The beauty world has fallen for red, and not just of the nail or lip variety. Suddenly the sultry shade is appearing in well-groomed tresses everywhere—and going ginger has never been hotter. But while strawberry blondes and auburn shades have come and gone, fierce hues are ruling summer looks and giving the “lob” (long bob) hair trend a run for its money.
New York-based celebrity hairstylist Sarah Mills said the switch in color has more to do with the desire for change than anything else. “I think red hair is in now because we have had blondes for so long,” Mills said. “Going red is a natural transition to something that makes a powerful statement. I feel strongly that things keep evolving. Crazy [red] color is big, like Rhianna’s.”
With said pop star’s flame haired Vogue cover and model Cintia Dicker’s locks popping up on ad campaigns left and right (count it: Aerie, Bebe, Banana Republic and Sephora), it comes as no shock that red is moving into the mainstream market. And while Karen Elson, Lily Cole, Julianne Moore and, lest we forget, Ginger Rodgers remain true originals, the trend didn’t immediately take off among the larger public. Who can forget the January 2009 Vogue Coco Rocha dye job that proclaimed red as the next big thing but only yielded a lackluster following? And most recently, Guido Paulo’s brilliant dye job on Carmen Kass for the s/s ’11 Louis Vuitton show failed to entice the masses, although it certainly helped stir the pot.
A new wave of enthusiasts have reclaimed hair color and taken it to the streets with a variety of young celebrities following suit and changing their signature locks. Most notably, Scarlett Johansson’s crimson color for her new role in The Avengers tops off a list of Hollywood starlets who have adopted the color (Mandy Moore, Blake Lively, Drew Barrymore). Mixed in with fashion favorites Tilda Swinton, Taylor Tomasi Hill, Christina Hendricks and La Roux, it’s easy to see how red is now a phenomenon across the board.
But going red still comes with some warnings. Beth Ann Kraynak, the colorist at Sarah Mills Hair, warns that keeping reds shiny and bold is tricky. “You have to maintain the true tone because it fades out so quickly,” Kraynak explains. “Redheads are like blondes, it’s a very difficult color to perfect and should be left to the professionals.”
With all the upkeep and the long summer days ahead, it’s hard to say how long this movement will truly last. But for now, it’s certainly keeping the summer hair trending spicy.