dimensional red

Natural red hair has a different distribution of pigment then blonde or brown hair. In other colors the pigment molecules sit close to the surface, but for redheads they’re buried deep within the strand. This means that redheads are less prone to natural highlighting because light has to penetrate much more deeply into the hair. It also means that when redheads do lighten they lighten more dramatically. When creating dimensional reds the best looks follow the same principles: minimal variation, high contrast. Learn more in the style notes. –– Laura Martin

Do leave some depth at the root. Natural reds tend to brighten as the grow out, an effect you can mimic with dark roots.

Don’t lowlight evenly throughout the head with foils. The result will muddy your red and does not look natural.

Do add a few strips of rose gold or blond through ends. The bright bits will make your red pop and look surprisingly natural.

Don’t blend more then three reds on one head, the result will look overwhelming and messy.

Do try blending a warm and a cool red that are the same level of lightness and intensity. The result is shiny and dimensional, but with no discernible distinction between the shades.


Special thanks to Laura Martin for this post. Laura is a professional hair stylist, former senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, and a creative non-fiction MFA student at Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA. Follow her inspirations on twitter.

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