery test. Which suits you better, silver or gold jewellery? If it's silver, you probably have cool undertones; if gold, then warm.
If all jewellery suits you – lucky you – then look yourself in the eye. If the flecks of colour in your irises are blue or brown you have cool skin; if they're gold or yellowish, your skin has warmer undertones. Simple.
So now you've worked it out, this is the deal with choosing reds. Cool undertones will always look fabulous with deep true reds. You can even carry off a spicy intense copper, verging on tangerine: a super trendy shade at the moment. If you go too light you risk washing out your pale complexion, so opt for bright vibrant coppers rather than pale blondes.
If you have warm undertones with pale skin, freckles and light eyes, then strawberry blonde and coppery reds will look fantastic on you. If your olive, tan or brown skin has warm undertones, your best red hair shades will be mahogany reds and dark auburns. You could even try a rich burgundy, like Nutrisse Crème Deep Red, another hugely fashionable colour.
Is there a red to avoid? Not really, but redheads of every skin tone should probably stay away from aubergine-style deep purples, unless it's a fashion statement, as it's rarely flattering. If you don't fancy going all-out red straight away, dip dyeing or an ombré finish might be a great way to begin your redhead odyssey.