Red hair: the expert advice you need if you want to dye your hair this summer

Posted by for Beauty

Copper, cherry, rose brunette: the entire spectrum of red hair is set to be this summer’s most-wanted style. Here’s the low-down. 

Hair colour trends come and go; from mushroom blonde to gingerbread caramel and, more recently, Emily Ratajkowski’s newly bleached look , the internet plays host to no end of inspiration – and now salons are officially able to reopen from 4 July, it’s high time to get thinking about what you’ll be booking in for at your next appointment.

If it’s something a little bit different you’re after, let us suggest you opt for this season’s biggest colour: red. It might sound scary but it doesn’t have to be the notice-me, postbox shade that immediately springs to mind – unless you want it to. Instead, it covers a whole range of hues from the subtle to the more daring. 

“The term ‘red’ includes a full spectrum palette ranging from beautiful coppers and gingers right through to gorgeous mahogany and bright reds shades,” says Adam Reed, UK editorial ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel. “One of my personal favourites is a shade I like to call ‘red velvet’ which is a deep luxurious red - it’s not vivid but more about creating a beautiful natural looking red, even if it isn’t your natural hair colour.”

Red is also a colour that was seen on this season’s catwalks, namely at the Alexander McQueen show which saw models with ‘high vis red’ hair, as created by celebrity colourist and Josh Wood, and Dua Lipa recently dyed her hair a glorious shade of cherry red. 

Deep red shades are typically saved for colder months when people ditch lighter hair in favour of something a bit more wintery, but as Wood explains, this summer’s red shades are less about seasonality and more about attitude. “People want to be able to express themselves more and red is the most sophisticated way to be able to do that,” he says.

“Red is also a shade that looks rich and expensive, and with the right products it can look super glossy and shiny, too,” adds Reed. “It’s also important to consider factors like hair texture, how it naturally falls or how it’s styled on a daily basis all play a part in how a colourist carefully considers placement of colour. Just like with makeup, colour placement is important to contour and highlight facial features, add definition or the illusion of depth to the hair. Slightly lighter hues of colour in sections where light is likely to naturally hit could help to define a curl, whereas very marginally deeper tones, placed beneath the top layer and around the face, could add the illusion of thicker hair,” explains Reed.

The other thing to know is that red hair can fade quite quickly, which means investing in the right shampoo, conditioner and boosters to help the colour stay vibrant for longer – so scroll down to find your perfect hue, and then discover Stylist’s pick of the best products.

  • Red velvet

  • Cherry red

  • Copper Gold

  • Rose brunette

  • Vivid red

The best products to use to keep red hair vibrant

  • L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Vitamino Colour Shampoo and Conditioner

    L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Vitamino Colour Shampoo and conditioner

    A specialist shampoo and conditioner is always good, not only to keep hair in prime condition but also to help maintain both the colour and health of hair.

    L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Vitamino Colour Shampoo and Conditioner, £13.40 each

  • Josh Wood Shade Shot Gloss

    JWC_Packshot-Standing-Group

    Available in four trend-led red hues, Josh Wood’s Shade Shot Gloss help to refresh and revive hair while also helping to improve the hair’s condition and adding a temporary hit of colour.

    Josh Wood Shade Shot Gloss, £19 each

  • Davines Alchemic Red Conditioner

    Davines-Alchemic-Red-Conditioner

    Used once a week or so, this mask will nourish and hydrate hair while enhancing its colour.  

    Davines Alchemic Red Conditioner, £21.40

  • Bumble and bumble Glow Thermal Protection Mist

    Bumble-and-bumble-Glow-Thermal-Protection-Mist-

    Not only does this spray protect against heat tools up to 450 degrees, it also works to repair damage, strength hair and prevent breakage. It’s formulated with a honey protective complex to boost and add shine, too.

    Bumble and bumble Glow Thermal Protection Mist, £24

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Main image: Getty

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Lucy Partington

Lucy Partington is Stylist’s beauty editor. She’s obsessed with all things skincare, collecting eyeshadow palettes that she’ll probably never use, and is constantly on the hunt for the ultimate glowy foundation.