New It Hair Color: Red

Khloe Kardashian recently had tongues wagging when she debuted her new auburn hued ‘do. The former brunette seems to cause a media blitz everywhere she goes, but she is certainly not the first celeb to turn her raven (or golden) locks red. 

Red hair has reached stellar proportions in the past few months, and it’s leaving us with some questions: What started this craze? Can we pull it off? Most importantly, how do we get it right?

Christina Hendricks is naturally a blonde, but dyes her hair red.

What Started It?

We can’t help but think this penchant for red hair has something to do with Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks (above). Naturally a blonde, Hendricks has admitted to dying her hair copper as early as age 10.  In fact, in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, the actress revealed that it was she who advised supermodel Karen Elson to take her mousy brown hair to a fiery red at the start of her career, giving her a formula and how-to tips. Of course, we can’t discount the influence the fashion world has had on the shade, either. To dispute any notion that red is strictly a fall or winter color, Tom Ford had Rachel Feinstein dye her hair a deep shade of red for his exclusive Spring 2011 show. It wasn’t permanent, though, as her husband disapproved.  


To boot, every model at the Spring/Summer 2011 Mulberry show donned a bright red ‘do. That look was inspired by the new “it” model, Julia Johansen (above). And then, of course, there’s Elson, who made a major comeback in the recent Louis Vuitton campaign.

Rihanna sports red hair

Can You Pull It Off?

In short, yes. There are a million shades of red to choose from, so whether you’re fair-skinned or olive, you and your stylist will certainly be able to find one that’s right for you.  

Florence Welch is a famous redhead.

Try on some red lipsticks. If you find that orange-reds work best on you, then you have a warm skin tone. If blood reds (with a blue undertone) are your thing, then you have a cool skin tone. From there, you can select the red you want to be. Florence Welch (above), for example, is a warm redhead, and Rihanna is cool. The only thing you’ll really need when deciding to go red is confidence! Blondes and brunettes are a dime a dozen; red is unique, and it makes a real statement, so it’ll take guts to pull the trigger. 

Karen Elson, the reigning queen of red hair.

How Do I Get It Right?

The best way to get the look you want is to start subtly. Use your natural hair color as a base; don’t try to go more than a couple of shades lighter or darker. Try to find a tone that has the same depth as your natural hair shade. Red doesn’t have to be shocking; it can simply just infuse some warmth. If you’re jonesing for a change that’s big, be sure to go to a colorist that knows her stuff. If you’re pale with blue eyes, chances are, they won’t give you “Rihanna Red” – and that’s a good thing. 

You also need to make sure your colorist knows exactly what you’re going for, and sometimes that’s not as easy as it seems. Be sure to bring a few magazine clippings with you to the salon so there’s no room for misinterpretation. If you have more than one picture with you, you and your colorist should be on the same page as far as the look you’re going for. He or she will be able to advise you from there.