Girls on film: Sharon Tate in The Fearless Vampire Killers

Halloween is upon us, which means it’s time for pumpkin carving, apple bobbing, and (our personal favourite) scary movie watching. The Fearless Vampire Killers, a 1967 horror-farce directed by Roman Polanski, is our film of choice this year - not least due to its magnetic lead actress, the late Sharon Tate, and her enviable auburn tresses.

Sharon Tate was one of Hollywood’s most promising newcomers in the early to mid-sixties and married the industry’s most promising arthouse film director, Roman Polanski. Her sultry 1960s looks started to gain recognition after appearing on the cover of American military newspaper Stars and Stripes wearing a bathing suit and cowboy boots and posing on a missile - it was after this that she began dabbling in the acting world. Debuting in British horror, Eye of the Devil in 1966, Sharon shot to fame and her tumbling hair and thick-lashed beauty look became iconic. Tragically Tate’s life was cut short at 26 (two years after the release of Vampire Killers) in a high profile murder by American cult, the Manson family.

Sharon was known for her carefree attitude, at the heart of the hippy movement of the era. Tate and Polanski famously had an open door policy in their Los Angeles home, welcoming friends in and revelling in being hosts. Reflected in her easy-going look during this time, we adore her hair nonchalantly piled high in an up-do or tumbling around her shoulders in a gentle wave.

Image: Tumblr
Image: Tumblr

And it’s exactly that which draws us to Tate in this 1967 horror-come-comedy where she plays Sarah, the daughter of the local innkeeper in a town at the heart of Transylvania. The Fearless Vampire Killers has a suitably spooky plot, featuring every trick in the thriller book; a dilapidated Gothic castle, a vampire ball and a poisonous murder scheme featuring Sarah as the target. The film concludes with a vampire transformation and a poisonous bite that stirs up the vampire world…

We’ll be honest, we spent less time feeling suitably spooked than we did admiring Tate’s auburn ‘do and her kitsch 19th Century wardrobe of corsets and bodices. The hair is a simple and versatile ‘60’s staple, finished off by a cute, choppy fringe which can be parted in the middle or worn pushed forward.

However we think this look is all about the colour; a rich shade of autumnal red that’s glossy and full of depth. To get Sharon’s shade, Glasshouse girl Fiona has some suggestions: “The first step is to ask your stylist the best shade of red that will suit you - there’s a huge variety and it’s important to get it spot on. Traditionally, this type of hair colour suits pale-skinned individuals the most, although it can easily adapt to those with a little more pinkness and colour” advises Fiona, “This is a relatively easy-to-achieve tone, particularly on hair that’s already a light brown or dark blonde shade. Because our colours contain no ammonia and we encourage using a sulphate-free shampoo, this colour will last longer and won’t fade like traditional reds”.

So if you’re looking for a new hair colour that will last longer than just the Halloween weekend, we say take a leaf out of Ms Tate’s book for a ‘do with heaps of vibrance and (hopefully) no vampires in sight…

Image: Tumblr; Cover image: Wordpress
Image: Tumblr; Cover image: Wordpress

Words by Lauren O’Neill

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