Red hair has established a fiery grip on the most trendsetting of heads lately, and the of-the-moment shade doesn't seem to be waning in popularity anytime soon.
Copper, strawberry blonde, vibrant auburn — red-streaked strands are appearing on celebrities and models alike with an undeniable ubiquity. While various red hair colors have been trending for some time among the celebrity and model set, recent weeks have seen an all-on frenzy of ginger hair makeovers. Exhibit A: Sydney Sweeney traded her usual blonde color for a punched-up strawberry blonde with multi-dimensional highlights.
"We're thinking strawberry blonde is going to be the hot girl hair color for summer," says Nikki Lee, colorist and owner of Nine Zero One Salon in Los Angeles, of the look. (She was the pro behind Sweeney's seasonal transformation.) "It was an easy transition for her because I had already previously colored her blonde… It allowed the color to really pop. It's the color everyone always wants to try, but never does. Now, everyone is into taking more risks and trying new things. It's a fun time to be a colorist."
Meanwhile, Sweeney's "Euphoria" co-star Barbie Ferreira also made the leap to the fiery side, going for a deeper, coppery hue.
"We're seeing people take more risks in self-expression. Going red is an unexpected change from the usual brunette and blondes," New York City colorist Rachel Bodt, who was responsible for Ferreira's color makeover, tells Fashionista. "For redheads, there's so much room for people to do their own spin within the color range."
Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Sophie Turner are all also among recent dabblers in red and red-adjacent hair colors. Zendaya — also a star of "Euphoria" — spent a stint as a redhead before her HBO teen drama days back in 2019 (and even returned to it briefly at the beginning of the year); though it's not as timely as the aforementioned instances, hers was a lovely example of how an almost orange-y, mahogany tone can work so well on warmer skin tones. But why do so many in the public eye seem to be flocking to this trend right now? One reason, perhaps, is the way it catches the eye in photographs.
For Ferreira in particular, "we wanted an iconic, vibrant red with high dimensions — not a solid red — so red tones would be picked up nicely through photo shoots," says Bodt.
That focus on dimensionality and avoiding a flat, one-note color seems to be a common thread uniting all of these different reddish hues on celebrities and models. It also has the added bonus of grounding the shade a bit, perhaps in the wearer's natural hair color, allowing it to look more natural.
"If you already have previous color in, it might take longer because pigments need to be removed," she says. "If you're natural, the transition will be easier as the colorist can use color without bleaching."
As a general rule, red is among the toughest hair colors to maintain, particularly when it comes to keeping the vibrance, shine and dimension. That's where aftercare comes into play.
"At-home hair care after coloring is so critical," says Bodt, who stresses the importance of arming yourself with the right products. "My favorite for bright, vibrant colors is the Matrix Keep Me Vivid Color Lamination Spray. It seals in color to helps prolong vibrant color post service, also adds incredible shine." (Bodt is an ambassador for the brand.)
Despite being definitively high-maintenance, red does have its appeal for those of us who are time-crunched or lazy. Bodt's other key tip is a simple one: "Shampoo less! Dry shampoo will be your best friend."
In the gallery below, we've rounded up a selection of expert-approved products for redheads (and transitioning redheads) to help maintain hair health and color vibrancy.
Please note: Occasionally, we use affiliate links on our site. This in no way affects our editorial decision-making.