I once had the opportunity to dye my hair red while filming a beauty tutorial a few years ago. I chickened out at the last minute and opted to go for a golden blonde color instead. You see, I've always maintained a similar shade of "bronde" hair, so it was the safe choice and the one I felt the most comfortable with at the time. While I don't necessarily regret my decision, it has always left me wondering, What if? Since then, I've saved varying shades of strawberry blonde, ginger, and auburn hair on Instagram, and I often stare longingly at hair transformation videos that result in a vibrant, shimmering shade of copper. For me, red hair has become the beauty equivalent of "the one who got away."
Maybe it's because I was recently discussing red hair with Who What Wear's Senior Beauty Editor, Erin Jahns, or maybe it's because it's fall and I'm in the mood for a hair color that reflects the shades of the leaves on the trees, but I'm more obsessed with red hair than ever. Will I finally go for it? I'm still giving it some thought (I'm not exactly a spontaneous person, okay?). In the meantime, I'll keep looking at my red hair inspirations. Keep scrolling to see every shade (and celebrity) I want to copy, from Gigi Hadid to Zendaya and beyond.
The tipping point for my red hair obsession was when Gigi Hadid dyed her hair this shade. Here she is, at the Met Gala, sporting a long and voluminous up-do. The style, along with the deep, rich color, is somewhere between Jessica Rabbit and Ariel from The Little Mermaid.
Emma Stone's most recent take on red hair is more subdued than others before it (here she is at the Cruella premiere). This shade of dimensional strawberry blonde suits her perfectly.
I love how Zendaya's hair starts out as a mahogany color at the roots, before transitioning to a brighter copper shade at the ends. It's the best example of red ombré I've seen yet.
It's been four full years since Emma Roberts walked the red carpet with this shade of copper hair, and I'm still not over it. It's truly one of the most vibrant shades of orange-red I've ever seen, and it makes me want to invest in a good color-depositing product, stat.
Rihanna is also no stranger to red, or in this case, a deep and rich shade of auburn. It's a good color for anyone who is naturally brunette and just wants a little extra oomph.
I've admired Isla Fisher's hair every since Confessions of a Shopaholic came out (ahh, the mid-2000s…). Her long coppery locks are kind of her signature. If it's not broke don't fix it, right?
Yes, Zendaya is on this list twice, but can you blame me? Her deep crimson-colored blowout needs to be talked about. This is one of my all-time favorite shades of red hair.
I love shades of red that are deep and dark, yet still vibrant and reflective in the light (aka shades of red like this one). It makes me think of the embers that glow after a fire burns out.
The yellow-orange tones in Jessica Chastain's hair are both bright and eye-catching.
I'm in love with the shimmery gold undertone of Amy Adams' soft red hair color.
The same goes for Drew Barrymore. Her color looks natural and lived-in, which I love.
I know I just said I like natural-looking, lived-in shades of red (which is true), but Megan thee Stallion's primary red hair color is making a case for a brighter, bolder choice.
SZA is another celebrity that tipped the scale, leading me to seriously consider going red.
Julia Roberts' hair color in Pretty Woman remains one of the most iconic shades of red, well, ever, although this rich chestnut color, which has subtle reddish undertones, also suits her.
This soft bronde shade, which has a barely there strawberry-blonde tint to it, is perfect for anyone who's looking for a subtle transition from blonde or brown to a coppery red.
Sarah Hyland's bright highlights make her vivid shade of copper look, well, even more vivid.
Here's one of my all-time favorite shades of red hair. I think it's absolutely stunning. Not only does it perfectly complement Keke Palmer's skin tone, but it also does her curls justice.
Yes, I know—here we have yet another repeat. Like I said before, bold primary red isn't really my thing (or, at least, it never used to be), but SZA is making me rethink my position, especially when the bright color is paired with a voluminous '90s-inspired blowout.
Sophie Turner's flowing red hair is equal parts elegant and eye-catching.
I've admired Nicole Kidman's hair ever since I first watched Practical Magic as a kid. She seems to have been alternating between blonde and the same copper shade ever since.
5 Styling and Color-Protecting Hair Products to Shop Now
Deposit a bright kick of copper to your hair with this hydrating conditioner.
Color-safe shampoo is a must for keeping your hair color vibrant.
Follow up with a color-safe conditioner to keep your strands soft and healthy.
Products that give the hair a high-shine finish make any style look professional.
For the love of healthy hair, make sure you use a heat protectant before styling.