Red or dead: auburn is this year’s hottest hair colour

From spicy ginger to simply deep red, the hot ‘90s hair hue is all the rage right now. But do redheads have more fun? Here’s why you should suck it and see.

The year is 2010. Bleach, East London’s cult grunge bleaching salon, has just opened the doors to its first-ever pop up” spot on Dalston’s Kingsland Road, as part of Sharmadean Reid’s newly opened nail salon, WAH Nails. It’s ahead of the curve. In 2012, Chanel’s Cruise show debuts pastel coloured bobs styled on IT models Lindsey Wixson, Cara Delevingne and the like and the internet melts. Where do London girls go to get the look? Err, Bleach London, of course.

It was the decade of unnatural hair tones, an acid-bright revolution that spurned troops of My Little Pony pastel pinks, mermaid greens, gothy midnight blacks and highlighter-yellows. Nothing was off the menu, except maybe the lesser championed auburn.

As the rainbow coloured hair brigade charged on, natural reds faded into the distance. It was a colour that had dominated the late 90s, worn most famously by Julia Roberts (a true auburn) and Susan Sarandon (proper copper), in part powered into popularity by a growing interest in vegetable dyes and henna. This season, it’s back with a bang as seen on the likes of Kendall Jenner, Kaia Gerber, Barbie Ferreria and more.

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Why do we care?
Well, auburn’s one of those in-between colours that’s actually quite hard to achieve and maintain (red dyes fade the quickest) but, when executed properly, is always a hit. Auburn suits most skin types and looks great with the darkest of complexions and the palest of the pale. Shinier than bottle blonde and more forgiving than Morticia’s inky black, we can see why auburn hair is all the rage.

What’s the energy?
Bree Van De Camp in Desperate Housewives meets Julie Cooper in The OC, with a splash of Leeloo from The Fifth Element.

Who is doing it?
Where do we start? Gigi Hadid did it first last June and was giving us Little Mermaid 2.0 energy. Kendall Jenner followed suit in February this year, as debuted on the runway at Prada’s AW22 show, and her burnt orange grown out bob is a glistening example of auburn at its best. Kaia Gerber revealed deep ginger tresses this week and we think it’s the best she’s ever looked. Euphoria’s Zendaya has been sporting a spicy ginger tone that perfectly compliments her complexion, served with silver screen starlet energy thanks to classic, big-blow-out styling. Joining her is another Euphoria babe Barbie Ferreria, who is also embracing a zingy ginger and some long milkmaid braids (see: last week’s cover of ES magazine). Sophie Turner, previously a blonde, has dyed her hair a deep shade of super shiny red.

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How can I DIY?
Don’t. Seek professional help on this one. Tasha Spencer, senior stylist at Bleach’s Brixton salon, has some advice: Pretty much any natural base or chemically dyed colour can be altered to a dreamy auburn tone. Darker hair can be lightened softly to achieve it and blondes can be toned down for a transformation. If the auburn colour is feeling muted it can easily be enhanced with a vibrate vegetable dye to bring the colour to life.”

Who’s the ideal candidate?
Any brunettes who have been dying their hair darker than their natural tone and are looking for a shakeup. Also, any mousey or box-dyed blondes and brunettes looking for a low-risk, high-impact outcome. Anyone with darker tones should speak to their hairdresser first but, if done properly, it should only require a low level of bleach to attain a lift that’s suitable to carry deep auburn.

Maintenance is key!
Keep your deep ginger spicy at all costs. As aforementioned: red can fade fast so keep yours going with Davines’ Alchemic Shampoo, Christophe Robin’s Shade Variation Mask in Chic Copper or Bleach’s I Saw Red Super Cool Colour (a small dose mixed with your conditioner will ensure a bolder red).

Do redheads have more fun?
Suck it and see.

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MoroccanOil colour depositing hair mask
Davies Alchemic conditioner
Josh Wood Shade Shot
Bleach London Proper Copper Super Cool Colour

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