From fiery crimson to coppery chestnut, Master Stylist Frank Calandrino shares his advice for choosing the perfect red hair colour:
Why Is Red Hair Such A Big Trend?
Red is one of my favourite colours! The nice thing about red hair is that it’s one of those colours that works well on both blondes and brunettes. Lately there’s been a huge increase in people asking for it. I think it’s because so many blondes have damaged ends from years of balayage! Instead of cutting it all off pixie style, we take them red instead. It’s basically a no-bleach highlighting technique using colour. Red hair shades are a lot gentler, but they still add some dimension.
I Love Red, But I Don’t Want To Look Like Orphan Annie
I get it! People used to shy away from red hair because they didn’t want it to turn out orange. Luckily colour products have become more sophisticated. Traditional reds were always very opaque but now they’re more translucent. At bob + paige we use a colour system called @Pure Pigments from Goldwell. It’s basically deep drops of pigment that we can add to any Goldwell colour. It counteracts harsh tones (like orange!) by creating a filter on top of the hair giving it beautiful inconsistencies. The result is colour that’s really shiny and very natural looking.
Can Anyone Wear Red Hair?
I think so. It’s such a versatile colour and there’s a shade of red for every skin tone. The shade you choose comes down to your level of comfort. Red hair definitely requires confidence, especially the bolder hues.
How Do I Pick The Right Shade Of Red?
There are so many tones to choose from (way more than blonde!), so it’s important that you and your stylist are on the same page. Colour is very subjective – your version of a strawberry blonde might be totally different from your stylist’s so make sure to bring in a photo. For a client’s first visit, I choose a shade that’s based on how ever they typically wear their hair. Blondes can step into red by going strawberry, while brunettes can ease in with copper gold.
Basically there are 3 main shades of red: Violet Red, which is a rather artificial colour, True Red which is very deep and the closest to a born redhead, and Copper Red which is what most people want. We can bring blondes and brunettes to this shade really easily through full colour highlights.
Frank’s 5 Favourite Copper Reds:
1. Fiery Red
90’s hair is huge right now! This shade of red hair is the most dramatic, but also the most traditional. It’s inspired by people like Ginger Spice and Karen Elson. The old red was solid opaque, while the 2019 version is more translucent with lighter ends. This shade requires more frequent touch ups at the roots so you’ll need to be prepared for that. To prevent fading, I recommend Tressa Watercolors Intense Shampoo to my clients. It’s a direct dye shampoo that you wash into your hair and it keeps the colour looking vibrant.
2. Copper Red
This is the colour of Natasha Lyonne’s amazing ‘do in the Netflix series ‘Russian Dolls’. Her hair is basically a lighter version of the bold 90’s style red. It’s beautiful and the shade you choose when you want to go look like a born redhead!
3. Copper Gold
If you like the idea of red hair but want a more subtle option, then this is the colour for you. The gold tones really catch the light. To get this look, I use two or three shades that are really close together and apply a demi-permanent colour to the ends. The result is beautiful and very natural looking. Again, I’d recommend Tressa Watercolor Intense Shampoo to keep the shine and prevent fading.
4. Strawberry Blonde
A blonde always wants to feel light! This is great way for them to dip their toe into a redder shade. I like to use a nice semi-gloss to give them that translucent strawberry tone. Just adding a little bit of copper makes it darker. You don’t want to overdo it. To maintain the colour, use any shampoo that’s formulated for your hair type.
5. Living Coral
This is not your mom’s strawberry blonde! Coral was Pantone’s Colour of the Year and it’s a great option for fashion-forward blondes who want a change. You’re basically adding warmth with a touch of coolness. I love this colour because it’s a blend of pink and rose gold, so it can be done a lot of different ways. You’ll want to use Watercolor Intense Shampoo to maintain this shade too.
Looking for your perfect shade of red? Make an appointment at bob + paige salon.