Hair Trend: Redhead

Hair colour trends have a tendency to go through phases. As a salon, we’re on the frontline of observation when it comes to witnessing these changes. A flurry of pink and lilac pastels can be followed by a wave of all-natural looking balayage, or a demand for ice cool blondes. Most of the time these trends are influenced by the world around us: what we see on Instagram and Pinterest, what our friends are into, what we spot on the catwalk or even just the change of seasons.

Which is why we always have our eyes peeled in the salon to gauge the colour mood of the moment, and it seems that lately, the redheads are making a comeback. From light ginger to acid-wash orange, auburn and deep red; this much maligned colour is looking cooler than ever. Whether it’s natural redheads embracing the boldness of their own shade, or individuals looking to take the red-plunge, a colour that has had a bit of a reputation for unpopularity seems to have landed slap bang back into favour.

Image: Samantha Heck Muller
Image: Samantha Heck Muller

When it comes to popular culture, there’s been a distinct lack of redheads to offer inspiration. Red-haired stalwarts such as Julianne Moore, Susan Sarandon and Karen Elson have been propped up by some newer kids on the block - flame-haired models like Natalie Westling, for instance, who embraces her paled skin, ginger-toned look with West Coast cool.

So why is it that this colour is garnering more fans? Well, we’re bombarded with the ever-popular soft-toned, sun-kissed colours that are universally attractive and relatively easy to achieve and maintain. Bold and brave seems to have been ditched in favour of subtle and natural - but we’re feeling as though things might be quietly changing.

Self-expression is arguably at its peak - from political dressing to makeup experimentation, and it’s only right that hair colour catches up. The great thing about redheaded-ness is the confidence of it. This is a no-holds-barred block colour that be anything from fiery to English rose. In the spirit of our new found red-obsession, we called on Glasshouse Junior Colourist Lucy Rickard for a few pearls of wisdom: “When it comes to red and copper toned hair, I’m definitely noticing a bigger demand in the salon. Traditionally, these kind of colours suit fair-skinned individuals or those with blue, green or hazel eyes. However, it’s all about the attitude - you’d be surprised how many people can pull of these colours.”

Image: Betina du Toit
Image: Betina du Toit
Image: Lulu Valentine
Image: Lulu Valentine

For those looking to make the colour change, it might not be as complicated as you think, “I often find that clients who have been getting full head lightenings and are beginning to grow bored of the colour will transition into coppers and reds. The reason being is that it’s still a striking, block colour look that’s full of impact” says Lucy, “If your condition is up to scratch and protein and moisture levels are balanced, a simple toner will get these kind of light blondes to the colour you’re after, often fading gently to a warm strawberry blonde. Natural, light-ish hair colour can be taken to a deep copper or red with a full-head tint, using the right products to ensure good hair condition.”

In terms of cut, anything goes when it comes to your flame-toned hair, however these colours look particularly good with a style that has equally as much impact - think blunt bobs, feathered mullets and anything fringed. If you’re feeling DIY, Lucy has some tips on how to achieve your ginger goals outside of the salon chair: “For an at-home alternative, Organic Colour Systems’ No Limits Semi-Permanent Hair Colour comes in a great shade of orange that’s perfect for a punk-inspired colour applied to blonde or naturally-light hair. Mix it with a treatment or conditioner to pastel-ise it and get the orange-wash colour of your dreams.” We’re sold.

So, there you have it - the newest colour to say no to convention and reinvent itself for a generation fuelled by self-expression. Forget everything you know about reds and gingers being uncool; they’re coming back braver and bolder than ever.

Cover image: MC1R
Words: Lucy Vincent

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