Letters From Your Hairdresser

What Nobody Tells You About Going Red

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There are so many shades to choose from. Sometimes I’ll have a client come in for a color session with four different inspirational photos of four different shades of red. When I start picking apart the differences and really trying to get to the bottom of what my client truly wants to have on her head, she often doesn’t even realize they are all different undertones. Just in deciding on a darker red color, you can choose between a violet-red or a brown-red. And for a medium or light hue, you can go with a bright cherry red, an orange-red or a cherry-cola red with an equal balance of brown and violet-red. We are talking everything from Snooki’s current cherry cola red to Christina Hendricks more natural red. From Nicole Kidman’s orange-red blonde locks to Rhianna’s infamous bright, true red. Do yourself a favor and look over tons of photos before deciding on what you’re drawn to. And when you do head to your hairdresser for the big coloring, bring those photos with you to make sure you can show exactly what you want!

Choose the shades for you based on your skin tone. I’m convinced that anyone can go red as long as they have the right undertone and pigment. To find yours, all you have to do is figure out what your skin tone is. If you have more of a blue or green undertone, that means you are cooler. If you have more of an orange or red undertone, you are warmer. Then just match warm colors with a warm face and cool colors with a cool face. Oftentimes when I meet a woman who says she hates herself in red and I can see photos of her past color, I can tell it was the wrong undertone for her. Such a simple change and she would have absolutely loved it! The right shade for you should bring out the warmth or coolness in your face and make you look glowing and dewy, similar to how a great bronzer can make you look.

If you are having a hard time figuring out what your skin’s undertone is, a great trick is to hold up items of green, blue, red, and orange up to your face and paying attention to which colors seem to dull and which seem to brighten. And if you still can’t tell, defer to your stylist’s expertise. But certainly don’t be afraid to try red if you’ve had a bad experience! All you need is the right undertone that can bring out the best you!

And if you still aren’t sure, consider these additional factors. Just like with any big hair color change, you’ll have to consider your wardrobe. When you decide to go red, you’ll have to factor in each outfit with your crazy, new color! Go bold and dramatic if that’s your style and use your hair as just another accessory to add color. Or if you tend to go more sophisticated with blacks, whites and creams in your wardrobe, your red can be that youthful, fun pop of color that you might be missing. Makeup is another big factor that needs to be considered. I still recommend a great red lip with your new ‘do, but make sure the undertone of the makeup doesn’t oppose the undertone of your color. And be ready to tone down the bulk of your makeup as well.

My favorite thing about going red is that I can get away with a touch of bronzer, a swipe of mascara and a neutral lip while still looking fashionable and put together. If you aren’t looking to make any of these changes and you prefer to stick with a more low maintenance look, red might not be the color for you. But if none of this scares you and you’re up for a big change, make an appointment with your hairdresser and get ready for the most confidence-boosting color you’ve had yet!


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