Redheads are the unicorns of hair color: rare, unique and perhaps a little untamed.
“I think when a man walks into a party and the date on his arm is a redhead, he’s telegraphing, ‘I’ve tamed and wooed this very strong woman,’ ” said stylist David Zyla. “When a woman has red hair, there is definitely a connotation that she is a go-getter and she makes her own luck. There is something very independent and intense or fiery about her.”
So that’s what red can do for you. However, it can be tough to know what tone or shade of red will suit you.
JoAnne Richmond, Color Me Beautiful expert, and author, said some people simply cannot go red.
“Anybody with ash in their hair, pink in their skin, or gray in their eyes, as a generalization, should not go red,” she said.
The same is true of a “cool” skin tone type. Red may work for a “warm” type who has ivory skin or skin with a bit of bronze in it. But a “cold” type lacking those features should never put red in her hair or her face will look like it’s on fire, Richmond said.
“If the wrong person does red hair it would not be pretty,” she said. “If she walks into a room, men wouldn’t necessarily know what wasn’t working, but she just wouldn’t stand out as being a knockout.”
That leaves the “warm” types to pick out a shade of red. These seven celebrity redheads can help them decide which one is right for them.
When a woman has red hair, there is a connotation that she is a go-getter and she makes her luck.
– David Zyla, color expert and author of “The Color of Style.pretty much”
Julia Roberts – Deep Auburn
World-renowned hair stylist and color specialist Sean James has worked on nearly every celebrity. Julia Roberts’ color is a favorite for him.
“This gorgeous shade of red-brown is perfect for brown-eyed girls and a great read to go for if you naturally have darker brown or medium-brown hair,” he said.
James suggests asking your colorist for highlights through the finished red.
“Ask for a few (painted-on) highlights left on for only a short time,” he said. “They will give dimension and add a shiny look to the hair.”
A lot of radical dye-jobs leave mismatched brows, but that’s not a problem if you’re going for a Roberts-like shade.
“Darker eyebrows bring out a natural look,” he said.
Rihanna – Show-Stopping Red
James is a huge fan of the red hair sometimes worn by singer Rihanna.
“It’s a great contrast with her golden island girl skin,” James said.
He said it’s achieved by bleaching out the natural pigment until a red undertone remains. Then you cover that with bright red. He warns that you shouldn’t do this with your eyebrows, and you shouldn’t do it at all unless you want attention.
“This is not for the shy person,” he said. “People will be watching you.”
Zyla, the author of “The Color of Style,” agrees that if your hair is as bright red as this particular look of Rihanna, you cannot fail to be noticed.
Jayma Mays – Light Copper
James likes Jayma Mays’ hair, which he calls, “a beautiful base of red, with balayage highlighting around the face and top of the head.”
This shade of pale copper with highlights has “depth and dimension,” he said. “This suits someone with darker-toned eyebrows and light brown eyes. Her skin tone is warmer than the lighter-eyed girls so that she can handle the depth of this shade.”
If you have a natural copper highlight to your hair like this, Zyla says you can take the red further into a shade like that of Mays.
“If you do not have read in your hair, go off of your skin tone and what colors look good on you,” he said. “If you’re the person who wears browns and rusts, going with a warmer red is going to be better for you.”
Bryce Dallas Howard – Rich Burgundy
Bryce Dallas Howard is an unusual example for this list. She has the gray tones in her eyes and pink skin tones that Richmond said won’t work for red hair. Howard, however, has a cool tone to her red hair that helps her carry a deep, burgundy color.
“This sultry red brown has a beautiful depth for Bryce, adding a very fashionable feel to her look,” James said.
Zyla also defended the actress’s choice of red coloring.
“I will always say that nothing beats your natural coloring,” he said. “But I do understand the need for people to try and change.”
Emma Stone – Medium Copper
Actress Emma Stone has warm-toned green eyes. James thinks her red hair perfectly offsets her features.
“This is the best, most fashionable look for a redhead,” James said. “It is best done on a medium-brown brunette or a person with dark blonde hair.”
Nicole Kidman – Strawberry Blonde
James loves Nicole Kidman’s pale strawberry shade of red.
“I love this color on her as it’s close to what she is naturally,” he said. “This works for her as she has an ashen, ivory complexion and takes care of her pale skin, enhancing her fragility and beauty.”
To get this look, James suggests asking your colorist for foiled highlights woven around the sides and top of the hair with a copper-gold base.
“As she has matured, Nicole has gone into a more subtle tone, adding highlights throughout,” James said. “This is usually done to prevent the line of dark demarcation at the roots showing the grays too soon.”
Julianne Moore – Copper Mahogany
“Julianne Moore is one of my all-time favorite redheads,” James said. “She is a beautiful vibrant shade of copper red with a mahogany tone. The darker shade adds contrast to her pale skin and hazel-green eyes.”
Moore’s acting skills are exceptional, and the stylists think her hair color may indeed enhance her dynamism. Someone painting their hair red may get a similar energy.
“I think a redhead’s mentality is affected in that she feels sultry,” Zyla said. “I think if she colors her hair red, she might have a boost in confidence and she is all of a sudden the woman who will ask the man on the date and not be afraid of rejection. She is given a feisty confidence.”