The way red hair is achieved has evolved over the decades
The red locks of 2022 differ greatly to what we’ve been used to seeing in decades past. “There’s a red or a copper for each decade,” explains Nicola Clarke. “If you look at the shades of the 80s versus the 90s versus now, they’re very different.”
“Nowadays we’re used to having multi-tones weaved through our hair, making it softer and easier to wear. You can add shades of blonde, copper or rose gold to create really beautiful dimension. You can even do a balayage red and have a more brunette root going to a more red shade.”
This approach to red hair has developed over the span of even just the last decade. “These formulas are a mix of tones, which is absolutely something that wasn’t there 10 years ago.”
There’s now a perfect red for everybody
It’s certainly not a one-size-fits-all affair. “There’s a lot of work that goes into finding your perfect red lip, so why hasn’t there been that focus on hair colour?” asks Zoë Irwin. Which is why the new Perfect Red Colour Service at John Frieda begins with a comprehensive consultation of everything from your skin colour to what you like to wear, so that they can craft the ideal hue just for you.
To find your best red, look at your skintone
It’s just like finding your perfect foundation shade match: “It’s about your skin and its undertones, whether they are warm, cool or neutral or blue, yellow or red,” explains Nicola, which she acknowledges people tend to find tricky.
“When you have a lot of pink within your skin, adding to that with a red pigment heightens it more,” she advises. “Stay away from blue-red when you have a lot of yellow in your skin. It’s about getting the right tone and depth for your skin.”
“But get it right and red can be enormously flattering,” explains Nicola. “I might use a soft colour glaze, rich deep pigment or multi-dimensional tones to create the perfect colour to enhance someone’s complexion – no two clients will be the same.”
Your haircut plays an important role too
The same colour can appear differently depending on how your hair has been styled. “One of the things that’s massively important when you’re colouring is looking at how each person’s hair moves,” says Irwin. “Nowadays, haircuts are softer in general than the hard and strong styles of the 80s.”
Once you’ve started, there’s no stopping
Unsurprisingly after a few years of cancelled plans and staying at home, people are happy to step out of their comfort zone and into the unexpected. “From a trend’s perspective, what happened through lockdown is that people became less hesitant about trying new things. With the view that life is short – why not?” remarks Zoë.
You might be nervous beforehand, but once you’ve made the leap to red, you won’t want to go back. “Red is quite addictive: at first you’re scared and then you get addicted to how strong it is. It’s ballsy, it’s a power colour,” says Nicola.