“I always say, ‘blondes may have more fun… but that will only last until a redhead joins the party,’” says Rob Pizutti, owner of Exit Salon in Toronto. Contemplating going red? Here are a few things you should know before taking the plunge.

Anyone (well, nearly anyone) can go red

Unsure if red will suit you? Pizutti believe that anyone can go warm red or red-ish and even full-on red. The shade of red will much depend on your skin tone and going to a very educated colourist will make the process a smooth transition, he says. Luis Pacheco, Clairol Consulting Colourist, agrees that anyone can go red with one exception: people who are 100 percent grey. “One hundred percent grey hair doesn’t take well to colour and if you go red, it may fade to pink.”

Get set to tone down redness in your skin

The toughest candidate for red hair, though? If you have rosacea or lots of pink undertones to your skin, says Pacheco. But with the right tone of red for your hair (and committing to evening out your skin tone with a great foundation), there’s no reason this is a trend you can’t partake in.

Red hair is a commitment

“When you decide to go red, there is some commitment involved as it’s not easily changed,” says Pizuitti. The reason red hair is more of a commitment is because the red colour molecule is larger than other colours, explains Pacheco. There are ones that’ll sit on the outer layer initially, but the ones that do penetrate the hair shaft are harder to get rid of.

You’ll have initially brighter results right after your hair is coloured

Because of the larger-sized molecules of red hair colour, some molecules with sit on the outer layer of hair when you have it coloured or do it yourself. Within the first week or so, those molecules will wash away and the brightness will lessen.

Check out our favourite celebrities sporting red hair here!

More tips on achieving the perfect red hair colour and hair tips on the next page …
Be prepared for regular touch-ups

Again, given that the redness will lessen as the hair is exposed to water, you will need regular hair colour touch-ups when you go red to maintain a nice brightness. Pizutti says every four to six weeks is the norm (but notes that this is similar to when colouring any other colour). For colouring at home, Pacheco recommends the Natural Instincts line of
hair colour when going red, given that this line offers the bonus of having the two-week colour refresh, “allowing you to add the red molecules that were lost within the first two weeks.”

Find the red that suits your skin tone

“Warm, peachy skin tones looks best with choosing reds in the range of true amber copper to ginger; as well as the warmest mango blonde,” says Pizutti, whereas cool fair skin or deeper skin tones should consider true red, red wine, pomegranate and raspberry tones. When colouring at home and choosing a colour, Pacheco suggests looking for shades with names including strawberry, ginger and copper if you’re fair, and burgundy, mahogany, ruby or cherry if you have medium, dark or olive-toned skin.

Use products that’ll help prolong your colour job

“Using a low pH shampoo or sulphate-free shampoo will definitely extend your colour,” says Pizutti. “I am a big fan of shampoo and conditioning on day one, then the next time you "wash" your hair, you just rinse your hair with water and condition only,” he says. “If you scrub your hair and scalp with just conditioner on every other day you are planning on washing your hair, it will not only keep your colour longer, but your hair will feel clean, smell fresh and will be silky in record time,” he adds. When you do shampoo, Pacheco recommends using one especially developed with your hair colour in mind, such as Pantene Expressions.

And as with any hair colour (not just red), treatments are key. A treatment will penetrate the hair shaft and seal in moisture to keep your hair smooth, says Pizutti.

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