Celebrity redheads

Once upon a time, natural redheads took to the dye bottle to hide their bright red locks. But now, after years of being called a slew of names like ginger, carrot-top, et al, they’re no longer covering up their colour. What’s more, blondes and brunettes are embracing auburn tones too. In fact, in New Zealand home hair-colour sales of shades of red are up by 2.4% compared to a year ago. So why has a colour that incurred so much wrath suddenly become cool again?

The answer lies in the recent popularity of certain celebrities. Think Julianne Moore, Karen Elson, Jessica Chastain and Florence Welch (from Florence and the Machine). With natural redheads only making up 1-2% of the world’s population, for the rest of us the answer lies in a good dye job. From auburn and russet to strawberry blonde, there are countless varieties of the shade for those wanting to go faux red.

Rodney Wayne creative director Richard Kavanagh says, “This is the season of the redhead; going red is a way to say you’re confident, brave, fun and fiery.” So why does he think the attitude towards red hair is changing? “I think the stigma of being a ginger comes from people’s inherent need to conform, and to conform we have, in the past, mocked those who are in a minority. Today, we embrace difference. Being a redhead, especially a flaming redhead, makes you stand out.”

And once you’ve found the perfect red for you, you’ll need to protect it.

“Colour-care shampoo, conditioner and treatments are essential,” Kavanagh says. “Regular visits to the salon for a colour glaze are a good idea to add vibrancy. Look for a haircare range with UV filters and antioxidants.”